Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Am I CLEAN? No... Not Really. But you are LOVED!


I drove by Njoroge - as he stood by the side of the road, his usual spot - waiting to jump in front of cars, or onto someone's hood...

He waved, and I stopped to greet him.

"Wherever you are going, please may I just come along for a ride?" 

He was fairly sober - not clean, but at least sober.   I pulled to the side of the road and invited him to hop in.

His huge grin said it all.  He played with the radio.  Asked all sorts of questions.   

"You like flowers, don't you, Mum?"  Yes, I love flowers!  "Oh, then I will come and make your yard beautiful with flowers."  How do you know about landscaping, I questioned - as I pictured the slum area - with only mud or dust - that surrounded his home.  "Prison - you know, when I was in prison, I was sent out on work crews... "  I smiled.  Yep, that explained it!

I rolled down my window a little further.  The smell was deafening.  I'm sure that Njoroge had worn the same shirt for at least a week. 

But, oh how we have prayed for this guy!   
Amazing how LOVE drowns out even the stench - sort of.

As we started our journey back home, I asked Njoroge if he was hungry. 
"Yes, Mum."

So, I pulled in to a little shop to buy him some chicken and chips.  I figured we would sit and chat while he ate - as when he is sober, we actually can carry on a fairly sensible conversation.

But, Njoroge didn't want to get out of the car.  Come, I told him - I'll help you!

As I came around the car, I found him self-consciously trying to brush his clothes off, fixing his shoes and straightening himself as best he could.  He looked up at me,  "Am I CLEAN?"

I recognized right away just why he was so hesitant... He didn't want to be rejected.

I put my hand on his shoulder - "I'll be with you!"

The truth - No, you are not clean... 
But, Njoroge, you are LOVED!


His words have been running through my head over and over... am I clean? 
Before you, GOD, am I clean?
And, I am recognizing the truth - the stark truth.

No, I am not clean!
But I am so LOVED!!!

And, LOVE is the only thing that ever changed me - LOVE is the only thing that will ever change Njoroge.  Neither of us can "clean up" enough to deserve that lavish LOVE and GRACE that is freely poured out by our great GOD!

LOVE is eternal 

When I was NOT clean...
"The GRACE of our Lord overflowed for me with the FAITH and LOVE that are in Christ Jesus."
I Timothy 1:14
 
 



Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Delight... Girls With Vision

Sho Sho, so thankful for her gift!!!





Girls With Vision...
Celebrating Christmas with absolute delight!
I've decided to tell the story with pictures. 


Thankful for people all around the world who contributed to make this an amazing day!

At the end, are pictures of each lady as she received your gift - they each sent gratitude and blessings to your homes! (I have a few that I haven't been able give yet, as the ladies had traveled - will continue to add photos).
Each child received a bag - with some special treats of their own!
Nothing more fun than packaging up delightful gifts!

Cooking started early in the morning!
Yes, I did help roll the chapati... not so round, but at least I provided some laughs!
We almost canceled the bounce house when the budget got tight... but I'm so thankful we didn't!  The kids jumped for hours!
I LOVED watching their delight as they got to play on a bounce castle for the first time!

Shiku with her son, Mwangi... special!
Plenty of food makes everyone happy!

Thrilled to have husbands... even some abusive ones... join us!
This little girl's scowl makes me laugh!  "Don't interrupt me!"
My partner and forever friend, Pauline Njoki... EXHAUSTED but loving the joy this day brought to women we love!


Sharing time!
A drama that we had no idea was coming!
Mercy, the witchdoctor in the drama...
Beautiful testimonies of God's faithfulness!

And, then came the gifts...
What an incredible blessing!!!

Each bag contained food supplies for Christmas, lotion and some personal items for mama, and a big gift - plates, mugs, and other items they had requested...
 
 Mama Masinde - surviving alone after her husband left and took 2 other wives...
 Shiku - fresh and free from alcohol, beginning her life away from prostitution!

Sabina



Everlyn - the one whose husband broke her arm some time ago...

Magdaline

Beatrice - recovering from having lost her son a year ago - expecting another child soon!

Lucy

Caroline
Mama Peter

Dolly, Mama Joseph - the boy that almost died 2 weeks before the party

Brendah

Rachel, Mama Ogla


Edith, Mama Vivian - young widow

Daisy, young girl, living with an aunt who takes so much advantage of her

Gladys

 Mama Eric

Lydia, Mama Blessed



Rebecca

Njoki

Jane

Jane

Elizabeth, Mama Vanessa

Mercy, Mama Clinton

Mary, living next door to her husband and his mistress...

Faith, a teen who was expelled from school when she got pregnant this year

Annette, Mama Given

Nancy, Mama Maria Clara


Susan

Wilfrida


Jane, Sho Sho - everyone's Grandmother

Ruth, Mama Ramses

Sweetie... wanted in on the action with the mamas!

Mercy

Jennifer... sweet faithful girl, growing into a real leader!

Maureen

Violet, Mama Mary

Lucy