In the three months, I have been in Zambia, I have learned more about God’s heart for justice for His people than I have in 22 years. I never understood justice to be God’s heart, yet it is such a huge part of His vision for His kids! Since I’ve been in Zambia, the Father has been showing me that I have to understand His justice for myself before I can really understand and fight for justice for His other children. I’ve learned so much from Him and from the amazing people that have been teaching me here. And I just want to say this now, there is a lot I have learned that I won’t be able to include in this blog, there’s simply not enough room or time at this moment! So, that being said, I will tell you some biggies I have learned about God’s heart for justice and how my life has been impacted by this.
The first and most impactful thing I’ve learned is about the Kingdom of God. What it looks like, how people are treated in this kingdom, where I fit in and most importantly how I can help bring about the kingdom are a few things that have opened my eyes about justice. Matthew 6:10 shows Jesus telling us how to pray, and He specifically says to pray for the kingdom to come to earth as it is in heaven. In many other places, the Bible tells us to SEEK the kingdom of heaven on earth, to bring it about. It also tells us that when we see things that are not of the kingdom we have to call them out! Justice! But before I really understood what the kingdom was, God started working His justice on my heart. He started telling me how He sees me, where I was seeing myself as quite the opposite. In my Father’s eyes, I’m not an object to be used, but something to be loved, cherished and honored. He is still helping me see my worth in His Son, Jesus, and I know He will never stop pursuing me. He has begun the beautiful process of delivering justice to me, and because He has shown me my worth and how this world had stripped me of it, I can now see why so many young women feel the way they do. It’s INJUSTICE and I WILL call it out everywhere I see it from now on. I am to fight for God’s heart for every other daughter He has, so they don’t have to go through what I went through. This is a huge way this internship has empowered me to fight for the Father’s heart.
The second and last thing I will talk about is what I’ve learned about God’s unquenchable love for His children, and how I can fight for justice for those who can’t fight for themselves. I want to tell a short story about two women named Agnes and Mary. My outreach team and I became friends with these two beautiful sisters, but not only that, we came to love them very much. This story doesn’t end in the lovely fairytale way the world loves to tell. It ends in a Jesus-love kind of way. Mary is the last living of Agnes’s eight children that have since passed on. Mary had 4 children, 3 of whom are still alive. After God led Agnes to us, we then were led to meet Mary, and we began to spend lots of time with them, checking on them and praying with them. We learned their stories. Mary had AIDS and was battling tuberculosis. Agnes sounded like she has TB as well, probably because she was Mary’s primary caregiver. On top of this, they were struggling to make an income because they were so sick. It’s just like God to send willing hearts to a horrible situation because He wants to comfort and love on His kids. We were so broken-hearted by their situation, but we felt so much love for them both; we couldn’t stay away. Week after week, we visited and checked on them, each time falling more and more in love. They began to smile and remember our names, saying hey sister Dalila, sister Olivia, sister Katie! They stole our hearts, and we did everything we could to let them know we cared. They are the first ones who showed me a Tonga Bible, and they read their favorite scriptures to us! The picture I’ve attached is Mary reading with Agnes beside her.
We attended Mary’s funeral yesterday. She passed away about 4 hours after we had gone to see her. We sang the song “Tata Ndili Wako” to her. It means “Father, I belong to you”, and it is so true. The Holy Spirit was there, loving on all of us as He began to wrap her in His arms. We got to be a part of the funeral and be there for Agnes and their family. We cried for the family, we mourned Mary, we spent time remembering our story with them both and we are forever changed by them. How can I be the same, see things the same way after watching Jesus comfort the poor and dying through me and my amazing team?? I can’t! His heart for justice is alive in me, and I will be forever changed by Mary and Agnes’s story. I have written over 15 pages in my journal retelling how we met them, what all we learned and what happened. I want to honor them both. I want to SEE people like Mary and DO something about it. There’s no need for millions of people to die of AIDS and hunger when there is a God like mine alive and working through me and my siblings on earth. We have to fight for God’s heart, we have to fight to bring the kingdom of God here to earth so people like Mary and Agnes don’t have to suffer and die.
I have been empowered to fight for justice by coming to Zambia, Africa and doing the Poetice International Internship. Thank you to all of the staff and all of the teachers who have helped me see what I have seen. Thank you Mary and Agnes for letting me love you and get to know you. Thank you, Jesus, for loving me. Thank you for your perfect love and for your coming Kingdom, and that I get to be a part of it. I am eternally grateful, literally!
|ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Katie Piner – 2018 Immersion Intern