Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Day of Rejoicing

Note: I am back in the US now. Praise the Lord for safe travels over the many miles! I'm sorry my posts have been a little sparse lately. The last few weeks before I left were filled to the brim with many different activities. 

Let me tell you about Moo Koh Paw. She's one of the 10th graders who had attached herself to me. She has become dear to me over the past few months. 

She had been struggling with somethings in her life for the past few weeks...   Something just wasn't quite right, even though she tried to cover it up with laughing and joking. I could tell that she was troubled about something and deep in thought. I think part of it was her unwillingness to surrender (at least not yet). 

The two of us usually would joke, laugh, and play with each other. She has a lot of spunk and she always kept me laughing. (We have so many inside jokes with each other now.) There were times though that I tried to turn the conversation to more weighty things. 

One evening my room-mates and I had prayed--really prayed--for our dear friend, Moo Koh Paw. We prayed that she would not be at rest until she had surrendered her life fully into the hands of her heavenly Father. 

The next afternoon I looked over at her swinging in my hammock. I really wanted her to have inner, lasting peace. I decided to try to bring up spiritual matters. 

"Moo Koh Paw, I have been praying for you. Is there anything in specific that you want me to pray for you about?" I wondered if she understood everything since I wasn't speaking in her native tongue. 

She cocked her head. "Huh, say that again, teacher." 

I reworded the question."What do you want me to pray about for you?" I wondered how she'd reply to that type of question. I didn't have to wonder long.  

After thinking for a moment, she spoke solemnly in her broken English, "Teacher, pray for my heart. I have a bad heart. I have a big problem in my heart."

I nodded and assured her, "Yes, yes, Moo Koh Paw, I will pray for your heart. I want you to be truly happy in your heart, not just smiling on the outside. Jesus is the only one who can fix your heart."

Days went by and it was getting closer to the time of the baptism. We wondered if MKP would make the decision. She did want to get baptized - but she still wasn't sure. She said she had some questions that needed to be answered. 

Then one afternoon when we were all up in the Stecks house after lunch, I heard some all too familiar footsteps behind me and the usual burst of energy that came along with them. She knew where to find me if I wasn't down at my hut. She had a ball in her hands and I knew what that meant. She most likely wanted us to come play volleyball with her. But, I was entering grades into the computer which was a very important, time-sensitive project because graduation was coming up very soon. So I told her I probably wouldn't be available to play that afternoon. 

She skipped around the room for a little bit and then disappeared all of a sudden. "Well, that's not unusual," I thought. 

But then a few moments later I did hear an unusual outburst from Hannah Steck, "I knew it! I knew it was her that Thara Ehganyaw said wanted to get baptized! She's the 20th person so far!"  

Haley and I both looked up with excitement. "What, really?! Who is it?!!" 

"Just maybe..." I thought. 
"Is it Moo Koh Paw?!" I blurted. 

Hannah nodded with a grin. "She just told Thara Joko (Mr. Steck) to add her name to the list!" 

Haley and I looked at each other... we both had a little extra water in our eyes. 

Hearing of her decision made our hearts sing.  Our specific prayer was answered right before our eyes. I don't think we were the only ones that were singing inside...

"... Likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth..." 
Luke 15:7

Haley and I felt like skipping on our walk instead of strolling that day. 

My friends, God does answer prayers. 

On the bright and sunny morning of the baptism, there were 23 precious souls who were buried in the water. Praise the Lord! 

As Moo Koh paw walked confidently into the river when it was her turn to be baptized - we all joined in singing a song. It was a special song to her because of the words. It talks about how we can be whiter than snow and her name is in the song (part of her name means "snow"). 

"Wah nay moo koh paw, wah nay moo koh paw..." 

It was a special, touching scene to behold. 

And just for your information- all the rest of that special day, Moo Koh Paw, was grinning from ear to ear. She could confidently say that she was happy in her heart now. I hope and pray that it will stay that way.

Please join me in especially praying for Moo Koh Paw and the other 22 people who were just baptized. They will be special targets of the enemy and they will need special strength from Jesus to overcome each and every day.  

Here are a few pictures from the special day:

Walking down to the riverside

The line-up of baptismal candidates

The newly baptized students with a few teachers

The five students of mine who got baptized 

I miss these sweet girls!

Don't they look so happy?

Me & Tharamu Supweh 
(She is a teacher now who graduated last year.)

All the baptized students from this year and previous years

"... Likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth..." 
Luke 15:7