Worth it all….

I suspect I sound like an emotional roller coaster some times. And to confess… I feel like it most of the time.

I know God has placed us here for this time. I know this wholeheartedly. And I am blessed with the honor and privilege to be here and to be a part of the work HE is doing. Sometimes I am in complete awe of all He is doing!

It’s hard then to explain the constant grief in my spirit. It’s always there. It’s always threatening to pull me into some kind of dark hole of depression. I have really learned what “take every thought captive unto the obedience of Christ” means.

Sometimes I get Embassy reports or hear of news in Kenya, terror attracts, attacks diverted at places we frequent, or attacks on churches… and a fear can rise. But that fear is easy for me to release to a courage I have in Christ.

Sometimes I look at the finances and I get anxious, not knowing how we will do what we feel certain is His leading. But I can usually find myself casting that into His always faithful hands of provision.

But the grief that is always there… Simmering… Steaming… This is my biggest challenge. I miss my life back home. Not so much my life… But relationships… Which were my life!

God had blessed me so much! I thought I realized it… But it is true… You don’t really know what have… Until it’s gone!

I miss those I worked with every day, ministering to a group of people I so deeply love. I miss the weekly appointments for coffee and the Word… Where God blessed me with iron sharpening iron relationships. I miss my home fellowship and my weekly prayer groups. I miss sisters who could look at me and just know… Those who would immediately come in closer to offer love and comfort and prayer. I miss special friends who would marvel together with me as God would reveal Himself and teach and give understanding in His Word! I miss my two mamas and my daddy, I miss my family, I miss my children… Being a part of their lives as they walk through struggles and victories. I miss Saturday morning breakfasts! I miss my best girl friend in the whole world (my baby girl) lying on the bed just sharing, laughing, loving, talking of The Lord and praying together. And… Maybe worse of all…. I miss the children who are growing up without their Nanny.

These relationships are all so important to me and honestly… I grieve them daily.

I wonder if Adam felt it? Surely he grieved for the daily relationship he had with the Father! I wonder how he must have pondered that bite.

For me… My separation, my grief, is a result of obedience to my God. And as I pray over and over, asking God to take away the pain… I have so definitely and specifically heard… “My grace is sufficient for you.” And, indeed it is.

I think it’s in this grief that I have known and tasted His grace in a way I might never have. I am constantly reminded that my Lord and Savior is worth every ache, every tear, every lonely moment.

I don’t share this looking for pity or anything really. I am sharing this because we all need to know… To remember…. that this is not our home. Any “suffering” any “grief” cannot compare with the glory that is before us! We all have something in our lives that is simply the opportunity for the grace of Jesus Christ to abound in our heart and lives.

For me, it is my heart of missing the ones I love so dearly. Yet the comfort I am promised is wrapped in an assurance that as we share a faith in The One Who has redeemed my soul, faith in the One and True Living God, that one day soon, we will be reunited and the joy that will ensue… the fellowship that will occur… and the togetherness we will have will be worth it all!!!


A DAY OFF in the village…

I had fallen asleep with worries, concerns and a heaviness on my heart that I lifted up and casted onto my God.

So when I woke, I had slept well, was filled with peace and knew those new mercies of the morning!!

I started a load of laundry and just knowing how different that process was from what you just envisioned makes me laugh out loud. Let me paint that for you… I went outside to the rain barrel that had been filled with water from the river as it still isn’t raining. I filled the kettle and placed it on the gas flame. As it heated I placed the clothes, soap and bleach into the ‘tub’. After pouring the hot water in, I began the ‘wash cycle’ by taking a big wooden spoon and swishing the water, again, simulating that wonderful invention of the agitator.

Then Theresa came in with the morning delivery of Mandazi (donut holes), packed in a brown paper bag, soaked with the grease they were cooked in. (Ahh yep, I don’t eat these!). As she was leaving, I handed her a package of plastic bags she usually packs them in. She literally raised her arms and thanked God. A $1.50 offering and this woman knew from Whom it came!! I was moved.

Our plan was to load up and drive to Sengara at 9am. Peter, a former Muslim, had requested we come and share “the good news” with his father, a man steeped in the animistic traditions of spirits and witchcraft.

