(If you have not done so and if you are interested, you really should read these posts in order, beginning with #1.)
I sent Joel the Western Union after I returned home to the US. He later wrote to me:
Dear Beloved Daddy, Mummy and Church,
Greetings in Jesus name, we thank God for the love and concern for the new family in Africa Kenya. We pray that God of heaven to keep you safe and guide you, Mummy and Log Church at large, we have received the gift of money you sent and we will give you the report on how it was used. Thanks God bless you. Welcome Kenya. Thanks for the post on your website they are inspiring and life changing keep posting them. We have groups in the church print them and use them to teach others in the church.
Thanks God bless you all.
Yours Son Joel and Church leadership.
After that, our correspondence returned to its normal manner of him responding to the sermons posted on my blog page, and I writing to assure him of the prayers of our church for all those in Kenya. However, now that I had opened the door to sending him some money, I was a little uneasy about how this relationship was to continue.
If this was a legitimate need and if the Lord was putting me in the position where I was to act on it, then of course I was going to do it. My simple philosophy of life has long been, “When the Lord directs me to do something, I try to say ‘yes.’” I may not have always been perfect in this regard, but it is my intention.
A thought that sometimes seems to haunt me is to wonder what blessing in my life I would have missed if I fail to act on some urging by the Lord to do some task or to go some place to fulfill a purpose.
So far in my life, I can say that I have relatively few regrets, but I do not wish to be in a position later in my life when I would be forced to look back and to tell myself, “I wonder what would have happened that one time earlier in my life when God called me to go there, and I did not go. I wonder what God had in store for me there.”
More than once, someone has said something to me about their service to God in a manner similar to this: “We believe that God is calling us to this work (they named the task). We have a five year plan. We cannot go now, but in five years we intend to begin.”
In each case, I noted that the five years never seemed to conclude. The purpose to which they told me God was calling them was never fulfilled (at least by them).
However, concerning my own case and after returning home after many years overseas, it was not my preference to begin again with an overseas work. I was tired of the international moves and even the thought of travel was not appealing to me. Vivian and I had returned to where we had long dreamed of coming, and we were happy on our little farm. I would often walk around the hills and forests of our farm and say to myself, “Why would I want to go anyplace else, ever?”
Nevertheless, nor could I turn my back on this need. If this was something I was to be involved in, I could not refuse. But my actions did not come with some inner regrets. I now had the sense that perhaps God did not intend to leave me on my farm for every day for the rest of my life. But the Ethiopian trip showed me that I could not endure third-world travel as I could years ago.
I said to God, “If you are asking this of me, then you must make me younger.”
Joel sent me a series of five photos to show the progress of the latrine. The first one showed the collapsed latrine. The next one was of walls of cement block, about four feet high and covered with the large leaves from a banana tree.
They had been able to go ahead with the construction of the toilet since one of the brothers of the church had saved some money so that he could begin building himself a house. However, he volunteered to give that money to the church in order to have the toilet sooner so that they could re-open the church. The church then was to pay him back whenever they had money to do so. The money that I sent did not cover the entire amount. It was less than half. But it had been a big help.