October 16, 2009

The Price of Peace

I do not pretend to be a political activist or even knowledgable about politics per se...I actually don't even like to discuss politics much. Just ask my best friend, Debby. She is always up to date on the latest politics and ready to discuss (aka debate) things. Poor her has me for a friend that really is not all that interested. I am more concerned with the human suffering that I see as a result of the politics and most times think politics is one big, self-serving game that I wish wasn't being played.

This week has brought together an interesting convergence of events in my life. ZIMBABWE....is on my mind and heart heavily.

To me Zimbabwe is:
  • Where we used to get all of our groceries and mail back in 1997 when Mozambique was still recovering from the horrible effects of civil war. (The border is only about 1 1/2 hours drive from us)
  • The home of two dear African friends of mine, Liz who has gone on to be with the Lord and Ska who is now living in the USA.
  • Where we heard of Marc's grandfathers death via fax.
  • Where we welcomed our first child, Micah, into the world.
  • Where our son Nate spent weeks recovering from his accident falling into a well.
  • Where we recently were refused entry to get a visa, making it necessary for us to travel to Malawi.
This series of events that has got me thinking and praying all started by my attending a women's retreat last weekend at a nearby center. There were 54 women in attendance with the majority being from neighboring Zimbabwe. My heart was moved by these women that had been through so much trauma and heart ache in the last few years as they watched their home land and lives fall apart. Many of them had their lives literally stripped from them as Mugabe's government took away their homes and livelihood. Yet, in that place although their was hurt, weariness and even some bitterness there was a deep hunger for God and for His restoration in their lives. It is difficult to explain seeing a grown woman, old enough to nearly be my grandmother on her knees, pouring out her heart to God asking Him to remove her pain and deep grief over losing all she and her husband ever had in life. Seeing her beg God to remove her bitterness and bring her back to Him. It deeply moved me and inspired me. By the end of the weekend we literally saw change had come and from their faces you could see they were leaving in freedom. Hallelujah! Our God is so great!

The second part of this is a book I have been reading this week. The speaker at our women's retreat was a woman named Ellie Hein. She is a missionary here in Mozambique but is originally from Zimbabwe. In her book, Beyond the Shadow, which I brought home she tells of her and her husband's involvement in ministering in Mozambique during the civil war and their part in bringing about the peace treaty from both sides involved. It is fascinating but has caused me to take great pause in the cost of sharing the Gospel and of following God and not man. Many times freedom comes at the cost of great suffering and persecution. How do I possibly understand this?

Then finally, today it was announced on our local TV that Morgan Tsvangarai, the opposition leader is "disengaging" from the unity government in Zimbabwe. My heart fell when I heard this news. I am well aware that only God can restore that land but I also know that it is very possible that the nation of Zimbabwe will fall back into ruins. From what I have heard from friends that have visited the country, it has made progress this year and come back to at least functioning. Most people are able to obtain money and food and form somewhat of a normal life. With this current news there is cause to wonder if once again the greed of a few will bring poverty to a nation.

All of this, together has brought me to my knees for the nation and the people of Zimbabwe. May God have mercy on this land. May righteousness reign. May the believers bear up under their hardships and sufferings with great strength. May His glory be seen for all eyes. May we that take freedom and progress for granted be sensitive and prayerful for those that do not enjoy such privileges. May revival come. May God's chosen one rule and reign. May the needs of our brothers and sisters be met by His hand.

I would be honored if you would join me in praying.

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