Little Miracles

"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Somalia

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Somalia is a country that is dominated by Islam.  According to the Joshua project, 99.6% of the population of Somalia is Muslim.  The country is located in what is called the horn of Africa, the part in East Africa that sticks out into the ocean and touches the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian Ocean.  The country has a history of civil war in which some of the tribes formed their own, independent country, separate from Somalia, though it was not recognized by other countries.  The CIA world factbook says that the largest group of the population lies between 0 and 14 years of age with the median age coming in at 17.  As of this past year, Somalia has the 3rd highest infant mortality death rate in the world.  The capital of the country, Mogadishu, is located in the south, on the Indian Ocean.

Their government has four parts: the Chief of State, Head of Government, Parliament, and the Courts.  The Chief of State is a President somewhat similar to the President of the United States.  He signs drafts into laws, acts as a symbol of national unity, and is Commander in Chief of the military.  After being elected by a 2/3 majority vote of both houses that make up the Parliament, the President serves 4 year terms.  The Prime Minister heads up the Council of Ministers that implements the laws, prepares the budget, and preforms other executive duties.  They are appointed by the President and have to be approved by the Parliament.  The Parliament is similar to our Congress with two houses that make laws, and change the Constitution. The members of Parliament, like our Senators and Representatives, come from the different regions like our states.  There is a court system that is headed by a court much like the Supreme Court in the United States that decides the Constitutionality of different laws brought before them.

As a country dominated by Islam, whose leadership wants it to stay that way, Somalia is not open to any other religions, especially Christianity.  It is not safe for Christians to meet in the open but must meet to have church in secret.  It is against the law in Somalia to change your religion and if you are “caught” having converted to a religion other than Islam, you will be killed.  Persecution leading to death is a true, every day threat to the Christians who are native and who move to Somalia.  Because of this rampant persecution, many Somali Christians have left the country.  While I completely understand why they move away, this perpetuates the problem of people not having access to the gospel.  There are also not as many missionaries that go to this country because of the persecution.

Unfortunately, Somalia is home to many unreached people groups, and as a whole is an unreached country.  I ask you to join me in praying.  Pray for the Christians who live there that put their lives on the line everyday just by believing in Christ, pray for the families God calls to move out of the country to get out safely, pray for the missionaries that are currently there and that will go there in the future, pray for the government, pray for the poor, the mistreated.  And pray that God will bring people into the government that can help stop the persecution of not only Christians, but of all that do not follow Islam.

With love,

Meg

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My Favorite Things

So I don’t know how many of you have seen “The Sound of Music” but if you haven’t seen it, don’t even finish reading this post. Go now, rent it, borrow it, buy it, whatever you need to do and watch it; watch it right now! This movie has been one of my favorites since I was a kid. I remember making my mom rent it for me to watch many times and it was so long that it was on two VHS tapes! A few years ago, ABC Family showed it during the SuperBowl and let me just tell you, that’s definitely what my college roommate and I had on in our apartment. I’m pretty convinced that no movie collection is complete without it. Now, onto the point I really want to make. Within the movie, there is a song titled “My Favorite Things” that Maria sings with the children when they come into her room after being scared by a Thunderstorm. I have included a video for your listening enjoyment. Here are some of the lyrics:

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens

Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens

Brown paper packages tied up with strings

These are a few of my favorite things

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels

Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles

Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings

These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes

Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes

Silver white winters that melt into springs

These are a few of my favorite things

I have always loved this song for its simplicity. The things that Maria refers to as being her favorite things are for the most part, simple, common, yet beautiful things. It isn’t money or things that you need a lot of money to buy (other than the ponies but I think she just likes looking at them), they are the everyday joys in life. She likes things that God has blessed us with in nature and a few on the list are foods. Whenever I hear this song, it makes me happy but it also challenges me and reminds me to find joy in the simple things in life. Reading through Ecclesiastes, Solomon says several times that man should “take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.” It encourages me to enjoy the feel of the books I work with in my hands, to love how a warm bowl of soup hits the right spot on a cold winter day. To look forward to fall leaves, and spring flowers. I hope you enjoy this song and that it can encourage you as well!
What are the small things in your life that bring you joy?

With love,

Meg

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