Friday, May 28, 2010
Send Me, I'll Go...
It was time for us to depart Kibera. For the next several days we debriefed as we shared with each other about our experiences. I was sad to leave Kenya, but was happy to come home and marry the love of my life. There are so many stories that are left untold of God’s work in Africa. For right now my work in Kenya is accomplished, but I am not sure what God has in mind for the future. I would like to conclude these series with a letter that I sent out to my sponsors summing up my trip in one page.
Dear family and friends,
I hope this letter finds you well. As you all know I returned from my mission trip to Kenya not too long ago. It was the best vacation with Jesus that I ever had and I would love to share my experience with you. First part of the trip we spent in a small village of Owaso, where God’s beauty is reflected in people and nature. We all quickly bonded with local children, and soon I had a 9 year old friend, Lillian. She touched my heart in a way I will never forget. Before the trip I asked the Lord to allow me love the unlovable and touch the untouchable. My God is faithful, He answered my prayer. My love for Lillian grew every day and it was love that was given by God. I never knew that I could fall in love with a stranger so deep and so fast. Through this love the Lord reminded me of His love for us. You see, you and I were once strangers to God’s family, yet His love for me and you was so unconditional and deep, that He extended grace and invited us to be a part of His family. Praise Him!!!
God’s unconditional love for people in Owaso was evident to us. We have seen the power of healing. We witnessed people coming to know the Lord during open air crusades. During VBS we loved on children and prayed that through our love they would see God’s unfailing love for them. God used people of Owaso to teach us as well. I remember the time, when we were picking up trash around the village. Trash was everywhere!!! My team was given rubber gloves and trash bags. As we began to pick up trash, which you didn’t know if you were picking up a bone of a goat or some other creature, children began to pick up trash, too. One minor detail to the story – we had gloves, while children didn’t. After picking up trash for a while, we stopped for lunch. I took off my gloves, and felt some one’s hand grabbing mine. When I looked, it was my precious Lillian’s hands, which picked up trash with no gloves, held on tight to mine. To be honest with you… I believe that my initial reaction would have been jerking my hand away, but at that time it was the beautiful hand of God’s child held on to mine and I wanted to keep on holding it and never let go. The Lord answered my prayer to be able to touch the untouchable. He reminded me of His love for all people from whom society tries to stay away. I love when God shows up, when I am least expecting, don’t you?
Well, before you know, it was time for us to leave Owaso, but our journey continued in Kibera slum, which is the 2nd largest slum in the world. The best way to describe Kibera is with the Christian lyrics “You can’t describe the indescribable”. I don’t think I am able to explain to you what my eyes have seen and my nose smelled in Kibera. When you walk to through the streets of Kibera, you are wondering if it is real. Can a child walk barefoot through the streets filled with sewage and think nothing of it? How can the government not acknowledge existence of 1.5 million people, who live in disparity? As I was walking my heart was breaking, but I felt numb to the pain of Kibera. Once again my God is faithful. He broke me, when He allowed me to share the Gospel with street children. I felt what they were feeling, when the Holy Spirit spoke through me about heaven, where there would be no more pain, hunger and death. I praise my God for what He did in Kibera.
Once again we were able to witness people coming to know the Lord through door to door evangelism, VBS and open air crusades. You know, before the trip I thought that I was coming to Kenya to preach, but in reality Kenya preached to me. In Kibear and Owaso I have seen people know the Lord with the faith so strong that you can feel the Holy Spirit’s presence. They worship the Lord at church so wholeheartedly that I am still longing to feel that experience in America. People in Kenya that I met had nothing, yet they have found EVERYTHING in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
From this trip I have learned that I am a missionary no matter where I live. I was able to experience what it is like to stand in the front rows of the battle, yet have faithful prayer warriors like you at home, who fought in prayer with me. I learned that planting seeds is equally important as picking up the harvest, “for the Lord rejoices over one sinner, then 99 righteous who need no repentance” (Luke 15:7). I learned that the building doesn’t make a church, but the body of the believers does. I have seen from people in Kenya what it is like to be on fire for God even if you don’t know where your next meal will come from. Starving is a natural state that many children in Africa experience. I learned that being tired is not an excuse to not be ready to minister to people. I learned that having lights in your house is a privilege just as washing your face each morning with water and taking hot showers. I learned that God may not always use my words to be a witness, but He may use my actions that speak louder than words.
Dear family and friends, your actions spoke louder than words, when you supported me financially and prayerfully on this trip. I thank my God that He called me to Kenya and I thank Him for you. I pray that He would bless each one of you. I would love to close my letter with a quote from one of my team members; she said “I'll admit that for a while our American culture had me convinced that I pretty much rocked and that on my own power I had earned the right to live so comfortably. But when I went to Kenya, and looked into the eyes of a three year old orphan, I realized the only thing that kept me from being born into in her situation, was God's will. Each and every one of us could have been born into Africa's largest slum, and realizing it has made me more humble than ever before.”
In His precious and glorious name,