Shouting for Joy
My youngest son, our wide-eyed Congolese-American son, worries when I cry at church or another event. He doesn’t quite get the crying for joy, crying for relief, crying with praise. This came to mind because I was reading:
And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the Lord because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid” [after years of exile in Babylon] “Yet many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers’ households, the old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, while many shouted aloud for joy, so that people could not distinguish the sound of the shout of joy from the sounds of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the sound was heard far away. (Ezra 3:11b-13)
On any given Sunday the loud (at our church) praise songs are going up while also there are those that weep.
How can I describe my joy, my thanksgiving when we brought our sons home from Africa. They were orphans no more. They are my children, those God brought to us as surely as any birthed child.
Yet there are many others living without in Congo. Without parents, or without daily food, or without education to rise above their circumstances. My son does not remember his times of weeping in a metal shack or on the mud street in front of it. My husband and I knew our work in Congo was not done. God gave me a great friend with a vision to help and serve her people, to lay a new foundation on the edge of a city with almost a million people. A city where there are no summer programs for children except what we offer through our education project. A city where at the end of this summer 160+ children will have the opportunity to sing and shout for joy during 2 weeks of Vacation Bible School.
I join my dear friend and our Congo team weeping both for what is not and for what is, for the children without and for those with. We shout for joy in praise. We pray for God’s provision as $2150 in donations has come for our Congo VBS, as another $2000 has been pledged toward our $7000 budget that includes renting a site, transporting our volunteers, a small breakfast and lunch for our 160 kids, and more. Perhaps you know someone who could help, someone known to weep for problems in our world, someone who wants to make a difference in the foundation and project we are building at Future Hope Africa knowing that
Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting (Psalm 126:5)
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