Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Mighty Warrior

From the moment of conception a mother's life is changed. I have learned so much from my firstborn, Hudson. From an early age he displayed a tenderness for the Lord and the things of God that truly bring me to my knees. Here are a few stories that may touch your heart for God's kingdom.

~One day he and I were having lunch together. He was probably 2 1/2 years old. For dessert we were having oranges. His favorite fruit. We had been talking about heaven and what it looks like. He was describing his tree house and what my house would look like right next door to his. Then he asked, "Do you think there will be oranges in heaven?" I replied, "Of course, the best oranges you've ever tasted!" He then stood up on his chair, raised his hands in the air and said, "I just love you God! Thank you for making the oranges!"

Lesson: To praise God without shame for the smallest of blessings.

~When Hudson was about 3 1/2 years old our church had a day of prayer for the persecuted church. We were on our way to lunch and he was asking lots of questions. We tried to explain to the best of our ability to him what it was that was happening that day. He then suggested we should pray right away. He was the first to begin to pray, "Dear Lord, will you please help the bad guys that are being mean to the Christians. Help them be good and know You."

Lesson: Pray for your enemies and those that persecute you. (Not just for your own well-being or the protection of those you love.)

~Recently when we came back from America he was really missing all of his cousins. We were writing letters asking them to come and visit. Praying for them at every meal. Out of no where he said, "I really miss my cousins and I wish they would come. And I really wish we could live in Oklahoma again. But I would really be sad if none of my Kenyan buddies were in heaven. So I think we should stay and keep telling them about Jesus."

Lesson: You must deny yourself and leave those that are dearest to your heart sometimes.

~We have been listening to the Adventures in Odyssey series by tape on our many long road trips to Nairobi. We were listening the the story of Esther. After Haman was executed Hudson said, "Wow, that's really sad. Haman died without ever really knowing the one true God."

Lesson: Vengeance is the Lord's, but shouldn't we be seeking to find one lost sheep and bringing him to the saving knowledge of Jesus? Again, loving our enemy.

Kyle and Hudson worked through a devotional Bible called "God's Mighty Warrior". Hudson loved it. It talked about being a gentlemen, a man of God, fighting for God's glory and doing lots of cool boy things. I could see the lessons really taking shape in his life.

~One weekend Kyle was asked to "compare notes" at the local mosque. The elder men were in town recruiting new members. Kyle bravely accepted the invitation. The boys and I prayed all weekend. Before bed, (when we knew Kyle was there) Hudson said, "Mommy I can't wait to go to battle with Daddy someday with my Bible."

Lesson: Do not fear. Speak boldly. Put on the full armor of God and go to battle.

On Halloween Kyle knighted Hudson. He also had a little Kenyan ninja sidekick aka Jude. Each piece displayed the armor of God. And we prayed for him to continue to be a mighty warrior for Jesus.

~Just yesterday we were finishing the story of Moses. They had just crossed the Red Sea. Hudson's Bible talked about the song of praise Moses sang after they had been delivered to the other side of the sea, but it did not say the words to the song. He wanted to know what the song said. I got up to get my Bible, but then he began to sing his own song of praise for the mighty work God had done for the Israelites. I looked at him in amazement and saw he had tears in his eyes. I asked him if he was ok and he said, "Yes, I just wish God was here right now and I could see Him." If he only knew how present God was in that moment. I could feel Him smiling at His servant.

Lesson: If you want to enter the Kingdom of God you must become like a child.

May your heart be challenged by the faith of this child. God's mighty warrior.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Too Late for One, Just in Time for Another

Today I got back from my fourth trip to visit the Pokot people down in the valley. As you may know we have been going there doing medical clinics and gospel work. I know many of you were praying so I thank you for that. The trip was a great success in many ways. For one, we made it there safe and sound with no major car problems. (Last time we were stuck multiple times and it took 3 times as long to get home.) When we arrived we were warmly welcomed again by the community. They are really getting excited about our visits and about the possibility of a permanent medical facility being built there in the future. They had organized themselves and formed a committee to oversee the project. They even donated 10 acres of land for us to use to build the clinic. We would love to see this happen because there is only so much we can do on our 2 day trips that have been occurring about every 6-8 weeks. For some, we found out this time, it is too late. During the clinic I heard the devastating news that a 3 year old boy being brought by his mother died while on the way. They think that he had malaria which is easily treated with the right medication. Many people delay seeking care because there are no health facilities nearby. The news broke our hearts, but we were glad that we had brought a pastor along who could go to comfort the mother. Please pray for the family of the child and for this desparate need in the community.
Men discussing at the proposed site for the new clinic

For other patients we found that our arrival was just in time. There was a boy that had been having behavioral problems and had even burned down his grandmother's house/hut. The parents didn't know what else to do. They had taken him to a witchdoctor and to a medical clinic. He was given large doses of anti-psychotic medication. I warned them that with that big of a dose he could start to experience side effects, which are mostly strange uncontrollable movements like extending his neck and such. Well, not 2 hours after we had talked about it, the side effects started happening. Fortunately, we had brought medicines that would help him. I also talked to him about the likelihood that his problem was also a spiritual one. I explained to him about how his anger and acting out was sin and shared the gospel with him. He seemed to understand and expressed a desire to receive Christ. We knelt together and prayed. 2 other older men in the community also prayed to receive Christ during our time there and we are praying that there will be more that decide to follow Christ.

Another really exciting thing about our trip was the dedication ceremony for the new Pokot Bibles that I was able to bring to them this time.
2 visits ago it was the weekend of my Grandfather Smith's funeral and I could not be there, but I told them about how Grandfather had been a Bible translator and how someone had translated their Bible for them as well. There was only 1 Bible in their whole village and none with Old and New Testament. So this time we brought them 40 new Bibles and we handed them out in church and had a dedication ceremony. It was so wonderful. People gave testimonies about how much it meant for them to have a Bible in their own language. I challenged them to read and meditate on God's word as it says in Joshua 1:8.

We feel so privileged to be working among these people and we are excited to see what God is going to continue to do. They are truly becoming dear to us and they seem to like us too.
This time they decided to give me a gift so they gave me a live goat! We brought it home in the back of my car. It was pretty quiet for the most part and clean, thankfully. Please continue to pray with us for the work being done among the Pokot. When we get more information about the details of the clinic we would like to build I will let people know, but be praying about how the Lord may lead you to get involved. Thanks.

Visiting a Pokot Home

Can you find the hidden goat in this picture?

Vanessa and the boys didn't get to go with me on this trip, but I had to get some pictures of them too so here are a couple from last Thursday after I got back from a community home visit where we went and followed up on a patient that had been admitted to the hospital. The father decided to give me this rooster. It has been waking us up pretty early so we think we are going to eat it soon:) Love you all.