Love, grace, and peace from the Kenya-ers!
So we have been in Kenya for 4 weeks now and I (Amy) have just been reflecting on everything that has happened, what God has taught us, and just the countless blessings He has poured out on us. One of the biggest blessings has been sharing a home with some of the LIA country directors. For the first 10 days the country directors from Sudan and Egypt stayed with us and this week, from Sunday to Thursday, the country director from Somalia stayed with us. We are so thankful for the opportunity and privilege to live with and get to know these amazing people from various countries. Countries that not only have completely different cultures than ours, but also countries that don’t experience same amount of freedom as we do—especially in the freedom to worship. We are so thankful for how these country directors openly shared their lives with us. They were transparent in telling us their struggles and challenges, but they also passed on so much wisdom to us—wisdom that could only come from an intimate walk with the Lord and from their experiences. These country directors could have simply lived with us, but instead they took the short time they had to invest and pour into us. So so good.
As I said before, this past week the country director from Somalia stayed with us. I’m not going to say his name because of security, but he is fantastic. I have had Somalia on my heart for the past year so when I found out that he was from Somalia I was so EXCITED! He told me how they are helping people affected by the famine, how they are helping orphans, and the struggles of building relationships and sharing Christ. Despite all the challenges, he is one of the most joy-filled, energetic people I’ve ever met. He has such a close, intimate walk with Jesus. It’s evident in his understanding and knowledge of scripture and by the way he carries himself and lives his life. One night, he sat in on debrief and debrief turned into him just pouring into us. At one point, he talked about how much he loved the word of God. He said that he would never leave Christianity, even if it was wrong, because that is how much he loves Jesus and His word. This brought tears to my eyes especially as I reflected on my own walk. I want to know Jesus as intimately as he does. I want to have a love for the Word that leaves me hanging on every word and desiring to know more. Sadly, I haven’t put in the time and energy to grow that relationship with Christ. He ended the night telling us about how the most important thing is to just love Jesus. Our ministry doesn’t matter; just love Jesus. When we do something for others, we do it simply because we love Jesus. At the end of the day, just love Jesus. We ended the night praying and just telling Jesus how much we love him. It was so powerful and way better than any prayer time we were planning on having.
The four days with him were such a blessing. He shared his testimony with us and poured so much wisdom into us. I am eternally grateful for all that I learned from him. Everything from the way he talked to the way he lived his life was modeled after Christ. He had so much wisdom and knowledge of God, but at the same time he has this child-like faith that I admire so much. It was so encouraging to hear how faithful God had been to him and how he has persevered despite the hostility to Christianity in Somalia. In America, we have a church on every corner and you can get a Bible almost anywhere—we have the freedom to seek Christ openly and to proclaim His truth to everyone, yet our lives don’t display that freedom. We can openly live out the gospel and we don’t, while our brother from Somalia doesn’t have the freedom to live out the gospel openly, but he does. He has much more at stake than we do. Our reputations might get tarnished, but his life and the life of his family is at stake. It just shows how much we take our freedom for granted. I’m encouraged by his testimony, but I’m convicted at the same time because my life needs to look drastically different. I’m so glad that we got the opportunity to share our home in Nairobi with ,him and I pray that I will get to visit him and serve with him in Somalia.