This week very well could be the most memorable of 2008. Two events occurred. One I'll share in this post and the other I'll save for another post.
Our church hosted an evening with Steve Saint (pictured here with Mincaye). I am so thankful me and Hannah were able to attend together (David was also there, but he was working). Our neighbor, Cindy, kindly watched the boys so that I would be able to focus (rare in my world). So I sat and soaked while Steve Saint shared experiences from his life.
For those of you who do not know...he is the son of Nate Saint. His father along with four other men were matyred in Ecuador when they made contact with the Auca Indians. Then, by events that can only be explained by God, some of the women and children went and lived with the very people whom had killed their husbands and fathers. This tribe went from being violent to being loving.
That surprises us. As christians, why does it surprise us? Much of the New Testament was written by Paul who went from being a christian-killer to a leader in the church, a missionary with a tender heart for God's people. And really, if we look at our own hearts we know how vile they can be apart from Christ. So, I digress.
While I can't tell you everything Steve said, I can tell you my impressions. Steve was real. He was down to earth. He was funny and engaging. My strongest impression was sitting beside my daughter and watching her face light up as she listened. She was 100% engaged. She loved every minute of it. Of course her favorite part was when Steve was asked what was his first impression of the people when he went to Ecuador. His answer was "It was very revealing". And yes, he meant their nakedness. My girl thought that was FUNNY.
Personally, my deepest impression is that God has a plan and a purpose for all of our lives. Sometimes we get derailed because we do not choose to walk His path...we'd rather go our own way. What if those five men had said...no way man, I am not going to the jungle? Maybe they would have lived long lives. But, would their lives have impacted the world. What if those widows had said...no way man, I am not going to live with those savages who killed my husband? Would they have seen how God can redeem the darkest circumstances?
My take away is that each day I must listen carefully to the voice of God and follow him. Wherever He Leads I'll Go!! You know the really cool thing...Steve and Mincaye are speaking at our church this morning. It feels like Thursday night may have just been a warm-up
My saddest moment was to hear that Elisabeth Elliott is not well. I remember seeing her speak when I was a newly wed twenty-three year old. She of course has influenced my life in countless ways through her books.