Sunday, November 9, 2008

Reflection on my summer in Kenya 2008 and Final Prayer Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

God has used your prayers and your encouragement throughout my time in Kenya, and I want to thank you for that. It is hard for me to summarize all that I experienced this summer in a brief letter, but I can tell you that my time there has left me desiring more missions and more Africa. I hope to share more of my stories with you all over time but for now I will briefly tell you what I was involved with.

My team mates and I helped organize several Bible studies, Vacation Bible Schools, and gave our testimonies on several occasions. Through the sharing of our struggles and God’s work in our lives we were able to encourage them. Most of our days were spent in the Kibera slum, where around a million people live within a square mile. I helped out in the Baby Class of the Kibera Christian School connected to the Church Imbumi Makuku began. Through this I was able to build relationships with the incredible teachers and students. I saw their desire to glorify God in their work and lives.

Once a week we would go to the Muthiga slum for Vacation Bible School with the children and an AIDS support Bible study for adults. Christ was lifted up and praised through the loud songs and prayers filled with thanksgiving of His people who are suffering with AIDS. We were also blessed with the opportunity to participate in door-to-door evangelism in the Kawangware slum. There we prayed for families, encouraged them with Scripture, and fellowshipped. Not only did we visit with Kenyan families, but also refugee families from Sudan.

We were also able to build relationship with the children and house mothers at the Shuname Shelter. These are kids who have been taken away from abusive parents or who have been orphaned. I especially enjoyed the time I was able to spend building friendships with them and singing praises together.

My heart aches for the family I have left in Kenya. The struggles and constant, daily work they have is beyond my comprehension. Here I am comfortable and secure, knowing they are struggling to survive through another day of trials and are constantly reliant on God. I can learn so much from their faith I have met men and women who have no job without a way to provide for their many children. All they have is God and the faith that He will provide for their every need.

The Kenyan’s love of one another and sacrifice of themselves is so evident. They give and they share all they have with one another. When we would go on home visits the women were so anxious to make us tea or give us something to eat. Rarely did we enter a home where that wasn’t offered. I have to ask myself how often I open my refrigerator, closets, or doors to people to fellowship and give of what I have. As a “poor” college student, it is so easy to hold onto what I have and not want to share, while there are so many around me who are in the same position as me. Think of the difference there would in this world if we were all willing to open our doors and share all we have.

In the midst of these tough circumstances of immense poverty, disease and death I have to hold onto the hope I have in Christ and His return. God promises that someday he will make all things new, wipe away tears, and make things right and good. Until then I pray for His kingdom to come on this earth.

Mungu Akubariki(God Bless)! Joanna Haas

No comments:

Post a Comment