Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A simple blessing for beautiful people

I am spoiled here at Word of Life. I live right on the beach. I eat good food. I have comfortable surroundings. Everyone around me speaks english. I never lack anything. My friends here are so modern in their thinking, fashion, language, actions, etc. I sometimes forget that the majority of Kenya isn't like this. I am nestled in a little pocket of comfort and luxury. However, my heart longs for the village. As much as I love what I do, my deepest desire is to be in small villages living amongst the poorest of the poor. 

Yesterday, we drove only about 30 minutes deep into a village called Dima.  The team wanted to bless some needy families and see how people live in rural Kenya. We have connections with the local pastor there so he was able to direct us to a few places. My heart was in awe as we  hiked the dirt paths through the rolling hills filled with palm trees. We passed many children playing in the dirt with big smiles on their faces. We met with women carrying baskets on their heads and men working in the fields. We didn't see any shops or electricity wires only cows and chickens. These are people who have nothing. I mean nothing. They sleep on the floor. They eat whatever they grow. They don't wear shoes. They wear the same clothing that is dirty and torn everyday. There is no running water anywhere to be found. They don't have jobs or a source of income. I walked around wondering how they actually survive. 

This was the first woman we came to bless. She is a widow with 9 children and 9 grandchildren. Her fingers had been eaten away by jiggers so they were short and stubby. As we arrived, she had a jovial smile across her face. She had placed a few wooden chairs and logs out so that we could have a seat. 

This was the second woman we visited. She is a Christian but her husband isn't. She was praising God for the small gifts we were able to give her. To each family we gave unga (corn flour), cooking oil, milk, and sugar. 

Inside this house was a sick grandmother. She has been sick for quite some time now and it is doubtful that she has had any medical attention. When we arrived at this house, one of the ladies pulled me aside and explained to me that her mother was mgonjwa sana (very sick). She asked us to pray so we had a few of the team members enter the house to lay hands on her. I just can't imagine living in a dark, hot, stuffy, dirt house unable to move, eat, get up. 

We saw so many kids in the village and I couldn't help by wonder why they weren't in school on a tuesday afternoon. Maybe it was because they couldn't afford the uniform. They could barely afford shoes or a second set of clothing so a uniform would have been a stretch for them. That was just my assumption. 

God uses everyone. We were encouraging the teens on the team that they didn't need to be preachers or pastors to share God's love. God uses anyone. Every family we visited, we got one of them to pray. Here, Sarah is praying for a family in her own sweet words. 

Our last stop was the local primary school. All I kept thinking was, "What would my dad think if he was here?" It is a public school so it is free for everyone except students still need to buy their own school supplies and uniforms. They have 350 students and only 5 teachers! One teacher has 60 students in his class. Out of those 60 students, only 10 of them have exercise books to do their school work in. They get very little funding from the government so the school suffers greatly. We were their guests so they gathered for an assembly under the mango tree as we presented them with over 100 exercise books, stationary, clothing and a few bibles. We also gave all the kids a lollipop. 

As much as we came to be a blessing for these people, they ended up being a huge blessing for us. I am so thankful for everything God has given me. It is only by God's grace that I was born in Canada and not in Dima. Or maybe we are missing something? Maybe it's a blessing to be the small, seemingly insignificant, poor of the world. Often the happiest people I have met are people like these ones who live in Dima. The most faithful people I have ever met are those who live day to day without knowing what they are going to eat tomorrow. I don't know. I don't understand everything. But I do know that we have a wonderful, loving, caring, mighty God who cares for every single human that lives. Amen.

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