What do you do when faced with so much heartache --- many will write and ask me how do we handle it. Well, I don't. I hear the Father whisper "I gave you a heart that would hurt for those hurting but not a heart to carry the hurt. Lay it down daughter and I exchange it for my words that breath out life and healing in the midst of hurt." Sometimes my flesh screams that it's too much to bear. Sure, there are times I want to run and hide and protect my little flock. But I'm reminded they really aren't mine but His kids that HE has entrusted us with. It takes this brave courage--- one that has no earthly explanation. When you rip lives out of the pit of hell, they don't want another mission strategy or elegant 5 point sermon. They need straight up Jesus. We need Jesus. It takes this brave faith to truly believe He really is enough. His love is enough. Just believe. This faith He gives --- it isn't just pretty word on a coffee mug or a sign hung in a house. It is radical and it takes you places you have no explanation of how you got there except you said yes and truly believed it can only be Jesus. The world is shaking but we can't lose sight of HIM.
So this past Saturday. There were all these details. Details that our good good Daddy God so intricately weaved together to form for His glory and goodness. I have this husband of mine, a man I'm so gifted with. He saw to it that the loose ends of my brain were tied up... all things needing to be in order logistically to be able to go. The vehicle... driver... fuel... spare tire... shoes bought for widows... all the right sizes... picked up, paid for and loaded... AND... he stayed home with the kids. It's just like Jesus and how He cares for His church, full of grace. So we set out down a road. A road less travelled. The road took us through rolling hills and up into these epic mountains. You drive up and around then down and through river beds. Unlike Turkana, these river beds had water. The land is green and I saw some of the most gorgeous, big trees I've ever seen. Like Turkana, there were camels along the way :).
Once we found ourselves at the end of the road, we cut through someone's "yard" and drove on a foot path for about 30 more minutes up and around the mountain a bit more until we came to where cars can no longer go. From there, we hiked up to sweet Mary's place where the view is stunning and it looks like you're literally are at the end of the world. We were greeted by some of the loveliest people. Then they sat us in the middle of Mary's homestead where we overlooked the edge of the world.
And you know--- When all is stripped away --- And you sit. When the glamor of missions is stripped away. When a person isn't seen as a project but this beautiful soul that God formed for Himself. When you just sit --- and the labels fall off. And you really just sit. Sit and listen to these LIVES. When they aren't a good picture for a website or a story to fit your mission statement. But they're people that simply love Jesus. It's so real and well, hard to fit into words. These women that we had the privilege of sitting and listening to --- we heard them sing of Gods glory and they gave Him praise for the life Jesus gave them. There was something so raw and beautiful about seeing these women for who they are and whose they are. But oh my, the brokenness and poverty they've come from is unreal. Only God could redeem such lives.
For all that have asked --- I did manage to snap a few pics, realizing that all of you that have intently prayed and gave to these women should get a little glimpse of what happened.
I went with Dorcas (our head teacher in Mattaw Academy and she also oversees Mizizi women's ministry) and we also took three older mattaw girls. Dorcas comes alive when she loves on these women. The girls loved on everyone big and served well. The most precious and powerful part of the day, I didn't get any pictures. No way was I pulling out a camera or even thinking about it in such a heaven-invading-earth-moment. But I know one day in heaven, it'll be a good show to watch and remember with Jesus :). That moment was one where people gave their lives to Jesus, some delivered from witchcraft, healing from sickness and so many wrecked by the Fathers love. There was A LOT that Jesus did, but some moments are just too deep for words.
We gave out the shoes that so many of you gave funds for. We also handed out food and supplies. That was better than Christmas for me to sit back and watch. I snuck around to the back of the crowd and attempted to hide and watch. The children sniffed me out :-) -- but man, was I ever glad. Because I stood there watching them laugh and beat a drum...
...but I could see in their eyes sickness and hurt. And then Holy Spirit highlighted again, just like he did with the widows back in July, that the children need shoes. So you bet we will give ways to give and we will get those sweet little wounded feet covered.
I watched around 45 women put on brand new shoes and instantly become like little girls getting their first pair of ballet shoes. God is so brilliant in how He can show His love through new shoes. These women danced, ran around and were sure to give thanks where thanks was due-- to our sweet Daddy God. But it was made possible by many of you saying yes to God and being a huge part in this. So from the bottom of our heart --- THANK YOU.
One of the main widows, Sophia, got up at the end to say a word of thanks and a lot of other meaningful words that I wish I had recorded. But the thing that stood out the most is she said "we've walked on many stones and thorns for much of our life and we thank God for feet to walk. But now we have shoes we can go further in and spread the gospel".
Yep, I was done for life. Take me home Jesus! :-) ----------------------------------------
------------------------------- But not really! Because there really is SO much left to do.
Well, you know me, I could go on and on but I'll let a few more pics tell the rest....
And here's our beautiful new logo. Mizizi is the swahili word for "root". Our heart is for these precious women to be rooted in Christ and that we could come alongside and help remove the oh so many burdens they selflessly carry. And when you see those gorgeous wrinkles in the widows face, you just know there's a depth and roots to their story and we love to sit and hear those stories. And we'll keep sitting --- Listening --- And learning.