Happy belated birthdays Kevin and Jessica and Nancy. Today we celebrate our 50th day on the road. We said goodbye to the team from Ecclesia Hollywood yesterday, it was pretty tough saying goodbye, it’s nice to work together and to have fellowship, even though it complicates things a bit to have several people trying to come to a decision, God is so good. I especially had a rough time saying goodbye to my buddy, Robyn, an old roommate and Kenya team mate in 2006. The team was great, 13 people in their mid 20’s and early 30’s all richly inspired by God’s love to pour out on to others what we have so freely received. I was really encouraged by all of them, some leaving LA with little money to come home to but clear about the call that Christ’s Spirit has given them. What a joy it is to serve the Lord along such convicted people, Craig and I will surely miss their company and insights. We have stayed at the guest house for 2 more days to recoup and prepare for our next adventure: Kibera for about 15 days with our friends from 2006, Abel and Milcah and their 3 children. Abel and Milcah run Ghetto Light Youth, a program for the youth in Kibera. In 2006 it was still just a vision and it has been a blessing to see how God has brought that dream to fruition. They are now working with about 80 youth, teaching them how to make a living through honest means. They make beaded bracelets, necklaces, jewelry cases, and many other things and use the money to pay for food or school funds or rent. I was just reading through the book of Ephesians this morning and was amazed at all the practical and applicable insights it brought. Ephesians4:28 NLT “If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need.” Eph 6: 7 “Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” I wish you could all just spend a day with any one of these kids, their stories will cause you to weep, be upset at people, ask “why?”, and even cause you to be upset with God, but they are not upset they understand way better than I do the value of Christ and of having an eternal perspective. Paul in his letter to the believers in Philippi says in chapter 1 verse 21, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (NIV) I have for many years struggled to really understand or rather be able to relate to Paul, I am not ready to leave this place, I have fun here and I love my family and friends here, besides that I still feel there is more for me to experience. I think I have gained just a little bit of insight about this as of recent. The kids from Kibera have an extreme life; they’ve seen things and experienced things that we only see in movies. They know rape and murder and even more frightening things than that as a pretty common thing. I think I am far too comfortable to really understand Paul. Paul, like these children, suffered much, and he was imprisoned for many years. These kids have also experienced the ugliness and perversion of this world, so they look forward to Christ’s coming, they are truly “citizens of heaven” they “are not anxious about anything, they pray and petition God for their every need, they are thankful and present their requests to God” (paraphrased), they “have learned to be content with whatever the circumstances. They have learned the secret to being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” They understand that they can “do everything through him who gives (them) strength.” Philippians 4 paraphrased 6-13. I am moved by them, they cause me to take a good look at my faith and examine it. I am truly humbled by their convictions and their fervency in prayer, I am convicted by their understanding of God’s word and how well they know it and have His word hidden in their hearts. If you get a chance, youtube Sara Groves “ I saw what I saw” (thanks Susan) it’s one of those songs I wish I had written and it very beautifully captures some of what we are experiencing here.
So, tomorrow we are off to Kibera. Kibera is the second largest slum in the world, there are many relief organizations stationed in Kibera, unfortunately still not enough. Our friends, Abel and Milcah, grew up in the slum and when they got married moved out. Shortly after, they were quickly convinced that they needed to be in Kibera in order to truly minister to the youth there. Honestly, I am a little nervous, but God has reassured me today, His word says don’t worry, just pray, so I have and will continue to and would appreciate your prayers as well. Craig and I feel it will be a good experience. I am hoping to work together with the youth and paint a mural; Craig will be excited to work alongside Abel and Milcah as they coach soccer. Again, we will have limited internet access, so do not be alarmed.
Sisters, please only foreclose minimal information to Mom, I don’t want her to worry and freak out. Thanks.
By the way, yesterday I spent most of the day cuddling with a little girl named Kate, she would nuzzle my neck and kiss my cheek and cuddle some more, it was pretty awesome. The coolest part is that we met her in 2006 when she was just 3 years old, now she is 6 and is super involved with Ghetto Light. Please pray for her and her family, her brother, Ibrahim, who is also involved. Pray that their family would come to know Jesus and experience His joy and freedom. Pray also for rain in Kenya. The rivers are dry and the crops are doing poorly, it is their winter now and they should’ve already experienced their rainy season.
Another by the way, Craig and I totally pet Cheetahs the other day. Like held their heads and pet them and could hear and feel them purring-crrraaaaazzzyyy!
|From Kenya, Animals 2009|