Na Mesa Do Pai (At the Father’s Table)
From the beginning of this ministry with the women we dreamed of one day being able to hold a larger event for them, like a banquet. But it seemed to be just that, a dream. How could we, just two people, pull off an event like that?
Early in the new year we both prayed and felt that was the next step, but we hesitated again because of the fact that it seemed like an unreachable goal.
But as I prayed I felt strongly that God was saying to us to move forward with it and as we trusted Him and stepped forward He would add to our numbers and the distance between us and where we wanted to be would be reached.
Well that is exactly what happened. We decided to just trust that somehow everything would come together.
That's when the sickness hit our house, and one after the other we fell down with a fever, body aches and a weakness I haven't felt since Malaria. The week before the event I was so sick I fainted on the way back from the bathroom! Thankfully Phil was by my side to catch me.
We feared that since we hadn't been able to get to the streets we wouldn't see any girls at the event.
The Wednesday before I managed to get into the car with Phil driving and we drove down the road handing out invitations to the girls.
By Saturday, the day of the event, I was mostly back to normal and running on adrenaline.
The Anglican church agreed to let us use their beach front church and our friends at Ezekiel 47 all pitched in to help with the food, set up and take down and praying for the girls.
Shores of Grace stepped up and sent the leader of their ministry with the women in prostitution and a woman who has left the streets recorded her story and also came to speak in person and encourage our girls that they too can have a different life. Another five people from Shores came along with them to help. We also had our good friends and fellow missionaries Christopher and Denise visiting us as well as their adorable son Jonas.
We had about 25 people in total involved in making it all happen.
In the end we had nine girls attend-a great turn out for the first one.
Maria, from Shores of Grace, spoke to the women about the story of Lazarus, that although he had been dead for four days, his body already decomposing, that Jesus called him out and back to life. She told the women that they may think that their dreams are dead and decomposing, like Lazarus, but that Jesus is calling them out of the tomb and back to life.
All of the women stood at the end to receive prayer, there were tears flowing freely and as we closed for the evening they all just stayed where they were, there was a peace in the room that was palpable.
Phil and I were overwhelmed, in a good way. All the sickness we had suffered and other calamities leading up to the event (too many to mention!) were worth it if even one of these women will see their life transformed, will begin to understand that she is worthy, loved and valued.
When we were back on the streets all the girls were talking about how much they loved the banquet with the girls who didn't attend, we believe attendance will continue to rise as word gets out.