This story tremendously touched my heart. It reminded me of Amy’s story of her first Christmas in which she, for the first time, understood and personally “owned” the words found in Christmas carols she’d sung all her life. (Her story is in my November 18, 2009 post “A Christmas Memory to Share . . .”).
Here’s the story, then a few thoughts:
Ezekiel Guti thanked me profusely for taking him to Universal Studios theme park in California. Guti, founder of a very large organization of black churches in Zimbabwe, was not excited about the rides or other shows. He especially appreciated the knowledge of how they fooled our eyes and made things seem to be something that they were not.Back to my thoughts. It is truly touching to me to see a people who so unashamedly rejoice and shout about the works of their God, and who so personally claim Him as their very own. I see people shout like crazy at sporting events, cheer for celebrities, etc., but rarely do I hear people shout with childlike joy and pride at the works of our Father, be it the miraculous, the healing of a marriage, the salvation from depression or addiction, or any way in which He works. I know that this story truly challenged my heart. May it will speak to yours as well. God bless you all.
He explained, “My people are not sophisticated enough to know that this is trickery. They think that what they see on the movie screen is what actually happened. This is wonderful that I can go back and tell them the truth.”
I tell you this to introduce another event of great proportions. Another friend, Bruce Coble, went from Tennessee to Zimbabwe to serve as the director of Gutis’ Bible College. He became a much-loved person to the students. On one of his trips back to the United States, Bruce collected some of his favorite videotapes to take back and show to the students. The tapes included Hollywood’s version of The Ten Commandments. The classic scene in the movie is the parting of the Red Sea. Bruce found it difficult to tell me this story without choking up with tears, but he said that when the students saw that depiction on the screen, as far as they knew, the camera was actually there recording the scene. They got so excited that they were all standing on their chairs shouting, That’s my God! That’s my God!”
Such straightforward love of God!