Saturday, April 26, 2014

She was performing WITCHCRAFT against our family.

Our family, as we first moved into Ngando - 3 years ago!

She was performing WITCHCRAFT against our family.

I knew it as soon as I walked by her!  The signs were all there - my heart froze.

When we've moved into territory that is so obviously ruled by darkness, we should probably have expected this...  But honestly, I was shocked!

As we prayed and prayed, seeking GOD'S wisdom, Brad kept telling me - you need to talk to her!  She needs Jesus!  

But that was just too much for me!

Things have been difficult for our family on many different levels over the last months!  We have felt Satan's attacks in REAL ways!  For the first time, since we moved to Kenya, we have considered that it was maybe time for us to leave.

And now, to see and know that someone was actively working against us... invoking evil against our family!?! - I prayed through many sleepless nights!

And yesterday, I talked to her. 
I confronted her.
I told her that she didn't need to seek answers from anywhere but from GOD.
I prayed with her.
And I hugged her as she walked away.

Has she changed? 
I don't really think so.  

But, I am so thankful that we can rest in TRUTH - 
our GOD is stronger than any evil force.  
And, that through His SON, we are rescued from the power of evil!

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Colossians 1:13-14

Of course we will encounter EVIL as we live to bring LIGHT to this community!
If this neighborhood didn't need JESUS, then I don't know why we would even be here!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

JOY Out of Sacrifice!

Yesterday, my thoughts kept traveling back.  It's been about 4 years now, since we got serious about selling everything we owned and stepping toward a move... not just a trip or a few years' term - but a MOVE to Kenya.


 And, knowing that we were heading toward GOD'S call was the only thing that made it possible.  People thought we were crazy - I thought we were crazy!  We weren't even exactly sure where we would be or what we would be doing - except that we were moving... our family... to Africa.  


 So, we started to sort and sell or give away 17 years worth of life and memories.  Going down to - literally NOTHING!   I kept telling myself, "No turning back!  I hope we've heard this call right!"  Because, in our situation, GOD didn't choose to reveal many details to us until we had taken some drastic steps.   We only knew we were supposed to go!



I was a "quilter" before we moved.  There was nothing I loved more than gathering fabrics, piecing them together, and especially hand quilting.  


With young children, I didn't have much time to quilt, but I had accumulated a huge stash of fabric - any yard sale or thrift shop that was selling a box of cotton fabric quickly caught my eye - and I bought, washed and put them on my shelf - figuring that one day, as my children grew, I would really get to dig into them!


My fabrics filled the hutch in the back room in this photo...


Brad had even given me a room in our house for my sewing!  It was a sanctuary to me - my chair, where I read my Bible and cuddled my kids - and of course, my sewing machine, decorated with all my fabrics and anything antique that had to do with sewing!  I spent many peaceful hours in there!




But, God had asked us to move on.  To get rid of all our "things"... and, that included my fabric!  

A fellow quilter bought all my fabric.  

As she drove away - I cried. 


When we arrived in Kenya and unpacked what we had brought with us (which was only our normal weight allowance for a plane trip) - I was surprised that Brad had slipped my sewing machine into the luggage... a true act of love!  


That sewing machine has lain idle for most of the 3 years we've been here.  But, a few weeks ago, Pauline and I began discussing how to increase our market for GIRLS WITH VISION.  And, we decided to add some fabric crafts to our repertoire.















I dusted off my sewing machine, carried it down to Girls With Vision, and had such an amazing day - working with Daisy, who has had some training in sewing and Sho Sho - who has been struggling to be able to learn the bead work designs.  





As I worked, on that same machine that had been so special to me back home, I just laughed inside.  This day - and the joy and income it would bring to ladies in need - was worth the sacrifices I had made... this is so much more to me!   

I was reminded of Romans 8:28... 

Most of the time, we don't really clearly see the "good" that God brings out of hard things.  I'm so grateful that yesterday, I got to experience something truly "good"!


He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

 Romans 8:28

Our first decorative pillow... came with many cheers - from all the ladies in our center!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Even When THINGS Seem Terribly WRONG...

Baby Rubby.
We came to LOVE her almost a year ago!

She was so sickly that the morning after the medical camp, we called and went to find her - Dr. Deanna was afraid that if we didn't run tests and treat her swiftly, her life may slip away. 

Rubby made it through another medical crises.

Although she never thrived, she survived.  And we rejoiced.

And so, we entered the life of an orphan teen mama, Daisy - desperate to find love in life....  
A girl who, when she had discovered she was pregnant, took some strong medicine, hoping to rid herself of this baby... 
Rubby survived.  
Alive - but with many health issues.

A group of friends gathered and made a special quilt for Rubby.  And they PRAY for her!  Every time I visited Rubby after that (announced or unannounced), she was sitting on or wrapped in that quilt.
Rubby and Daisy with her precious quilt
Later, another midnight phone call... haste... seizures... fear (I wasn't sure Rubby would make it to the hospital).  
Again, Rubby survived!

Rubby with her mama, Daisy - in her hospital bed.
Even that first time we met her, I would have loved to just bring Rubby home with us.  She obviously needed a healthier situation and loving care...  (in all the times that I have visited, I have never seen Rubby smile... and I really worked to get a smile!)

We knew in our hearts that Daisy was the mama GOD had given to Rubby.  If we could only walk with her and help her to be the mama she needs to be!

But Daisy didn't or couldn't  respond.  Perhaps the abuse she had suffered herself was louder than the love we were trying to extend.  She continued to make poor decisions - a few times, we questioned whether we should really leave Rubby in her care.

Almost 2 weeks ago now, Daisy ran away with Rubby.  The only thing she took with her was the quilt - the gift that had meant so much!

We haven't seen them since.

Weird phone calls with strange demands...

Stories.... of Daisy trying to throw Rubby in a river... of Daisy abandoning her at the doors of an orphanage...  Of Rubby being given to someone else and taken to a hospital... Police corruption - in full evidence...

We have searched!  We have cried!  We have PRAYED...  And so many have prayed with us!

But now, we are concluding that something very evil has happened with Rubby. 

And we are heartbroken.

Pleading to our GOD.

Asking for HIS mercy on Rubby's life - for GRACE in Daisy's life.

The realities of living in a community where babies are sold - and at times sacrificed are hitting hard.

GOD, please protect our Rubby!

Two things stand out in my mind right now.

One is something that Krista Davis (Safe Families, Indianapolis) shared with us - 
 "We still don't know the end of the story!"  
And we don't.  
God continues to write HIS story... 
I pray that this story ends with a miracle that will SHOUT God's goodness in mighty ways!

The second is a question that I keep asking myself - Even if things don't turn out as we hope ... can I continue to TRUST in GOD'S goodness?  

My answer doesn't come easily - but, yes... I will choose to TRUST...

Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.