Friday, December 21, 2007

December 20, 2007 - God provides through His people

Through a series of mistakes, I ended up coming to Kenya with an extra pair of slippers that were too small. I really had no reason to pack them, but I felt compelled to anyway. Two nights ago, Alison, Juli’s roommate and good friend, mentioned that she needed to buy new slippers; I asked what size she wore and wouldn’t you know – it was the exact size that I had packed. I’m not sure you could call it a miracle, but it was definitely evidence of how God provides even when we don’t understand how.
In fact, today featured constant reminders of how God provides. Through another set of “coincidences”, ELI’s children home received some visitors from the African Finance Corporation (AFC). After the tour, this company gave a significant donation to the kids for Christmas. It was completely unexpected and two days prior, I don’t think any of the staff had even heard of AFC. The gratitude for the gift was palpable. When everything that you have comes from the beneficence of others, the amount of grace you show in acceptance increases exponentially.
After the visitors and some rest, we went to celebrate the birthday of Rehma, who is one of David’s son. It wasn’t a typical birthday celebration for me. After the few presents were opened, speeches were given by Rehma’s brothers and sisters, close friends, a teacher, and his father. In fact, Rehma himself started the speeches. It was hard to imagine the same thing happening in the States. Most twelve-year old American boys I know wouldn’t have stood for it. Kind to think of it, most families I know wouldn’t have either.
After the birthday celebration, we had a family meeting. As Juli’s friend I’m part of the family by extension, so although I couldn’t understand much of what was discussed, I sat and listened. (And ask Mercy, David’s daughter, for some translation assistance.) The subject was Christmas. We were deciding which needy families in the community we would visit and what could be provided for them. Everyone in the family shared their contribution. In the middle of the discussion, we learned of an immediate need. A woman had given birth to a daughter that very evening. This woman was from a town about an hour and a half away but had been displaced from her home due to tribal conflicts. She literally was leaving everything behind when she went into labor. Immediately, the family set about finding what we could bring her. Mercy had a mattress and some blankets that she went to gather. We gathered extra rice and beans, and leftovers. Then we left. It was ten o’clock at night and we went to find this lady to provide for her what we could.
Because this lady was displaced from her home, it was a little difficult to locate her. Once we did though, the moment was priceless. She was staying in another woman’s home – someone she didn’t know but who also gave what she could. We enter the home with our pots of leftovers and I wish you could have seen it. In this tiny one room hut, there laid a woman with a tiny baby wrapped in swaddling clothes. Five hours earlier she had given birth. After staying at the clinic for two hours, she walked with her baby and her toddler to whatever abode she could find. The lady who provided the home was so happy to see us, you would have thought the child was her granddaughter. The baby’s father had returned home in the midst of the conflict to try and gather a few things. Juli, ever the nurse, examined the baby and pronounced it healthy. Then we stood in this tiny room, sang a song that proclaimed God’s goodness and prayed. From now on, that moment will signify Christmas to me.
God always provides for His people. A lot of the times, His provision comes through His people. May we be listening for His voice so that we don’t miss out on the chance to be a part of His provision



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Better Things Ahead: December 20, 2007 - God provides through His people

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December 20, 2007 - God provides through His people