The Christmas miracle of 2018 left the challenges of my past in the dust. A job perfectly suited for all my quirks and challenges had been offered. I became a “street walker” in one of the worst opioid counties in Indiana and my assignment was to conduct health interviews for research for an esteemed University in Indiana. The light, dressed in snake skin boots and a leopard print coat entered the darkness of poverty, hopelessness and addiction near the eastern edge of Indiana.
I did not know I had entered the land of hopelessness and despair until I was walking around a house looking for 303 and a half. The “half” had me stumped. I saw a rickety exterior stairway leading up to a landing and I was sure I would not be climbing it to see if the “half” was up there. My circle tour brought the neighbors out to investigate because they could tell I was not from around there! I went on to learn I had ten households to call upon in one block on the worst drug street in the whole town. The ladies who stopped me to see what I was doing advised me not to go to the yellow house as it was a meth lab and bad things happened there. Oh Lord what have I done? I can’t quit the job because I need it, it took so long to get and I was actually pretty good at it.
Prayers for Protection
My prayer group prayed a hedge of protection around me. Most everyone told me I should look for another job. Instead, I printed a small copy of an angel painted by a dear friend and I carried it with me attached to the back of my tablet and I prayed up on every trip. I spent eight months walking the streets and learning about poverty and desperation. I am now quite well known in that small little town, people wave when they see my car, or they agree to do the survey when the snake skin boot lady comes to the door and my boss thinks I will be the mayor one day!
Will You Take A Risk?
Miraculous connections have been made in this hopeless little town. Divine appointments have been orchestrated, prayers have been prayed and lives have been impacted just by sharing the light and love of the Father. I have met some really fine folks who have wonderfully impacted me with their work.
Meanwhile in Africa
At the same time, I completed my year of refugee research and published my first story about Jerry, a refugee from DR Congo who has been in exile in Uganda for the last eleven years Jerry’s Story. I got my first up close and personal look at poverty, desperation and hopelessness in Africa. God was doing something and I just hung on for the ride.
The refugee stories became a series of stories and Jerry’s family became my family. His children became my grandchildren. God used me to provide for them She Is Your Grandmother. On their knees in the middle of the night, they desperately prayed for provision to put their children back in school. The Lord put an urgency in my spirit to send them what turned out to be the exact amount they were behind in school fees. For the first time in years, I had a little extra I could share.
Power of Prayer
Immense time has been spent in prayer and deepening my relationship with Jesus. With millions of refugees seeking resettlement and only about 1% actually resettled, Jerry’s family received the phone call they have waited eleven years for. The process for resettlement to the US was started. And even though the US is limiting the number of refugees who will be admitted to the US to a historical record low, I feel settled in my heart that God will miraculously see them through to be resettled in Indiana.
I started collecting social security retirement benefits this year and my earnings from my “street walking” job are limited to $17,640 so I don’t have to pay excess earnings back. Earning the least I have made in years, I seem to be miraculously able to help others in significant ways. God’s economy seems to have kept my flour jar and bottle of oil continually full.
I sent a film lab to Africa so we can start work on our movie documenting how God is using an old woman in Indiana to give hope to a refugee family in Africa who desperately needed provision and assurance of God’s great love for them. See how Machine Guns and Women’s Underwear insured safe passage of the camera equipment.
Are You Willing?
God is doing a new thing with me. He takes willing vessels and gives them the desire and the means to help those who have desperately prayed for provision of every kind. Are you willing to share joy? Are you willing to look deep into the eyes of a person suffering? Are you willing to risk praying with someone when your knees are shaking and tears run down your face because you know you are being used by God Almighty. The only requirement is to be imperfect yet simply willing. God will work out the details When The Brook Dries Up.
This annual tradition of looking back on the past year with anticipation for the year ahead has me simply giddy. I can’t wait to see where my imperfect willingness will take me next.
While poverty and hopelessness abound all over the world, one family knows the impact of God’s actions and the creative way He answers prayers. You can give hope to the captives (either next door or the next continent over) with your encouragement and you can be used by God as an answer to prayer for provision. What could be better than that?
Merry Christmas from Africa is our first film production.
Polly Riddell writing as G. Polly Jordan is a freelance journalist connecting people through the stories they tell. She is a cross between Crocodile Dundee and Indiana Jones on an adventure with God and breathlessly loving every minute.
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