Tuesday, November 21, 2017

When the HIV test comes back positive.

Last Sunday morning, the worship song repeated over and over…
“The earth is filled with His glory”
“The earth is filled with His glory”


I couldn’t sing along.  All that kept going through my head was the pain and suffering that seems to be filling every corner I look into.  I wasn’t sure where that glory was hiding!  It seems that the earth is filled with …just plain HARD… UNFAIR… HURT… SUFFERING…


Then today, I was asked by a pastor to join him in taking a very sick mama to the hospital.  Another story of horrible grief.  Gang raped… abandoned by her husband for another… And so sickly that when I met the mama, fear gripped me - I don't know if she will live!  

I sat in the small, stuffy HIV testing tent with her as we awaited results.  

The doctor returned with the answer...  Positive.

Where is your glory God?

Her tears… her questions… her main concern - my baby is too young for me to die!

Oh God, where is your glory in this situation!

Then, I looked around the benches.  A pastor and 2 mamas from the church were surrounding her with compassion…  

God was bringing his glory through their eyes and words - through their LOVE!

A minute later, a familiar face walked into the clinic, a friend who has experience with HIV for some time.  I choked up as I watched her interact with a new victim of this dreaded disease.  She walked her home… promised to visit tomorrow… prayed… and most of all, offered HOPE - you won’t die!

God was bringing his glory through someone's own story of suffering - through her offer of HOPE!

My favorite photo of the day... one mama walking a very sick mama home
I knew the mama was too weak to care for herself in any way.  I learned that 3 ladies from the church are taking turns checking in on her, cooking and caring for her.  

God’s glory being proclaimed through their SACRIFICE.

I’m no theologian… just wondering…

Maybe God’s glory isn’t forced on this earth.  Actually, when the world just goes its own way, God doesn’t usually receive a whole lot of glory. 

Maybe that’s just up to me… up to you… up to all of us, who feel suffocated by suffering but need to breathe hope into one life, one situation, one home, one person’s eyes.

And bring glory to God.


I think perhaps we need to rework that worship song a little - and I’m not a poet either… or I would.  
This earth isn't filled with God's glory... until we, God's people bring His HOPE, His LOVE, His SACRIFICE into dark places.






Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Witchcraft

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Every now and then strange things end up in our yard; thrown over our fence or gate.  Pictured left is the latest item found at our gate this morning.  A small wallet with feathers carefully placed inside, a note with a name on it, wrapped with a metal wire.
My first reaction is yuk.  It just looks gross.  Then I wonder who would want to do such a thing and why?  Who does this belong to? Is someone trying to harm us by putting a spell or curse on us?  Why? Is this the enemy's attempt at trying to scare us?
Witchcraft is common here in Kenya.  It is connected to traditional religion and the black spiritual realm.  There are witch doctors and seers in our community. Even our next door neighbor has been know to do black magic. 
It does not surprise us when the devil tries to scare us, steal our joy, or throw a curse at us.  But the enemy knows that his days are numbered, Jesus said "it is finished", we are covered by the blood of Jesus.  The devil's schemes will not work against us.  We will not give in to fear and let such things paralyze or slow us down.
Many people here are lost in this darkness.  Someone, a person obviously planted this "charm" in our gate thinking it will affect us somehow.  I am saddened by their ignorance and relieved by my covering in Christ.  There is a common belief here and likely in most cultures that God and the devil are equals.  The common good vs. evil story.  The spiritual realm is vibrant and active in the daily circumstances of life here.  No-one would deny the presence of spirits, particularly evil ones.  What is not know is that God, the Creator, is far superior than the devil and all things.  God's power is far greater and able to overcome anything that the enemy puts in front of us.  "It is finished" counts for today.  I claim it and remind the enemy of this fact.  Jesus and his heavenly hosts are at work, defeating the enemy and protecting us, his children.  He has even empowered us, by his name, to fight the fight against such things.  Praise God!
I went on to burn the items I found this morning, prayerfully claiming Jesus' protection over us and praying for the person who planted it in our yard.  They need to know Jesus.  We don't know if the name on the piece of paper is somehow connected.  May she also know God's protection. 
We will continue to tell the truth, share the Good News and teach the story in the scriptures, so that others may be free from this bondage and devilish schemes.  May God be glorified!  Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.