Im a wreck just encountering God's love this morning so bare with me as I attempt to pour some of it here. I love love love all our children we've brought into the family at Mattaw. We love them all the same as our own. Well, they are our own. Really. Of course there's just some that you're called to bring closer to you and pour into more personally. We have four sons we've brought into our actual home so far. I wish I could be a mama to all 75 of our children by living with them every day, but we know we can't do it alone and we know there are Kenyan couples called to help us carry out the mandate the Lord has given us. The mandate to bring home sons and daughters, those once orphaned or abandoned, and need to know family. Know real love. And these house parents sent to us by God, they love them as their own too. Oh I'm so thankful the Lord raises up those to come along side of us and help us carry out this vision and mandate. Because there are many children. Many many children still out there. They are locked away in mud huts, digging in trash piles for food, in the slums being sold for sex, being forced to work in the fields, and left to fend for themselves.
Well I wanted to share with you a little bit more into our little life. We brought in Joseph before we left for Texas. I was a bit hesitant for many reasons, but you know, when love shows up, reasoning is smashed and you say yes. So Joseph came home with Bud from Turkana and has been out at Mattaw while we've been in Texas. Here's Joseph in case you missed last time I talked about him.
This picture is from we went to Turkana last year and we were where it felt like we came to the ends of the earth. There was NOTHING. Joseph's job was to go out everyday with their only "wealth" which was goats and sheep, graze them to find food, and keep them away from another tribe trying to steal them because they think God created all livestock for them. Oh yeah, and he also had to try and stay alive himself. But if a goat died or was lost, he was beaten. Here in this picture we gave Joseph a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Because that's all we had. And he thought it was the strangest looking and tasting thing. They don't have bread there. And they sure do not have peanut butter or jelly. But he received it happily and ate it. Little did we know he had not eaten in DAYS.
Last night Bud was talking to him and discovered he literally would go weeks without eating a full meal. He talked about having to get milk from the goats and would go to the town center to try to sell it so he could buy some food for him and his four little siblings. If he didn't sell it, he would bring it home, they would all drink it and go to bed.
Let that sink in for a minute.
I've been there, I've met the family, I've smelled the smells, and it's still hard to imagine a 10 year old boy having to spend every day herding goats, not eating but once or twice in a week and wanting to help feed his siblings around ages 2, 5, 7, and 9. This is in no way to say, hey look what we've done. That makes me want to puke when I see people use stories of poor African children to exalt themselves. This is to bring a reality to you. To be a voice for the children. Because that's what we are commissioned to do:
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31: 8-9
And to say hey, the first world problems you have are nothing compared to these children's problem. Yeah it sure made my problem of being out of coffee creamer and being too busy with three small children to go get it no longer be an issue. I mean really? Of course there's a balance because at the same time you don't want to fall into poverty yourself and not receive blessing our Daddy God has. Because I sure have no judgements on those living in wealth. It's the attitude of your heart and what are you doing?! You know sometimes I hear people make these ridiculous statements like "how can God do that?" or "where is God in that village?". And you know what? God is good. Period. And if we serve a good God then of course that would not be God that allowed that to happen. There's a war going on and satan is trying to kill, steal and destroy. And God has equipped us as His children and has provided for us everything to be able to carry out His purposes on the earth. So whatever is His will and heartbeat, He has provided for it. So His heartbeat is for the orphaned. That there would be no orphans. So what are WE doing about it? When people blame God for the most ridiculous acts of evil, they haven't had the revelation of God's love and goodness. And haven't asked themselves, what am I doing about it?
And sometimes when my problems seem so big, I need a little reminder of the children we've been called to defend and fight for. A little perspective goes a long way. We've been called to rescue. To redeem. And through that, the Kingdom of God is released. Because the gospel of Jesus Christ in action looks like something. It can be giving out a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or it can be bringing home the lost sons and daughters out there. It could be helping that single mom down the road from you. It could be buying groceries for the little old lady next door to you. It could be fostering children in the city you live in. Or sponsoring one of our children! Notice I started giving examples of things you can do in America. It doesn't matter what country you are in. Didn't mean to go down this road but here I am. My point is stop blaming God for something He wants to equip you to do. To help bring justice to the injustices on the earth. The Lord is waiting for willing hearts that'll carry His heartbeat to the nations. That's it, just be willing and stop blaming God.
Bud shared how great it is to be back in our home with our boys. It's been especially good to see what a change the Lord has done in Joseph. Here's our boys. Daniel, Joseph and Ian. We discovered Joseph has quite the personality. Amazing what food and love will do for a child.
And how wonderful to see Daniel and Ian as young men. My how they have become young men of God. I'll say it again, I'm so thankful for our managers, house parents, and other staff that have taken up the call to raise the children we rescue. Please pray for those on the ground there being the hands and feet of Jesus to the sons and daughters brought into Mattaw.
And also I should mention that today Kenyans are having a presidential election. Please pray it will be peaceful and not bring violence like it did last time in 2007.
Continue to pray for Bud too as he is with our Mattaw family. He and our sons are also about to travel to Turkana for a few days to check in on our our new family there. I'll share more about that soon though. My heart so longs to be there!
Love you all. Thank you to those standing with us.