Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Its been a long week

Its been a long couple of days. I've been sick for one. I've had a fever, sore throat thing that I haven't been able to kick but more then that sometimes the reality of life and ministry hits you.

We found out this week that our community worker has been extorting money from some of the people we (being Lambano) are helping in the township. God graciously allowed us to find out by having a grandmother we have given money to go to a social worker we know to ask her to call Mamma Lyn to see if she could just have a little more time to come up with the R950 (about $150) that we were asking her to pay us back. In God's providence, the social worker knew that we would never ask for money back and called us. So, yesterday we set up a sting operation and gave her the money to give to our worker, told her what to say and sent a witness with her. And she was caught. (She doesn't know it yet but I am safe writing it here because she can't read or write.)

Please pray. It has the potential to get ugly- really ugly. Please pray that God's name wouldn't be dishonored. The people we work with know we are Christians. My prayer is that our testimony in the area wouldn't be hindered. Please pray for wisdom. Its a tricky situation. We have to somehow distance ourselves from her in the community so she can't continue to extort money from people which means that things will become public. We will, Lord willing, be having a meeting on Monday with the women we are feeding to let them know what is happening and try to discern if it has occurred with anyone else. Yet at the same time it makes my heart sad to have to make it so public. Pray as well that we would respond to sin in a loving and compassionate way and not in anger. Frankly, yesterday I struggled with wanting to strangle her. Its one thing to steal from Lambano. (Its not right to do so but I can see how with a harden conscience you could justify it by how much we have in comparison to what they have. Its still not right to do.) But to steal from a poor grandmother who has absolutely nothing infuriates me! And pray that this worker would be saved and turn to Christ in repentance.

Really though, my biggest prayer right now is the first one I mentioned: that God's name wouldn't be drug through the mud by this. That's the crucial issue!!!

I was so touched by the grandma involved. Now, you need to realize that she is caring for 3 children on what amounts to a little over a $100 a month. She must have been so overwhelmed to think of paying us back but when she came to talk to the social worker she wasn't made or upset. She merely wanted more time to come up with the money. She also told me yesterday that she no longer wanted our food packages because now that she got some government grants, she wanted more needy people to get the food. More needy people? What an amazing attitude she showed.


sandy said...

Wow, thats a biggie. I will be praying for you. Sorry to hear you are sick. Take care of yourself girl. I wish I could call you and we could catch up. Oh why don't you just fly over for a girls day, hair cuts lunch and whatever. Oh ya, I forgot you are In South Africa, caring for orphans and feeding the hungry. What was I thinking? LOL I can't say to much but yes is the answer you your earlier question. Its all good news!! Not too many people know so we are trying to keep it that way for a while. Love you, keep up the great work. Miss you as always.

Greg, Niki & Addie said...

After reading your last few posts and finally removing our hands covering our mouths in shock... we still don't have much to say. Except persevere sister. Every little mercy has eternal significance. Every act of justice points to the Just One. Nothing is too little or too big. We will continue to pray for you.

rick said...

I'll be praying Beth. That is a really tough situation.

What I do know, is that we have been forgiven by a holy God for offenses that far outweigh anything this woman did to Lambano or this grandmother. She must still pay consequences for her sin, but it could also make for a great opportunity to truly show the forgiveness of God. We have been forgiven of so much that it should not be an issue to forgive this woman.

However, she has still made a potentially embarrassing situation for you guys and, like you wrote, not allowing God to be mocked is the first priority. And God might still be mocked, and you guys might still have to endure the repercussions of the actions of this woman, but God is sovereign and He knew all along this would happen. And He is still the same God, worthy of all our praise and adoration. Even if the rest of the community turned against Him, you would not, for you know God and you know you are His child. And in the end, it doesn't get any better than that.

sandy said...

ok I got skype, its 845 there and almost 2 here, i am gonna be up till 3, if you get up and get this open your skype......