"I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you in with loving-kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt...and go out to dance with the joyful." - Jeremiah 31: 3-4

Friday, September 25, 2009

hope to the hopeless and a change of plans...

izeHope to the hopeless --

On Monday, we packed up 16,000 lbs. of maize and 6,000 lbs. of beans for two food distributions in Mali Saba and Shimo. Along with the food distributions, we would also be doing a medical clinic in each place...

Tuesday was Mali Saba. When we drove up, with our two trucks full of sacks of maize and beans and three taxis, we were greeted by a large crowd of widows, grandmothers and children all excited to receive probably the only food they would have for weeks and get medical treatment that they otherwise would never receive. There was such an air of thankfulness and joy in the small plot of land overlooking a beautiful view of the Kenyan hills. I immediately knew that it was going to be a good day. And when a little boy named Jeff, who had the most beautiful smile I've ever seen, attached himself to me for the entire day... I was in heaven.
Once the medical clinic was set up inside, we began the food distribution. As each family got their food we prayed for them. At first I was nervous because I'm not usually fan of praying out loud, especially in front of and for people I don't know... but something came over me that day and I was able to pray for every woman with sincerity and clarity. It was an experience that I will always look back on and see the Holy Spirit moving in me.
Once the distribution was finished, the medical clinic began in full swing. I was at the front table registering people. Derick was translating for us as we asked them their name, age and what their problem was. The saddest and happiest thing for me that day was when a baby with clubbed feet was brought in.. sad for obvious reasons, but happy because the baby was only two days old and already he was given a chance to get his feet fixed. Without the clinic, the mother would not have had enough money to get the surgery required to correct them. It's small things like that that make everything worth while.
The building we were in was a simple rectangle of bricks with holes for doors and windows. The rooms were all empty, except for a covering of dust/dirt and some cow/goat/donkey poop... and yes, were doing a medical clinic is these conditions. What other choice do we have? This is Africa.
We were able to treat over 350 people during that clinic.

After that day, I was excited to see what the next day at Shimo would bring. I had heard that Shimo was a bit of a rougher area than Mali Saba and that we might run into some problems but I thought everyone was exaggerating and being paranoid. They weren't.
When we first stepped onto the school compound where we would be doing the distribution and clinic, I felt the oppression hit me like a brick wall. The Enemy was at work in this place and I could feel it weighing down on me. The distribution started easily enough, but I could tell that my prayers were not as sincere or heart-felt as they were at Mali Saba. And then, as real as if someone has punched me in the chest, I lost my breath and my train of thought. I was suddenly confused. But I didn't know what I was confused about. Everything seemed to be going fine. We were very organized, but all the sudden I had no idea what was going on. I started looking around and noticed that the rest of the interns were also looking a bit lost. It was then that Daniel came over to us and asked us if any of us had just felt a spirit of confusion. What had happened was three men entered the compound and began taking sacks of food off of our pile and started "helping" the widows to carry them. They were not part of our team and they weren't supposed to be there. They brought a major spirit of confusion to our distribution. We stopped everything, got the men to leave and gathered together to pray. The rest of the distribution went off without a hitch. The spiritual warfare was very evident in Shimo but thankfully we were able to rebuke it in the power of Jesus' name and continue doing what we were there to do. Provide hope to the hopeless. The medical clinic at Shimo ended up treating over 530 people. If that's not incredible, I don't know what is.

Those two days taught me a lot. Each place had a different lesson, but both were necessary.

Change of plans --

I've known for a long time that while I was here in Kenya, God would be healing me. Restoring me. Molding me into the best person I can be for his Kingdom. I knew that I would not be going home the same person I was when I left. I thought that I would be going home as that new person on November 30th.

God had other plans.

I knew that I couldn't go home until complete healing had been accomplished in my life. As the days and weeks went by, I knew that three months would not be enough. I prayed about staying four months, but did not feel peace about it. "How long then, God?" I asked Him in confusion. I had already applied for the spring semester of college. I planned on being home for Christmas and New Years and attending Millersville in January. "Six months," was the answer.
"But God, I can't... I didn't plan for six months. I'm going to school. I'll miss Christmas with my family!"
"Six months."
"Are you sure? Can't I just do four? Then I can be home in time for Christmas and start school in January. Four months is longer than three, you must mean for me to just stay four months. Not six. That's way too long. That's half a year, God! What do you possibly need to fix in me that will take six months?"


"Okay, God. Six months. Gotcha. You were right... you always are."

And that's that. Six months in Kenya - orders of God himself.

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