If I could use one word to share why I left my traditional life behind and came to Kenya it would be this: Hope.
Many years ago, I lacked hope. In fact, I was in such despair after my unexpected and heart-shattering second divorce that I thought I would never feel anything but despair. When I looked at how my life had been up until that moment, my wake of relational-failures and my downward spiral into self-disdain left me feeling utterly hopeless about my future. But I was wrong. After seeking for years, nearly my whole life really, to find that which my inner heart and soul needed most–in relationships, in substances, in so many things–I found the real solution to my need. Or I should say, my solution finally got my attention. Christ.
There is a Scripture in the Book of Hebrews that describes this so perfectly:
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. Hebrews 6:19-20
In hindsight, I actually knew that God had been tracking me for some time; trying to get my attention. But I was running, wanting to do life “my” way; not live by some sort of rules. It sounded like foolishness to me. But as I finally admitted doing life my way was not working for me, and I began “kicking the tires” of Christianity a bit, it wasn’t long before I realized it was me who had been so foolish. I accepted Christ and my life has never been the same. Yielding my desires to seek the way God instructs his children to live — for their own benefit — has resulted in the most dramatic personal transformation for me. Those who know me well know how true this is. Today, hope always prevails.
So it’s that hope, God’s hope, that brings me to Kenya. I am not here to convince others of Christ…that is God’s job. But what I am here to do is to share the hope I found in Christ. My primary call is to teach, encourage and equip women in the faith. This strengthens them to live lives better-rooted in God’s truth, which then influences their families and so on. And that is primarily what I have had the privilege to do. In fact, since arriving on August 25, I have already shared messages of hope and God’s love and promise at fifteen events with many more to come. This is such a privilege of great blessing. The women here are often abused and mistreated and they are so eager for a word of hope. My heart expands every time I get to share God’s hope. Why? Because I am a firm believer that we all need it. Regardless of the status or condition of our lives–even if we are wildly successful from society’s standards–I am convinced that in each of our souls, there is a place that is God-shaped that only He can fill.
When hope fills the darkness, we’re then also able to look outside of ourselves and help others. There is something remarkable that happens in our own spirit when we do. In my next blog, I’ll share some of the tangible things I’ve done to help those in need here in Kenya. I’ll also share how you can help bring hope to another. I hope you will read what I share, More than that, I hope you will respond to help. The needs are great. The workers are few. The resources are limited. But if many people do a little, it all adds up to something big; something life-changing for the one who so desperately needs to know that someone cares enough to step in the gap for them.
Hope. It’s why I’m in Kenya. Who else will join me?