08 August 2009

From Servant to Son, From Orphan to Heir

I am not doing so great keeping this up this past week! I'll warn you, since I haven't updated in awhile, this will be long. So go grab a cup of coffee and read into our lives for a bit. Last week flew by. I was home sick with Elisha most days. We both have pretty bad coughs but we're getting better. It's hard because I'm in my first tri-mester and medicines that are low risk for me to take are an even more risk with it being this early on. So I stick to the natural remedies. Please pray no sickness would come in our house!

Bud went a few days ago to pick up the team and came back Saturday with them. They drove from Nairobi to Kitale. It's pretty bumpy at times but seeing different parts of Kenya is beautiful. There's a lot of beauty in Kenya. The team is here and are doing great! They're amazing. We've really enjoyed them the past few days. I love seeing people give up their time, having faith to raise the funds to get here, and get here and love on our kids.

I've been meaning to talk about four very special children. They're so close to my heart and my favorite. (Actually, I feel that way about every child in Mattaw!) But I wanted to give you an update on Juma, Nelima, Gracie and Georgie. In case you're somewhat new to this blog I'll summarize their story from the beginning.

We met these four children last year in December. One of our staff was a neighbor to them. One Sunday she rushed into church to tell Bud that the mother had died leaving four children behind to her most current husband, Moses. Moses is the father to Georgie and Gracie. Juma and Nelima have different fathers. We were told they either died or abandoned them. We immediately took Georgie at that time, who was 2 months old. We accepted him as our own and cared for him for many months. During that time the father, Moses, had been saved. Before he was an alcoholic. He would sell the families things, take money he had earned to feed them and go buy alcohol. We believe he had stolen stuff to buy alcohol and when the people he had stolen from came looking for him to beat up, they found the wife and beat her. She was sick at the time and a week after is when she died. Needless to say these children had been through a lot and seen probably more than you can imagine. Both of the parents are from Uganda and grew up orphaned themselves. They have no family. So when Moses was saved he started coming to the church and we could see a huge change in his life. It was amazing to see, something only Jesus could do. We hired him as a gardener and found them a place to live that was better than a small mud hut shack. (someone that visited them said they though it was an out house (toilet) where they lived) We would pay him by bringing them food and clothes. We also put the three oldest children in our school. Then Moses found a new wife and she started coming to the church. They seemed perfect for each other and it seemed the Lord was repairing this family. She started accepting the four children as her own and we transferred Georgie out there. This was around the end of March. Isaac, our house one dad, poured into his life. Some of the men in our church would meet, Moses would be there, and they would encourage one another. Then one day Moses new wife, out of no where, up and left. She stole the food, kids clothes, Moses' new clothes that we gave him, and several other things leaving behind only the mattresses and Georgie crying in the house. Moses got home from work that evening with the other children to find this. It was awful. We were all shocked. I was so heartbroken, not just for Moses and wife, but more so for the children. So far all their culture had taught them about family was brokenness and pain. We did all we could to encourage Moses and help him out. He thought about committing suicide and was so hurt and absolutely furious. Then over the next weeks we would get stories from the children that were not good. Moses being out late, leaving the children locked in the house to take care of themselves. Then it happened, what we prayed and hoped wouldn't. Moses abandoned the children and is now gone. There were a few days Moses hadn't shown up to work so Julius, our house two dad, would walk the children home. One of the days he walked them home to find that Moses had taken everything and gone. The neighbors said he had been talking about it and is now gone for good. So that night the children stayed at Mattaw. Slowly since then we've been getting them adjusted to living at Mattaw. Today I gave them all new clothes, shoes, socks, and storage to keep them in. They have changed so much since they've moved in. You can tell it really affected Juma and Nelima. The house parents and us see that the children are relieved to be at Mattaw now. Juma's attitude has completely changed. Today when I was giving them their stuff they just lit up and accepted it with thankfulness. When we first met them they had rags for clothes and since then we've given them new clothes twice only to have them stolen by those given the responsibility to raise and love them. Sometimes I'll take a child to get new clothes from the container. It is interesting to see the different responses. For the children that have been there awhile and know that they are children and not orphans, they are very opinionated of the clothes they'd like! For Grace, Nelima, and Juma today, they just sat quietly as I rummaged through all the clothes to find the ones that fit them best. I've mentioned a few times about the book Compelled by Love by Heidi Baker. In it she tells a similar story. She'll take the children to her house and tell them they can get stuff out of the refrigerator. If they'd like a soda, go ahead. Those that know they are sons and daughters gladly help themselves. The new ones though will not dare go near. She talks about the spirit of adoption.

