Digging ditches

Phil and Elin Henderson haven’t been actually digging ditches over the past several weeks. However, 2 Kings 3 parallels their world a lot lately.

‘And he said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Make this valley full of ditches.’ For thus says the Lord: ‘You shall not see wind, nor shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, so that you, your cattle, and your animals may drink.’  And this is a simple matter in the sight of the Lord; He will also deliver the Moabites into your hand.’ 2 Kings 3:16-18.

In Phil and Elin’s absence, the enemy has become more entrenched, even taking back ground. The challenges seem greater and the resources fewer. But, God’s promises ring true as loudly now as they did then…. He will pursue His purposes here as He sees fit. They need only stand firm and be obedient to the tasks He puts before them – even if that means digging ditches in a dry valley. He will use our obedience to not only provide for our needs (water in a dry place) but also to defeat our enemies (the reflection on the water that flooded the valley, confused the Moabite army and ultimately lead to their defeat). Both of these tasks, water in a dry place without sending rain, and the defeat of the mighty Moabite army, God declares (almost as a side-note) to be “simple matters”. Whether it is defying enemies or even defying nature, these are simple tasks to God the Creator and Defender.

So, Phil and Elin have pick up the ehipa (the Mwinika word for a digging hoe) and started to dig in the dry dirt, believing that through this simple act of obedience, He will both provide for their needs and defeat their foes.

It has been a whirlwind of activity since they arrived back in the village. They have been busy getting back into the flow of ministry and life among the Mwinika people.

Phil has been translating and is nearly done with 1 & 2 Thessalonians, as well as preparing to check portions of Daniel. When this is done, he will turn his focus to lesson development and revision.

Elin has been busy setting up her literacy centre again. A lot of material was damaged by rats. Currently there are many opportunities available for literacy and Elin is hoping to be able to facilitate more learning in the community.

They have many new neighbours which opens new doors of opportunity to teach and share truth. They are excited about these possibilities. There continues to be an openness to hearing God’s Word among the people. The believers continue to meet together. Some have fallen away, but those who have remained are still firm in their faith.

Phil and Elin’s kids back home in the USA, are both doing well and are busy with their summer work.

• For wisdom as they navigate the needs of the various groups of believer’s, and as they help to facilitate and disciple.
• For wisdom and direction as they seek to take advantage of the opportunities that God is giving them for teaching in the community.
• For continued interest in literacy, and for wisdom as they develop new material, and help to facilitate teaching in the various communities around them.
• For strength – Elin realises she does not have the strength and stamina that she used to have.
• That they will be faithful and obedient to ‘dig the ditches’ He calls them to dig, and to rest, leaving the end-results with Him!
• For their kids to be lights for the Lord in the places He has them this summer.

It is a joy for Phil and Elin to be back with the people they love, doing the ministry they love. Thank you for your part in praying for them. They sense His presence daily and His faithful, loving arms, holding them up!