29 October 2016

An invitation in the Desert

I just lost count of how many times I've written a full page of words this week and deleted every-single-bit-of-it.  Oh writers block -- you are NO FUN.  But it was good to dump out some words to get to the ones needed to fill this space.

The last words I filled on this page were all about lessons God is teaching me in "seasons".  Such as this desert season I've been in this past year, hence the picture of the desert above.  But then I read this quote:

"I used to think "seasons" were about God teaching me lessons.  Now I realise each "season" is a loving invitation from  my Father to dive deeper into His heart of goodness".

Yeah... I hear Jesus whisper to my heart so massively in that statement.  So again, it was a "select all and DELETE".  Take a deep breath.  Go for a run.  And start over.  

It is all about the motive behind what we say, what we write, what we do and how we love.  So if I type to just fill up blank spaces and not to share from God's heart, it is just more words.  And we know this world is full of enough meaningless words.  In this desert season, I have found some great joy in learning to do life a better way.  Again.  And I'll probably be back to this place again and again and again until I step into Heaven.  I CAN NOT WAIT FOR THAT DAY.  Just sayin'.

So I tried to write up lessons learned when now I'll share more of what God invited us into as we have trekked through what has felt like a desert.  This will be the intro and I hope to keep sharing.  But no promises :).  

When you think of a desert, usually the first thing that comes to mind is the heat and being thirsty.  There's water in the desert, it just has to be tapped into and found.  It isn't easy, but oh, it is there.  Did you know... Turkana has one of the largest aquifers underneath it?  It is possible that if tapped into, it could serve the entirety of Kenya for 70 years.  And yet so many people are sick and dying from the lack of water, especially good clean water.  But there it is, waiting under the surface, below the ground their feet are walking on.

Which can be such a picture of the life we are called to by God.  We go through times where it feels like everything is dried up, where His presence isn't felt and we are just flat out weary and tired.  But if we would choose to trust God, and push past the surface of what it appears to be, there's a whole resource of living water found below.  That's the key, not trust what appears to be but trust what GOD says.  What God promises.  In the fast paced culture we live in, we want the promise land without the pruning (and that often comes in those desert seasons).  It is in those seasons of the desert where we have a choice.  Because thank goodness, God did not create us to be robots.  He gave us a mind and will and wants us to choose His ways.  But we get to choose.  He is not a controlling God, He is GOOD and loves us big.

So we can choose... will we sit back and let the weariness and heaviness hold us down in hopes that eventually this will pass?  Will we choose to make excuses and grumble our way through it?  And I've read and heard the story several times of the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years because of their lack of trust in God.  They grumbled and were destroyed for it.  It is always a huge red flag when I realise the amount of grumbling, self-pity and negativity that is going through my thoughts and then even worse, out my mouth.  Watch out.  Those are indicators that we are not trusting God, our faith is weak and we need to be hittin the floor to our knees, asking for His grace to give us faith to believe the best.  That greater things are ahead, He has not left us and His promises are truth.  In 1 Corinthians 10 it shares about the Israelites that went through the wilderness long ago and how we can learn from them.  The first thing I noticed was in verse 3-5, they were all drinking of the same spiritual food and water which was Christ yet God was not pleased with most of them and eventually they were scattered.  It is a scary thing that we can all be experiencing miracles and are believers and yet God is not be pleased with some... because He looks at the heart.  They were having a good ol time, celebrating, desiring evil things, idols, living as though all would be fine since here they are drinking of God's spiritual water and food.  And yet God was not happy.  Oh no, not at all.  And then some put Christ to the test and as a result, died from snakebites.  Then they grumbled and complained and they were destroyed by an angel of death.

Verse 11 says "these things happened to them as an example to us."

So, TAKE NOTE is what a huge banner says going through my head as I read through these words.