"For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out "Abba! Father!" The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ. Romans 8:15

And he said to him "Son, you are always with me, and all I have is yours". Luke 15:31

If we are childlike, we will know God as our Father and see Him as He is. We don't call Mattaw an orphanage and the children are never referred to as orphans but are now children in a family.

Heidi talks about how we can all be a bit like the children afraid of getting a coke out of the refrigerator with God. We think things like "am I really allowed? Can I really open up the door and drink of Him? Does He really love me?" But over time, God heals our abandoned and orphaned spirits.

All that is in God's house is available to His sons and daughters too. We are allowed to partake of His peace, His joy, His patience, His long suffering, His healing, and His provision. We are free to be in a relationship with Him and walk into the secret place as a son or daughter.

"...who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ..." Eph. 1:3

We are often like orphans in that we have access to heavenly realms but we are not sure whether the Father wants to see us. Some wonder if there is a God that is near or if He actually hears us. Others think that God does hear them but that He does not want to answer them.

1 John 4:18 "There is no fear in love but perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."

Most of us stand at the fridge door wondering if God is going to slap our hands if we dare open it and feast in the Father's house. Or we think that God is low on cokes (or clothes) and wants to save them for special children- or at least same them for some other time when we are really good. So we timidly step away from God. This is the orphan spirit.

Orphans compete with each other, always comparing and worrying that there is not enough, worrying that if God blesses someone else, they will miss out. Sons and daughters of God who are pure in heart give preference to each other, knowing that there is always enough in the Father's house.

(some of the above quoted from Compelled by Love)

We need God to reveal to us who we are as sons and daughters, as an heir in the Kingdom of God. He is our Father and we are loved as his children! We had T-shirts and crocs sent to us for the kids. Kevin with Katalyst ministries, is starting a new clothing line called Korban. His daughter Kait is designing the kids clothes. So the children got shirts created by Kait. The Osborne family was here last month. They sent a tub full of crocs with this team. After Bud and I gave them their shirt and crocs, we had the team pray over them. They were so loved! I love it. Then we talked to them afterwards about what their shirts say. They say "I'm a blessing, not a burden". Quoted from a verse in the Bible. They seemed to understand it quick! When Bud would explain to them how before coming to Mattaw people might of made them feel like a burden and gave them examples such as having to fix food for them or provide for them. You could see on their faces, especially the older ones, that this had happened to them. Then when Bud explained how now their life is different and how it's never a burden for any of us to love and care for them. Yeah, I could write about this for awhile but I better stop! I probably already lost half my readers!

The children are doing great and beautiful as ever. There's always something I have to learn from them. They run freely with not a care in the world now. Often I ask Jesus to make my heart like a child so that places where it hurts will heal quickly! We love you and thanks for keeping up with us!

Created for this,


Ellemieke said...

love you guys!!

Katie said...

Oh how your love and passion is just poured out into the children of Mattaw and readers of the blog and feel it through your posts! Thanks so much for sharing your life and the lives of those at Mattaw wtih us! It is such a blessing! Praying!

Emily (from JOMO) said...

What a great post. Seeing that picture of Georgie... man. So great! I am so glad that God has placed them in Mattaw! LOVE all of you!


bob said...

Kimbali- THis is VERY well written and beautiful and wonderful! AND - Happy Birthday!!

Anonymous said...

Is there a way to contribute to your work there?

Cyndi - San Angelo

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