Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Powerless... but oh SO precious to GOD!

Another early morning knock at the gate!




Mama Felix...

Her house (one room tin shanty) will be locked today.  Rent has not been paid.

Her vegetable stand is completely empty - she is out of stock, with no way to replenish supplies.

Thus, no hope of a way to acquire that rent money!

How did her life spiral downward so quickly?

This widow, Mama Felix, has always lived simply - providing for her daily needs through her vegetable stand.  No frills, nothing fancy.... but all those basic needs have been met.

No one is more POWERLESS in this nation than the poor...





Here's her story.... the story of oppression that keeps the poor down!

Mama Felix has been providing vegetables to a small school throughout this year.  They have paid her every 2 weeks and it has worked out well.  But, over a month ago, they asked her to wait for her pay... If she refused, she knew they would just get their vegetables from somewhere else... she couldn't afford to loose this business!

So, she stretched, scrimped and scraped to continue delivering their orders.

But a widow who lives day to day can only come up with sukuma and tomatoes without being paid for so long!

That's what brought Mama Felix to my gate this morning.

Her house will be locked today (she has not paid the rent), her shop is empty (she spent all her capitol to supply the school), her children are hungry... yet she has no power to demand payment from the school.




 Who will DEFEND the defenseless?


Stop doing wrong
Learn to do right
Seek justice
Encourage the oppressed
Defend the cause of the fatherless
Plead the case of the widow....
Isaiah 1:16-17

It couldn't be more clear!  There is no question to us what GOD'S will is in this situation!

And so, we will walk... with Mama Felix and so many others!


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Desperate...


Today we met with a mama who is desperate.

She had decided to sell her tiny baby boy... had even found a buyer!

 

 


So many questions...

Who even buys a baby?   
How could she?  
What CAN we do?  
How can we reach into her situation to inject some HOPE?








And asking myself... what am I DESPERATE for today?

God—you’re my God!
    I can’t get enough of you!
I’ve worked up such hunger and thirst for God,
    traveling across dry and weary deserts.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
    my lips will praise you.
Ps 63

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Watching HOPE come alive!

Head down, obviously carrying a heavy burden, feeling such a lack of hope...  

This is the Catherine we had come to know. 

And as we grasped her story, we understood.  A drunkard husband... one who on multiple occasions, has hung himself from the ceiling, only surviving when Catherine awoke to discover what he had done, cut him down and revive him.  Lack of food... herself and her 2 daughters plus the abandoned baby she has taken as her own, hungry...

Yes, the burden has been HEAVY for this mama!


 



She began to blossom over these last few months.  As she has walked through our discipleship program, she has begun to understand who she is, who God is, and that HE cares about her!  



 


Catherine is a beautiful lady with an amazing heart! 

A few weeks ago, Girls With Vision helped her launch her own business!

 




Day one...

 The GRAND opening of Catherine's fruit stand (that sells mostly veggies).

We are SO proud of her - and thankful with her... GOD is meeting her in her need!

2 weeks later

My new favorite veggie/fruit stand!!! 
I wouldn't buy my tomatoes or sukuma anywhere else!!!

After being open for less than 2 weeks, you can see the way her stand has grown! 

She is a faithful and VERY hard-working lady - we are praying that GOD will BLESS her business and provide for her family's needs!

Yes, the growth of her business, even in 2 weeks is AMAZING!!!  But more than that, I love seeing the change in her eyes... as HOPE comes alive for her!     Tangible hope... there will be food on the table and rent will be paid this month... but more than that, eternal hope... as she walks with a community of ladies who are seeking and finding GOD even as they struggle.

I'm GRABBING onto that HOPE today, right along with Catherine...
 
"We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to GRAB the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual LIFELINE , reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God..."
Hebrews 6:18-20 
Nothing to do with the story... but this picture of Catherine and I  makes me smile so I had to share it!
Catherine and I, happily SMILING for the picture...

Baby Christabella is NOT so happy! I am the only white person she has ever seen... and she has cried every time I look at her for the whole year that I've known her mama!

I purposely stood on the other side of her, so she would let us take this picture... I didn't know the look she was giving me until I downloaded the picture...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Self pity...


 Last night, I felt drained... empty...


Just wishing, that instead of hearing about everyone else's needs, 

That someone would ask me how I was doing... 

And that an answer of "I'm just so tired and overwhelmed!" would be an answer that would somehow garner some pity...

My needs, hurts, desires just always feel so PETTY - compared to what I see, hear and walk through with those around me!   

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Genuine Coffee Grower...



Brad's secret obsession - 
if you've known him for very long, then it's no secret to you!
COFFEE!!

So, of course, moving to Kenya, the source of so much amazing coffee, has been a fun added bonus to our time here!

A few months ago, Brad stopped by our friends' plant stand to ask if they ever sold coffee trees.  
Yes - they had one there!  

They even brought it to our yard and helped Brad to plant it... just so.... In a year, they PROMISED Brad, 
you will get 1 pound of beans from this plant!


A proud day... we took photos, smiled, and Brad officially calls himself a "coffee grower".

UNTIL...

My Dad's visit brought a quiet whisper...
"That's not a coffee tree!"

He instantly recognized the gardenia plant.  And soon, none of us could deny it - as this amazing flower bloomed!  Definitely NOT coffee!

BRAD'S new favorite flower...


We all enjoyed a great laugh... our plant stand friends came over to inspect and agree - they had been mistaken... definitely NOT coffee...

Now, there is a 2nd bush planted next to our beautiful gardenia plant... 
we're hoping for a different kind of flower on this one!  

In one year's time, 
come on over for some "home-grown" coffee...
The plant guys PROMISED!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

She slept outside last night...
...and it was raining 
I remember the rain because I had laundry hanging outside.  I had actually worried that I had forgotten to bring the dry clothes in.   

Funny how insignificant that seems now!


Sixteen year old Lucy - I've met her once before.  Today she needed someone to listen to her story.


"My mom," she quietly mumbled, "sometimes has bad tempers."  "My father says we just have to understand her."  
With one week left of school for the year, final exams looming ahead, Mama Lucy got one of her "bad tempers" and after dark last night, chased Lucy out onto the street.  That is where she slept.


And so, over a cup of tea, we talked...
Rejection... Pain... 
the Cold... Tears
HOPE... and the ONE who will never reject us... 
NO MATTER WHAT!


I am starting to understand... this situation is not unusual!  Teen-age pregnancies, high school drop outs, desperate girls turning to prostitution - it all starts here!  
Praying for Lucy today - how can we help point her to HOPE and keep her away from a desperate solution?  Thankful that a friend has taken her in for this week.  We will continue to walk with her.