About 2 weeks or more into my month of ministry in the Kenyan jungle, my heart was happy but my head was full. My team was about to leave for a ministry weekend in Butere Town, as guest speakers and musicians for the large Girl’s Boarding School there. Our Pastor’s daughter attended this highly acclaimed school and we, as foreigners, had allowed the local pastors an opportunity to minister within its’ walls.
I remained thrilled with the opportunity but overwhelmed with the expectations on me (Team Leader) and my team “Team Ignition.” We had been briefed about what was to come that weekend and encouraged to bring our “A” game. We were all left with a grateful heart and swimming heads, following that instruction. My 2 other girls on the team especially felt the pressure and took turns expressing themselves in response to this call on our giftings. Where was I found a short time later?
I retreated to my new secret place within the tall sugar cane.
I was hiding . . . yes, but more so attempting to connect with my God in a way that just couldn’t take place in the open spaces of the “compound.” Be it however wonderful it was.
Like a child, I retreated to a secret place and just as He promised long ago, my Papa God met me there and I found rest within His creation. I watched as clouds suddenly formed hearts to honor our love for each other and smiles to represent the expressions that our names caused on the other’s face. I knew as I sat under the sugar cane and endless skies, that God (the maker of heaven, earth, and boarding schools) met me there and gave me peace.
Community is rich on the race and ministry yet richer but no wealthier could I ever be then to rest my frightened heart and weary mind in the sugar cane field, where my Father can reach down with my favorite type of allowance and heaven’s rewards here on earth: peace, joy, love, and hope! All of these met me in my secret place among the sugar cane and back to that same hidden place did I return each time I needed a touch from heaven among the earthly Kenyan blessings.
Late in the month, I took my team on a night hike in effort to build trust within the unit God had formed as missionaries. First off, I took them to my Secret Place. I told them it was such, obviously revealing it in a way that left it no longer my secret. But that was okay too. Now it was OUR secret and what better thing to share with your team as a leader than where God Himself meets you in your most intimate, and often childlike, moments. Yes, I’ll share that. After all, we are all meant to be His sons and daughters and to spend “secret time” with our best Papa ever. He loves to meet with us and to lavish on us His love.
PS I forgot to mention the only other person to join me in the sugar cane . . . . Audrey Assad and her ridiculously perfect melodies. Thank you Audrey, you are one more gift from heaven. Keep it up!