Thursday, November 24, 2011

Waking with a heavy heart

Today we were meant to be there, at this home, sharing Jesus’ love and some meals with these kids!
But we CAN’T be!

Our Thanksgiving plans have changed...

God introduced us... - there is no other explanation for how we ran into this home! 

100 beds - 260 kids - We have learned they sleep in "shifts"

Our hearts were crushed as we realized that these 250+ kids were not being fed!  Knowing that God was calling us to somehow get involved, we started praying along with 6 good Kenyan (and Tanzanian) friends for these children.

Digging up more information about the place has led us to some horrible stories.  We believe now, that there are some very egregious offenses happening here!

Police were not able to guarantee that we would not be implicated in the crimes if we went INto that home - even as a church group running a VBS.  They recommended that we NOT go there at all!

We recognize now that we are fighting a big battle!
So, we have been forced to postpone our Thanksgiving Day plans.  

And, we are asking our friends, 
to pray with us for wisdom.

Our “meeting” these children was led by God.  We are now praying that He will direct us as to how we can be involved in their lives!  

These children are locked behind abusive doors - they need to be RESCUED!   We don’t know the way forward...

Now we are in a place - an overwhelming place...   A place where we cannot stand by...

A place where we're not sure what to do, but we know we HAVE to do something! 

God is the ONE who knows the way forward!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Completely Drained... God at Work!

My morning started early with a prayer time online with a special friend...
“God, drain us physically in every way so that we know Your power today - that it is You working, and not us!”

 I'm not even sure I like that prayer!  As we lay in bed that night, completely drained, we recognized God's hand...

Home school and laundry both interrupted early with a knock at the gate.

A neighbor lady, suffering with both TB and HIV - whom we have visited and taken food to...

So weak, she really can barely walk...

Kicked out of her home by her angry husband - with no money to get back to her mom's place (a 3 hour bus ride away) - he told her to "go footing".  She could barely make it to our house!

After some food and juice, and a very long talk, Bernadita recognized and received the love of the ONE who will never reject her... JESUS!

I went to bed that night with all my wet, soapy laundry in buckets still covering the kitchen floor... drained emotionally and physically... and recognizing God's hand at work!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

 Treading lightly...

Trying to keep our eyes on the big picture and away from the mundane... the moment by moment reality we live in...
The water pipes were in!
Every day for the last 3 weeks we have heard, “Water will be turned on tomorrow!”

Now we are caught in the middle of a disgruntled family. The water WAS all hooked up!  Even turned on!  But one cousin got upset, so he dug up the pipes and disconnected the water. 

The ceremony to resolve all this was much like the bartering for a bride!  Our neighbors sent a representative to negotiate... No goats were exchanged - just money (the modern way).

Now, we supposedly will get water... but it will only be turned on at night.  Not a lot of help for washing clothes or dishes! 

How can we keep our minds and hearts in the right place?  It hasn’t been easy! 

Hauling another bucket full of water...

Is it really worth a second rinse of these clothes?  ... the first rinse water is still a dark brown... (thanks, Sam!)

Saved buckets of nasty used dishwater lining the hall (now ready for their 3rd use - first as dish rinse water, then dish washing, now on to the toilet...)

 Every chore takes that much longer...
I woke up this morning with a thought ringing in my mind.  “Don’t get caught up in the mud (literally) and loose focus of what is really important here!” 

These are the neighbors God has called us to!  

A hurting family - a nephew who would treat his aunt with such hatred!

 Many are watching us... how will we respond?  How will we react to inconvenience?  How will we face injustice? 

I love this quote from Krista Finch - somehow it has spoken to a lot of situations we’ve faced here in Kenya!   Today it applies to “water”!

"We miss something remarkable when happiness is our pursuit.  Because happiness is a brief vapor at her very best.  What's more, there is something beautiful about getting what you get, something lovely in the mess, something divine in the ordinary.  And the something is grace.

Grace to smile in sickness, to dance in death, to cartwheel in chaos, to strike a pose, though all around us and inside us crumbles.  Grace to understand that this isn't the way things are supposed to be, at least not forever.  But it's the way things are now and here.  Grace to believe there is plenty of grace for all of it.  All we have to do is receive it; live, that is.  Life, as is.

And if we'll take what life gives, grace will find us -- in all her fierceness and splendor, dressed in chain mail and armor, ready to pin a sprig of lilac on our collars.  But she only comes to those of us who find ourselves in the places where brokenness and rejoicing coexist.  Places where bitter death tolls harmonize with strains of celebration.   Places where broken bones dance to the trumpet's blast..."