>The Party is Here: On Celebration and Commission

>When in doubt, have a party! I think Jesus threw more parties than He did outreaches. That’s just a theory. His life WAS outreach. So parties qualify, right? How about movie nights and free community Kool-Aid? What about introducing FUN as a concept into a culture that doesn’t even have a word for it?

Mama, “What is Fun?” one of our little ones asked. Good question! Let’s find out. Fun on the field: now there is a concept.

So, welcome to our fine bush-bush resort in the southern reaches of the Sudanese outback. One of our team members recently celebrated her birthday with us. What to do when you need a birthday bash in the bush? Stop off at the local Macy’s? How about Dillards? I know: the local branch of Nordstroms. Welcome to our celebration, turned spontaneous community event.

When last in Uganda, we had the foresight to pick up 96 heart shaped lollipops. We also picked up a Veggie Tales video that someone sent us for our kids (Thanks Mom!) So we planned a special showing of Dave and the Giant Pickle, complete with candy for our family. That was the plan. BUT me being me and LOVING a good party, that was way too simple; sooo I was praying. I love any excuse for gifts. Awww, gee, I’ll throw a party WITH no excuse. Jesus did. He carried the party with Him!

We had 96 lollipops for our kids and family. 96, we counted them… we really counted them. I do promise even with my inept numerical skills, I really can count that high! But by the time we were ready to pass them out, word had gotten out it was a video on the Iris Compound/vacation resort/movie theatre and our crowd easily was double to that. We were elated—YEA God, the candy and stickers would multiply. We just knew it. SO, it was not exactly the feeding the 5000, but way more tasty! Does Jesus like to have fun? I sure think so.

One of our visitors was not so sure about how the multiplication anointing applied to candy. When we asked him to pass out part of the lollipops: he eyed the candy, he eyed the crowd. DID WE HAVE A PLAN B? Nope. You start at the back, ‘k?

And guess WHAT? We had enough candy for every child and every adult on compound to have a special birthday sweet and a shimmery sticker. Heaven indeed has a candy factory for moments such as these. All in a day of loving Jesus and being captured by His gaze. We are called to pass out lollipops when it seems there are none, dance in the storm, jump off of life’s precipices to learn to fly, give parties to people who have never had them (some call it outreach) and spend time every day looking into the eyes of the One Who is Love to find out who we are and how He sees the world around us.

Your big, I’m little.
My head only comes to your middle,
but with God little guys can do big things too.

With this theme song intrepid Dave, the Jr Asparagus took on the feared Giant Dill, Goliath. Our family laughed, they cheered, they ooohed, they weren’t sure WHAT to do with singing vegetables that have a personality! It was sheer brilliance.

Since we opened our doors in December, we have seen food multiply, money multiply, soccer balls multiply and now candy! I think God wants us to know, not only is there always enough; there is always MORE.

The party continues. Our Converge Compression Session ala training school for SPLA soldiers in the chaplain’s core and local community leaders is in full swing, even as I type. And swinging it is! What a time we are having as over 30 precious people from some of Sudan’s lesser reached tribes Converge in Yei to celebrate and learn from Him and one another.

His glory will cover the earth as waters the seas. A movement of transformational love is rising up to be released from every tribe and tongue and nation. Those who wield the most powerful weapon there is are arising from the hidden and unseen depths of His heartbeat. Have you seen them? The dangerous, fearless lovers of the King, Who has so captured their gazes no circumstance can distract them, no obstacle deter them.

They are the unlikely ones, the burning ones, the passionate ones the world has overlooked and called foolish. These will arise from the ends of the earth with a yes cry in their hearts and a song sung with their lives. What would a people look like who are fully embraced by love? What would a people become if they were totally set free to live out their own identity and sound? What would an army of love be, released from the darkest corners of the earth to carry the light of His face, seen through their own, as they see who they are in Love’s eyes?

This is the journey we are exploring in our two weeks together. This is the call and the adventure that resounds within our spirits.

What would the unseen treasures hidden in His heart look like, as they are fully released in freedom of expression? Little children, mamas and soldiers from an earthly army dance and spin and find who they are in His heart. It is nothing less then supernatural and nothing other than His Kingdom coming to those that know their need, those who are willing to become humble like a little child. Theirs is the Kingdom.

Secret treasures, hidden riches of darkness—a treasure hunt with our King to find royalty by the roadside, diamonds in the dust, glory in the gutter and miracles in the mud. Do we have kingdom eyes to see how our King longs to come and make His beauty known?

We are learning to see together the things of His heart. We see some of the most broken and feared becoming His beauty displayed to the brokenness around them. One of our students led a neighbor witch doctor to Jesus last night after hearing about the power of God’s love in a laid down life. We look to see what heaven is doing and then partnering with the desire of our King. We are overcome by a love we cannot contain. We only keep what we give away, so we will give to Him all we are: all our dreams, all our love, all our hopes, all our control, all our understanding, all our everything. Until He takes our lives and holds them in the fire of His gaze, so we become see-through in love, carrying His glory to the ends of the earth.

Could an army be raised up to fight hate with love, injustice with mercy, war with peace, poverty with generosity, despair with joy, striving with rest, and religion with freedom? Where are the fearless lovers of God? Where are the ones that so know His heart, they carry His heartbeat everywhere they go? Where are the ones who dream bigger than the pages of history and refuse to settle for what their eyes have seen? Where are the ones who will dance through the harvest fields of the nations with their gazes locked on the eyes of Love itself?

The goal is a nothing less than nations transformed from the inside out and turned upside down by Love. How many nations do you want to bring to the King? I asked that yesterday to our little gathering that makes all hell tremble.

ALL OF THEM!!!!!!!!!!

Their cry reverberated through eternity and caused darkness even a world away to shake. The wave dancers and light carriers are being released. Watch out. Here they come. The unstoppable lovers of God nothing can deter. Life in abundance, light so bright the darkness flees before its coming and night becomes as day at the rising of His glory in and through our lives.

It is all about Love. Love is the foundation, the focus; the how, the why; the reason, the promise, the call, the catalyst, the flame, the goal, the mandate, the mantle, the method, the message, the heartbeat, the demonstration, the answer, the everything because Love is WHO HE IS. It is the character to carry this call to the very farthest reaches of the nations.

Please pray with us as our time together continues through September 8. We are trusting for a mighty outpouring of His Presence that so changes us we will never be the same. More to come soon… I have to run to welcome our newest family member, Tambura. He is a sweet 11 year old boy from several regions over, lost in town and no one speaks his language. UN workers came to find me here in the internet café as I was typing this to you to ask us if we could take him in. Stopping for the one, while seeing the multitudes through the lens of His love that never fails…

Into His heart,
Michele