I went to Philadelphia today for church. There was only a handful of us there, but we worshiped and learned of our great Savior, Jesus Christ our Lord. Afterward, there was a Pakistani woman named Maria who had come for her first visit and she wanted us to go pray over her house because she feared someone at her work had cast a spell on her. She is a single mother and has a thirteen year old daughter, who was out with other family members at six flags today so we did not get to meet her or the rest of the family. She had grown up in a "Christian family" in Pakistan, but was having difficulty understanding some things. So we discussed God's purposes in suffering and Satan's hand in it (see one of John Piper's excellent resources on this here). We went to her house afterward to pray; the pastor and his family, and brother Herman and myself all went. She offered us some water to drink and we prayed for peace in her house and for the power of Christ to protect them from Satan. We also prayed for many other things. Especially her work situation, because there was a lot of difficulty going on there with the people, and she may be losing her job. She showed us a room in her apartment building where she wants to help us to be able to hold church services, so we prayed about having that work out for us as well (which is something we've been looking for).
After this, we ate some lunch at a pizza shop, then went to go see the movie "Fireproof." While we were on our way to the theater, my dad called me and said his mother just passed away while his best friend Freddie was praying for her. My mom and my younger brother and sister met us at the movies and we watched the movie together. It was very, very moving. An excellent movie, and the first time I've been in the theater in I think over 3 years! This movie will totally transform how you think about love in any family relationship. Well, it was a time of grieving for my grandmother, but also a time to be inspired by God's love as it was portrayed in an American cinema (a very rare thing indeed!). I really want to go and share this good news as well as I can with everyone who will listen, that "God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8).
Well, I'm going to end this update by asking for some prayer for my family and myself during this period of bereavement. Thanks so much to all my blogging friends in Christ.