This week has been interesting. Saturday was governor elections in Nigeria. In Taraba State (the State we live in) has a woman candidate who is Fulani and another candidate running. Saturday was peaceful here in Gembu. I thought, “Wow, there isn’t going to be any issues at all!”. Well, Sunday we went to church and it was a quiet day here, so once again I thought we were going to “slide through” the elections with no issues or violence.
Then Monday morning came. We had devotions at the clinic and then started getting reports of a gang of young men (about 30) were burning Fulani homes and trying to kill Fulani people. Here in Gembu, there has been on-going issues between the Mambilla and the Fulani for generations and it doesn’t take much for one to start targeting the other, then the other tribe retalliates.
Satudays’ elections were not deemed as final, it was found that alleged impropriety occurred at some voting places, so they will be holding some additional elections in those areas in Taraba State.
Monday morning a Fulani man was standing outside the clinic waiting for his name to be called, as the gang of young men went by. They wanted to come in the clinic and take all the Fulani we had there. The Staff convinced them that was not a good idea and the young men said they were coming back. That day, standing on the “safe” side of our gate I heard the men yelling and shouting as they were passing our gate (which was locked) and did not try to get in. This experience caused some fear for me. We closed the clinic on Monday morning and Tuesday morning came and there was still some burning and police chasing people out of the streets. The police were trying to stop people from congregating, thus preventing a mob forming. We have been hearing gun shots, yelling and a lot of noise. You see, we are not “in” town, we are out of town, so not right in the middle of the issues going on.
After all of that background, what I am trying to say is that I was not feeling very joyful, I was scared. Dan was very surprised when I told him I was afraid. I typically am not a frightened sort of person. Dan gets annoyed with me because he typically doesn’t think I am careful enough in many instances. I started praying and asked many to pray as well. I still had a hard time shaking the “fear factor”. Tuesday morning I read this verse in my devotional time:
“I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:12-12, NIV). I also heard God speak to me in another way, through one of my favorite songs, “Thrive” by Casting Crowns :
Just to know You and to make You known
We lift Your name on high
Shine like the sun, make darkness run and hide We know we were made for so much more than ordinary lives
Its time for us to more than just survive
We were made to thrive
and then this to cap it all off!
Joy unspeakable, faith unsinkable
Love unstoppable, anything is possible
I have to say my Joy has returned, joy unspeakable! I am not just surviving today I am back to thriving. Friends, I don’t think we even can comprehend how much God wants us to fully engage and trust in Him. He did not knit us together in our mothers’ womb to slog through this world, “getting by”. He has us here for a purpose. He wants us to laugh, love, grow, and thrive. Here is a picture of Ruthie, giving me her, “love me” look. She gives me a lot of joy!
My point for today is this: Is there something you need to change, repent of, or lose in order to have the JOY that our loving Papa has for you in this life?