July 2012 – Reuben’s Prayer LetterAugust 27, 2012
‘’Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended, but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press towards the mark for the price of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus’’
July first 2012 began a trend of new course for my life, end of a refugee life, a new beginning, something I take the wordings of this music to describe and dedicate for:
I don’t know about tomorrow, I just live from day to day.
I don’t borrow from its sunshine, for its skies may turn to gray.
I don’t worry o’er the future, For I know what Jesus said,
And today I’ll walk beside Him, For He knows what is ahead.
Many things about tomorrow, I don’t seem to understand;
But I know who holds tomorrow; And I know who holds my hand.
Ev’ry step is getting brighter, As the golden stairs I climb;
Ev’ry burden’s getting lighter; Ev’ry cloud is silver lined.
There the sun is always shining, There no tear will dim the eyes,
At the ending of the rainbow, Where the mountains touch the sky
I don’t know about tomorrow, It may bring me poverty;
But the One Who feeds the sparrow, Is the One Who stands by me.
And the path that be my portion, May be through the flame or flood,
But His presence goes before me, And I’m covered with His blood.
As I share with you this Prayer Letter – looking back in my life – I feel like, as a pastor, supposed to be leading some large congregations by now, I have lost a lot of energy, time, and money over the years to a refugee life status that have not benefitted me any thing. So, I get to question myself: ‘Is there any good outcome after all’? However, on another hand, I argue against my feelings, not to be the facts, for reasons that the LORD may have meant my refugee life experience to serve His best, something I may never know to be the case for the lives of myself, family, and others. So I share,
My Personal Activities –
Even though, I observed my regular daily Bible reading and prayers, sang Christian spiritual songs and testified about Christ to others, but I did not feel enough with all that. I rather found myself limited as someone who is doing little or nothing, considering my own weaknesses, failures, and disobedience. I cry with Paul, ‘’ O wretched man that I am who shall deliver me from this bondage of sins?’’
The answer: Only Christ Jesus! Therefore ‘’I turn it over to Jesus’’. ‘’I say with another song writer, ‘’All to Jesus I surrender’’! I ask God for wisdom, understanding, knowledge, instruction and strength, boldness, and utterances in Spirit and in Truth.
I believe ‘’He that spares not His own Son but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not freely give us all things’’. The answer is understood. I pray for God to fulfill His own purpose for my life. Please join me in prayers.
My Family Activities –
First time, for four months, I have been separated from my family this long. The arrests and imprisonments of my colleagues of the refugee community leadership, for reason that a letter of petition on behalf of the refugee community, endorsing signatures of all of us was addressed to the President of Gambia, something that was charged, as ‘’given false information’’, even though never proven or given justice, took me away to a neighboring Senegal to seek for protection and intervention. However, from a spiritual stands point, this measures up to persecution, with intent to keep me from my family. Although, four of the colleagues finally obtained release to stay in the Country, but one was deported or expelled to Senegal. Afterward, all four crossed over to Senegal for fear of any repeat of the action by the Authority.
Some questions may be asked, ‘’Is this not a waste of family life’’? ‘’Why do you have to put yourself in something that will cause a separation for your family anyway’’? ‘’Do you think it was the will of God for you to take into leadership of the refugee community as husband and father of seven children’’?
These and many questions arise as such a time, whether or not, it is God’s will for this kind of thing to happen to His people. What do you think? Who could be responsible? Myself? People? Satan? God?
However, I look forward to being together with my family some day by God’s help. I believe the LORD is still in control of my family life. Meanwhile, please join me in prayers as we look forward for better days of family reunion.
My Ministry Activities –
Even though, I feel limited nowadays, as I find myself with fewer ministry activities, yet, at least, a special Christian service including the refugee leaders that have crossed with their families to Senegal from the vulnerable situation, was at least held on Sunday, where I preached the Message from the Book of Genesis 12, on the theme, ‘’The Call of Abraham’’.
There we looked at the identities of Abraham:
1) Abraham and Lot – a close relative whose life caused him problems –
2) Abraham and Altar – indication of his devotions to God
3) Abraham and Tent – presented him as a pilgrim on earth with no permanent house
4) Abraham and Egypt – a type of the world system, where losses and affections occur, such as,
A) His testimony – when he told half truth concerning Sarah, his wife
B) His integrity – when he was ridiculed by his host
C) His identity – his family relationships and devotions to God (altars buildings) never mentioned in Egypt, unlike the other places.
D) His Dignity – when he was expelled or deported from Egypt. It appears being done disgracefully.
– In the study, we considered Abraham’s status in Egypt to have included the activities of refugee, resettlement, and repatriation, something that includes the program activity of the refugees today.
It was a time to reflect on our own lives to rather walk in obedience to God, no matter what and where, as we all look forward to obtain the price of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
My Partnership Activities –
To put into right perspectives, we ask the apostolic questions in other words: ”Is there any thing to separate us from the love (partnership) of our brotherhood in Christ? The answer: Absolutely, nothing is able to take us away from our brotherhood (the partnership) with Christ as in references to famine, nakedness, peril, swords, etc. We can trust the LORD for the best there, yet to come in our partnership activities. Meanwhile keep me in the prayer circle of our partnership with Christ (1 Corinthians 3:9). We pray to praise God.
1)Personal life to be retained
2)Family life to be reunited
3)Ministry to be reestablished
4)Partnership to be revived