Just as we prepared to leave, a large truck pulled down our lane. After meeting them, Randy says, “this might take a while”. It was the Assistant Chief and another man. I immediately expected trouble. But these men had heard about the hen project and are wanting to start something similar on the next mountain. He was impressed with the project and the guys were more than happy to share all that they’ve learned.

After returning from Sengara, the guys were gathering in the hut for devotions with Denis. Just then a piki arrived and in came our Maasai friend, Paul and his friend, Moses.

Moses, Paul, Randy and I spent nearly 2 hours discussing Paul’s difficulty in leaving the Mormon church. He has encountered struggles and although God revealed to him through His Scriptures, the falsehood of the Mormons, over a year ago, he has remained associated with them.

Recently when he was visited by an elder in this cult, his people were found unable to answer questions about the book of Mormons, they only knew about the Bible. Paul was questioned and reprimanded.

Randy sternly – with so much love – warned Paul about delaying his obedience to God. He told him he needed to repent to God, confess before his flock and break away… Immediately. Please be praying as this could result in great difficulty for Paul.

Right after Paul and Moses left, Randy called for me to come and greet Nelson. I love Nelson. A wonderful mzee (old man) in the village. Nelson and his friend Enoch sat in the hut. Both with their hats and their canes in hand. These grey headed men, dressed in suits with hands that display a lifetime of hard work just seem to naturally demand a respect that I tried to express in our greeting.

After some catch up with Nelson, Enoch says, “let us make this long story somewhat short.” They went on to both share how they each have a son, both who are married, with children, employed.. One a teacher, one a soldier. “They take the drink and they smoke banga (pot). When they drink they can go days into disappearance. They are both about to be dismissed from their jobs. What can we do?” They pointed over to our guys working at the hen project, Meshack, Moses, Rogers and Otara… All who they say use to drink with their boys. “That one”, pointing to Otara, “he use to sell them their drink! Sincerely, what can you do?”

The pleading in these old African fathers’ eyes, as they politely held their hats and canes, broke my heart.

Randy explained how our guys had gotten to where they are today. “It started with Jesus! They can get sober many different ways. But for them to change, they need Jesus!”

“Truly that is so!” We prayed together and with tears I asked God to work! The men then got up from the little stools in the hut, place on their hats and proceeded to walk to the project. They were given a tour by Meshack and Rogers, both who 6 and 12 months ago they would have been staggering drunk by this noon hour.

I watched as Meshack and Rogers showed them their work. They spoke the mother tongue, Akeguisi. I know a few phrases and recognized several times as they would stop, turn to face their visitors, talk about Yesu – Jesus, the Bible and “Roho ya Mungu” – the Holy Spirit.

Tears filled my eyes and praise… Sincere praise… Filled my heart. Oh my God is so so amazing!!

Alafu… And then… I had another visitor. Aska. Aska came for prayer for her back. Aska is 96 years olds. She works in the shamba every day. She walks miles a day. Today, she quietly motioned to her back and in moans and broken Swahili – both hers and mine – we communicated and prayed.

Aska blesses me. With double language barriers, this woman warms my heart by her kindness, love and faith in Jesus to ease her pain of age and hard work!

Ahhhh… It’s dinner time!! Randy, Craig and Chase go out to the hut for evening devotions with our guys.

I put on some praise music and begin cutting potatoes and onions for dinner. Several times I would stop, overwhelmed with the evident, day filled proof of God’s goodness.

Going over the day, the visitor packed day, I could only give glory to the One Who orchestrates, Who woos and pursues the heart of man and Who is allowing me to sit in the very front row of His Amazing masterpiece and workmanship!!

Just then Chase comes into the kitchen. “That was amazing!” He shared about the devotions and how the guys went around, each sharing what God had shown them just this week. He told of how they eagerly shared and how sincere they were. He was moved as he saw the results of God revealing Himself.

After we ate dinner we had our prayer time. Tuesday nights are focused on the ministry we are doing here in Kenya. Our prayer requests include many needs but today…. Our prayers were all filled with praise, thanksgiving, and giving glory to a God who NEVER takes a day off!!!!