This summer I learned about walls being built. Not those ugly, figurative walls that we so often hear about. These walls were quite the opposite – beautiful, physical walls that God had instructed to be built by people of His Word, following His will in their lives.
I spent my summer reading and studying the book of Nehemiah. And I also lived and served in Zambia this summer. In both places, God called and His people answered.
As I read Nehemiah, I had a wonderful, tangible picture right in front of me. You see, Nehemiah is about the Jews traveling back to Jerusalem to build the protective wall that had been destroyed by the Babylonians around their city. Jerusalem needed protection and the Jews were willing to sacrifice, labor, and pray so that a wall could be built. The nation came together and served one another and throughout the process, lifted up the city to the Lord. A people once disgraced, now found purpose and pleasure.
Nehemiah 2: 17-18: Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace. ” I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me …. They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work.
Fast forward a couple thousand years to the year of 2012 and you would find a group of humble people in Zambia with a similar mission. Walls needed to be built for protection. Not just physical protection but emotional and spiritual as well. These walls would be for a family – a beautiful “mama” and 8 children who had come from backgrounds we cannot imagine. Before my eyes, men and women gathered to serve and answer the call the Lord had given them.
This group of people had traveled from thousands of miles away. They came together, served and lifted up this house to the Lord. They sacrificed, labored and prayed as they placed brick upon brick. And the walls were completed because they had a purpose and found pleasure as they served the Lord. Where there was once a barren plot of land, now stands My Father’s House #8.
Nehemiah 4:6 – So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.
Oh but these walls were and are so much more than physical! They protected a nation and will protect a family. They serve as a place of refuge and safety. Inside, the Lord is worshiped and praised. And children who were lost and hurting, now have a safe place to call home.
Nehemiah 6:16 – When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.
Likewise, we pray the same for House #8 in Zambia today. May the Enemy retreat in fear as it is made known that these walls were built with the help of our God. Thank you Lord for being faithful from generation to generation, and offering your children purpose and protection. May we continue to build in your name!
– Michelle Jackson, Director of Sponsorship