Thursday, March 16, 2017

This isn't my dream life!

I looked across the table into the eyes of a good friend

"This is NOT my dream life!"

There... I had said it... 

My words echoed in the silence that followed - the relief of admitting what has been echoing in my head flooded into my being.

I think it shocked both of us!

This has been a week for me wherein I have focused on counting the cost of living here in Kenya... grieving over small and big sacrifices that God has called us to.

I've taken 2 showers in the last 3 months - both on a camping trip, where the site had outdoor showers!...  I LIKE showers!  I don't love bucket baths...  

My daughter will be going on her first school break with no family to go "home" to (Kenya is just a little too far away!)  I cry every time I think of how I wish I could spoil her - knowing this has been a tough semester for her!  Wishing I could take her out for a long breakfast, with endless coffee refills and conversation... cook her her favorite meal... wash all her laundry for her.

I'm missing my son like crazy - being so far away, it's hard to even know how he is really doing!  I want to be able to pop in on him - see his smile... to feel that he is OK.  

The needs around us feel overwhelming...

Struggles in ministry have been intense.

These and other costs have felt very deep to me - the costs of living here in Kenya- sacrifices that GOD has asked of us.  They stand tall along with some hard situations we have faced here on the ground in Ngando - and I wonder - is this all really worth it? 

This is definitely NOT my dream life!

But, I'm lucky... I don't have to look more than a few meters outside my front door to find people who have NEVER had a hot shower... who's child is with them, but dying... whose dream life includes food for supper, $30 dollars for the month's rent, and a husband who will come home sober tonight...

This pushes me to gain perspective!!  How spoiled I feel when I realize that the things I feel like I'm "suffering" without aren't even on my good friend's list!

I've spent a lot of time this week, forcing myself to face this question...

What is my DREAM life?

And when I dig deep, when I truly answer that question, I realize - 
maybe THIS is my dream life after all... 

Because these are my deepest longings, my truest desires, once I get past those things that would make my life feel better today:

I long for a deepness... 
a purpose... 
a commitment... 
a walk with GOD that goes far beyond my hot showers and family nearby... 
a faithfulness... 
courage to grieve, yet to embrace the life that God has given me...
and a HOPE...

And so, I lean into the HOPE that he has promised me - not a hope that my life will ever be exactly how I wish it was - that I will attain my "dream life" - But the HOPE that I get to live out GOD'S purpose for my life with the promise of His  love, mercy, grace and presence.  

This is the ANCHOR for my SOUL 

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

 I Thessalonians 4:13
...don't grieve like people who have no hope

Brad didn't even know I was writing this blog, wrestling through this things, and he brought me this video last night... it hit me right where I'm at and provided great encouragement for me!
Click here for ENCOURAGEMENT!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

March Monthly Partner Update

  • Keep praying for our kids back home: Abby at Bible School, Nathan and a possible promotion at work and Gené with college studies.
  • Sam is doing well in school.  Pray for him as he desires to lead his friends to walk with Jesus.  Being in a multi-cultural school is a special and unique experience for Sam but also can create other relational tensions.  Pray that the school would be free of any prejudice.
  • We still do not have running water at home.  Pray for a solution.
  • For continued spiritual cover over our home and our lives.  We are at war against the enemy.
Hatua Centre: ministry on the ground
  • The women's ministry - Girls With Vision - has begun monthly training for making household items for them to use and sell.  Pray that this may lead to continued discipleship.
  • Pray for our Bible school students.  Encouragement and determination to work hard.  The online technology and tablets is an uphill hurdle for some of them.
  • Pray for a new group of interested Bible school students in the town of Meru. There are 18 new students from 5 churches currently going through the Firm Foundations/Story of God Bible study.  Pray for Pauline as she is leading the training - travel safety, energy.
  • Pray that our engagement with the local churches will deepen.  Not more programs but deeper things for the sake of the Gospel.  Pray against false teaching that tends to creep into local churches/pastor's bad theology; such as prophecy, animism, traditional beliefs, prosperity gospel.  This is spiritual warfare! Pray that they will be open to the Holy Spirit's leading and seek the truth of the Gospel.
  • Praise/Pray for open doors relationally as we plan to expand Hatua Community Centres to other slums in Nairobi.  Looking for "persons of peace" as we enter into new areas.
  • Upcoming presidential elections in August - pray for peace and unity.  Elections are very divided within tribal lines and can easily turn bitter or violent.