It’s such a blessing when you get to see the fruits of your labor.
Our first Tuesday in Kenya (June 25) we had the opportunity to break ground on the house for Mercy’s children.
We left this behind at the end of that day:
The Wednesday before we left (July 3), we had the opportunity to return to the city of Ngong, to see the progress that had been made and to dedicate the home.
Most of our ministry so far had been single day events, and we hadn’t had the chance yet to go back to be with some of the incredible people we had met. So naturally, we were excited. The women of the Ngong WEEP center had made such an impact on us, and I know the the other guys and I were looking forward to seeing Moses, Paul, and James. We were also excited to see how far they had gotten in a week.
When we arrived, we saw they had certainly made some progress.
This was you. Your financial and prayer support provided a home, a place of safety, to a family of children who were not safe in their previous home. Thank you for letting God use you, and us, to rescue these children.
The WEEP women were there for the dedication, naturally. I don’t think I could ever get tired of being greeted by these women, with song and dance and hugs filled with the warmth and love of Jesus.
We met more of the women who were not there when we started the house, having the opportunity to hear some of their stories, continuing to see how pain and loss turns to hope and joy through Christ and what he is doing through the servants at HEART.
Then it was Mercy’s turn to talk. I’m not a parent, so I have no idea what it would be like to see your children in pain, being hurt by someone. I also can’t imagine the relief it would be to know that your children are safe, in a place where they can’t be hurt any longer. But the gratitude and joy that Mercy expressed gave me a glimpse of what that reality is like for her.
It’s oddly humbling having someone tell you that you are an answer to prayer.
Then, came the dedication.
We all piled into one small room of the house for an incredibly moving time of worship and prayer.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
– Psalm 100
There were many times during this trip that the breadth of the Kingdom of God was impressed upon me, and this was a significant one.
A small taste of Heaven.
Here we are, Americans and Kenyans: two very different cultures, different languages, but one Body. As we worshipped and prayed together, I was enthralled at the beauty and diversity of the Church.
I couldn’t understand the words that were spoken or sung, but I knew what they meant. Not in a gift of tongues, but in knowing that their worship was my worship, and we were joined together as we praised the same LORD.
…the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
As we were leaving that day, we had the opportunity for unplanned ministry. Well, at least it wasn’t planned by us, though I’m sure God had it in mind!
When we arrived, we noticed Paul was shaking hands with his left hand. Over the course of our time there we discovered that Paul had broken his wrist playing football (soccer).
When asked what he was going to do about it, he replied he was not sure. He knew he needed to have it looked at and probably casted, but they didn’t have the money for that. When asked how much it would cost, he told us the exam, x-ray and cast would cost 3,000 kenya shillings. While his family was worrying over how much money that was, I was stunned to realize I had 3,000 shillings in my pocket.
Mind you, 3,000 Kenya shillings works out to about $34.00 US.
So, after getting approval from our HEART contact, we gave him the money to get his arm taken care of.
As I look back, I’m not sure why this one event stuck out to me so much.
Maybe it just goes to show that often it is the things outside of our plans, the situations God puts us in that are not expected, that can have the greatest impact.
Blessed are the flexible, for they will not break.
And apparently, they will also get to see God move in amazing ways.
In all, an incredible time with this family and the women of the Ngong WEEP center, having our eyes opened to the fullness of the Body of Christ.