31 December 2015

Changes and Cheers (to a NEW year!)

Hello from 2016!  It's looking OH SO great from this side.  While most of you are still in 2015, I thought I'd finally write a blog that has been lingering in my heart for.... I dont know... like ....months.  It's been one that words on a page just wasn't happening.  I mentioned in the recent WOW post that we too have some personal WOWS that God has done in our little Huffman tribe.  And well, it's time to go public with some of them.  And they're good, no worries :).  

This past year has by far been one of the BEST and at the same time, one of the most challenging years ever.  There was a new depth of challenges that I had no idea we'd face when celebrating New Years last year.  And thank goodness that our good Father doesn't show us more than we can handle, he knows our hearts too much to know that we might ruuuuunnnn far away if we only knew what lies ahead.  OH but how much greater the victory when the battle is greater.  He is incredibly faithful to be with us always and Jesus' power, that resurrection power that He puts within us, well... the gates of hell can not prevail against His church and those called according to His purposes.  So we've learned, again, that if we would just trust --- sit still  --- abide --- and believe God and His promises in His Word -- then all will be just right.  So where am I going with this.... I've tried many times to sit and write this blog.  But I was advised by one phenomenal God-fearing bestie of mine to copy and paste what we just sent out to our sponsors.  Normally, all our sponsors get a personal note from us and we don't share with anyone else.  This year, you get to get in on it.  And I hope it'll also encourage you to sign up to sponsor one of our Mattaw Children!  Because the need for more sponsors is still a great big one.  So as you start out your New Year in 2016, would you consider sponsorship?  It's the biggest need we have to be able to care for Mattaw Children's Village.  

A letter to our sponsors:

