Two posts today, because I have a lot to say 🙂 Shouldn’t be a shocker..I’m a talker. But in all seriousness, we are doing a lot but I am growing even more. So there are a lot of things I have in my mind that I want to write about. But our time here is running short. We will be home in a week and a half. I don’t know when we will be going to the internet cafe again after this, we want to spend the little extra time we have left here with the kids.
“If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Isaiah 58:10-11
God calls us to a lot of things. Things that are hard: taking up our cross, dying to ourselves, not loving the world around us, selling all our possessions, loving our enemies, spending of ourselves for the sake of the poor.
I say I desire to be someone who goes all out for God. Someone who lives radically, who values making God known more than valuing things of this world. You know, I dream of serving in Africa. I dream about going to a place steeped in poverty, and how I would serve God there. How I would be full and always pouring out. How I would have this unending energy, passion, and patience for loving God’s people. How my life would look radically different than it does when I’m in my comfortable life in the US. Then I would be living out what God has called me to…when I’m in Africa, surrounded by orphans, the poor, and the sick who don’t have access to medical care. Then I’d really be able to live out my faith.
Guess what. I’m there. I’m in Kenya, living at an orphanage (constantly being pulled at by kids who are poor, orphaned, abandoned), working in a Christian clinic that serves people who would otherwise have little access to medical care. And it still just feels like life. I still struggle to wake up at 6:30. I still can find myself counting the hours until we are done with work for the day. I get frustrated when “mzungu!” is constantly being yelled at me..(thinking “I’m really not that different, can we get over it yet?”). I still can think about losing weight or what I’m going to do on my day off as many times in a day as I think about how I can serve the poor. I still can want to sit and read instead of engaging in the world around me. I still get tired and worn out. I get exhausted loving the kids. I can still complain about the food or the way of life.
I’m living the dream…plopped down in the exact opportunity I thought would be perfect for doing what God commands me to do. I thought that when I’m in this situation, then my life would look different. That this is the place when my faith would really come alive 100 percent. But I’m learning that all the situations I’m in, they are just life. Whether I’m in Archbold, Columbus, Kenya, or elsewhere, it is just day to day life. Life that God has given me to live for him. Therefore, I’m learning that my cop-out of saying “Yes!! Giving my all for Jesus sounds great! As soon as I…(fill in the blank) – go to Africa, finish studying for this exam, grow up and become an adult, graduate, get a job that could physically help someone, get married, move here”..(the list could go on and on) – doesn’t work. My changing situation will no better prepare me for ministry and following God than I’m in right now. Yes, in different situations and through life I can learn and gain understanding in how to do ministry and love God. That is a constant growing process. But going to Africa does not automatically magically give me some super-Christian power to be able to give my all for God. I need to choose to live radically. It’s a heart issue, not a circumstantial issue. The place in life I’m in right now does not inhibit me from going all out for Jesus. It’s my heart that is inhibiting me. There’s no use waiting for the perfect opportunity in life. I’ll always be waiting. Because I’m learning that wherever we are..that is our opportunity. I’m at no greater advantage for serving God where I am right now than where I was 5 weeks ago.
“Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of every opportunity…” Ephesians 5:15-16
“God determined the times set for men and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.” Acts 17:26-27
God calls us to love his people, proclaim his gospel of grace, and to bring him glory. I will not put it off any longer. I will not wait for a certain time or situation in my life. He has given me the life I’m in right now to do exactly what he has called me to.
“But I do not count my life of any value to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the good news of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24
much love from Kenya,