Well, even though my brain doesn’t work the way it used to (as I mentioned in the previous blog), apparently my OCD tendencies and small gift of organization have saved the day.
I knew I had a Word document called “Prison Diary” that I had been typing notes in, but I didn’t know I had typed as much as I had.
SO…I have a two more stories I can share.
On December 6th, Kylie went again with me to the prison. The ladies were subdued and quiet. My words for my Lugbara prayers have been limited, so God led me to the Psalms, to pray some of them in Lugbara. I found great sentences to learn in Lugbara, “You are our rock and place of strength. Help us because we hear the slander of many, but we say, ‘You are our God.’”
I didn’t realize when I prayed that, that they were, at that time, hearing the slander of many.
The story today was about Isaac and Jacob. I added a lot to the picture book for this one. I told some back story on Jacob and Esau: how Jacob tricked him and later how Laban tricked Jacob (with the marriage of Leah). In the end, the story concludes with Jacob returning home a little afraid, but he was embraced and forgiven by Esau.
After the story, I told them that even though forgiveness took place between the brothers, there has continued to be problems between Jacob’s and Esau’s descendants.
The ladies wanted to know if Jacob really went to meet Esau, and I told them he did, but since he was afraid, he divided his family and belongings in two, just in case Esau did something bad. One lady said, “That’s just what a thief would do!”
Other questions: “Why did Jacob sacrifice to the Lord?”
“Who worked at Isaac’s home if he was so old?”
One of the older ladies said, “Please pray for all the mothers here that we would not love one child over another like Rachel did in the story.”
Well, finally the ladies were ready to talk...and not necessarily about the story. They had been unusually quiet. They told me there is much anger at the prison, like between Jacob and Esau. They are all fighting, stealing from each other, being over-sensitive, and she used the words “wanting to kill each other.” They thought this story described them, and that is why they were so quiet.
They said my prayers must not have been reaching them. Then…
One quiet lady said, “I am so angry, and I want to control it, but I don’t know how. I stole a dress from this lady (and she pointed to the one), but I am sorry, and I want to ask her forgiveness.”
The wronged lady took some time sitting in silence, but she finally accepted the offer of forgiveness.
Here I was, as I was telling the story, I was thinking that either I didn’t prepare well or the ladies just weren’t listening. Little did I know (but should have known), the Spirit was working the whole time.
Thank you for your Word, Jesus, which is "living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12