 Verse 12 "If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall.  The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience.  And God is faithful.  He will not allow the temptations to be more than you can stand.  When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so you can endure."  Oh, I hope you can hear the heart of the Lord in this and that it is not to point fingers at our weaknesses but an invitation from God himself to have hope, to believe He is faithful and how He will give us a way out so that -- we can endure.  I find that a lot of ways I'm tempted is not in the big evil sins but more of the subtle ways... the things I know I should do, ways I should be obedient, the things He is calling me to speak up about.  And not to retreat.  And lets not forget about those sins of getting tired and grumbling.  Yikes, how easy the negative thoughts creep in if we aren't aware.

"So let's not get tired of doing what is good.  At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing IF we don't give up"  Galatians 6:9

I should get that tattooed on my forehead.

So back to that whole comparison of how there is a massive amount of water just waiting below the surface in the Turkana desert while many on the surface are hurting due to the lack of water.

Isaiah 45:3
"I will give you treasures hidden in darkness -- secret riches.  I will do this so you may know I am the Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.

1 Corinthians 2:10-12
But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit.  For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God's deep secrets. 11 No one can know a person's thoughts except that person's own spirit, and no one can know God's thoughts except God's own Spirit. 12 And we have received God's Spirit, so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.  (and I would so encourage to go read all of chapter 2 and how we have been given the mind of Christ to understand the ways and mysteries of God)

And this is what I can so feel an invitation from sweet Jesus to know... that if we would press into His truth -- His Word -- in the midst of the desert.... WOW.... a fountain of living water will spring up and the thirst we have will be satisfied.  And we will find contentment.  And this invitation to actually KNOW God and know His thoughts and his mysteries that are hidden below the surface?  It is an invite to ALL.  Not just the spiritual elite or some big theologian.  It is for us all that have chosen to follow Jesus.

I'll be honest, I used to have such a hard time reading my bible everyday.  I would for a few weeks then fall off the train.  Then would for a couple months and get in another rut.  Yep, I was a missionary and not reading my bible everyday.  I have to chuckle a bit at the guilt I allowed over it.  Scripture has always been of HUGE importance and I have always loved it but it wasn't vital to my everyday living like it should be. And then God, in His goodness and patience, renewed my mind when it came to reading his Holy Words.  Back in April as we sat on the beautiful coast of Kenya (a desert with water, ha) ... God spoke through a friend.  It wasn't a "check list" kind of way.  But just a better way of living.  The Word is life and it is alive.  And rather than feeling the need to check off so many chapters a day (which does help for some and not speaking against that) but it was such a sweet invitation from God to read what He wants to speak to my heart every morning.  Not a religious act.  But more of a "hey, i've given you all you need in this book.... to know you are loved, empowered, who you are, what you are called to and how to navigate through every situation you will EVER face on the earth."  And because I chose to hear God's motive behind why we should be diving into the Word everyday, a shift happened.

Because if we are submitted to Holy Spirit, if we have been given the mind of Christ by His Spirit, then surely we should be submitted to God's written Word.  According to 1 Timothy 3:16, the Word was written by Holy Spirit and breathed on by God.

I have found, once again.  That the invitation in the midst of desert seasons is to a love encounter with Jesus himself.  He doesn't allow the testings and hardships to come because He wants us to suffer.  I mean, sure, he warned us in His Holy Words there would be sufferings.  We live in a fallen world.  But I believe it is through those hard times that we have an opportunity to know His love in deeper ways.  In the desert, we get to choose to tap into the hard grounds or even bust through the walls we've put up from the pain in our past and let the flood gates of His love rush into our hearts.  And I am so incredibly thankful for the hard times that give us a choice to lean on our Beloved.  Not mans opinions, not on emotions (thats a biggy), not on chocolate and coffee (although soulcare is important), not on what I see or not even on our bank account.  But we get to choose to lean on our Beloved as we come out of a wilderness.

"Who is this coming up from the wilderness, leaning on her Beloved?"  Song of Songs 8:5

07 September 2016

A Newsletter is COMING!

The time and space between the last post to this is .... well .... possibly long.  But needed as we have been taking a break from an intense but good and busy summer.    

