In Israel He Taught me 111
by kwame darkwa
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WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO!
He had been born into adverse circumstances. Yet he survived. Growing up within the foremost family of the nation and arguably the world, he was to be envied. Access to the best instructors and schools of the day, ensured that he was groomed for certain success. Success in society and government. Yet it was within that society for which he had obtain so much ability, that the greatest danger lay. Silently lurking beneath his calm exterior, was a growing passion. A passion fueled by the injustices he heard and observed each day. This passion, like a raging storm seeking to be spent, was bursting to find expression. He was angry and frustrated. Angry with the world, the government and the seeming cowardice of the oppressed.
He hated injustice, whatever its form. He also hated those feeling of helplessness that surfaced, as a result of knowing, there was little he could do to change the status quo. Moshe knew, there was so much at stake. If he reacted rashly, he might jeopardize any chances he had to influence his peers, for the good of the people he sought to help. If he could only bide his time, some opportunity would arise which would safeguard his interest in the poor of society; a not so popular cause amongst the elite. At the same time, he hoped to maintain his position in government.
Yes, he had been born to that lower class now being oppressed. But circumstances beyond his understanding, had thrust him into the upper echelons of society. He was living a highly complex life. Torn between his desire to pay back whatever it was that life in the Egyptian palace had offered him throughout the years, and loyalty to the slave nation from which he owned his birth.
Now and again ,one hears the phrase, ‘life dealt me a cruel blow.’ For Moses this phrase would take on more than symbolic meaning. One day in the heat of anger, he dealt a death blow to a wicked Egyptian taskmaster. The raging passion had finally found an outlet. He quietly buried the dead man beneath the hot sands of Egypt and then went home, convinced that his ‘secret’ lay firmly concealed in the ground. His delicate balancing act within the society, had been safely maintained.
Safely that is, until life decided to deal him that cruel blow. Two members of the oppressed race, got into an argument. It turned nasty, with one savagely turning upon his neighbor. The offender was clearly wrong, and Moshe’s sense of impartiality and desire for justice were awakened. His instincts also told him, that a divided nation was not in the best interest of anyone. It certainly would not help his nationalistic ideals. He decided to intervene……
As he sat besides the well in the open desert, the hot sun relentlessly beating down upon his brow, Moshe pondered over the turn of events in his life. He was now, a fugitive. ‘What a mistake!’ he thought, ‘How did the man find out about the dead Egyptian?’
If he had not allowed his sense of justice to prevail, he would still be in a powerful position. Now, all that concern for the weak and oppressed, had translated into hot days and cold nights in the desert, and a life of future uncertainty. Where would he live? How would he find work? What good could possibly come out of this hardship?
In the distance some women were leading flocks of sheep. As they approached, he noticed that the culture of the water hole, had suddenly changed. The men watering their flocks, became aggressive. Moshe reasoned, ‘this was none of his business.’ He was not prepared to become involved. He needed a rest. Helping others in their affliction was a dangerous preposition. It had nearly cost him his life!
The men became more aggressive, hurling insults and making suggestive remarks. The women stopped a safe distance from the well, and patiently waited for the men to finish their business and depart. But the taunts and insults continued, becoming more vulgar. Suddenly a stone flew across the open space and caught one of them on the face. She screamed and fell to the ground clutching her bruised face.
Moses jumped into action. He ran at the offending stone thrower, caught him by the scruff of the neck, and hurled him to the ground. The ensuing fight was fierce, but brief. The man was no match for a well drilled Egyptian governor. Neither were the rest of his friends, who half-heartedly, attempted to intervene. They were really scared. The man was strong and his reaction ferocious. Perhaps this official looking Egyptian, was not travelling alone. Perhaps his entourage of soldiers was soon to arrive. It would be a mistake to take on the mighty Egyptians. They were known for their cruelty. Women herding sheep, were another matter. It was time to leave. The watering hole became quieter, as the herdsmen left with their cattle. Moses found himself alone with the women and their sheep…..
The bus travelling from Jerusalem to Tel-Aviv, was half full. A young lady slipped into the empty seat beside me. I was busy occupying myself by gazing out of the bus window, at the long lines of people waiting for their buses. These would carry them to other destinations within Israel. By this time, my long stay in Israel, had enabled me to identify each person by their clothing and facial expression. There were the soldiers in mufti, with guns in hand, or slung across their back. Some stood in groups, others alone. Each was alert, ready to react to the first sign of trouble. Since it was Friday or ‘Yom Shishi,’ a number of men, wearing the famous black and white clothing of the religious, were busy praying, shawls around their shoulders. Others, were actively taking care of the demands of their children, who appeared to be quite numerous. Some sat on the station floor perhaps waiting for companions. A few, held conversations on mobile phones.
