I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus...
These women from the safe house are truly beloved partners in the gospel. Today we got to see a bit more of each other's hearts through the telling of our stories, by sharing healing tears, and by speaking the truth of God's word. Philippians 1:3-11 was our theme today as we shared in God's grace with each other.
As the girls told stories of moving from unsafe houses to the safe house, we were reminded of the promise in John 14 that we will one day all be together in God's house which has many rooms and has been prepared for us.
We prayed for healing for families and for the safe return of the women who are not currently at the safe house.
Jeff Reed join through us through live video to hear the girls sing and he in turn sang his song Back to Back (a song we often sing at Hillside), which is very special to the girls. Jeff had once explained that in battle, if someone comes up behind you, but you are standing back to back with another, you've got someone fighting with you and protecting you. Leik was in tears over how our churches stand back to back as partners in the gospel and that God is standing with us too.
In the afternoon, we traveled to the Queen's Gardens where we reveled in God's beautiful creation by walking among the flowers and the trees. As we entered the gardens, the girls broke into spontaneous song, singing "I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart." You could almost tangibly feel their joy in that moment.
While at the gardens, we symbolically represented how we stand with each other by taking a picture with each of us standing back to back, one American and one woman from the safe house. We are partners in the gospel for a God who is with us, a mighty warrior who saves!