Love is hard.
On this trip, I fell in love with nine young women, and I honestly don’t know if I will ever see them again. I don’t like to think about it, because every time I do, I start crying uncontrollably (like, ugly crying, with pathetic gasps and all; it’s humiliating), but, honestly, chances are I won’t. I mean, eight of them are in a yearlong sewing program at the BCC that ends in December, so in less than a year they will be working in factories.
I can pray, and I know they will be praying, but I just don’t see how it could ever work. So, yeah, that’s hard.
Praise the Lord, though, because I am comfortable leaving the eight because I know they are in the good hands of the ninth woman: Zippie. From this incredible woman and her eight beautiful students, I have learned so much.
1. Hope and trust in the Lord to overcome all circumstances. I have no words for this. I can’t even begin to explain how they are examples of this and have to wake up every morning believing it. I can’t even imagine what I would do in their situations, but they (through Zippie’s encouragement and teaching) live and breathe faith and hope. And it is absolutely incredible. I have so far to go and so much to learn about truly depending on God.
2. God wills what God wills for a reason, and His plan WILL be ultimately for everyone’s best. Whether or not it is God’s will for me to someday return to Nairobi, I know God will use me in the absolute best way possible.
3. Access to education is a ridiculously incredible gift. Most American college students do not appreciate the education they are getting at all. So many people, ALL the teachers at the BCC, want so badly to learn, get a degree, and are so desperate for an education, but they are trapped in poverty, so it is impossible.
4. That being said, school is not for everyone. There are amazing opportunities and paths outside of a regular education that are better for some people. I’ve always loved learning, so more school might be God’s plan for me, but there are a ton of people whose brains don’t work that way and don’t have that drive or passion, and that simply means they will do a better job and excel at something else.
5. I don’t know what it feels like to depend on God. At all.
I’m immeasurably grateful for this experience and have been counting my blessings daily, still amazed that I am actually here in Kenya. I can’t even comprehend how blessed I am; it blows me away thinking about it multiple times every day. Not just because I fall in the category of someone with “more than enough” money, I also have been blessed so much with absolutely all the things that matter. I have constantly found myself wondering why I have been given all these physical and spiritual blessing, but I love knowing that God has a reason and is using all that He has given me to further His kingdom and has me exactly where He knows I will be able to do the best work for Him.
I love it. I am so excited about serving God and seeing where He takes me every day for the rest of my life!
Leaving the BCC, especially my nine new best friends, is so hard, yes, but I am incredibly grateful for the work God has done both in my life and here in Kenya and for the gift it has been to be here. I can’t wait to see how I will learn and grow and contribute to the kingdom of God as He has planned back at Baylor this upcoming semester!
Even though the traveling is over for a bit, let the adventure and God’s indescribable joy continue!
“Now he who supplies seed to the sower and break for food wil also supply and increase our store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”
-2 Corinthians 9:10-11
-2 Corinthians 9:10-11
Rereading this now, still in Kenya, I am seeing how God is teaching me to depend on Him and have the strong faith in His plan that my kenyan friends do. I'm depending on Him to get home because this situation is so far out of my control. It's beautiful to see how God is still working and everything is a part of His plan.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade, kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith-- of greater worth than gold, which perishes even through refined by fire-- may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls." -1 Peter 1:3-9