Saturday, March 14, 2009

Multitudes

"When He saw the multitudes, He had compassion on them, for they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd". Mark 9:36

Our day is over here in Kitale, the sun is down, and a brief respite of rain is falling which will settle the dust of the dirt roads we travel down. The cool breeze blowing is bringing the first relief from the relentless heat that has plagued us since our arrival. We changed our accommodations this morning from rooms right next to the road into town to a quiet guest house run by British ex-patriots in the area know as "high hill". The bathrooms are outside, the shower is shared by 6 (not at the same time of course) but even with the small inconveniences - the peace of the Lord has eased us and we are certain to gain refreshment and renewal of our fading strength after a good night's sleep.

Yesterday, we spent the entire day traveling. First taking a flight from Amboseli to Nairobi; a few hours in the madness of a metropolitan area - then back to a different airport for our flight to Kitale. As usual, our multiple heavy bags COULD have been a financial issue transferring to a small in-country plane. We pushed our 250 lbs of luggage up to the counter and I prayed for the eyes of the assistant to be veiled. "A" laughed, "there is no way she is not going to notice we each have 2 bags instead of the 1 allowed and they each weigh 40 lbs instead of the 20 lb allowance!". I just laughed right back, especially when I overheard V talking to the older man behind us say he was the director of the seminary in El Doret. I turned to her and said, "God is our vanguard AND now you see He has brought the rear guard!". At 25, I think this was the first time she heard the KJV term "vanguard". "What?"

Of course, no charge!

We spoke to our "rear guard" until he reached his destination of El Doret (the plane's first stop) and we flew on to Kitale. He told his experience during the outbreak of violence. He told how the seminary took in hundreds of refugees seeking safety from what was happening in the surrounding rural villages. He said, "as far as you could see - on all the roads leading into El Doret were thousands of people carrying whatever they could grab of their worldly belongings before the terror rained down on them. There were mothers who had been gang raped by their own neighbors (from the opposing tribe) then forced to watch as their husbands were murdered and their young sons brutally sodomized."

It is too hard for our ears to hear, incomprehensible for our minds to imagine the horror. And to learn those who perpetrated such evil remain unpunished, still waiting for the chance to terrorize again.

The Bible teaches satan is lurking like a lion waiting to devour those he can. It is a certainty here in Africa there IS an evil lion pacing back and forth across the continent - devouring innocence while the world remains unaware and seemingly out of danger from his jaws and his appetite.

The Lion of Judah has compassion on these multitudes. He is watching - never slumbering or sleeping. When we were met by the Kenyan nationals they expressed thanks for our coming at this time when there is still violence and so much uncertainty. They also asked questions of the problems America is facing.

Frankly, I thought "what problems do we have that could even be mentioned in the same context? We have never been chased from our house and walked countless miles carrying all we could to escape a horror we cannot comprehend. And yet we worry - we are anxious - we fear. Why? We have been blessed, and we have been taught - be anxious for NOTHING; FEAR not for I will be with you.

I felt inadequate and shamefully ill-equipped. And then He reminded me of His question to His disciples when the hunger and need of the multitude moved Him to compassion. "What do you have?" I know more now of how they felt totally overwhelmed by the NEED they saw before them. "You expect US to meet THIS need?"

"What do you have?"

He blessed the small amount (totally inadequate) - broke it and His disciples passed out HIS provision through their submission.

Today, we went to visit the orphans of Adopt-a-Legacy. They have lived through the terror, AIDS claimed some of their parents, violence or tragedy has left them alone in a world where government "bail outs" cannot ease their pain or erase the debt of their loneliness.

"In you the fatherless find hope"

We brought what we had to the hands of our Master. A few frisbees, some jump ropes for limbo dancing, some tricks for teaching, some stories for telling, and some music for dancing.

We saw the fullness of their spirits expressed in the laughter. Our ears heard whispers of "I love you's". Our arms embraced the sorrow and briefly transferred the message of His "I love you" back to them. Our hearts saw the provision of our King. We returned to our rooms with baskets full of their joy.

He is ALL in ALL and He is always ALL we need!

Satisfied in Him - satisfying others with Him