01 October 2008

October Prayer Letter – Seven Years in Kenya (and Still Learning)

October is a very pleasant month in Kenya. The sun shines so warmly and the lovely lavender blossoms of the Jacaranda trees grace the countryside, towns, and cities.

I first came to Kenya in October of 2001. This month’s prayer letter affords me a good opportunity to reflect on these past seven years.

2 Corinthians 6:4-9 (The Message)
Our work as God’s servants gets validated - or not - in the details. People are watching us as we stay at our post, alertly, unswervingly…
  • in hard times, tough times, bad times
  • when we’re beaten up, jailed, and mobbed
  • working hard, working late, working without eating
  • with pure heart, clear head, steady hand
  • in gentleness, holiness, and honest love
  • when we’re telling the truth and when God’s showing his power
  • when we’re doing our best setting things right
  • when we’re praised and when we’re blamed
  • slandered and honored
  • true to our word, though distrusted
  • ignored by the world, but recognized by God
  • terrifically alive, though rumored to be dead
  • beaten within an inch of our lives, but refusing to die
  • immersed in tears, yet always filled with deep joy
  • living on handouts, yet enriching many
  • having nothing, having it all

As I read about Paul and his missionary journeys, I often can relate to him. I obviously have not had all of these same experiences as him. However, when I look back over the past seven years, indeed there have been some hard times. There have been some tough times and some bad times:
  • I’ve never been beaten to within an inch of my life… but I was hospitalized with a bad case of malaria
  • I’ve never been jailed or mobbed… but I’ve been pick-pocketed several times
  • I’ve never been shipwrecked, but I was hit by a car
  • I’ve never been bitten by a snake… but I’ve experienced many tropical diseases, as well as amoeba, worms, flea bites, etc. – all of them, numerous times
  • my first house in Nairobi was broken into twice; my Matunda house has been broken into repeatedly
  • I’ve been grossly misunderstood
  • I’ve been judged by my marital status
  • I’ve been lied to
  • people often make wrong assumptions about me, which then leads to incorrect expectations
  • many want to be my friend or my hero, simply because of the color of my skin
  • many aspects of the culture still confuse and frustrate me

In spite of all the hardships, my desire is always to:
  • work with a pure heart, a clear head, and a steady hand
  • serve in gentleness, holiness, and honest love
  • tell the truth and be true to my word
  • allow God to show his power through my weaknesses
  • do my best setting things right

The experiences of Paul’s that I can especially relate to are:
  • being ignored by the world, but recognized by God
  • being immersed in tears, yet always filled with deep joy
  • living on handouts, yet enriching many
  • having nothing, having it all


Anonymous said...

It's always good for us to reflect on how God sees things and us...His ways are always higher...but opposite of the world. Keep on keeping on in the Lord ! I can't wait till we all get to heaven and we can sit for hours and share stories of all we've seen Him do in our lives...
Much love, Steph

Anonymous said...

"But the people who do know their God will be strong and do mighty exploits for the Lord."
Dan 11:32 KJV

That is referring to YOU, Deb.

Love, Peggy

Anonymous said...

SEVEN years!?!?! Wow! We would have never let you go on that first trip to Kenya years ago had we known it would turn out like this! :)

Time flies doesn't it?!

Love you Mom!