Tuesday, September 6, 2005
On Monday, our family went to Whim beach, about 45 minutes up the coast. On our drive along the single coastal road we saw clusters of uniformed school-children streaming onto the road, wandering cows, big new houses and shops - and an Islamic school. It was a large, newly built wooden structure and we passed just as the children, all dressed in dark green and white uniforms were being let out. Young girls with burkas and backpacks, young boys with white skullcaps and others dressed like "christian" schoolchildren - bareheaded. I watched their faces as we passed and felt discouragement weigh upon me, discouragement over the spread of Islam that we have been seeing more and more of, and sadness for their souls. How this region could benefit from a Christian school…but our organization of churches here is so tiny, so lacking in resources and Christian leaders, that the prospect of a Christian school seems beyond unimaginable.
Not only did we see one new Muslim school, I saw on our trip that the Muslims are building a big new school beside their huge mosque in New Amsterdam, and we saw a large new Muslim youth center as well.
On the way home from the beach we stopped at a big white store where we go to buy "American" things. I stayed outside, and while sitting in the car, I looked up and saw the muslim moon and star symbol painted thrice, high on the buiding. How the Muslims seem to prosper. While they build big new buildings, we meet in a tiny, wooden bottomhouse addition - unpainted except for the FOR SALE spray-painted on every wall by the owner, with his phone numbers added to the graffiti. I know that God is Sovereign but felt like the psalmist in Psalm 73 - why do the wicked prosper? And the dread feeling that Islam would take over Guyana jostled the foundations of my heart.
In the midst of this, the Lord whispered His word to my heart. At the beach I finished the missions chapter of Desiring GOD. "What is impossible with men is possible with God." John Piper quoted. And in my heart sang "The Lord knows those who are his....", "Those whom he predestined he also called...", and the remembrance of the foretold end, the redeemed worshipping the Lamb who has conquered everything. It lifted my soul in hope - the war will be won! ... but what about this battle? What can I do?
"I will build my church" said Jesus.
What a disconsolate creature I must be, since all this did not cheer my heart as it ought to have. Finally, at bedtime, our ever gracious Lord caused the Psalms to burst upon my longing heart with almighty truth:
"I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations;
I will sing of you among the peoples,
For great is your love, higher than the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens,
and let your glory be over all the earth.
Save us and help us with your right hand,
that those you love may be delivered.
God has spoken from his sanctuary:
"In triumph I will parcel out Shechem
and measure off the Valley of Succoth.
Gilead is mine, Manasseh is mine;
Ephraim is my helmet,
Judah my scepter.
Moab is my washbasin,
upon Edom I toss my sandal;
over Philistia I shout in triumph."
Who will bring me to the fortified city?
Who will lead me to Edom?
Is it not you, O God, you who have rejected us
and no longer go out with our armies?
Give us aid against the enemy,
for the help of man is worthless.
With God we will gain the victory,
and he will trample down our enemies.
- Psalm 108:3-13
May God someday shout in triumph over Guyana - He will win the victory and trample Satan, our enemy. He is King and his glory will someday be over all of the earth.