A quick update on the last post I shared on here about our oldest children at Mattaw.  The students that YOU helped us send to the convention for competitions.  They -- were -- AMAZING.  And that is an understatement.  They went against schools from around Kenya and other countries such as Tanzania and Uganda.  There were some tough competitions but they WON several of their events!  Soccer, volley, checkers and track events and the Praise and Worship team just to name a few.  We are so proud of them for all the hard work and training they put into each event.  They did their best and I think surprised themselves with what God could do through them.   We are working on giving the Mattaw website a makeover and will share details on there SOON!  We hope :).

And somehow... in the midst of all this time that keeps going by ... my once so little littles aren't so little anymore....

This last month, we also took a trip up to Turkana to visit our families and continued teaching and equipping leaders in the churches we partner with.  It was God's sweet and perfect timing to have visited our families to take them supplies and pray for them.

 We would LOVE to share more with you and be more consistent in the sharing of what is happening around the Huffman family, Mattaw Children's Village, Turkana and more.  So we figured it is about time we start a monthly newsletter!  It is possible we already have you on our email distribution list but if not, you can sign up by emailing us your email!  kimberly@mattawchildren.com

This will be a much more reliable way to keep up with our family and ministry in Africa so we hope you'll sign up!

27 July 2016

Mattaw Update, July 2016

After finishing up a full couple of months....  I have a bit to share :).  But it's going to take another week or two to finish up the post I'm writing to share of how full and wonderful all our teams have been.  And we still have one team left, coming next week!  My bestie is leading it so I might be a tad E-X-C-I-T-E-D.

It has been a beautiful summer full of testimonies of Jesus.  The Mattaw Children have been blessed, to say the least.  So we truly are thankful for every person that came and poured out love.  Pictures and testimonies to come.  I promise :).

While teams have come and gone, the children were able to continue in their routine of school and life.  If you haven't heard yet, we have an organisation we partner with called Joshua Blueprint.  They are currently in the second year of teaching and training our older children in vocals, instruments, drama and dance.  It's been beautiful to see God use these classes to awaken the arts in our children and to see such deep healing come to their hearts through it.  Our children have so many talents that Joshua Blueprint has been able to discover.  Some children, once traumatised, broken and feeling they have nothing to give, are being transformed and becoming confident in knowing God has deposited gifts in them that the world needs.  It's been life changing for many.

In our school, we are now in the fourth year of using a new curriculum called Accelerated Christian Education.  We've also seen God use this curriculum to transform children in their thinking.  Many come to us with little to no education and this system has helped them to catch up.  It is still a work in progress but progress is made daily.  We love that this curriculum teaches critical thinking and also has God's word woven throughout it.  It also helps to build character that pleases God.  There are life-lessons given that set our children up to be successful adults.

In using this curriculum, there have been challenges that have come with it.  One is that our children are not in any local sports or academic competitions that the public schools have.  Thankfully, we receive our curriculum from a base in Nairobi.  This is an International curriculum and has students graduating from it that are able to attend Universities around the world.  We are thankful that the base here in Kenya holds national competitions every year for schools around Kenya that use A.C.E.  They call it the ACE Convention.  This year, we took a leap of faith and have registered our students in this.  They are BEYOND excited to be a part of this.  They have been practising diligently on a daily bases.  There will be events such as bible drills, sporting events, essay writing, drama, dance, music and spelling bee's (to name a few) .  The timing is perfect to see how what our students have learned from Joshua Blueprint classes will highly impact how our students do in these events.  We are able to register 20 of our students in these competitions.

But it isn't cheap.  And we know the price it costs is nothing compared to how much of an impact it'll make in our students.

So we share this to ask that you pray as they prepare.  We also ask that you consider giving towards them going.  The dates are August 22-26 and it is held in Nairobi (the capital of Kenya).  The cost to register each student (which includes cost for food and lodging) is a total of $2,000.  We were a bit hesitant to do this as it is costly but like I shared, we realised what a great need this is for our students and how much value it will be in their life for years to come.  Any amount you can give towards this will be so appreciated and helpful.  You can go to the Mattaw Children website, click the donate tab at the top and give through paypal.  Just please specify in the memo that it is for "Convention for Mattaw Students".  www.mattawchildren.com

If you've made it through this entire post, thank you!  Thank you for continuing to stay connected to all God continues to do in our midst.  Much love to all those that follow, support, love and pray for our Mattaw family.

