Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Back to Kenya...

In less than 2 months we will be setting foot on the red dirt of Kenya. I cannot explain how that lights me up inside.  Our kids have cried and begged to go back and now our sweet Maran will have her turn to come along.  This trip is especially meaningful to me to take her along with us, back to her birth continent. She will go back to a very similar culture from which she came, she will walk through the slums of Nairobi and visit houses very similar to the one she describes growing up in.  The pain and the beauty that comes along with returning to Africa for her is amazing.  She has begged to go visit. She asks frequently after dinner if we can put our leftovers in a backpack and send it to the people in Africa because she acutely remembers being hungry. I am already praying for her heart for this trip. She will get to serve the very culture she came out of. She will get to play a part in orphan prevention. A previous orphan serving those who would have become orphaned. The magnitude of that is not lost on me. I am praying God prepares her heart in a mighty way to be touched and healed through going back, through seeing the poverty and pain, through serving the least of these. I pray he uses this trip to unearth hidden places in her heart, there will be memories surfaced and pain brought back to mind, but what I told my husband is I would rather walk through more grieving together than leave those dark places covered. Full healing probably won't come until heaven but this just may be another step in the journey toward wholeness for her. I will not glorify it, I am sure she will be tired, confused, whiney, and maybe even selfish. But my prayer for her is that she radiates the joy and love God has given her and allows him to show her more of who He is through this trip.

In addition, our 7 and 8 year olds will be going with us too. They have prayed this center into being and are excited to see what God has done when we stepped out as a family and said yes to God. 90 families will be forever changed as they have received health education, empowerment on how to make an income and how to use it wisely, trained in a skill to earn a living and break the cycle of poverty. I am elated to go watch these 90 clients walk across and receive their certificate of completion of this 9 month journey of healing, and another 90 to begin shortly thereafter. We are taking some friends and family with us as well and I am so excited to watch them experience the work Care for Aids does so well in Kenya. Please join us in praying for our trip. If you want to join in on a part of the trip, please consider writing a letter of encouragement and congratulations to a  graduate. You can get more info of how to do that here.
I am so grateful to venture overseas again. This is a gift I don't take lightly. This is a sacrifice we will continue to make as a family. I pray our kids see the joy that comes from serving. I pray their eyes are opened to a Big God and a big world. People so often ask where is God when people are struck with AIDS, dying, war, orphaning millions of children. I wonder instead, why did I sit by in my air conditioned house and focus on my to do list instead of getting involved. I am so grateful to center our family on this mission. Loving Jesus means our lives might not make sense, the way we spend our money might not be logical in the world's eyes. Thank you Jesus for rescuing me from myself, from a boring and predictable life. Every day I have to push against this tension for a comfortable, easy life versus the stretching and exciting life he has for me. I am so thankful God is writing a story I could have never imagined in our family. It is not perfect and I screw it up most every day, but he fills in the gaps where I fall short. I am so grateful for the excitement he has put in our hearts.  I cannot wait to get back to a place that holds such a piece of my heart!