Monday, November 5, 2012

Overdue Joy

I wrote this about....3 months ago.This joy that I share is overdue. Regardless, my heart has not changed.  Here is a little synopsis of my Kenyan journey :)

When I left for Kenya I had no idea what to expect. All I knew is that I had one month to mentally, physically, and spiritually prepare for an adventure to the other side of the world with a girl that I barely knew better than a name. I thought to myself,” Go big or go home.” I knew I had to go. I knew God would provide the funds, and I knew that meant leaving behind my ministry at New Covenant for almost an entire summer. That last part was the most difficult. Leaving behind my Asylum kids? That seemed unbearable. Glenn felt the same way. But Like I said, I knew I had to go. I didn’t know why. But I went .
So here I am on the other side of my adventure with a girl who I now know WAY better than just a name! In case you were wondering, her name is Alexi. And yes, we became best friends almost instantly. I keep trying to decide if we are better friends or teammates, but then I just give up and settle for a tie because we are so awesome at both, if I do say so myself.
As I sit here and try to figure out what story would be best to share with you all, I just can’t stop thinking about Alexi and how much her partnership meant to me. It was truly a God-ordained partnership. I know that you all want to hear about the Lions that we saw on safari and how beautiful the red clay was as it backed up to the swaying green coconut trees and bright blue sky. And let me just say, we certainly had a true African experience out there between the crammed bus rides, giant spiders that wanted to share the bedroom with us, showering in little coconut huts, and desperately trying to learn Swahili so that we could buy vegetables from the market… but isn’t it the relationships that matter most? If you want to know more what Africa is like, Google would be a great place for that… or you can ask me later. But if you want to know my heart and what really happened in Kenya, that is the story that you just heard.
Being thrown into another culture alone is scary, but with your best friend…no big deal! Let’s do this! The people over there are so enthusiastic about their faith and worshiping the Living God whom they know has saved them. God reveals Himself so much to the people in Kenya through healing of sickness. We saw that over and over again. Alexi and I thought it was a little ironic that God would reveal Himself to us through healing also. When we left America, we were both sick as dogs. A friend reminded me that it would be a great opportunity for us to heal together. So we healed physically from our sickness, but God wasn’t finished there. You know how God is. He wants the heart. He wants to redeem. And He did. He led us to in partnership to deal with insecurities, questions about faith and questions about life. Not only did God work in us, but He worked through us. Because you know, God loves to work through the broken. And aren’t we all broken?
We saw the hope of Bryson’s ministry restored. We saw women who seemed so closed and reserved open up to us and weep upon our departure. We saw teachers over-joyed by simply our presence. These are only the things that we saw. Who knows what else God did in their lives. We planted seeds out of our brokenness, through the grace of God, and into their brokenness. And on top of it all, I got to do this all with a girl that God had set aside to be one of my best friends. Isn’t it great that God has greater plans for us than our own plans for ourselves? I think so.
Because of faith,

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