Our plans for our first girls' party had not gotten very far. We had scheduled a day and time, invited a bunch of girls, and that was about as far as we got! My teammates Pinky and Blondie had been out of town all week visiting friends in their hometown. Ellei and I had a full week of appointments with friends during their school holiday. Time slipped by before we knew it, and we couldn't have been much less prepared.
But the day had arrived, and we had to carry through with the party! Pinky had arrived home from her trip with just enough time to rush out to buy some snacks for the party. The enthusiasm she'd had last week when volunteering to lead songs for the party (after only 2 guitar lessons!) had disappeared. Without a guitar at her friend's home, she had not been able to practice all week. We decided she should just lead a cappella. Ellei was still scrambling to prepare last-minute games, and I was attempting the quickest cleanup job our apartment had ever seen.
Ding-dong! The doorbell rang ten minutes before the party was supposed to start. As Ellei answered the door, I quickly swept a pile of dust and food crumbs into an inconspicuous corner of the kitchen, and hoped no one would notice the fingerprints all over the glass coffee table.
Joining Ellei in the crowded entryway, I greeted the first five girls. I had to smile at their excitement to be invited to a foreigner's home. Hugging each girl became progressively difficult as I accepted their small offerings. A bouquet of flowers was thrust into one of my hands, a bottle of juice into another, and I had to point with my nose in the direction the girls could sit.
Ellei's plan to start with the card game Spoons was only slightly hindered when we realized we didn't own any spoons! I offered her some small forks from the kitchen drawer, but since they have to be grabbed quickly during the game, it might have been a little dangerous. She cleverly improvised by using a handful of pens. (As new girls arrived and joined in the fun, they couldn't understand why we kept calling the game “Spoons!”)
45 minutes later our living room was packed with 15 girls. We played game after game, and the girls were eating and laughing and getting to know each other. When it came time for songs, Pinky boldly sang “Lord I Lift Your Name on High,” and explained the song's words. “He came from heaven to earth to show the way…from the earth to the cross, my debt to pay…from the cross to the grave…from the grave to the sky…Lord I lift Your name on high!” My friend Ivy translated into their language to make sure the girls understood. Not sure how much she could share with these girls (some we barely knew), we awkwardly transitioned back to playing games.
I was worried that we'd lost our chance to share about God. But I introduced the next game, a Conversation Bowl. I brought out a small bowl filled with questions I had written on slips of paper just 15 minutes before the party. Everyone took a turn pulling a question out of the bowl. They loved it! Each girl got to answer a question ranging from “What is your favorite season?” to “Do you have a boyfriend?” to “Have you ever seen a miracle?” They giggled when I had to answer the question about having a boyfriend. And then they got serious as I talked about faithfulness and purity, and trusting God with the future. By their response, they thought that was way more romantic than if I had told them I was dating five boyfriends!
The best question of the night was “Have you ever seen a miracle?” Ivy, the only Christian of the group, got to answer this one! She told the other girls about a couple different times she had prayed to God and He answered her prayers! Pinky jumped in and told about 3 different times God answered specific prayers recently! I nudged Ellei to go ahead and share two more stories about miracles in her family. Then I told about a time when God healed me and how He had recently healed a friend.
As we piled on the evidence of God answering prayers or miraculously healing us, our captive audience was becoming more and more amazed. As we finished sharing, I ended with a simple challenge. Even though many of them do not believe in God (yet!), I challenged them to go back to their dorm rooms that night and ask God, “If You are real, show me!”
Pray that God will reveal Himself to these girls! That a hunger would grow in their hearts to know the truth!
I'm so excited about what God has done already…12 students from our city have joined the family so far! My faith is growing for the miracles we will see this year! I am freshly reminded of why I am here…to see many come to know Jesus! Thank you for your financial support and prayers joining me in the work…Go, team, go!