|Me Giggin' em in Tana!|
Here is my 3rd post for the OM news website, where I'm writing a series of posts. Life is crazy here in Madagascar! One of our outreach teams returned yesterday from a city in the south called Bekily where they did a short outreach. The Lord really moved in that place and they have some great stories, hopefully I'll be able to write a few. Just one interesting tidbit on life here in Madagascar...if you think the bus is full, they'll probably cram 50 more people in there, and not only tie their luggage to the top of the bus, but also their goats and sheep :] not something you see everyday in the U.S....
|My fearless tour guides/new friends|
|that's one way to transport a bathtub...|
I've also been listening to this song every single day.
Thanks for all your prayers, I really feel God giving me peace and strength because of them. Much love, Caitlin
When I was a little girl, I learned a song - in fact it's the first song I remember learning. Most likely, you've also sung it, it's called "Jesus Loves Me". The words go like this: Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so, little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong...followed by a plethora of "Yes Jesus loves me!"s. Now as many times as I've heard this simple song, I've never realized the profundity of the phrase "they are weak but He is strong". There's nothing like experiencing a new culture to make you realize how weak humankind is. We're all vulnerable, broken and completely dependent on the grace of God. Some countries in our world are more developed; they're cleaner, maybe even safer - yet the people in our world are all the same - weak. This probably sounds like a very negative and pessimistic thing for a missionary to say. I should maybe be saying "all God's children are special!" or "there's only one you, so be the best YOU, you can be!". But the reality is this - none of us have anything valuable to offer this broken world apart from the strength of Jesus. His strength is what runs in our veins, fills our lungs, and gives us the ability to live and love effectively.
I have been in Antananarivo (Madagascar) for only one week, and several times already I've been approached by fellow believers telling me that my presence here has encouraged them. Encouragement is a word often thrown around in Christian circles, but sometimes I find that the true depth of the word has been lost. One dictionary defines "encourage" as: to give active help or to raise confidence to the point where one dares to do what is difficult. One new friend here in Madagascar told me, "Just your being here gives me strength to carry on in ministry, because I know that someone across the world cares." I'm humbled that in the same way Jesus encouraged me to come to Madagascar and "do what is difficult", my presence here has also encouraged some to do what is difficult - carry the name of Jesus to the unreached.
All this to say, I am no one extraordinary. I don't have superior intellect, an uncanny sense of humor or even a vast amount of wealth. I don't have it "all together", I'm sure I'm not as compassionate or gentle as some, and I'm as selfish as the next person. I am weak. But He is strong. We often pray for God to rise up workers to go into the mission field; I would urge you today, be willing to be the answer to that prayer. God is ready to use weak vessels, with lots of cracks and holes, so that His strength will shine through to the nations.