How would you like to be in the air force? Not the USAF, but in God’s air force? You don’t even have to leave home to join up.
For the past 25 years, we’ve lived in Colorado Springs, home of the US Air Force Academy, two air bases (Peterson & Schriever), and the Space Command. While I’ve never been in the military, I’ve picked up a few facts just by rubbing elbows with our friends and neighbors.
Turning off the main highway, our minibus bumped over the rocky gravel road toward Gege, Swaziland. Tree farms, with their orderly rows of pine and eucalyptus, gave way to grassy hillsides, cattle, and the occasional small cinder block building. I tried to snap some photos from the moving bus, with limited success.
About ten minutes into our 40-minute ride, we bounced past a run-down homestead flying a worn, solid black flag. Odd, I thought, and asked our missionary host what the flag signified. He explained that some Swaziland belonged to a cult that worshiped a nasty snake idol/demon, and the flag meant that a snake “church” met at this home. Apparently, Gege was the epicenter of this cult.
Pete hasn’t had a break all week. First it was just the distraction of moving back into our house. Then the email router at the ICTA office stopped working. That used up five days and it still isn’t really fixed. On Thursday a construction crew on the street outside the office accidentally hit a gas line, and the entire building had to be evacuated. So much for getting any work done.
That evening our router at home starting having fits and we lost our internet service. Then, while on the phone to the phone company (which also provides our internet service), the home land line died. (You know it’s bad when you can’t call the phone company!) Oh, and did I mention that our poor cell reception is augmented by a “personal cell phone tower” which runs, you guessed it, over the internet. Pete had to leave the house to call the phone company on his cell phone.
Everyone knows the 23rd Psalm: “The Lord is my shepherd….” It’s probably the most beloved chapter in the entire Bible. We love the first two verses that continue, “… I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul.” Green pastures and quiet waters sound lovely. I’d like that! That’s all about me enjoying life.
But how many people notice the second half of verse three? “… He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake.” That’s all about God. Not us. His name. Not ours.
We had some good friends over to dinner last night. They do a lot of ministry in China and other southeast Asian countries. We were kept on the edges of our seats as they related stories about how God is working in that part of the world. The sick are being healed, the Word is being taught, people are coming to the Lord in droves. The kingdom of God is advancing.