Friday, July 13, 2012

Tonight we mourned with Silas' family...

We see him EVERY DAY.  And every day, he greets us with a big, friendly smile.

Silas, the carpenter, works just on the path to our home.   

Seven days a week, from seven in the morning until six o'clock at night, he is there.  Working to provide for his family. 

This the workshop where he is employed - right on the path to our home.
Some days, he brings his 2 beautiful daughters to work with him.  I didn't know he also had a son.  

Today, as I passed, a colleague shared with me - "Silas' 8 month old son died yesterday." 

Beatrice read to us from her Luya Bible.
 So, Brad and I arranged to visit his home, meet his wife, mourn with his family.

Emotionally, we were trying to grasp... Baby Chris had been sick for only 2 days!  Suddenly, he was gone.  

Then, Mama Chris' jacket slipped open - and I saw her blouse, sopping wet with milk that was still dripping - for the son that would no longer be able to drink.  This is when I could no longer hold in my tears.  Grief...

Sweet sisters of baby Chris - not sure what all is happening!
Silas and his brothers - gathered to grieve together.
One brother, the oldest, couldn't believe that we are neighbors.  You LIVE here?  He asked?  Most people don't want to get out of their car in our neighborhood! 

 Yes, we LIVE here... and we will laugh with those who rejoice... and MOURN with those who MOURN.

Friday, July 6, 2012


"Come, Mama Sam!  You need to visit someone at my house!"

As I approached Mama Kevin's home, I had no idea what to expect.   Inside was a young mama - 17 year old Lydia, sitting on the floor holding a VERY TINY baby, eating ugali and omena (little minnows).  
Mama Kevin, Lydia and I... with 2 sweet babies!

Lydia's story of pain has come out slowly over the last 2 weeks.  She had finished 3 years of her high school, but then the funds ran out and she was unable to finish her last year of school.  Along came a man with BIG promises.  "Run away with me, and I will put you through school and even college!"  That was 11 months ago.  Lydia believed this man... and came to live with him in Nairobi.  She has not gone to school, and now has a baby girl to care for.  To top it all off, the father threatened to kill them both and chased them from his home on a drunken night.

Lydia loves her baby - whose name is BLESSED
As the three of us sat in Mama Kevin's home, I was struck... yes, with GRIEF for this young girl, now a mama... also with ANGER at a man who would abuse a teen girl in this way... but also with JOY - and I shared this with Mama Kevin. 
Precious baby BLESSED!
Two months ago, Mama Kevin was the one without food and with nowhere to go.  

Now, as God has blessed her with a thriving business, a home with provisions that she needs, she is able to provide food and shelter for Lydia.

She has been BLESSED... now she is a BLESSING!
BLESSED teaches me about BLESSINGS
And so, through Mama Kevin, I am reminded of an important truth!  The BLESSINGS that I have received from God... Yes, they are for me to enjoy!  

But more importantly,  I am in turn, to use those BLESSINGS and find ways that God is asking me to BLESS others!

Lord, may YOUR BLESSINGS never come to a dead end when they reach me... May Your blessings always FLOW THROUGH me to BLESS others!

... and I will bless you ... so that you will be a blessing.