Sunday, October 7, 2018

KISII REPORT #18

Imagine trying to put 42 children to bed who have not eaten anything for five or six days. I am very thankful that this is not the case for the orphans in the Log Church right now at this moment. At this time, the orphanage has food reserves for at least a couple of weeks. Nevertheless, these children and all the people there truly do know what it is like to look to God for their daily meal.

Because they actually do go through times of deep hunger, I respect their views on being hungry. We ourselves can be cavalier about our opinions on hunger and scarcity, but if we have never hungered or have ever had lack, then I am afraid we need to question our own credibility.

I instead respect the opinions of those who know true hunger. I will listen to the perspectives of those who know what it is to have absolutely nothing to eat, and who have had times when, besides having not eaten for five days, could see nothing on the horizon for having something to eat tomorrow. Imagine what it is like to put 42 of these hungry children to bed (of course, most of them do not sleep in an actual bed, but on the floor). 

“We are humbled that even if sometimes we sleep hungry, we know it is for the purpose and the test of our faith. We tell the children that we do not know why we need to have times of hunger, except that it is part of our journey from the Lord. We must trust that God will provide.” 

Perhaps you can see why this relationship between me and Pastor Joel and the Log Church and Orphanage of Kisii is more than me being the means or the conduit through which donations can be sent to the orphans. It is much more than that.

This is also part of my own journey from the Lord. I have resigned myself to the fact that my “golden years” will not be years of fishing every day and playing golf (or tending to my farm), but they instead will be years in which among my first thoughts in the mornings are for the children. “I wonder if they have food today.”

I am not complaining when I say this and I am not trying to impress anyone (nor do I want to make you feel guilty about lowering your golf score—go for it!). I am not trying to do any of that. It is simply a fact about my own life.

After years of living in such wide-ranging places as India, South America and Polynesia, this connection with Africa in my late life has been teaching me things that I have never before experienced. It has set me back on my heels.

None of any of these things in my life has ever been my own dream or my own plan. I rather preferred to stay home on our farm. But this has been my own journey of faith that the Lord has put before me.

Nevertheless, this late and unexpected part of my retirement years is also a joy, as has been all the rest. I am learning so much from these people and from God about life. They offer me a perspective of life and of living that I have not before experienced.

I will again be visiting the church and orphanage in January. Long hours in coach and long-drawn-out overnight airport layovers – but how should I complain? I expect that I will have food to eat.

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