We don't hear much in our news about CAR.
Yet the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) is reeking havoc, terrorizing once peaceful communities.
A quick google search, and you will see some horrific images.
I have dear friends, whose hearts beat with passion for CAR.
One-time missionary's children, now turned missionary's.
Kids I grew to love when we served at Rift Valley Academy in Kenya.
Kids-now-adults with tender, concerned hearts, crying out for a people-in-desperate-need.
Here I sit in my cushy, comfortable world.
Of course, I can spend a few minutes several times a day, as the Lord leads, to travel to CAR in my heart, and do battle.
The first prayer request was followed by the picture of a couple.
They weren't old in numbers.
They were old-looking, though.
Aged by hardship...and tribulation...
Aged by living in a land filled with thistles and skunk cabbage (metaphorically speaking).
CAR is a beautiful country.
However, on closer inspection, the potential to get poked and pierced, again and again, is present...
...and that stinks!
This couple in the picture...
Over the past year:
Their son had been shot in both legs by LRA forces.
Then, they were forced to lay on the floor of their home as armed bandits raided their compound.
Then...their cookhouse was burned to the ground...
This destroyed all their food gathered from a year's worth of work...
Then...the church they had begun was burned...
Then...their home destroyed...
All their earthly belongings with it.
Now, this couple, along with 7000 (yes, you have read that correctly) are taking refuge in a nearby village hospital.
All this over the course of a year.
All this, under African skies
Hand-brushed with a few white cirrus clouds.
The contrast of the peaceful, pure sight of heavens above
To the violence of earth below
It leaves me with the question: How much can the people of countries, like the CAR, endure?
That's when I turned to my place in God's Word.
Particularly 55 & 56.
I was reminded that often David found himself in the middle of chaos, uncertainty, and constant pursuit by his enemies.
He was surrounded by violence.
Yet, his words are so certain when it comes to his future:
"This I know...God is FOR me!"
"In God I trust; I shall not be afraid! What can man do to me?"
"This God, I trust...
He keeps track of my aimless wanderings as a fugitive.
He holds the tears I cry in a bottle, as if they are precious to Him.
He writes down my prayers in a book.
He answers those same prayers, faithfully.
He sustains me over and over again."
THEREFORE, I CAST MY BURDEN ON THE LORD.
David flings his burdens at the Lord, hands them over to Him, and LEAVES THEM THERE, in BIG STRONG CAPABLE HANDS, hands that will also cover him, nurture him, and infuse him with the strength he needs to endure...
On behalf of CAR (and many others, closer to home), I lift my prayers to the Lord.
And, when the burdens I carry, and trials come to interrupt my cushy, comfortable world, I will remember David's words.
If you're interested in a touching story from my friend who serves in CAR. Follow the link that is connected here: Gunfire, a Blind Widow, and a Bundle of Peanuts