26 May 2016

Rest and Race.

After a week of this...

We are back to fully adulting again. 

And as much as I love life by the sea and getting our hearts full and overflowing again, we are thrilled to be back with our Mattaw family. 

Last week we were so thankful to get some much needed rest physically. Which often means our soul (and hearts) get that much needed restoration too. That is, if we choose to. And thankfully we did. We were oh so blessed with friends to go with. It was a gift for sure.

It's hard to believe that 11 years ago I set sail (or took off on a plane) and moved here to Kenya. I've learned a lot of what not to do and thankfully, by Gods grace and wisdom, have also learned a few things of what would be wise to do. But I'll save that novel for another post. The short of it is that one thing I've learned is the value of rest. We can become so focused on the overwhelming needs and run ourself into the ground as we forget to rest in the One who supplies for our every need.  We measure ourself by the fruit of our lives instead of the time spent abiding in the arms of the one that causes fruit to come out of our life.

Quoting one of our friends that we vacationed with, she reminded me this morning...
"Times of sweet rest and renewing must be temporary -- but they are deeply needed and important. Whispers of Heaven's goodness refresh our earthbound journey. 
And fully adulting after refreshment produces so so much more than worn out workers can deliver. So thankful for our Jesus teaching/showing us this."

There's that tension of getting back to routine and focusing on what God puts in front of us to do next. Staying the course.  Which made me think of all our American friends and how you might be transitioning from a season of a busy school schedule to summer. Perhaps a goal to set as you start your summer of rest is just what is needed. And maybe you have a little extra time to be a voice for the voiceless. 

This is the 3rd year our (heart) family back stateside is putting on a race event to fundraise funds for the Mattaw Children. 

Our greatest need at Mattaw is sponsorship for the children. The proceeds will help cover the monthly needs that are not currently met.  At Mattaw, we aim to provide the best food diet, schooling, medical care and a family environment for the children to be raised in. And it's no cheap task. 

But there's no price too high to see God rescue the orphaned and raise them in a healthy family as sons and daughters. 

There's no price on what it takes to see them rescued from destruction. There's no price too high to see them given back a childhood they were robbed of.

 And there's no price too high to see them encounter Jesus for the first time. 

But there is a price.  And so we are inviting you to help!

What's so great about this race is it is viral. Meaning you sign up online and can run wherever you are between June 18-25. Or if you're able to gather up a group to run with, we've had several do that and have loads of fun in doing so. It might be a good way to get your neighborhood or church involved in caring for the orphaned. 

had planned for a 1/2 marathon and missed that train so instead I've started this 4 week training program I've posted at the end of this (Taken from verywell.com) If you need some motivation and a schedule, here it is!  

Or you can do a 5k ...

Or a fun run/walk ...

Or just sign up, support a great cause, get a cool tank top and take a lap around your couch :). 

Because this year we do have the coolest tank tops.

For more information and to sign up, go to the website: 


We hope you'll join us not just in an event we are calling a race. But an eternal one. A race where no one is competing but a race that we are in it together and in it for the long haul. A race to see heaven come. Where children are no longer orphaned, no longer left on the streets or locked away in huts. But a race where we can bring Jesus to children and they join in the race with us until we reach our heavenly home. 

You can find this on Facebook too under the name:  Mattaw Safari Run. We hope to see you post pictures on the Facebook page next month!  

