Faith. I was severely lacking in it. We have been through such a roller coaster this past year with David losing his job, various sicknesses, and a wreck that totaled David’s car to top it off, that I was truly wondering HOW we were going to make it financially.
I needed to go to Kenya so that I could see true faith in action and be challenged beyond my wildest expectations. The truth is, compared to most of the people- ok ALL of the people- I met while there; I would seem to be rich. I almost felt like a millionaire when I returned to my house here in the US. I have way more than just the basic needs that the beautiful people of Kenya have or are in need of.
In Kenya, if you have food, clothing, and shelter you have just about all that you need. If you don’t have those needs, as a believer you pray and truly expect that God will provide for your needs. If He doesn’t provide right away, you keep on praying.
Our friend Steve, who is Kenyan, but has lived extensively in the states made a great point. In the states, people easily replace God. When they don’t have something that they need, rather than turning directly to God, they get a credit card or live on government assistance. America has options. Kenya does not. I think that may just be why the faith of the Christians we met was so vibrant.
There are several instances of raw, unadulterated faith I would like to share.Our friend Boaz, who is a Pastor of 900 people, has one of the greatest testimonies of faith that I have ever encountered. He and his wife, Helen, have 40 children. Yes, that’s right 40. They have 6 natural born and the rest are orphans that have been specifically placed in their lives by God himself. He told us several stories of how they came to him.
One day, he was having a Bible study in his home and it had started without him. He was on his way home, when he received a phone call that an old woman had collapsed in his home and they had put her on his bed to rest and try to recover. By the time he got home, she had died in his bed. Later that evening, 7 children showed up at his home. That was their grandmother. She had told them the night before that if anything ever happened to her, to go to Pastor Boaz’s home because he would take care of him. In one day, he inherited 7 more children.
One girl showed up at his front door in the middle of the night after she had been sexually abused. She asked his wife to come to the door and not to let him see her because she was naked. Boaz has a heart for rescuing girls in Kenya. He is true to his namesake…a kinsman redeemer.
Boaz says, “I don’t know how I can provide for these children. I have no steady income. But God always provides for them. Women who come on missions trips leave behind some clothes and they always fit one of my daughters.”
Every single one of the Kenyan Pastors we worked with to build churches told us that they had been praying for so long that they would have churches to meet in. Much time had passed and they still had no shelter to meet under. Then, all of the sudden, God answered their prayers and performed a miracle when the basic portion of the church was built in just one day. They didn’t know how God would come through with providing their church buildings. But then, He sent a group of strangers, yet family, from a far away land to answer those prayers in just one day. I agree with them. It truly was a miracle.
I remember thinking to myself at the time, “Wow, God. This really is a miracle. Thank you so much for doing this for these people. I know you’ll do a miracle in David’s and my financial situation for providing a job for him too, but I’ll certainly understand if it takes longer.”
Apparently, I was only beginning to understand that our God is mighty enough to perform miracles anywhere and for anyone He chooses to prove himself great. While in Kenya, we literally wondered how we were going to pay for our mortgage and other bills when we returned home. All that we could figure was that David was going to go apply at the local grocery store if he had to.
On the trip home to the States, we stopped in Paris for a day. David checked his email and had received three messages from clients that had jobs waiting for him when he returned home. Just over one week after we returned from Kenya, God blew our minds out of this world when He provided the equivalent to half a year’s salary for us through those job opportunities. We stand amazed at His provision. Now, the challenge rests in our heart for us to have as much faith for Him to provide the other half of the year’s salary that He did for the first half. He will do it because He has promised to provide all of our needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. We’ve learned a lot about what our needs vs. wants really are this past year- but we learned even more about that in Kenya. That week in January was our miracle week. It is only in Him that we boast. To God be the Glory!