I have had the verses about the Armor of God rolling around in my head since I was about 9 years old. My first memories of hearing them was when my sisters and I were transitioning schools and had a 30 minute drive every day for multiple months from our old house. Not one to waste time by listening to already made music, my sweet and creative mother began putting a tune to the words of Ephesians 6:10-18 for her daughters. . . King James Version style!
After years of knowing these verses, I am more grateful than ever that I have them imprinted on my heart. It has taken me many years to finally begin to grasp the concept of spiritual warfare. I have believed it is real. I have attributed some things to it here and there. But until this last year, I never really understood how real, how prevalent, and how constant is the battle that is waging around us.
When situations have gone awry, my initial tendency is to blame the hardship on the situation or on the people involved. And while those can be very real factors that should shoulder some responsibility, the focus must be turned to the source: the enemy. He is the one, the thief, who comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). He tries hard to disguise himself as light (2 Corinthians 11:14). But he is not. We must recognize the difference. Charles Spurgeon said, “Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right”. There have been times when I find myself looking for the enemy’s attacks to be blatant and in my face. But he rarely works that way. He wants to twist the truth ever so slightly so that we might be more apt to look past the lies he is telling us.
I encourage you to take a deeper look at the passages about the armor of God in Ephesians 6. I pray that your understanding be deepened and that you realize that if you are a follower of Christ that you have His power in you. And with that power you can thwart the schemes and attacks of Satan. And remember the following:
- The enemy never sleeps
- The enemy never takes a day off
- The enemy never loses interest
- BUT NEITHER DOES OUR GOD!
Now, with all that being said, it is no wonder how much God is working at the landfill. We have running water to every house from the water tower that was put in by our friends and partners at Servants Hearts Ministries. Still praying to hit a good amount of water in the well so we can have closer to an unlimited amount of water at our disposal. Our bath house is continuing to be built up which will provide 10 more toilets and showers to the people living on the property (as of right now nearly 50 people share 2 toilets and 1 shower). We have held multiple medical clinics IN the clinic now! That has been a long time coming and we are praising God for His timing and provision. Our soup kitchens are going strong and the Bible Classes in the school are off to a great start. We are encouraging Bible verse memorization and have had some great participation so far!
Every day we are out there at the landfill we are seeing more and more needs. Some are the physical needs which can often be met with some formula, extra rice, or by providing medicine. But in the last couple of months, it is as though God is peeling back a veil that has been over our eyes and telling us it is time to take things a little deeper. We are now becoming aware of situations that are not new to the people living them. There is a lot of abuse and it is not limited to a certain type or to a certain few. It affects every person and it is a cycle that is not easily broken. I have seen with my own eyes a parent excessively hitting a 5 year old girl because “She got on her nerves.” We have seen the aftermath of a mother taking discipline way too far leaving her 16 year old daughter with bruises and cuts so deep from a knife they required a hospital visit. We are seeing what we believe to be the after-effects of sexual abuse in various situations.
A real dilemma we are dealing with is how to handle these situations. We desperately need wisdom, discernment, and direction on how to begin to create a solution. We feel like we do not yet know what this may look like but we believe God has called us to be a part of this and we have chosen to say “yes” to His prompting. Please be in prayer for those that are in the midst of abusive situations. Pray for God to come and rescue them from their abusers and that they will be healed by the love and protection of Jesus Christ. Pray the abusers find healing as well. In most cases they are simply repeating what they grew up experiencing. Just like poverty it is a vicious cycle that is not easily broken. But with God all things are possible.
I am grateful to each of you for the support and prayers we receive. We could not survive without you.