15 days ago, a dear friend of mine embarked on a trip that would change her life forever. To Kenya she went, prepared and not prepared at all for what God might ask of her. Rather than taint the experience with my own benighted perception, I thought I would allow her words to speak for themselves. I know that because I love Amanda, this post might mean more to me, than it will to most, but I did want to share, nonetheless. I was not born with a missionaries’ heart; unless God has plans to renovate, I will not be traveling across the world to do God’s work. I am called to do that here, in my city, in my neighborhood, in the lives of all those that will allow me to love them. However, it blesses the depths of my soul to see those such as Amanda heeding the call of transient faith. My hope is you will be blessed, too. Please read on if you wish to hear a missionaries’ heart speaking straight from the darkness that seeks to swallow her, superseded by the Light which sets her soul ablaze.
Fourteen days and 51 mosquito bites later, I am headed back to the U.S.. Although, of course, I am excited to get back to see all of those that I love, I am so sad to leave this place that has become my new home. As is the case with any place, of course there are the undesirable sides that stick out: sickness running rampant, a ridiculous amount of crime, people dying so often that there is somewhat of a hardness to it, children being orphaned every minute. But, as I have said in each of my blogs, there is so much light in the midst of the darkness too. And there is an undeniable abundance here: an abundance of faith, an abundance of hope, and an abundance of love.
Being here has taught me more things than I’m sure would fit on this blog. But, the thing that I treasure most, is that the Lord has taught me what true faith looks like…
It looks like Pamela, immediately praying prayers of thanksgiving upon seeing us because she had gone hungry the last couple days and had no idea how God was going to provide her with the food she needed to survive. But she trusted Him, clinging tight to His promises, knowing that He would, yet again, prove Himself to be the God that saves. And He did.
It looks like Mildred, looking back at her life and pondering how, as a widow at a young age, she was able to provide for her 3 young children and her deceased brother’s 2 kids. All she could say was that He was the only explanation for how they had all survived from one day to the next. But she trusted Him, clinging tight to His promises, knowing that He would, yet again, prove Himself to be the God that saves. And He did.
It looks like David, a 16 year old boy behind bars in the children’s jail for being falsely accused of rape, asking if we would allow him to share his testimony with us and the rest of the children in the prison. He began by saying how lost he was before he came there but that, through a local volunteer from Christ’s Hope, he came to know the Lord and the hope that can only be found in Him. He then boldly pleaded with the children that they hold tightly to God’s words so that they may know Him in the incredible way that David has come to know Him. He is so thankful that he trusted Him, clinging tight to His promises, knowing that He would, yet again, prove Himself to be the God that saves. And He did… David will be released from the jail as an innocent man next week!
Oh, to know that kind of desperation, to know that kind of need, to know that kind of trust. For many of us, we know what struggling is, but we don’t have to experience such a lacking that we wake up unsure of whether we are going to be able to eat today. And for being blessed in this way, we are very thankful. But, on the other hand, I also see the incredible blessing of needing a Savior in such a deep and intimate way, as to be truly relying on Him for each and every breath. I pray that, even though our lives in America look so different than our African brothers and sisters, that we come to know that same level of desperation before our Creator. And so, as I come back home, this is going to be my challenge… to carry this beautiful posture that I have learned from these wonderful beacons of light into my daily life. I know that this is no easy task and will include so many falls along the way, so I invite you all to challenge and sharpen me in this 🙂
As I have said about a hundred times (and still could not say enough), thank you all so much for your support and prayers. They mean the world to me. I love you all and am excited to see you very soon!
It is for His glory we sing, hallelujah!