One thing that we are realizing daily is that fighting for the lives of others is a 100% spiritual battle. Every day we encounter a new obstacle that we have to navigate a way around or over. We are so passionate about helping and loving on our refugees that it is easy for us to look at the physical needs and physical healing and forget about the spiritual side of this journey.
He reminds me daily “I am the Lord your God who takes your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13.
There are days when we are tired and are in need of a break, there are days when we are very discouraged and heart broken. And yet there has never been a day when we have not felt God with us guiding us. Andrew, Rae, Martin and myself have been stretched to our limits and just when we feel like we can not be stretched an inch more His grace and strength take over. We are reminded daily that with out Him we can not walk this road. We are so thankful for His continuous guidance and love.
In the midst of spiritual warfare some AMAZING moments have happened. Probably the most breathtaking one for me was witnessing Baby Rae Hope enter the world. When John and Baby came to Hope Farm they had 4 children and one on the way. We have walked through the last months of the pregnancy with Baby and anticipated the baby’s arrival. on the afternoon of the 11th of October Baby and John walked up the hill to Rae’s home and came into the kitchen mid contraction. Rae and I took one look at each other and we knew that this baby was on her way into the world. Contractions were coming fast and furious and Rae called the ambulance. Labor progressed super fast and by the time the ambulance arrived we only just managed to get Baby onto the gurney and into the ambulance.
We all piled out onto the driveway and Rae and I climbed into the back of the ambulance. I help Baby’s hand as the paramedics tried to put a drip into her arm. Within a few minutes of being in the ambulance Baby looked at me, squeezed my hand and shouted “BABY”, as the baby basically flew out of her. Amniotic sack over her face baby Rae entered the world nice and pink and screaming. Dad stood outside the ambulance sobbing, Rae took baby Rae and wrapped her up and suctioned her and I sat holding Baby’s hand sobbing. It was magical and incredible.
Another great story is we have gained a new teacher for our school. His name is Owen and is from Malawi. He is such a gift! He is teaching our primary school children and the kids are LOVING it! He is very calm and a lot of fun, characteristics of a great teacher. our children and Rae’s children are also in the school with our refugee children and they are thriving being taught by Owen. He starts every day with assembly and exercise. We have also found sponsors for our high school kids so that they can take their GED on the internet. AMAZING!!!! God is so good.
Our gardens started to grow well and then we ran out of water and the rains that are usually here by now still haven’t come. Please pray for rain. Our whole region is farmland and the farmers are really struggling without the rains.
Last week I took a trip to town to see my shelter girls. When i arrived I was told by the new Congolese Muslim owner that I was not allowed in as I was a christian. I sat outside and talked with a few of my girls, they really aren’t doing well. I took Ronelle for coffee and she told me of how she is really battling. She is worried that she is pregnant so I offered to take her for a test. She refused said she would rather not know. Fear is such an evil master. I see the fear that Ronelle lives in and it breaks my heart. I pray for her and my hope is that she is not pregnant, however if she is then I will stand with her and help however I can. Please lift Ronelle and the rest of my shelter girls up and pray for their protection and provision.
Tuesday was Joe’s 10th birthday!!! I don’t even know where the years have gone. He is so grown up. So smart and so gifted. He is constantly reading and drawing and is such a blessing to be around.
Mart and I would just like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who has been supporting us. We literally CAN NOT do this work without your love and support. Thank you for believing in us and thank you for constantly lifting us up. You are amazing and you are appreciated.
Much Love from the Downs Family. xxxx
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