4 Week Beginner 10K Training Schedule

Week 1: 
Day 1: 30 min CT or Rest
Day 2: 2 miles ER
Day 3: 30 min CT or Rest
Day 4: 2 miles ER
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: 3 miles LR
Day 7: 2 miles brisk walk or Rest

Week 2: 
Day 1: 30 min CT or Rest
Day 2: 2.5 miles ER
Day 3: 30 min CT or Rest
Day 4: 2.5 miles ER
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: 4 miles LR
Day 7: 2 miles brisk walk or Rest

Week 3: 
Day 1: 30 min CT or Rest
Day 2: 3 miles ER
Day 3: 30 min CT or Rest
Day 4: 3 miles ER
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: 5 miles LR
Day 7: 2 miles brisk walk or Rest

Week 4: 
Day 1: 3 miles ER
Day 2: 30 min CT or Rest
Day 3: 3 miles ER
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: 2 miles ER
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: Race day

Training Schedule Notes:

Long Runs (LR): You're not training for a long distance event, but long runs will help you develop your stamina, which is important in 5K racing. You should do your long runs at a comfortable, conversational pace. You should be able breathe easily and talk in complete sentences. Your easy runs (ER) should also be done at this effort.

If you're running outside, you can measure your routes using a site such as MapMyRun or use a running app such as RunKeeper or Strava.

Rest and Cross-Training Days: On rest days, you can take the day off or do some easy cross training such as biking, swimming, or another activity you enjoy.

Strength-training is extremely beneficial for injury prevention and performance improvement.

22 May 2016

Let them come...



Oh how precious they are to our good good Father's heart.  

Several weeks ago, we had the privilege of taking Jesus to children in a remote village in the Turkana region in northern Kenya.  Looking back at the week, one of my favourite parts of the camp was seeing the local church serve the children and us work as a team.  We were able to come alongside Kenyan friends to see the children come to know Jesus.  We weren't there to run our own show but to serve alongside our friends there that have laboured for years to disciple the people and advance God's Kingdom.   We saw children come to know Jesus.  Like really know Him.  Not just talk and hear about Him but for the first time, they encountered the living God and said yes.  Love was calling and many said yes.  We watched children equipped with the Word of God.  Children no longer wondering if God really loved them.  The simplest way I can sum it up is that love crashed in.  

Every morning, as the sun was rising, I'd wake up to pray for our day.  And everyday, it was as though the words God put in my heart were vibrating deep within.  I couldn't shake it.  It was a bold yet simple truth that He kept whispering to my heart -- Do not hinder the children, let them come to me.  

DO NOT hinder the children... 


LET them come.    

"People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them.  When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”  And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them."  Mark 10:13-17

And those that are hungry... 

Let them come.

To those feeling alone...

Let them come.

To those who feel used, abandoned, forgotten...

Let them come.

To those that have no clothes, those that are sick and hurting...

Let them come.

 Those that are tormented by evil and need deliverance...

Let them come.

Those that are left to die...

Let them come.

To those trapped inside of a slum, watching their grandmother prostitute herself out daily...

The ones needing the freedom to be a child again... to create and laugh just as children were created to do...

Let them come.

Jesus said it himself --- For the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  

 So what is the kingdom of God consist of?  

"For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." 

‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give."  Matthew 10:8

"But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you." Luke 11:12

Jesus made it so simple for us, He demonstrated the Kingdom while on earth.  He is our perfect example.  He preached the gospel of the Kingdom and in doing so, He healed the sick, cast out demons and worked miracles.  He went to the lost, hurt and dying.  He loved the unlovable.  He comforted those that mourned.  He gave them JOY instead of sorrow.  He then commissioned the disciples to do the same and then another 70... then multiplication happened and eventually that mandate trickled down to us here and now. (Matthew 4:23-24, Matt 9:35, Matt 12:28, Luke 10:1,8,9, Mark 16:15-20)  

He also taught us how to pray, asking for His Kingdom  "... your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven..."  Children get this so quickly.  Whatever isn't in heaven, shouldn't be here.  It's simple.

I know, I know... I'm getting my preachy pants on but goodness gracious yall...  God knows when He rattles my bones with a word like this, I can't keep quiet.