When the bus finally departed, I turned my attention to the people sitting on the bus. A casual glance revealed, that the normal Israeli bus culture, was alive. Young men and women sat side by side, displaying various moods of affection. Affection which to my trained eye, defined the extent of their relationship. Older people, showed much less public affection, but their body language displayed a depth of security, that was missing amongst the younger generation. Some soldiers began to enter the sleep mode, exhausted by the week’s activities in army bases, along the borders, or in the ‘occupied territories.’ The bus driver, was having a conversation with someone over the intercom.
I took a causal glance at the person sitting next to me. She had Asian features. I was surprised to see, that she had a book open, and was reading it in all seriousness. Surprised, because of the common know lack of reading interest amongst the younger generation. There seems to be a preference for mp3 players and other digital headsets.
I also noticed that the lady in question, was wearing different clothing from the normal, t-Shirt, Jeans and canvass shoes, worn by the majority of Israelis and foreigners, who had lived long enough in the land, to be influenced by the dress code. She wore a white coat with a fur collar over a white blouse. Her white trousers, matched the coat and black polished shoes suggested a women who enjoyed dressing.
“Excuse me,” I said. “Can I ask you a question?” She replied in the affirmative.
“I noticed you reading, and I see that half the page is in English. What, is the other language?”
“Russian,” she replied.
“Oh, but you really do not look Russian. I am guessing you are from Korea.”
She told me she was from Mongolia. I was delighted and excited. A broad smile spread across my face. I had previously, struck a friendship with a number of Mongolians living in the land. One day, I had received fifty New Testaments written in the Mongolian language, and sent by friends living in Korea. These had been distributed in ‘miraculous’ ways, as the Lord led me to specific personalities amongst their community.
Our journey to Tel-Aviv was punctuated by halting, but lively conversation as we shared our lives. I was interested in following up on this acquaintance so, when the bus eventually arrived in Tel-Aviv, I made sure we got off at the same bus stop.
“Would you mind if I visited your home?” I asked.
She invited me to the upstairs apartment where, her friends had gathered to spend the weekend. Loud music welcomed our ascent, and when the front door of the apartment opened, a stream of cigarette smoke, swept pass us and dissipated into the surrounding atmosphere.
The apartment was small and cramped. A large room served as a lounge and sleeping room, for extra guests. A small kitchen and bathroom, made up the rest of the apartment. Young men and women sat on plastic chairs or lay on couches in the small lounge. The air was hazy due to the cigarette smoke, and bottles of cheap beer, stood on tables or beside chairs on the bare floor. Cigarette butts, lay strewn across the room. A single smudged window, partially open, provided a view to other apartment buildings in the area. The loud music assaulted my ears, and I thought I would not be able to stay too long in such an environment.
Then, my eye caught sight of Tulga. I was surprised. Tulga and I had met some months before. He had sat in at one of our prayer meetings, held on Friday evening on Salame street. This Friday evening group, was made up of students from Korea, who were studying for second and third degrees, in various Israeli universities. After that particular meeting, I approached Tulga, but discovered that he was a little drunk. The smell of alcohol permeated the air around him. He came back the next week and my interest was aroused. I learnt he was from Mongolia, but that his main reason for coming into the meeting hall, was encouraged by sight of the pretty Korean ladies, whom he had followed into the worship center. He hoped he could strike an acquaintance.
When I visited his home later on during the week, I stumbled across a community which was famous in history, for raising the likes of Genghis Khan (1162-1227). In the modern era some of this ‘Conqueror’s people group, had found their way to modern Israel. I was fascinated. My fascination firmly rooted in anticipation that maybe, the Lord would guide me in witnessing to this nation, which in all my dreams, I had never thought of, as a viable ministry opportunity. I marveled at how, after two thousand years of history, the blessed Gospel of Yeshua Ha' Mashiach had reached even this people, in some form. I was told that although many Mongolians were Buddhist by way of religion, a growing number of young people had found salvation through the sacrifice of the Messiah, and had received forgiveness of sins and the gift of righteousness, in His Name.
Tulga recognized me as our eyes met, and left his seat to greet me. We engaged each other in conversation. Shortly after that initial meeting he recalled, he had left Tel-Aviv to work in other part of Israel. After some time he returned to Tel-Aviv, and was working hard doing odd jobs. As we talked, I sensed it would be impolite to make a hasty departure although, the smoke filled air and loud music was beginning to give me a headache. I began to pray silently under my breath.
‘Lord what can I do for you in this situation,’ I thought. ‘Please make a way for me to witness for you.’
I then pondered on a number of possibilities in mind. I could ask that the music be turned down and then, proceed to witness. Or, I could leave at an appropriate moment and return at a more convenient time. The third possibility, was to stay put and trust that the Lord’s leading was not in vain. After all I reasoned, the young lady was the one who had sat next to me on the bus. I had not made the first move. So, I was not acting presumptuously.
