So we have finished up the first 2 weeks of camp and been in Nairobi and Masai Land for the past 2. It has bee really tough and completely out of my comfort zone and I cannot say that I have enjoyed every part of it, but the things I have learned and the blessings I have received have made it all worth it.
While in Nairobi, we were fortunate enough to be able to work with a missionary family and help them with their ministry. Their main focus is teens in the slums called Eastleigh. I visited Eastleigh for a day and my heart aches for what I saw, but at the same time it jumps for joy. The part that breaks my heart is seeing God's children sleeping on trash, sniffing glue to get high so that they forget how hungry they are, eating rotten food that is months old, and having no way out. The part that fills my heart with joy is talking with these people a seeing how much they love our God. They have a genuine, mature faith that is very rare. I met several men in their 40's that spoke of Jesus as their best friend. I couldn't believe it. These people still believe even after everything they have been through. It was a real heart check for me and humbled me to the core.
After spending a week in Nairobi, we headed out to Mt. Suswa to spend a week in Masai Land. I was extremely anxious. As much as I love different cultures and yearn to spread the Good News, I can't deny the fact that I enjoy the comforts of a shower, a place to sleep, and good food to eat. We slept in a cow pasture, didn't bathe for a week, and ate whatever we could get our hands on. It rocked my world and I feel in love with it. The people we worked with had a completely genuine love for the Lord and intense desire to share it with anyone and everyone. Only 2 people in about 30 miles spoke English, but that didn't stop them from trying to communicate with us. They shared their love with us in their own language, but we still recognized it as the type of love that only comes from a person that knows Jesus. Their worship was not about who could sing the loudest or the best, or who knew the most songs, but it was about praising the Lord and catering to what is pleasing to Him. It was unbelievable.
The Masai people we worked with had just lost almost everything in a drought. The pastor that hosted us lost 100 cows and others lost everything. While we were there to share the love of Jesus, we were also there to help them build a greenhouse. This greenhouse was build to that during the next drought they would have a way to make money and they would have something to keep them going. We put it up (by we I mean the men of course) in a week and the people were so appreciative. We all cried together when we had to leave. We tried saying goodbye in their language and they tried saying goodbye in ours, but at the end it was only tears and hugs that we understood. This was probably one of the best weeks of my life. It changed my heart and showed me that no matter what you have or don't have, you ALWAYS have opportunities to share the Lord's love.
A couple of us were blessed with an amazing opportunity. Another girl and I headed into the Bishop's hope to put some food away and sitting in the room was Pastor. He was from another church a days worth of walking away and he had come just to see us. We said hello and we entered into a conversation that I though would be routinely brief and we would go on our way. It lasted over 2 hours. Pastor shared his culture, we shared ours. He told us all about his amazing church and the things it was doing. For the first time in maybe my entire life, I was brought to tears because of the amount of love that was pouring from him. I didn't see him at all, I saw Jesus. In third world countries it is very rare that people with any type of disabilities are taken care of. They just don't have the money to do it. It is survival of the fittest. But not for Pastor. He took in 4 orphans into his own 1 room home, housed widows, the dumb, and the deaf. And he was asking us how to communicate with them. I couldn't believe that he thought I had an experience ministering to this demographic. He was so concerned for their souls and just wanted them to know Jesus, but he didn't know how to. Well, he thought he didn't know how to, but he was already doing it. We ended up getting into a discussion about what the church's biggest need was and he said it was money for the women to do missions. I was shocked. Money for missions??? Why not money for food or clean water??? Why not a decent house??? I realized it was because the only thing that mattered to them was sharing the Good News and bringing salvation to their brothers and sisters.
This astonished me. And we wanted to help. To make this already long story a bit shorter, the head of the Assembly of God mission team and a couple of our girls are going to set up a business for the Masai women. They make beautiful jewelry but the only way they have to sell it is if someone comes to them. We will be going to them and bringing the jewelry back to the states, putting it online, and setting up a catalog. I am so excited. This is a great thing to keep me busy while I am waiting to return to Kenya in January.
Super long blog, but I have only shared a couple of stories out of the hundreds. I can't wait to share these things in person. It is so hard to explain these things and actually doing the Lord's work justice because it cannot be put into words. I love you all.