My heart is twice broken!
First my heart is broken by the pain of broken families, abandon children, the poverty and squalor. It can feel nearly overwhelming. Our first day we visited the Kibera slum, where one million people live in one square mile. There is nearly no electricity and no plumbing. The stench hits you like a wall. From there we came to the Shangilia Children’s home. While the conditions are MUCH better it is still hard to know that these beautiful children have been abandon by those who should care for them most. The next day we met with the widows, who in Kenyan culture are nearly outcasts from society. Why should it be that these women who have already experienced the pain of losing a husband now in addition to caring for their family have to take on the financial burden of providing for themselves and their family? And on top of this to be cast out from your society…it is not fair, it is not right. My heart is broken.
Now my heart breaks again as I get to know these people. Instead of finding despair and hopelessness there is JOY, HOPE, LOVE, GENEROSITY. How can this be explained? There is only one answer. It can sound like the pat Sunday school answer “Jesus," but it is really true. Only our Lord can take this much pain, this much loss, this much suffering and from it bring this much JOY.
When I asked Pastor Timothy in Kibera what the goal of his ministry is or what it is that he is trying to accomplish he did not say I would like to feed these children, he did not say I would like to educate these children, he did not say he wanted to eliminate the poverty, he said without hesitation that it is his life’s work to bring people to Jesus! I am weeping as I type this. Did you read it? Read it again! His life’s work it to bring people to Jesus! Only Jesus can meet needs and hurts this deep.
The night we arrived at Shangilia the children danced and sang, they greeted us and hugged us. They had so much respect and love. My heart again broke with joy.
Seeing the widows as they came together forming a sisterhood, showing kindness, gentleness and love for one another. When they sang and danced; there can be no place closer to heaven on earth than that. Again my heart broke with joy.
Everyone I have met that was a part of the ministry of Love for Kenya was FULL of joy. It beams out of their faces. We are brothers and sisters even though we live on different continents. My heart breaks with joy. I know that this is not the last time we will meet, my Kenyan family and me. Whether, if the Lord grants, I am able to come back to Kenya or if not when we meet in the sweet by and by I will get to see my brothers and sisters again.
Are any of you wondering if there truly is joy in the Lord? I challenge you, exhort you, I beg you come to Kenya and have your heart twice broken as well.