Tuesday, June 30, 2015

God is moving across Kenya

I cannot explain to you the feeling that swept over me as I looked around the church in the Sinai slum as 80 men and women sang and danced and raised their hands in gratitude for all God has done in their lives over the 9 months they were in the Care for Aids program.  Kids were running in and out of the aisles, playing outside, and sleeping on chairs next to their parents. My mind went in so many directions. To my daughter who lived in an orphanage and now with her second family, not her first. To these kids who their path would have been the painfully similar, the hurt and pain of losing their parents. To these parents who's lives are changed and empowered to keep living. To communities who are changing the stigma that still exists with the disease. To lives eternally impacted by the completion of a wholistic healing program. I talked with the spiritual counselor of our center before graduation and he told me snippets of stories of clients impacted, 9 people who put their trust in Christ, women and men now earning income and sending their children to school and educating infected children and others in their community on how to manage life with AIDS.

Then I returned home. I got back to carpool, taking kids to sports, paying bills, cleaning the house. But my thoughts lingered to that graduation. Thinking about the next 80 families that just started the program in our center. That is another group of potentially 300+ children whose parents are fighting for life and to be the ones to raise them. When I look at our budget, I cannot help but be led to sacrifice more. God is asking more, asking bigger, and leading tenderly. The impact of a dollar there versus a dollar here is jaw dropping.
When John and I graduated college we worked with an amazing organization called Cafe 1040. It trains college students inside countries hostile to the gospel on how to live long term there and have kingdom impact. It was on a trip to North Africa my eyes were opened to Islam and how God's heart beats for Muslims. God planted something deep in my heart on that trip for Muslim communities. I wanted them to desperately know the good news, that they no longer have to weigh their good deeds against their bad deeds in hopes of making it into heaven. I wanted them to know there is a Savior who paid their price and all they have to do is trust and believe. However their costs are much more costly than mine to accept Jesus' gift. They often lose their family, community, and even some their lives. 
As I heard about Care for Aids moving into Mombasa, I felt God intersect several passions for me. Orphan prevention, Muslims, the outcast, marriages. I started to pray if we could do a second center. My flesh told me it was too big of a financial commitment, that we were already giving and just to rest in that, that someone else would step up and get engaged in the mission. Yet as I looked around that graduation room and saw families raising their hands waving their certificates of completion in the air with hearts of gratitude for their very lives and legacy, I felt like there was no reason not to move. God was asking something big and he wanted my trust.
So we are stepping out in faith and opening a second center. Our Mombasa center will open in September and run until June when I will again return and again see all God has done. Our family is all in and excited what God can do with our simple yes as we follow him. We rallied our community, and so many of YOU, around launching Sinai and it is off the ground and running amazingly. Now we are excited to do it again! As I think about so many friends, friends of friends, Facebook friends, blog readers, and family who rallied the Sinai center over a year ago and made this happen, I think not of dollars raised but families impacted. Read this post if you heart is pulled to get involved for more details and backstory on how we got the Sinai center going. God doesn't need our money but he invites us to be a part of the ways he is moving across Kenya. Prayerfully consider joining us and going next year to see what you got to be a part of! Here is an awesome video about Mombasa.
You can give online at our Mombasa fundraising page at this LINK! Feel free to share this post and rally your community to be a part as well!
Because life is not about what we amassed in our homes, the to do list on our phones, the bills we pay, the stuff we have. It is about how we leveraged what we have for others, the legacy we are building and leaving on earth. Because as someone so clearly said, No one takes a U-haul to heaven! Join us in this amazing adventure. Live a good story. Be a part of something bigger.
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