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Entries from June 2010

Edith Awino

Edith Awino came to us in October of 2007. We had just returned from a trip to the U.S. to do some fundraising, found a new house to rent, and finally made the decision to actually locate some orphaned girls to live with us. It was pretty major.

I was scared of the commitment. I was scared of the financial needs. I was scared of following Jesus into the unknown.

Thankfully I am married to a brave woman. She convinced me that this was the right thing for us to do.

Edith Awino We met Edith’s mother here in Nakuru. She was sick, abandoned, and preparing for death. We fed her and began the work of convincing her to allow us to take her to the hospital. It’s not always easy to convince someone that there is hope for them, especially when there really isn’t much hope at all.

We asked her what she needed the most. It wasn’t money, food, medicine, or clothes. All she requested was help in finding a place for her 4 year old daughter to live. She knew the end was near.

We promised to take Edith into our home when the time came.

That time came just a few days later.

Edith was the first orphaned girl to move into our home. The first girl we tried to offer a Future and a Hope.

Edith Awino Edith’s aunts, uncles, and grandparents refused to take care of her. I can’t figure out why. She is precious, beautiful, and full of life. Much joy has been brought to our house since that day she walked through our door.

She has been with us almost 3 years now, and is a happy little girl with a future.

 

 

A Future and a Hope


quote of the week

As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world - that is the myth of the atomic age - as in being able to remake ourselves.
-Mohandas Gandhi

(I was teaching the kids about Gandhi in history today so I thought it appropriate to quote him).


What’s a Missionary To Do?

I am deviating from my regular blog schedule, which I seem to do almost everyday, to ponder this question with you; What’s a missionary to do?

Let’s keep in mind that I define a missionary as someone who leaves their own culture for another to work towards advancing the Kingdom of God.

If you read this blog frequently, you should be aware that I do not practice traditional Christian religion. I believe that God has delivered me from religious obligation and set me free to follow Jesus. Notice the words ‘religious obligation.’ I’m not talking about regular meetings; you know the ones usually on Sunday with singing, giving, and sermons? Not talking about that. I’m talking about the fact that in most of the Christian religion you are obligated to be sitting in a pew/chair/sofa/bean bag/stool on Sunday morning or Wednesday evening. You are obligated to perform your religious duties, i.e. giving of your money and time, evangelizing, living a moral life, following whomever is the leader of that particular sect. Obligation in order to please God. What I have discovered is that He doesn’t need anything from me to like me. He likes me. I don’t have to join up with any religion in order to fulfill some quota of righteousness that will then allow me into His presence. Or to demonstrate my gratitude for Him filling that quota for me.

What I do, and my family, is to simply wake up each day and ask Jesus what He has for us that day. Then we do our best to live it.

Now let’s see if I can get to the point; What’s a missionary to do?

I don’t practice religion. I don’t belong to any organized church. (I certainly love and appreciate the church I came from in Texas, but that doesn’t change the fact that I do not need the organization to do what Jesus’ asks me to do. Certainly, I need the relationships with the people, but not the obligation to attend meetings etc.) I don’t have a set of doctrinal beliefs. I don’t have a missions agency to “cover” me. I don’t have religion.

What I do have is faith. I have faith that motivates me to do more than recite a creed. I have faith that is lived out, not believed out.

What’s a missionary to do? How do we continue to survive? How do we rescue more orphans? How do we feed more hungry people? How do we actually accomplish what we believe Jesus is asking us to do?

Too many people will write you off just because you’re not an evangelical. Too many people will say that because I don’t look like and act like a minister of the Gospel, I must not be one. Too many people simply walk away from the truth that Jesus wants us to help the least of these.

Because I embrace Muslims as brothers and sisters, many turn their heads from the orphans we are rescuing. Because I drink alcohol some question my commitment to Jesus. Because I refuse to bow to the idol of religion, many question my faith.

What is a missionary to do?

I need money to do what it is we are doing. I don’t have a salary. I have used up all the money Kate and I had. I don’t have a network of churches to solicit. I don’t have skills or the desire to manipulate people to give.

I am who I am. I believe that God spoke to me, and asked me to be me. Not you, not him, not her, and certainly not that guy over there. Just me.

I am sharing Jesus with the people who need him the most-- those who are being trampled on by this world’s system; those who have been discarded as so much garbage; those who have no hope outside of us.

What’s a missionary to do? Seriously help me out here. I need to know.


Refresher Course

Every now and then I post something that summarizes what we are doing. You know for all you new readers and the forgetful ones as well. So here we go:

We are Americans living in Nakuru, Kenya where we care for orphans and abandoned children. We also assist people in our community, primarily those who are poor, sick, and otherwise oppressed.

We live with 8 Kenyan girls who either were orphaned or abandoned at some point. Our main aim is to provide a loving home for them.

We also have a boy’s home nearby where a Kenyan family has taken in orphaned or abandoned boys. The goal is the same, to provide family for the boys thereby giving them A Future and a Hope.

As resources permit we would like to take on a 3rd home, but more on that later.

In our community we feed, clothe, help provide healthcare, counsel, and otherwise love the unlovable.

That’s what we do. If you need any more detailed info just ask in a comment or email.


LIFE

Recently, I was thinking about LIFE, who I am, where I am, my confidence, my uncertainties, where I am headed, etc. An image of a captain on his boat came to my mind, and I wrote a poem about it:
I am like a sailor at sea
Steadfastly standing on his bow,
Face in the night's cold mist,
Drenched with spray from smashing wave.
I know not where I am
But confidently press forward with joy
Towards the stars' twinkling lights which guide me.

~Kate Brooks

 


For God so Loved the World

    16-18"This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person's failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him. (John 3:16, The Message)

Really? Seriously? Cause I think His church missed the whole God loving part, and the lack of condemnation.

Jesus came to put us right, not to turn us into holy crusaders.

When I deleted the “in or out” categories in my life something happened.

I found it easier to obey Jesus’ instructions on loving. It’s easy to not love those who are on the outside, I mean after all they are dirty sinners. Sure we say comforting things to ourselves like, “Hate the sin love the sinner.”

What? Like that is even possible.

How about we put aside the whole sin issue? I mean really, is it that important? I mean someone else’s shortcomings.

Why not share the love of God, and let Him sort out the sin?

Not sure where I was going with this, or even if it is worth posting. Hey, it’s Monday, that’s all the excuse I need.


Inquiry

Yesterday I went in search of the local Ministry of Educations office. After talking to a few folks I discovered it was in the Nakuru Town Hall.

Climbed a few stairs and in just a couple of minutes I was talking to one of the head people. Pretty efficient for a government office.

Anyway I told her that a certain teacher at one of the schools we use was hitting and pinching our girls. I also told her how we have instructed her not to do this.

The educational officer was sympathetic and willing to open an investigation. She told me they would send an officer out to the school to begin the inquiry.

So that’s that. Not sure what is next but the girls are now school-less. Kate will more then likely teach them till the next school term. Hopefully by then we will have found another alternative.