“MIRACLE on the MOUNTAIN“ was the title of my journal entry that night when I arrived back into my tent – in awe and filled with joy in our LIVING and ACTIVE God.
KIBOZERS didn’t even begin to describe the wonder that flooded my heart. I couldn’t help but just beam – from ear to ear – declaring how awesome my God is. I could barely even fall asleep in my single-occupancy tent, so I journaled the miracle I just witnessed…
We arrived into our fourth camp-site, exhausted and tired. Our trekking that day had been the steepest grade yet and we were enshrouded by thick clouds of fog. We just had to keep our heads lowered, pushing through the sharp cold air and the tightening of our lung capacity, pushing up-ward “pole pole” (Swahili for slowly slowly) and until finally, we saw a faint break in the fog and saw our tents. Ahhhh, time to rest.
So we thought. In no time the clouds became darker and it was inevitable that we were on the brink of a rain storm. And it was no surprise either, for we were in Tanzania during their rainy season. We had no sooner began eating lunch in our mess tent when the rain began. “Oh, it’ll be over in no time”, said Gary, who had been to Kili during the rainy season 3 times before. “That’s how it rains on Kilimanjaro – a little storm here, a little storm there but it’ll be over soon.” Well, the only thing that happened soon was that it got worse. Below our feet were little rivers of water trailing through our tent.
So, we decided to remain in the tent talking, laughing and sharing stories until it let-up. One hour passed. Two, three and four hours passed until it was again time for our next meal! All throughout our dinner it continued to rain – which heightened our nervousness. What on earth is happening to our tents? Are they leaking? Will they be washed away because the soil isn’t very solid? And even pitifully I hoped that my tent and belongings weren’t being soiled by the rain. Every night so far had been extremely cold for me since I was camping solo in a tent. I never realized how much body-heat another person provides!! It’s not until you don’t have it that you wish you did. PLEASE LORD! Let the rain stop! I don’t want to be cold and wet tonight. Please keep the tents in place, both for our porters/guides and my team.
Dinner was done and it was STILL raining. We kept chatting away but the anxiety began to come out in our voices. Will this be indicative during the rest of our hiking? It’s cold enough, but the rain makes it THAT much colder. Around 8pm, Gary began to share that the team in 2007 wasn’t able to summit because of the rain on the morning of their summit. He said it was SO cold, they literally had to turn around because of the freezing temps. No bueno.
Just then, Yusef stepped into our tent – soaked – and disclaiming, “OH MY GUSH! Dis is terry-ble. You need to pray to your Jesus for d’ rain to stop because dis is only de beginning! If he doesn’t do someting, it will be bad wedder (weather) all d’ way up and we may not summit.”
He was ABSOLUTELY right! We did need to pray to Jesus. What’s incredible too is that one of the ways God reaches out and opens the eyes of Muslims is that he displays His power through dreams and visions of Jesus Christ. Since they only believe Jesus to be another prophet, God desires to set apart Him apart as HIS SON, God-equal-status.
This morning in our devotional we read from Isaiah 65:24
Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.
Coincidence in a Sovereign God…I think not. So I rallied our team together, in that sopping wet tent, as we all shivered together and began to call upon the Name of Jesus. We remembered together how Joshua implored God to hold back the sun from rising, that the Lord granted his request so that they could continue fighting the battle; how Elijah – a human just like us – asked God to hold back to the rains and it didn’t rain for 3.5 years; and now, the scripture from this morning was on my tongue. Even before we would cry out, Jesus would hear and answer as we sought him….
As the words were leaving my mouth, the torrential downpour began to recede into a light mist before the heavens shut completely!! COMPLETELY. I started laughing and we all began rejoicing by thanking Jesus for answering immediately. We asked too that the weather from there on out would be favorable and that on summit day, it would not rain.
We left for our tents IN AWE of a God who hears and who LOVES to make much of His Son Jesus!! THAT’S why I was grinning and beaming in my tent! Jesus was exalted in that dark place! And I sure couldn’t wait to tell Yusef about it!!
The next morning when Yusef came into the tent, he was beaming, “Wow! the rain just stopped last night!” Before I could speak, Randy piped in, “YEAH YUSEF! We prayed to Jesus and asked Him to do it, and HE DID! It was Jesus!!” Yusef stood utterly bewildered but soaking in the reality….
So were we : )