Meet Your Sisters

Please pause the blog music before you read this post!

“And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward."
Matthew 10:42 (New International Version)


Hey girlfriends! I am writing to you from the Nashville International Airport. I am about thirty minutes from boarding a Southwest flight to Detroit and decided to grab a minute to write to y’all. I am so thankful for so many of you that have promised to lift this week up in prayer with me. One day we will see what our silent petitions lifted to the Great I Am did in the heavenly realms. Until then, I bless all of you that will pray on this side of eternity where we don’t necessarily get to see the effects of those quick--or lengthier-- fervent whispers.

Just before I sat down, I got a drink of cold, delicious water out of the drinking fountain just yards away from the waiting area. I think about Congo every single day of my life, although I have almost lived my life over again since I walked on African soil. It is just surprising to me what triggers the memories at times. As I stooped down to quench my thirst tonight, I remember how greatly I take for granted how accessible water is to me and my family. Let me introduce you to a Congolese sister who never takes a drop of water for granted.

My beloved Congolese friend--I’ll call her Jean--has three children, just like me. She adores her children and her husband, just like me. She is a mother, a daughter, a sister, and a friend, just like me. She, like me, is desperately seeking Jesus, wanting to count for Him. But although our desires are the same in so many ways, our physical circumstances cause a chasm of difference between us as wide as the Grand Canyon itself.

Jean, at age thirty-five, has already lived three-fourths of the years of her life. She will most likely die around the age of forty-seven. My life expectancy in the United States is around seventy-six years old, and possibly longer, because of access to the best medical in the world. The lines on Jean’s face make her look at least twenty years older. She has had to say good-bye to at least three children, all of whom died before the age of two years old. The suffering is etched on her beautiful, deep brown face.

Instead of turning off the alarm clock, Jean wakes up while the intense African sun is still far below the dawn’s horizon. If she had a way to tell time, she would see that the hour of her waking is 4:30 a.m. She quietly pulls herself from her pallet on her one-room, dirt-floor hut and gently lifts her sleepy little one, placing him on a piece of cloth that she will tie around her so expertly that her little son will never wake up.

With only the moon’s fading light, she leaves her sleeping family for at least a mile walk to her garden with hoe in hand, where she will work in between checking on her baby sleeping in the dirt. When her son’s little tummy can wait no longer to be fed, Jean will feed her son the healthiest food he will probably ever eat consistently from her own poorly nourished body.

On the way home, she will stop to descend down the steep, root-exposed hill where the spring of water lies. After years of routine, this is like old hat. She deftly lifts the hundred pound load of water in her tub on top of her head, never spilling a drop on the baby or the ground. It is now 9:00 a.m. and the wickedly intense equatorial sun is well on its way up the sky.

Next time you turn on the faucet to drink water that is clean and will not make your family deathly ill, will you remember your Congolese sister, Jean? And will you thank our Jesus that you and I live in the greatest country on earth? What are we doing to help the desperately poor whose dreams, desires, and love for their families are so much like yours and mine?

I would like you to take a moment to meet your sisters on the other side of the world. Please see them with your heart.



You Raise Me Up
Words and Music by: Brendon Joseph Graham, Rolf U. Loevland

When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.

There is no life - no life without its hunger;
Each restless heart beats so imperfectly;
But when you come and I am filled with wonder,
Sometimes, I think I glimpse eternity.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.


© 2002 Universal - PolyGram International Publishing, Inc. (ASCAP)/PeerMusic III, Ltd. (BMI) All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission. International Copyright Secured.


Jesus, how selfish I am! I forget that I am to stand up for those who have no voice and who are destitute. That is where true wealth is--not in my bank account! Instead, I can get so wrapped up in my petty little problems. Am I missing the whole point, Lord? I am a steward of everything that You have given me. But I clutch and hoard as though my blessings came from me. I am so good at complaining and so unpracticed in living my thanksgiving to You. Thank You for my beautiful country where Your blessings flow in abundance. Thank You for the privilege of so many huge blessings, disguised as small comforts, that I so often take for granted. I never, not once, have anything to complain about. May the plight of my precious brothers and sisters not just tug at my heart-strings, but compel me to take action.