Lost in the Desert

By Terri Pease

funny-desert-03Israel. The land of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The apple of God’s eye. My mission was simple. I was to supervise two troubled ladies in the home setting. Share the Word of God, listen to and advise when asked. Show one new mother how to mother her infant son and comfort the other mother as she was separated from hers.

I began this mission so full of determination to be His hands, mouth and feet. I thought they had problems and sister I was bringing the answer! God was going to use me. He told me so. All I had to do was shine baby shine!  I had no idea this mission would be the toughest assignment I have ever had in my life. This mission would stretch me further than I ever been stretched, put me in places I never imagined I would be and reveal God to me as I have never known before. I thought I had a pretty deep relationship with God. He has a way of bringing you deeper…. way deeper. All the teachings I have had, sermons listened to, studies learned led me to this moment. I was where the rubber met the road.

The first two days were easy peasy.  Everyone had their best foot forward, getting along real nice and generally pleasant. But that third morning, Lord have mercy! I was awaken by the loud exclamations of a half-crazed Russian Jewish little mama who needed a cigarette and needed one now! No amount of soft speaking words would calm her down. Finally I agreed to walk with her and the baby to the store so she could get her smokes. It was only a thirty minute walk and was still early. We would be gone and back within an hour before the hot desert heat of the day. She knew the way and spoke Hebrew, what could go wrong?

By 8:00 a.m. little mama, baby in stroller and I were walking to the store. I remembered water, hat and phone; we were all set. We made it to the store and she got her smokes. While she was enjoying her cigarette on a bench outside I purchased fresh made pita to take back to the house. I became brave and told the clerk “Boker Tov” which means good morning in Hebrew. He laughed so hard and loud little mama came into the store to investigate. They exchanged a good laugh and she told me I should just stick with “Shalom” for now. Apparently my southern accent had delighted him to no end.

We finished my purchase and started to head back to the compound. After walking a couple of blocks little mama said she knew of a short cut we could take, all downhill.  One hour later, facing open desert and over 100 degrees I knew we were lost. I called the director and told her the street we were on. She has lived in this town almost twenty years and didn’t have a clue of where we were! We finally saw a cab and flagged him down. Little mama asked him for a ride but he was on the way to another pick up and couldn’t take us. He pointed us in a direction and told us to keep walking. I knew immediately within my spirit that he had told us wrong. The baby was crying, little mama was mumbling in Russian and I was praying. I asked for the water bottle. Frantically searching the stroller she realized she had left our only water beside the bench where she had smoked. She began to cry, the baby was crying and I began to feel panic try to creep up on me. We had been in the hot desert sun without any water for almost three hours!  I began to pray in the spirit. We walked a little more and then I stopped. So clearly I “saw” the scripture where it says He will walk behind you and tell you to turn right or to the left. (Isaiah 30:21) So I told little mama to stop and we are going to pray. She didn’t want to but I told her to hold her roll “I am going to pray and God will lead us home!” Never have I been more desperate for God’s voice! I prayed what I saw, “God, Your Word says You will talk to me and lead me, Holy Spirit speak!”  I turned around and told little mama, “We are going the wrong way, it is this way.” She said, “No, no I don’t want to go that way, up another hill!” I said, “Move it sister! God says it is this way!” I took the stroller from her and proceeded in the opposite direction. She had no choice but to follow. We got to a crossroad and I practically shouted, “Holy Spirit, speak!” He said, “Right.” We turned right and walked two blocks. “Left”. We turned left and we were on our street. When we got to the gate of the compound I turned to her and said,” ___ you have to rely on God for everything. Man can and will lead you wrong but you have the Greater One inside of you. Listen for His voice and He will lead you home.”

I spoke those words to her as God was speaking them to me, for me. In the days to come I would be tested by those words.

Hebrews 13:5b (Amplified)

…for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]

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