Wednesday, December 2, 2009

African Update # 13 2009


Thanksgiving is past and by now, most of the leftovers as well. I sometimes wonder about what we give Him thanks for. It has been quite an experience here, going from one of the most prosperous countries in the world, to an environment where people are grateful to make two dollars a day. One third of the people we are here with in Nakuru, live in one room shacks made of mud. The picture to the right, is in the house where I taught last night. Such precious souls.The lady we visited two days ago, lives in a one room house with 5 of her children and grandchildren. They sleep in a 7 x 8 foot “living room” which is divided from the kitchen by a bed sheet. Many do not have electricity, and couldn’t afford to turn it on if they did. Some go to bed hungry and some do not have a bed to go to bed hungry on. All of them are trying to follow God and some are really becoming true disciples.

That is why it was a very special Thanksgiving for me. I got to be with them, and for that, I am exceedingly grateful. My thankfulness did not come from thinking about the comparative luxury we live in back home. Nor was I thinking about the fact that till recently I have never even heard of anyone starving to death. My heart was overflowing with gratitude because I got do what I was created to do. That being, to love them, and be loved by them. More important even still, was just to experience His love for them.

If we but knew, how much He loves them. Not the huddled starving masses somewhere else; … Them, the ones right here in front of us. The Judy’s, Mary’s, Fred’s and Simons. How much he wants to help Them, comfort Them, and bring hope to ….Them. I am so thankful for Them. Each and every one of Them He has put in my path.

I used to believe that I could help change the world. I no longer even desire that, because I just want to help them. Changing the world is an illusion. If you are a follower of Him, the only help you can give the world… is to them, the ones right in front of you. If we could only feel His desire to bless the ones that we encounter every day, our lives would be transformed. We would make every occupation secondary to letting Him love them the way He so desires to do. We, who are his Body, do not experience joy because we do good deeds; our joy comes from letting Him do good deeds through us. Have you ever felt the strength of His love toward another? It is sometimes overwhelming.

We were fashioned inside of Him, not only to receive His love, but to carry it around, sharing it with any and all He chooses to lavish it on. Oh that we might really find out our true purpose for existing! It is not to express our own thoughts, feelings or desires. We were made as vessels to express Him. Who is in front of you?

“There’s just one reason we draw breath, to be your Kingdom in the earth and we will give our very lives to see you come….Reign in our Hearts!”

We miss and love you ….your sent ones.

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