One of the coolest things about being in Africa was to see the way the people live. The faith people have and their passion for doing the works of the Lord is awesome. I have felt like the most spoiled rich kid ever in my disgust at little bugs in my kitchen, the strange smell of my shower water, too much fat on my meat, the poorly cared for restrooms with no toilet paper (especially the one in the Mara that was just a hole in the ground), the dirty, dirty floors, and hospital wards that smell like urine. The people of Africa walk around with ulcerated wounds for 20 years and esophageal cancer that has obstructed their esophagus so much that they are completely emaciated – why? Because they have to feed their family. I buy a $4 latte almost daily from Mod -- $4 in Kijabe buys a dozen eggs, 2 cartons of yogurt, 5 bananas, and a loaf of bread. It was truly a blessing to see the way people cared for each other, the way the praised and worshiped the Lord with their entire hearts and lives surrendered completely to Him, and their hospitality in welcoming me. I know I am guilty of questioning God because of a lack of ability to see Him at work in my life directly. Wow. Really? Nine people living in a room the size of my bedroom loving the Lord with all they are– a family of 14 kids, 7 of whom die in childhood because of starvation, and the ones remaining are all passionate about Christ and itching to share with others their thankfulness for such grace and mercy. What an eye opener for me.
I love this quote from a book I read that was at the house where I stayed:
We stand in wonder that the light of Jesus’ joy makes a rainbow in the tears on His face. John Piper “Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ”
Kijabe has helped me to understand what it means to be infinitely joyous in the love and grace of Jesus Christ. The above quote doesn't mean that I am to be uncompassionate or unsympathetic to those who are suffering but that it is possible for the mercy of the Lord to dwell so deeply within me and the knowledge of God's perfection and purpose to be so forefront in my thoughts that the overflowing joy in my heart makes a rainbow in my tears and I can clearly display God’s love even in times of sorrow and despair. I know I am not actually infinitely joyous but I do have a better understanding of what it looks like and that it's possible. I think for me it is about being lukewarm versus being on fire for God.
You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalms 16:11
Africa has pushed me outside my comfort zone. It has made me feel inadequate and prideful in so many ways. But, the Lord has shown me that it is okay to be far from perfect – and while it is great to strive to be as Christ-like as possible, I will stumble, I will fall, and I will never be worth. Grace – not Samantha’s works.
Put them in fear, O Lord, that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Psalms 9:20
Well folks, that concludes the Medicine and Mosquitos saga. Thanks for following my adventures!
I will post a few more additional pictures when I return to the states. :)
Love and God Bless!