Saturday, June 22, 2019

Where has 2019 gone???

Whew, what a year it was last year. God richly blessed this ministry with a successful mission trip to do His work. There is nothing quite like the smile of a child who receives a brand new school uniform, socks, shoes, school supplies, and a backpack that has never had one before. When we wonder where God is in our world, I see Him in the smiles of these children, the sunshine through the cloudy skies and in His mercies that are new each morning.

A few months after getting back from our Mission Trip last year my father in law died of cancer, a cancer that had only be diagnosed that spring. To say it has been rough in the months following for our family is all that I can say, but God who is rich in mercy has brought us through and continues to lead us on this path of faith. Faith in the God who does not lie, who loves us unconditionally, and tells us His ways are best, and best of all that HIS plans for us are GOOD. I confess that even as I seek more of Him daily, He is a mystery, always going before us and working out things that we can't see, but glimpse just pieces of His majesty in hindsight.

A few years ago I asked my father in law once why he didn't want to go with us to Kenya on a mission trip and he told me because God hadn't told him to go. Well that's what I thought, maybe one day he will go. I had wondered at the time why God hadn't called him to go too. Now I see why, God always has much bigger plans than our own. At his funeral many people gave money to our ministry and we put in a memorial fund. What should we to do with these funds that would honor dad and be used for the Kingdom? If you knew my father in law, he was a fixer, a tireless worker, one who wanted to help others. After visiting and giving at what we had considered to be the poorer school last year we saw that the buildings were in much better shape than the school we had been visiting and helping the 4 years prior. It was like a light bulb went off. If dad could, he would help to fix up this school. So when I went in February on our planning trip I spoke with the new head teacher at the school about some of the things we would like to do with the money: paint the class rooms with a strip of white on the walls to reflect more light, add another sky light to let more light in, and fix the treacherous concrete steps that went down to all the class rooms and the holes in the floors in the classrooms. I made no promises, but that we would be there in July on mission trip and would paint the classrooms that Saturday while we were there before we came to do VBS that Monday. But, God who is God was already working together His bigger plans. Naomi who works at Haven on the Hill, where we stay in Kenya, went with me so that she could meet with Samuel the contractor after and discuss what we would like to do. He went to the school and took what we wanted and made even better suggestions than we expected for only around $4,000. So when would he be able to do the work? God worked that our too. With year round school in Kenya, April was an off month. (April would have been my father in laws birthday too)  So we sent the money via MoneyGram to Naomi who set everything up and before we knew it, all the work was done.
These are the old  stairs, chipped and uneven. On the right side use to be an open space that we can only assume use to be a flower planter, but Samuel our contractor filled it in and made the whole stairway space usable.
 Here is what the beautiful new steps look like! So did my father in law go to Kenya, yes, yes he did. We will continue to collect funds in his name and do as the Lord leads and provides to fix up this school and who knows, maybe build schools one day, but that is entirely up to God. I'm just happy to be a small part of what God is doing.
 Here are the skylights being installed on both sides to add more light. Yes, the classrooms are wired for electricity, but with the cost of the electricity and bulbs it is not used. They also have dirty electricity in Kenya which means surges, power outages, and no consistency.

Look at that beautiful light streaming in. Now as Janice and Kathy said we need to make a list of all the posters they have made and redo them on a computer back here in the states and have them printed large and laminated to bring. I hope to deliver this gift next spring.

It's amazing the things you overlook when things are in disrepair. I didn't even notice after all these years of visiting this school that there was a green stripe above the doorways, but after they fixed the door jams and you look up, you do notice it. I'm excited to say we have added a request for green and blue paint so we can paint this green stripe on and repaint the doors blue!This might be my favorite picture because of the holes that use to be in the classroom floors. The first year I went I almost twisted my ankle walking backward in a classroom and falling into a hole.... A hole, why would a child's class room have a hole in the floor. Well now thanks to God there are no more holes. Now imagine with me a three foot high from the ground white stripe around this wall in between the windows. How much more light will it reflect? How much more of HIS light will we reflect? The answer God only knows.
Psalms 37:5 Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust HIM, and He will help you.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."
Don't stop fighting the good fight of faith. Spend this week if you can encouraging others, you may be the only bit of Jesus they see, reflect HIM.