Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I WANT to Change!

She's here... and she's SOBER!

We rejoiced together as another Wednesday of Bible study came and Shiku joined us again!

Today, we knew we would have a special conversation with her.    Girls With Vision will be closed for much of December, as many of the ladies will be traveling up-country to their family homes.   Shiku is the one we have been praying for, as we think about that month - not wanting to loose any ground in the growth that she has made.

As we sat down together over sodas and a snack, we asked, "What are your thoughts about your future?"  Shiku burst into tears. 

She shook as she sobbed... I want to change!

 And, GOD hears!

 My own mind flits back to my impatience this morning - my lack of forgiveness in a situation that happened last week.  I want to change too!

And we point ourselves back to our only source of HOPE.   

Shiku prayed with us this afternoon... 
in a quiet corner of a little restaurant in Ng'ando, 
a prostitute... 
a drunkard... 
a woman who is LOVED by a GOD who has actually been pursuing her - even in her lost state... 
...Shiku found HIS love!

Click here to hear about the DAY WE MET SHIKU

These are the verses we left with Shiku - God's promise to her - and to me today!

Isaiah 43

When You’re Between a Rock and a Hard Place 

    But now, GOD'S Message...
The God who made you in the first place...
“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.
    I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
    When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place,
    it won’t be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God,
    The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you...
That’s how much you mean to me!
    That’s how much I love you!
I’d sell off the whole world to get you back,
    trade the creation just for you.

Girls With Vision -FIRM  FOUNDATIONS - meeting

Thursday, October 17, 2013

John Waweru DIED Today

Brad, consoling Baba Waweru just after we were told the news...

It's been over a week since Brad received the call and took John Waweru to the emergency room.

We've been keeping in touch with his progress and trying to get to the hospital to visit him and meet his family this whole week.  Today was the day we worked it all out.

I DREADED another trip to a public hospital!   

We arrived as the visiting hours were in full swing.  
Crowded halls.  
Strong smells.  

We met Waweru's father first.  Just out of the room from seeing his son, the doctor had asked him to step out as they gave him some care.  So we waited together in the hall.  More family arrived - including "sho sho" (grandmother).  It turns out that Mama Waweru died last year.   All of them are SO young!

Sho Sho and I as we waited to visit her grandson.
Then they called us.  Instead of taking us to the ward, they escorted us into a small room.  

A counselor solemnly shared with the family that their 20 year old son, John Waweru had died.  

And just like that, we were carried into grief and mourning with a family we had only met minutes before, for a boy we had never really met - but had prayed for constantly throughout the past week.

Pauline and I took a bus while Brad drove the grieving family to their home...  
A small, tin "shanty" - now, missing a mama and a son.  

We KNOW for a fact that GOD had us there - 
with them - at that specific time for a special reason.  
Prayers together.
Some funds to help them move on from here.
We REALLY don't know WHY! 

The truth of the matter is, that GOD sees a bigger picture that I can't even pretend to understand! 

The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see.
Hebrews 11:2

Tonight, as we reel back with strong emotions, we're just hanging on to that faith... the only handle we have on things we can't see and don't understand.

Please, pray with us for Waweru's family as they grieve tonight!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

When PEOPLE Don't Matter...

We got the call on Sunday morning, as we were headed out to church.

"PLEASE can you help?"

A man, injured and bleeding badly had been found in a ditch by the road.  The local government official, Duncan, whom we have befriended, tried to find a free police car (not so common here in Kenya).  NONE were available. 

He hailed down car after car as they passed by on the road... not ONE stopped to help - they were in a hurry, turning in to the CHURCH PARKING LOT.

Brad changed his morning plans and drove to help out.  Both of us, and many friends, praying that he would not do his usual - and faint at the sight of blood.

They arrived at the hospital.  Emergency care was given, since Brad was there to pay...  

Duncan helped Brad clean all the blood out of the car.  

Back to church.

We PRAYED that the man's family would be able to track him down- frustrated that there was nothing else we could do!

John Waweru...  There are so many here with that name!  By the dirt on his shoes, Duncan guessed as to where he could have come from.  It was very red, compared to our local, more brown, sandy dirt.

Late that night, Duncan called.  The family had found their son! 

Thugs had robbed John Waweru, then chased him until he fell into the ravine.

What horrified Brad and I was to discover that John's family had found him, still unconscious, in the grass outside the hospital - where the hospital personnel had dumped him.  Evidently, this is "normal".  If a patient doesn't have anyone there, watching and willing to pay for more care, then the person is carried outside - to live or die...

We've walked by those people in the grass before!  
Obviously sick or hurt, we never understood exactly why they were there!  
Now, I have a rock in my stomach as I think about them.

As I retell this story, I am STRUCK...  
Who am I "hurrying" by, on my way to "church"?
Do PEOPLE matter?  
Does EVERYONE matter to me?  

My prayer for myself, 
and for each of us in the church today - 
let's not HURRY past 
the people GOD has called us to LOVE!!!


A story that Jesus told...
25 Just then a religion scholar stood up with a question to test Jesus. “Teacher, what do I need to do to get eternal life?”
26 He answered, “What’s written in God’s Law? How do you interpret it?”
27 He said, “That you love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and muscle and intelligence—and that you love your neighbor as well as you do yourself.”
28 “Good answer!” said Jesus. “Do it and you’ll live.”
29 Looking for a loophole, he asked, “And just how would you define ‘neighbor’?”
30-32 Jesus answered by telling a story. “There was once a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. On the way he was attacked by robbers. They took his clothes, beat him up, and went off leaving him half-dead. Luckily, a priest was on his way down the same road, but when he saw him he angled across to the other side. Then a Levite religious man showed up; he also avoided the injured man.
33-35 “A Samaritan traveling the road came on him. When he saw the man’s condition, his heart went out to him. He gave him first aid, disinfecting and bandaging his wounds. Then he lifted him onto his donkey, led him to an inn, and made him comfortable. In the morning he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take good care of him. If it costs any more, put it on my bill—I’ll pay you on my way back.’
36 “What do you think? Which of the three became a neighbor to the man attacked by robbers?”
37 “The one who treated him kindly,” the religion scholar responded.
Jesus said, “Go and do the same.”