When we are not obedient to the call of God on our lives.  Or to letting the gifting's of Holy Spirit flow through us.  Or the times when we shrink back to sharing His love -- His truth -- His light -- His abundant life.  Is it possible we are hindering the children from coming to Jesus?  Because how will they know unless they are told?  How will they know who this Jesus is unless they are shown? 

"... for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction"  1 Thess 1:5

"How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?"  Romans 10:14

And then I just love what Jesus did after He told them not to hinder the children and to let them come...

"... He took them in His arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them"

Because sometimes, we show them Jesus by simply giving a hug and blessing them.

22 April 2016

Day 5

Day 5. 

Day 5 of the kids camp was a beautiful end to the week. 

It involved children being fed. Children walking in freedom. A lot of excitement playing games. Lots of smiles and laughter. Girls getting to make bracelets. Praise and worship rising from the sand to the heavens. Candy. A lot of jumping and dancing. Full tummies. And bittersweet goodbyes.  

Our team gave it their all. We made it back to Lodwar and are crashed out tired. More updates to come as my talking words are a puddle on the floor right now :). 

Thank you all again that have been with us this week through prayers, encouragement and funds to make this happen. We are already talking about the next time we get to do this.  We sleep with a heart full of thanks tonight. 

Praise the Lord. 
Bwana Asifiwe. (Swahili)
Kiproi Yesu.  (Turkana)

21 April 2016

M4 Turkana Kids Camp: Day 4!

Day four was the absolute best yet. God miraculously keeps bringing much order and the flow of the day was easier. Nothing like this has ever been done here or anywhere nearby so it took a few days for the kids to understand the flow. Things such as why we divide into groups, the flags for each team (which I had to explain had no religious meaning -- some religions baptize with flags or use them to represent just weird stuff -- TIA). They also got the hang of making cheers for their tribe/team. We have six groups, each having a name from the 12 tribes of Israel. Our youth from Mattaw have really stepped up to lead and love on the kids in big ways!  

 We had a competition yesterday of whose cheer was best and the pastors voted for the winner. The winners were given candy so you can bet the next day theyre louder and more creative. Videos to come!  Speaking of videos. We are so very blessed to have S'ambrosia and Ray traveling with us. If you need to hire someone for video and pictures in Kenya, they're the ones to call!  While Ray has been busy taking the most stunning pictures and videos this week, Sam has helped serve by being a tribe leader. Yesterday she had the brilliant idea to paint fingernails in her group as they waited patiently for their teaching time.  Although the girls were a little too excited to do this for the first time and became super pushy, it was sweet to see how no matter the culture, girls will be girly girls if you give them a bottle of sparkly blue nail polish. 

Worship on day four was so sweet again. At the end it turned into a dance party for Jesus. Turkanans love to jump so it gets the dirt rising and ground shaking. Too much fun!  

Yesterday I shared of how we were able to equip these littles on how to pray and defeat darkness by simply speaking the name of Jesus. I mentioned a little girl who shared about a witch dr that comes in her dreams. Today in class she testified that she dreamed the night before that her mom sent her to fetch water and the witch dr came but she rebuked it in Jesus' name and she was kept safe. PRAISES TO JESUS!!  How rockin awesome is that?!  What a gift Jesus is even to the littlest. 

In the 8-12 yr old girls class, they were a bit stand off, rude or shy at the beginning of the week. Today they listened intently to the lesson and when offered to be prayed for, almost all came to the front of the class. Many were battling sickness or asked for prayer that no one would fight in their homes. They left feelin loved and with big smiles. In the oldest boys class, they shared how most don't have a bible and know very little. They were taught about the old and testament and books in the bible.  Powerful to see the young boys hunger for the word. 

We ended the day again with everyone getting a massive plate of beans and rice. We are so thankful for the mamas from the church who have worked day and night to make sure food is prepared and cooked well.  So thankful for the prayers covering this week!  They are oh so felt.  And thankful God gifted us with our own three littles that can also push through challenges and love the children here. They really do add so much joy and laughter to the ministry we do here. Missions as a family can come with loads of challenges and testing of our faith but Jesus is just so stinkin faithful.  


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