Saturday Night Sidewalk Service

Dark clouds pressed low on the mountains late this afternoon, just like the dark cloud of discouragement that I felt pressing down on my soul. I could tell that the clouds weren’t quite ready to drop their load of rain, so I grabbed my bike and hoped that a bit of strenuous exercise (everything is uphill here!) would help to settle my soul.

The discouragement has been coming at me from several angles recently:

Am I really doing a good enough job as a homeschool teacher? (Jr. Hi. and high school is hard!) Are we making a huge mistake by not giving the boys a “real” school experience, with friends and sports and lots of teachers building into their lives? (They loved last year at DCS so much.)

Do we really have to spend yet another Sunday here in Huaraz NOT meeting together with our local church family? We’re so tired of Zoom church – it’s just not the same as being with friends. (And it’s also a whole lot easier to fall asleep during the service!)

It’s hard to combine any sort of thinking skills with pedaling a bike uphill at the oxygen-deprived altitude of 10,000 feet above sea level, but on the flat stretches where I can coast, I ponder the fact that this cloud of discouragement is not just a “normal” part of life.

This is spiritual warfare.

And it’s attacking me especially hard this weekend because we are with family – with people we love who don’t know God in the way that we do. We have the light of life, but it won’t shine if the clouds dampen the spark.


A flat stretch of road lies ahead (Yay!) as I pedal past my good friend Teodora’s house. She is 88 years old, and was confined to bed and near death’s door when we returned to Peru a couple of months ago. I’m surprised to see her sitting on a grandchild’s chair in the open doorway of her house, which also doubles as a bike repair shop run by her oldest son. Cutting my exercise ride short, I cut across the road and park my bike next to several others awaiting repair. The cement step is cold, so her son finds a piece of cardboard for me to sit on as we talk.

Teodora is an amazing woman, who warrants more than just a short cameo in one post on my blog… (I will make it a point to write more about her in future posts.) … but here are just a few highlights about her.

Teodora & Rachel in 2014

She was healed by God from cancer.

She has seen angels.

She has seen demons.

She knows how to deal with demons.

She calls me her daughter, and besides my own mother, she prays for me and for my family more faithfully than anyone I know.

So I sit there on the sidewalk and tell her everything, and she doesn’t tell me

“I’ll pray for you…”

…she takes my hand and prays for me right there in the open door, in full view of everyone walking past.

As Teodora prays, I realize that a small speaker in her son’s shop is playing Christian music. But not just any type of music… it’s English music. And the specific song that comes on while she prays is “Waymaker.”

(Take a minute to listen to this version of Waymaker sung by Sinach, the Nigerian woman who wrote the song.)

No one else in that shop understands English but me and God, so I know that the words of the song, just like the words of Teodora’s prayer, are a special gift from God directly to me.

Way maker
Miracle worker
Promise keeper
Light in the darkness
That is who you are

I stop worrying about whether or not the boys are going to be “OK” in our homeschool. I give up my hold on the family tensions that we experienced earlier today. I trust God to do a miracle in our extended family, shining his light into their darkness. I thank him that we are the bearers of that light.

Tears trickle down my face as the dark cloud around my soul dissipates. This is no Sunday morning Zoom church service…

This is a Saturday night service right out on the sidewalk!

Saturday, October 9, 2021 – Rachel Yanac

AWI’s Women’s Ministry Team in 2009 – Teodora’s wisdom was invaluable!

NOTE OF INTEREST – When I got home from my bike ride, I asked my smart speaker to play Waymaker, and the speaker played a Tamil language version! This rather strange coincidence made it seem even more special that God allowed me to hear the English song right at the moment when I really needed to feel his hug.

Read the story behind Sinach’s composition of Waymaker HERE.

4 thoughts on “Saturday Night Sidewalk Service

      1. Uh cierto, que aquí tengo un nombre raro jaja.
        No digo que es bonito leer de tus días de nubes grises, aunque nos sirve para conocer más motivos de cómo acompañarnos. Pero sí es alentador saber de las Teodoras que hay en el mundo!

        Liked by 1 person

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