Who Takes Care of You?

“So, who takes care of you?”
I was sitting in my parked car,
waiting to pick up one of the girls from her counseling session when a friend
walked over to talk to me. In my lap I had my MacBook (a gift from my La Crosse
friends–a constant reminder of their love), and a binder full of receipts was
displayed on the drawer of the glove box. Missionary life calls for a mobile
office, even if it means my car.
After making small talk and
asking about the ministry, my friend then dove right to his point.
“You take care of many people
and many things. So who takes care of you?”
“Good question,” I chuckled, unsure
of his angle. The laugh also came from the irony of hearing the exact question
I’ve asked God in my moments of loneliness. I’ve prayed numerous times, “God,
when are you going to send someone to take care of me?”
His response was always the
same: Beloved, I Am Enough.
“I mean, the demands of a
ministry like this must wear you out. There’s so much emotional baggage you
probably carry. I had done counseling in the past but I had to stop because it
just emptied me and exhausted me. I’m sure you face those same feelings.”
“Oh indeed I do,” I sighed. In
fact, he had no idea how right he was in that moment. The spiritual battles and
emotional battles we fight on behalf of the girls and ourselves can be exactly
as he said—emptying and exhausting. Here is an example of last night:
After reading through Acts 16
during Bible study, we pulled out a main theme about slavery vs. freedom. 
chapter 16, Paul casts out a spirt in a slave girl. This slave girl was calling
out after Paul, yelling, “These men are the slaves of the Most High God!” After
the girl is set free from the evil spirit, the owner of the slave girl is
enraged and puts Paul in prison—another enslavement. When an earthquake shakes
the prison and the chains fall off, the guard, imprisoned by fear, takes his
sword to kill himself. Paul stops him and the guard asks to receive salvation—freedom
Usually slavery has negative connotations, but not here. Slavery usually
means a spirit of powerlessness. Not with Christ. A slave of Christ means a
life bound to freedom! A life not powerless but powerful! So, using this
message and theme we entered a meditative part of worship where I asked the
girls to picture their prisons, the dark places where they don’t want to go,
the things people have done to enslave them. Then I asked them to picture the
earthquake like in the Scripture reading and God setting them free. It was
surely a Spirit-filled worship night, as the Holy Spirit had uncovered the
theme in the moment and then gave me wisdom to direct the girls into the time
of meditative worship. As we closed in prayer, I felt the Spirit say, “Don’t
leave without walking them through what they just envisioned.”
But it was late. I was with
Lora, one of our interns, and she hadn’t eaten all day except breakfast. I
wanted to drive back early enough so she could get dinner and so I could get
home a decent time. But who can say no to the Spirit?
So Lora and I called a few of
the girls in our room, one by one, to hear about their prisons and help them
sort through the message of freedom.
Wow, was I in for a surprise!
What I thought would take no longer than one hour to talk to thirteen girls to
simply check in and pray for them ended up taking FOUR HOURS and we only got
through six girls. The girls whom I thought were doing very well were the ones
who had some of the hardest, obstinate spirits, hiding from their pain and
hiding from themselves. In those four hours, we uncovered some very deep hurts,
some great revelations, some hard questions and painful moments. Some comments
were as follows:
“I don’t want to be here. No one
wants to be here. Everyone wishes they could be with their families. But we can’t
have our families!”
“I wish to forgive my mom.”
“Tonight, I pictured my mom’s
face. I’ve never met her because she died when I was a baby. But I saw her
picture,” tears rolled down her cheeks. “I wanted to be with her.”
“I can’t be sad. It’s not okay
to cry.”
“I’m not deserving of love.”
“Where was God?”
“I can’t tell you my secrets.”
“Nobody loves me. Everyone makes
me angry.”
“I feel like I abandoned my
“No.” The immediate response to
any question, “No.”
The constant themes through
these four hour battles: Silence. Shamefulness. Guilt. Worthlessness. Isolation. Unforgiveness. Fear of rejection. Walls, walls, walls…prison walls.
But all walls come crashing down
at the sound of Jesus’ name. Several times in talking to certain girls, Lora
and I could visibly see the spiritual battles—in her eyes, in the way she hung her
head, in the way she laughed when it was inappropriate to laugh, in the way she
initially refused to take off her hood and be seen, the way she refused to talk…We
had to stop several times in mid-conversation and pray outloud for Jesus to
come and break the chains and repulse satan. At one point, I literally
muttered, “Jesus, make her cry.” And finally she did. And finally, the walls
crumbled! And finally, we all had victory that night in amazing ways!
But just as a soldier is
exhausted after battle, especially a victorious one, so too we were exhausted.
As I got in bed past midnight, I sent my mom a message to ask for her prayers,
knowing I’d need some extra help, some extra fuel for the next day. And, as
always, she responded with incredible words of wisdom, encouragement, and most
of all, the prayer of a righteous woman, which is powerful and effective.
I smile with warmth at my friend
in front of me—a friend who took time out of his day to come and ask me if I’m
being taken care of. And that in itself showed I’m well-cared for.
 I finally answer him, “God takes care of me. Like
right now, by sending you to me. I don’t have one person who looks after me. I
have many, and in that way I am blessed beyond the care I deserve. God takes
care of me in so many different ways and through many different people.”
He smiles. “Okay, I see. God is
Unable to put into words the
Truth of that statement, I beam, reflecting on all the ways God is Enough.  How does God take care of me? Let me count thy
Reconnecting with an old student and talking to
him seriously about coming to Swazi on a short term mission
A friend who began this Swazi journey with me 8
years ago, sent me a VERY large chunk of money when he found out someone had
stolen my bank card info and wiped my entire account to the last penny. I
couldn’t believe how adamant he was about getting me money, and it was God’s
way of telling me directly, “Kate, you have nothing to fear. I’m taking care of
you. Even in moments like this.”
Physical touch and words of affirmation – my two
love languages. I sat down on the couch at the girls home to close my eyes for
a moment’s rest and soon I am joined by four girls, cuddling up to me, playing
with my hair or giving me a back massage. It’s like spa day every day.
Kisses from Benji when I tuck him in at night. “Good
night, my prince,” I say to him. “Good night princess,” he says back.
Early morning mass with Benji and Lu and their
excellent behavior. And Lucia now mimicking when the priest prepares the
communion table. At breakfast, Lucia put a flat piece of paper over her cup and
lifted it up saying, “The body of Christ.”
This AMAZING weather! It’s summer here, but I
ache for fall in the States, because it’s my FAVORITE, and it’s like God knew I
needed a week of fall here, so He gave it to us! It’s been cool and breezy and
even cold at night so I can still sleep with a blanket!
Speaking of fall… fall means football. And for
the FIRST time, I taught the girls how to play football!!!!! It was one of the best
days all year. SO COOL how in one family we have enough people to play 7 on 7 game
of football!!!!

A Swazi friend slipping me extra cash to help
lessen the sting of my stolen account money
Mashed potatoes. J
10) Lucia
picking flowers for me and leaving them as a “surprise” on my dresser (which
then included a surprise of bugs as well)
11) Receiving
post cards from my friends
12) Getting
a package from mom who sent me a pair of skinny jeans (which I would’ve never
picked out for myself, but wow they look good! Nice work, Mom!)
13) DANCING! That’s also probably a love language in itself. I could dance all day, every day. Especially when we listen to Lecrae. I like to pull up to the house jamming to music, and when the girls hear it, they all run out and we have spontaneous dance parties and worship parties. They fill me every time. 
So, who takes care
of you?

The King of Kings
and the Lord of Love. He is Enough.

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