The Kenya Experience - March 2013
This is a guest post from Carolyn Woo, who recently joined Beloved on a short-term missions trip in March 2013.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” – Matthew 5:7
When we arrived in Kenya a little over two weeks ago, I immediately fell in love with it. I quickly developed a deep appreciation for its simple way of life, its natural surroundings, its culture, and the people that we met. Throughout the week, God used my time there to open my eyes, that I might see how He’s working in Kenya and what it means to truly live by faith. One of the biggest realizations that I came to was that although these people have so little, they are so much richer than me. With so many external things to rely and fall back on, it’s easy for someone like me to think that I’m living by faith. When we are taught that Christ is our everything, we agree, but it’s almost just a passing thought in our minds, and it is difficult to really understand. However, in Kinangop, Kenya, there isn’t much much to rely on and little security to be found in physical things. When they are taught that Christ is their everything, it is so much more powerful and real to them because they really don’t have much else to place their hope in. Christ really is their everything. When they live by faith, they really live by faith.
Pastor Stephen and Mama Jane were a huge encouragement to me and an example of what it means to live by faith. Though they don’t have much, they work tirelessly to care for eighteen children – fourteen who are not even their own. They are willing to give all that they have to serve God – not just to feed and clothe these orphans, but with the ultimate goal that these children may come to know Christ as their Savior. They spend so much time investing in these children and ministering to them because they desire to be obedient to God’s call for them to have mercy and compassion on orphans. Pastor Stephen often talked about not just taking up space in this world, but living with purpose in life. And because he and Mama Jane live by faith with purpose, they are not shortsighted and do not live just for the present. Instead, through their lives and ministry, they are so spiritually rich and are storing up treasures in Heaven for an eternity.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:19-21