We were all sitting around my living room. Jessica was playing the guitar, and we were ten ladies singing ‘Be thou my vision’. For a moment I wanted to take an instagram photo, the one where the lyrics are in focus, but all the singing ladies are blurred out. So I could use it for this blog. I just couldn’t do it. We were worshipping together, and I decided to just keep that a sweet picture in my mind instead of ruining it with my phone. It’s a beautiful picture, however, and I’ve been wanting to share about them with you for a while.
We started as six people, just the ladies from my class, and three have left Albertville for different reasons. We’ve added in the new students, and there are usually between 8-12 of us.
We usually do one of the studies from shereadstruth.com and we work through it together. We’ve done them on Hymns, the book of Hosea, Sharing the Gospel, and are about to do one on Thanksgiving.
Even when there was only 6 of us, there were ministries in five countries represented in the little apartments or living rooms. With the new group of students, there are even more.
Every Tuesday night, the thing that strikes me the most about this group of ladies is that you can see how much this time is a gift to each of us. Some of them have already spent some time on the field, and have not been able to participate in much corporate worship in their first language. Some of them know that isolation is just around the corner, as they are going to villages or cities where they will be alone, or one of only a couple families. Also, we all have Sunday worship in a different language, and when you are spending all your time trying to keep up with this new language, in this new place, a ladies bible study is a sweet refuge.
The singing, the praying, the loving and learning, for me is a little picture of what is to come. The grace for our faults, the forgiveness of our shortcomings, the welcome arms, the come-as-you-are, make-yourself-at-home environment that only exists when Christ is present. We all can breath and breath it in. It’s beautiful.
This is not the first time I’ve had the privilege of a time like this. The ladies bible study at Sovereign Grace put it’s arms around me and I found refuge along their sides as well. It was a privilege for me then, as this one is now.
I think maybe the difference here is the stark contrast of what is outside, and also, the thick (but getting thinner) language filter we have to process everything through even when we are with other believers of the nation we are in. I hope the days are soon ahead where I don’t notice that filter, but I imagine that praying and singing hymns in English will always touch my heart differently.
I only have a few more weeks with study nights with the ladies, and then I will have to tell them goodbye. There will be crying. But there will also be praying, and peace, the kind we have that surpasses all understanding. For we will see each other again.
At our next stop, the ladies bible study will most likely be in French. I’m happy about that, but I will be sad to say goodbye. You can pray about this next stage, that there will be ladies I can worship with, love, and have fellowship with, even during our short internship. I will be praying for that, and also that these sweet ladies will find their fellowship in their next stops, that the Lord will provide that as well. They have blessed my life, through Christ, and I hope that theirs will be blessed the same.