31 October 2013

12 Years in Kenya; God Engineers the Goings

I am created for God. All I know is that I am his to obey. I am here for God to send me where he will. Where we are placed is a matter of indifference; God engineers the goings.
- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

My twelve years in Kenya has been sandwiched between two horrific terrorist attacks – one in the States and now one in Kenya. My first trip to Kenya was a mere one month after 911. You may recall that the US government warned its citizens against flying at that time. However the two gals I traveled with, along with the church that sent us, strongly believed we should not change our plans but rather carry on with God’s compelling us to go.

Last month, only a few days prior to my 12-month anniversary here, Kenya experienced its worst terrorist attack since the 1998 bombing of the US Embassy – the four-day siege of the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi. Sixty-seven innocent people were killed and 200 were injured. Numerous others were emotionally traumatized and are receiving counseling.

Although I haven't been a victim of a terrorist attack, in my 12 years here, I certainly have not been immune to physical dangers and troubles. Two of my houses – one in Nairobi and my mud hut upcountry – were broken into, both on more than one occasion. I’ve been pickpocketed three times, plus have encountered other failed attempts. I suffered serious injuries after being hit by a car. I was hospitalized with a serious case of malaria and have had both typhoid and typhus on two occasions. I’ve suffered through a serious case of food poisoning, plus have been diagnosed with worms, amoeba, and numerous bacterial infections.

Kenya is a lovely country but anyone that's lived here will tell you it is rife with dangers – whether it be tropical diseases, unsafe roads, rampant crime, or ever-increasing terrorist attacks. If I walk or cycle around my quiet and tree-lined suburb neighborhood, tackle the bustling and congested streets of downtown Nairobi, or travel upcountry on the atrocious highways, I can never let down my guard. I must be keen of my surroundings and always on the alert.

However, in spite of all that, I am still here after 12 years. Like Isaiah, as I sat at the feet of my Lord in intense worship, I heard his call, “Who shall I send? Who will go for us?” 

And like that trembling prophet, my response was, “Here am I, send me”.

Because God has yet to revoke that compelling call on my life, I remain focused on the honor and responsibility that it entails.

As always, I covet your prayers for me!

I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me. (Acts 20:24, NIV)

Jesus said, ‘Mark my words: No one who sacrifices house, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, land – whatever – because of me and the Message will lose out. They’ll get it all back, but multiplied many times in homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land – but also in troubles.’ (Mark 10: 28-30, Message)

When the going gets rough, take it on the chin with the rest of us, the way Jesus did. A soldier on duty concentrates on carrying out orders. (2 Timothy 2:3, Message)

You know that from the day of my arrival I was with you totally – laying my life on the line, serving the Master no matter what… I feel compelled to go to Jerusalem. I’m completely in the dark about what will happen when I get there. I do know that it won’t be any picnic, for the Holy Spirit has let me know repeatedly and clearly that there are hard times ahead. But that matters little. What matters most to me is to finish what God started: the job the Master Jesus gave me. (Acts 20: 18-24 excerpts, Message)
- - - - -

[Note: Be sure to see related post above - Westgate Terrorist Attack and Other Security Issues.]


Anonymous said...

A beautiful response to the call of God on your life Deb. Continuing to pray for you.

As an aside,I was especially struck by how the Message really puts the Word in such "where the rubber hits the road" terms. I have been asking the Lord how He would like me to read through His Word this next year, and I believe it's to use the Message. I use it periodically, but have not used it to read cover to cover. So thanks Deb for helping me see what He wants. Blessings...

from Cheri

deb said...

I also enjoy the Message and the way it's so real to my everyday life! Thanks for your prayers for me, Cheri!