“We are in the darkness here in these thorns.” One of the men clearing the land spoke as he hacked at thorns with his hoe. “If they want to take us out of the darkness and into the light, that’s good!”
Bonita was ill, so I went out to visit and encourage the workers in her stead. As I listened, I was struck by how close this man was to seeing spiritual truth in his physical realities.
It has been a joy for us to be able to help these people in their suffering through the work program. It has been thrilling to see the land cleared of thorns and the people encouraged and taking pride in their work. But weighing even more heavily on our hearts is the desire to see the spiritual darkness in this area shattered; to see men and women come into the True Light and draw near to God.
A few days later, it was time to pay the workers. This would be the last day of the program. While the rest of the team prayed, I went along with Jinel to the place where the men and women had gathered. After thanking them in the name of the administration, I repeated this man’s comments. Building on the foundation laid by Bonita during the last few weeks, I said, “Many of you have said that Satan wants you to remain in the thorns. And it’s true, he wants you to remain in the thorns. He wants you to remain in the darkness, not only around your homes, but in your hearts as well.” I then had the chance to share with them that just as they saw that the thorns were not good and needed to be cleaned out, Jesus Christ, the Light, wanted to do the same thing in their hearts and lives. Why? So that they can know God.
Now they have a choice: receive and stay in the light, or run away and hide in the darkness again.
We praise God for the opportunity to reach out with His love while at the same time speaking His truth. It is our earnest prayer that God’s Spirit would work in these people’s hearts “to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God.”