Saturday, July 2, 2011

A long obedience...

Half-way through our second term at Tenwek, we are still relatively new here. The joy of seeing some people come to Christ continues. But even more challenging, in some ways, is walking alongside friends who have come to Christ and are learning to trust Him as they are faced with the daily challenges of life. I am often reminded these days of Eugene Peterson's book, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, as I long for the problems of their lives to be solved quickly so they can move on. But they are moving on, at the speed and in the direction God has for them.

Five and a half years ago I began a Bible study in our home with two women, Anna and Rachel, with Peris as my co-leader and translator. Betty came to our door shortly after, asking if we had a Bible study she could attend, so she joined us, as well as others. These three women had been in Dora Wesche's Bible studies before, and Anna and Rachel had put their faith in Christ. Betty came to Christ several months after starting the study, and was immediately freed from the grip alcoholism had had on her life for years. God has done amazing things in these women's lives, but the battle goes on.

After winning many to the Lord through her changed life and testimony, and after battling AIDS for some time, Anna went to be with the Lord last August. Walking through those last months and weeks with her was one of the toughest things I have done. Sadly, her kids remain far from Christ. We are in contact with them, praying for them to come to the Light.

Rachel remains firm in her faith, caring for her family and her deceased sister's kids. Dealing with an alcoholic husband, striving to provide food for her family, and the ups and downs of living with diabetes are some of Rachel's constant battles. But she moves steadily on...

Betty is currently struggling the most. Jealous relatives and neighbors are harassing her and her family, causing fear and discouragement. In the last two months, they have stolen her crop, killed her cow which was about to give birth, (another was killed 2 years ago in the same way) and have been banging on the house at night. They have succeeded in scaring Betty and making her want to flee all she has. She knows that God is greater than any earthly power, but she has been near despair these days.

Peris, Linda, Rachel, Betty

Recently, Peris, Rachel, Betty and I gathered at Rachel's house and we reminisced about God's faithfulness over the past years. He has been with us through the floods. He will not abandon us. The smile returned to Betty's face as she heard the Word, and was comforted by her friend, Rachel, who knew her and loved her and prayed for her since before she knew the Lord. God's Word and His people give strength to keep pressing on. Pray that Betty, Rachel, Peris and I will know God better and grow in strength as we continue in this journey together.

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