Today was our first full day at Naomi's Village. It has been all I had hoped for and more. The morning was cool and damp (very different from back home!). What darkness covered during the night, the early sunlight began to unveil--deep, green mountains, vibrant bougainvillea, and those trees (I don't know the name yet) that you picture in your mind when you think "Kenya" dotting the landscape. In a word: lovely. Children's voices sifted through the windows of our room. Sounds of life and love echoed from the courtyard. Each of us made our way downstairs to join the chorus.
Audrey and I had the honor of meeting our sponsored child, Hannah. She is truly a delight. We were invited to be a part of the preschool children's morning devotion. Their cheerful voices recited Psalm 19:1. We listened, we sang, we laughed. Our hearts were full.
We met a church planter and his wife (Isaac and Esther) who are longing to plant a church that is gospel-centered and makes a physical difference in their community. One of the places where this is being fleshed out is in the IDP (internally displaced people) camp. They have a contact there who helps coordinate needs and resources--physical and spiritual. We prayed with a woman (Eunice) whose husband was far away looking for work, barely making enough to make ends meet but not enough to seek medical treatment for her youngest son. The sores on his face looked painful. It appeared to be something that could easily be cleared up with medicine. Eunice went on to tell us how she earned a living before her house was burned and they moved to the IDP camp. She was a seamstress. But, when her workplace was burned, she lost everything--her machine, her supplies. She believed that if she had a machine, she could begin working again and bringing income for their family. What I love about Isaac and Esther is that they care more about a person's spiritual need but not at the expense of their physical need. Tomorrow, we will purchase a sewing machine and supplies, and provide medical care for her son. The money we use will be what you all have donated!! Thank you for making this possible!
We also met an elderly single mother/grandmother who sleeps on the concrete in her home. She has aches and pains in her legs that keeps her from fetching water. She has to rely on "well-wishers" to bring her food and water each day. Here's what's amazing--she loves the Lord. Like, really loves Him, really TRUSTS Him. As she recounted her heartbreaking story there was no hint of resentment in her voice--only peace. That is faith. That is something only the Holy Spirit can do! We prayed with her but I believe I walked away much more strengthened in my faith because of her. With your donations, we are purchasing mattresses, sheets, blankets and a water tank. Praise God!
As our day comes to a close and I think back on all the Lord has shown me today, I can't help but think of James 2:14-17:
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them what the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
I am so grateful to the Lord for His gift of living, breathing faith! May He be praised!
More to come...