Difficult situations often send mixed messages. There is one message that speaks of hopelessness, and there is a second message that speaks of opportunity. In the heat of that moment in the desert, Moshe the fugitive Jewish-Egyptian, did what was natural. Natural to him. He intervened on behalf of the afflicted women and ended up with supper, a bed, home and guess what? Yes, eventually, a wife! Isn’t that fantastic! From, a desert floor and homelessness, to life with a great wife and children. All because he did what he could do, with the best tools he had available, in a difficult situation.
So, this brings me to my main point in writing this story. It appears to me, that there is never a situation in which we need to say, “There is nothing I can do!” Never, that is, if you have a relationship with the God of Heaven and Earth. There is always something we can do. What can we do? Just do what you can do, and leave the rest to Him!
Now, applying this principle in the context of a room full of smoke, loud music, young men and women on the verge of drunkenness, and indecision as to what to do, I decided to do what I knew best to do.
I decided to forego the first two options, and concentrate on the third. I would stay put, and pray. Pray quietly for the young people I was visiting, and trust that God would grant an opportunity to share His love for them.
A few minutes after I had arrived at this decision, Tulga pointed to a bed against the wall. The young lady lying on it was very pretty. Other ladies and the one who had invited me into their home were serving her.
“She’s sick,” Tula said, blowing fumes from a cigarette dangling from his mouth.
“What’s wrong with her?”
“Something to do with the Kidneys,” he replied. “She’s been sick for four months and has not been able to work!’
“Has she had medical attention?” I asked. I could guess the answer even before I spoke.
She had been to the doctor once. But when she got to learn of her condition, she faced a major dilemma. How, could she spend all her hard earned money on medical bills? It is not an uncommon dilemma facing foreigners living overseas. Falling ill can be a ‘night mare’ experience. Thus, having decided on the least expensive approach to solve the dilemma, she succumbed to being treated in the best possible manner by one of the woman present; a registered nurse.
I thank God that at some point in my discipleship training, I had learnt that Yeshua was and is still a healer. This was to be one of the moments in my life, when I blessed every teacher I could possible think off, who had encouraged me to believe the full Gospel. Beginning with the Lord-The Ruah Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit). I would do what I knew best to do; pray for the sick to be healed.
“Can I pray for you?” I asked the sick girl, standing close to the bed. Tulga did the translation. I knelt down having gained permission. I placed my hands on her back, and began to pray quietly but earnestly.
I could hear the laughter gaining greater strength by the minute. The Mongolians had probably never seen anything like this. An African, kneeling on the floor and praying! It shook them up! From time to time during those ten minutes, I would stop praying, look up and place my finger on my lips making the “shhh” sound, for them to be quiet. They laughed even louder! One man pointed his finger at his head. I was definitely crazy. They shook with laughter. I continued to pray!
Finally I said, “Thank you Lord for healing this woman!” I stood up, went to my seat and talked a little more with Tulga. The room was full of activity. Each spoke to the other, apparently making fun of the whole situation. I suspect, that the lady who brought me in, must have become the second clown of the night. But I had done what I knew best, and it was time to leave. That was Yom Shishi, or Friday night. The streets were quiet as I walked home. It was Shabbat. Israel had retired for the weekly Shabbat rest!
Yom Rishon, that is Sunday morning, Pastor Chris and I decided to visit the Mongolians. I had told him the story and he was eager to meet them and invite them to church.
We walked up the long flight of steps to the apartment. He pushed the bell button. The door opened. I did not recognize the lady who opened the door, but her expression was one of surprise and joy. We were hastily ushered into the room. Smiles and laughter broke out. The young lady I had prayed for, was sitting upright and nicely dressed. The pains had disappeared that Friday night. Apparently the Lord had healed her perfectly. The handshakes and joy told it all.
Approximately one year later (referring to my diary), I was busy in the distribution center. A number of well dressed people walked in and greeted me. I recognized them as Mongolians because Olsii was with them. Olsii, happened to be one of the Mongolians who regularly visited me for bible study.
“Do you recognize her?” she asked, pointing in the direction of a very beautiful dark haired, young lady”
I thought hard, but it was no use. “No I do not!”
“She’s the one you prayed for last year!”
I stared in amazement! The young lady was beaming with joy. She looked so well. It was difficult to place this radiant personality before me, with the sick person I had met just a year before.
“Hallelu L’ Adonai!” I shouted shaking hands all around. My joy was contagious; my day was complete!
So, I suspect that many people down the ages, have had cause to thank Moshe for offering his life in service to God. Many Jews certainly have! Moshe has been an inspiration!
On my part however, great thanks go to the God, who called our Moshe to lead an oppressed nation of Jews and others to freedom. In the process, this God has taught me that, whenever you do not know what to do, just do what you know best and leave the rest to Him! He never fails to bless!
May the Lord bless you every day of your life, and even more!
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