Hi Friends and Family! True to Kenyan culture, we greet you the Kenyan way: Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We hope this finds you doing well this holiday season. Wow, what a year it has been within Mattaw Ministries. We have been blessed beyond our imagination. The Lord continues to lead, guide, protect and provide for those once forgotten. We are incredibly grateful for any small or big way you’ve been a part of seeing the gospel of the Kingdom expand and go forth here in Kenya. There have been SO many ways people have heard the call from our good Father to respond to the needs of the orphaned and widowed. We’ve had teenagers put on a 5k in their neighborhood to raise thousands of dollars for these children. Two children put up a lemonade stand to collect funds. That is such a classic fundraiser, but what beauty is shown of kids helping kids across the world. We can learn so much from children! We’ve also had those that want to be anonymous give in BIG ways that blow our minds on what big hearts of compassion the Lord forms in His church. Then there’s been people that also quietly give what they can which is sometimes a few dollars and lots of prayers. Oh how God loves a happy heart that gives out of love and obedience. And our sweet sponsors! What an answer to prayer EVERY -- SINGLE -- ONE of you is. It is through monthly sponsorship that we provide for our children. I could write a novel on the most creative ways God has brought in funds but I’ll just say this to all of you who know who you are --- whatever you’ve done to the least of these, you’ve done unto Jesus. And for that, we say THANK YOU. Our hearts are so full of gratitude. This year, we’ve been through many great and hard times. We’ve watched our oldest children grow into young men and women. It has brought good and hard times. We’ve really pressed in to seek God’s wisdom for how to raise these chlidren into leaders, which is the heart and vision of Mattaw Children’s Village. As we continue to raise them, pray with us that they would make choices to seek God first and HIS Kingdom and then everything else will come into place. One huge answer to prayer was an organization called Joshua Blueprint. Ray and S’ambrosia are the founders and directors. They sat with us a little over a year ago and shared their heart and vision and asked if Mattaw could be their pilot project. They’re our age mates and we absolutely loved what big dreams and hearts they have. We could see that God could really use this to reach our older children in big ways. Their main mission is through the arts. They taught dance, vocals, instruments and drama. We can’t express our thanks enough for how God moved mightily in our children though the arts. Healing, hope, dreams and talents came alive in our children in the most creative ways! A year ago, the Huffman family moved on site to Mattaw Children’s Village and we also moved the Sprouts Babies to Mattaw. We had planned to do this for a year and then had hoped we would buy more land and the baby home and Huffman’s home would be built there. As we continued to pray and seek our good Shepherd’s leading, He said once again that it isn’t the right time. So we laid those plans at His feet and let the dreams not die but know they will continue to grow until it is the right season to birth them. Our hope is to build a Sprouts baby home and Kimbilio girls home on new land and ask you pray with us for the right timing, right funds and the right laborers to come alongside! It’s always such a journey to plow through uncharted territory and see a God-given vision come to be in the physical. No doubt, heartache and stretching comes with it, but God is faithful and what He ordains will come to pass. We wil keep believing Him for all He says He will do. The Huffman family also spent more time in Turkana this past year. You can find detailed updates on the Huffman’s blog. We saw many hearts turn to Jesus for the first time and so many healed and delivered. We love to see Jesus remove anything that hinders His perfect love from crashing in and transforming lives. He is such a good good Father in all His ways! We look forward to continuing this next year in Turkana and seeing the Kingdom of God expand whether it’s through medical trips, digging water wells, planting churches, equipping believers, hosting children’s camps or simply loving each life God puts in front of us. We have been incredibly blessed with our long-term friend and volunteer, Rebecca. She’s been with us for around two years now. The timing of her coming was absolutely perfect in His will. She loved the Mattaw children oh so well. She especially did phenomenal with overseeing our Sprouts babies and helping set up the future for more sweet little treasures that will come to Mattaw. We are sad as her time on the ground volunteering is coming to an end but we rejoice looking back at all God has done through our time ministering together. We are also excited to see the next season of life God has for her as she will return stateside to pediatric nursing. We will deeply miss Rebecca but look forward to her trips back to visit! This past year we also saw our Mizizi Women’s Ministry take off more. We’ve been supporting widows and single moms by sitting with them, hearing their stories, encouraging them with the Father’s love and provide basic needs like food and school fees for the grandchidren they’re left to care for. We have expanded to a new region called Pokot. There are some of the sweetest widows and teenage moms that we have fallen in love with. What a gorgeous place it is but the poverty runs deep. We’ve already seen many healed, saved, delivered and hope restored just through the simplicity of LOVE. His love never fails yall! Looking forward to this next year as we continue to love on the widows, single moms and teenage moms that God leads us to. As we have shared, the Huffmans moved on-site of Mattaw Children’s Village a little over a year ago. The leading there was to spend one year empowering the leadership and knowing better how to help. It can sometimes be a challenge in this culture to know how to really help and sometimes it takes living day to day in the midst of the vision God gave us. At the beginning of this year, Bud and I felt such a stirring to start praying where God would have us live next. It seemed so obvious we would move onto new land and start the baby and girls home. But God had other plans. As we said, we laid those plans at His feet and knew now was not the time. However, we knew we were called to live there a year and then our little family would move. Part of the need to move was out of the expansion to Turkana. We saw we needed a quiet place to be refreshed before we went out. We absolutely love and adore our Mattaw family and have seen SO much growth in our leaders and children from the time we spent living there. But the reality is, we are the Directors and living on site was becoming a challenge to truly rest as a family. It has also always been the vision of Mattaw to empower and equip local Kenyan leaders to run with the vision of Mattaw without us there all of the time. With all that said, the short version is that the Huffman family has recently moved off site and to a town called Naivasha. Our role at Mattaw hasn’t changed at all. We will still travel to Mattaw once a month to stay on site and help give oversight. Bud will start flying up to Turkana once a month to do ministry there. The whole Huffman family will continue to go at least three times a year for a month at a time. We also plan to be in Pokot throughout the year. It has been transitions full of so much peace; and at the same time a very hard one. We are so thankful that the leaders and children at Mattaw handled the news well. Of course they were sad and some tears shed, but overall, there was so much peace in sharing the news with them. As I am typing this, I have my parents and oldest son Caleb here in our new home with us. What a big surprise God has blessed us with this year! This is my parents first time to visit Kenya and it couldn’t have come at a better time. We had NO idea we’d get ALL our children home for Christmas this year but some super dear friends of ours made it possible for Caleb to travel here for Christmas. I can’t go without saying something about our three littlest children. Elisha, Claire and Ezra have always been such a gift to us. As parents, we are all tempted with the thought of "are we doing what is best for our children?!" The enemy is sneaky but not new at trying to make us feel like we are making a mess of our children. I’ve had to constantly lay the burden down at His feet. He is oh so faithful every time to show us the best way to go in raising God fearing and God honoring children. They have great friends at Mattaw but have also had so much peace in transitioning to a new home. It’s not always easy to travel down the right way that Jesus leads us, but He does promise us shalom, peace down to our core and for that we are grateful to see and feel in our family. This season, we pray and hope you too will find His peace in the midst of what looks like chaos in this world. One of His greatest promises is also not to ever leave or abandon us. He indeed is with us until the end of times. Jesus coming to this earth was the greatest gift the Father could give us. It meant He loved us, had good plans for His church and His bride, it meant Emmanuel: God with us. He is with us! So just as each child at Mattaw has been rescued from loneliness, abandonment, abuse, trauma, heartache and hunger, we too have been rescued and brought into the family of God. Just as our Mattaw children didn’t have to be convinced to receive food, love, comfort and shelter, we too are to be like children and just receive what God has for us. Because of Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us, there’s no more loneliness, just a good, good Father who cares for his children. We love you BIG! Kimberly (and Bud) and our whole Huffman tribe (Caleb, Ian, Dan, Joseph, Elisha, Claire and Ezra)

Happy New Years from our family to you.   Our prayer is that you would embrace all that God has for you this year.  It's going to be quite the ride if you would just say yes to Him.  He is trustworthy!  


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