Praise Him!

"I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord." 
Psalm 27:6

Last Sunday, we took the girls from Gavojdia to sing at the church plant we attend in the Mondial neighborhood -- Biserica Crestina Painea Vietii (Bread of Life Church). They did a great job, and I couldn’t hold back a smile when the congregation joined in singing the last song with us. At the beginning of the service, I had quietly prayed for the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts as we worshipped, and I sensed God’s presence in a powerful way as we all sang together:

“From Him, through Him, and for Him are all things. 
To Him be the glory for ever and ever, amen!” 

There in the small, simple building, I thought about how many “things” we have in our pasts: maybe we used to squander our paychecks on booze in this church that a few years ago was a bar, or maybe our family only wants us for Christmas or not at all, or maybe we’ve come through a long journey of surrender to God’s gentle leading in directions we didn’t want to go... Whatever our story, it was all in His plan and leads to His glory and our good. Hallelujah! We have so much to praise Him for!

Praise Him for the gifts of music and laughter.

Praise Him for the men and women who've been working with these kids in the Mondial neighborhood. Four years ago they could barely sit through a song or Bible story, but now they come every week to learn about who God is and what it means to be His children. 

Praise Him for the warm welcome the Mondial kids showed to our girls by giving them each two handmade bracelets, one to keep and one to give to a friend. It warmed my heart a little to hear, "Here Rebecca, I'm giving you my other bracelet because you're my friend." My two partners and I received a few, and the rest were given away that afternoon at a local home for the handicapped.

Speaking of the home for the handicapped, praise God for a happy reunion with a little boy who was moved there last year from Gavojdia. He was so excited to see these girls, and they couldn't stop hugging him. Praise Him for the compassion we saw in their hearts not only for him, but for all of the children with mental and physical challenges. Praise Him for the special interest one of the girls took in a wheelchair-bound little girl and a severely autistic boy, and for the hearts and lives I believe she will impact in the future as God shows His mercy through her. 

Praise Him for the simple things -- for funny movies, ice cream, playing dress-up, and even for my Grandma's poodle who tolerated and befriended our lively group.

And speaking of my Grandma, praise God for bringing her to Lugoj twenty years ago. Praise Him for using her to teach me about giving my possessions, my time, and my heart to the widows and orphans. Praise Him for a legacy I'm honored to carry on and pass along. I say pass along because, as you can see, the love these girls are recieving they’ve already begun to share with others. Praise Him for showing His love to and through the least of us!

"...for my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in." Psalm 27:10

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