With God All Things Are Possible

We woke with the sun this morning and drove to Elizabeth’s house. She has been with us since January of 2012.


This is the first time she’s stepped back into her home in over a year. Her mother has traveled to Mercy House for family visitation days, but this was Elizabeth’s first visit home.

As our girls move along in our program, we access their situation, locate a family member who will help support them in the future and help the family start a small business.

She was nervous as baby Rehema slept in her arms on the bumpy, hot ride.


It was my first visit in one of our girl’s homes. I was anxious, too.

We drove out of the city and stopped on a dirt road, next to a slaughterhouse, past a dump like the one Elizabeth’s mother walks for two hours to collect rotten food to sell for dog and pig food. Her family welcomed us into their home, four brick walls without a roof, no more than a chair and a mattress, no running water, or bathrooms, rats and stray cats as company.


I don’t have words to describe the condition of this home. It’s by far the worst I’ve seen and it was even harder because it wasn’t random poverty in a poor country. It was the home of one of our beautiful girls, where eight of her family members sleep in a 10×12 room without electricity and most days, food.


Her mother thanked us and told us what Mercy House meant to her. She shared her business idea and we dreamed with her.

Then shy Elizabeth stood and said, “I don’t have words, but I thank God for your big heart and for helping me. I want to thank you for saving my life and giving me hope.” I couldn’t help but remember the bitter, angry girl I left in Kenya nine months ago. She struggled adjusting more than any of our girls after the trauma of her abuse and unexpected pregnancy. Maureen and I literally begged her not to leave.

Tears coursed down my face and in that exact moment, as I sat in unimaginable poverty, nearly gagging from the raw sewage nearby, every single hardship and challenge over the past three years was worth it–


Elizabeth has been transformed by the power of Jesus.


We said goodbye and I was overwhelmed with just how big the need is and what we still need to accomplish. The task ahead of us feels so big. I feel so small.

But as we drove away, I saw this message:


And I started recounting miracles. I added Elizabeth’s words to the list.

He loves these precious people so much more than I do. He has a plan and specializes in the impossible.

Tonight I’m holding this promise close to my heart.


  1. 1

    Jenn says

    Our pastor has something that he says alot….it’s one of my favorite phrases ever: “You are a unique, unrepeatable, miracle of God and He has a plan for your life”. I made that phrase into a piece of art and have it in a place where I see it often in my home.

    I’m soo happy to see how God has been using you and Maureen and Mercy House.

  2. 3

    kelly says

    it certainly puts things into perspective reading this when you are having a rough time in your own life…..

  3. 5


    I have to tell you that reading your words each day, I really feel my faith returning. I hadn’t realized it was something that had slipped away, it was so gradual. Each post I have read about your journey in Kenya has brought tears to my eyes and warmth to my heart. I didn’t realize how much I needed this daily reminder of God’s power and love. I take away so much from your blog and am so happy to have found it!

    ~ Kristin

  4. 6


    Oh this touched my heart, I’ll be praying for Elizabeth and her family. Thanks for what ya’ll do for these kids at Mercy House. God be with you all and bless you greatly!

  5. 10

    Jasmine says

    Amazing things happen with God! Have you heard of Village Schools International? They do different missionary work than you in Tanzania (all for The Lord though) and God has done absolutely incredible things through them. Be faithful and trust in Him, He will accomplish His work. Praise God for what He has laid on your heart.

  6. 11

    Carol D says

    Oh, Kristen, I remember when we were praying for her struggle! What a mighty, mighty God we serve.
    His love is so much more than we can fathom. Thank you, Lord! Thank you.

  7. 12

    Michelle S. says

    What God has you doing is so amazing! All that you see and experience in Kenya must be overwhelming….Just keeping doing for one what you wish you could do for all. Praying for you and Mercy House.

  8. 13

    Katie Riedinger says

    All we can do is stop for the one. God bless you for doing that. The scripture in the last picture brought tears to my eyes. He is everywhere, leaves His fingerprints for us to see.

  9. 14

    Lynnebee says

    Beautiful, amazing, heart-breaking, yet there is HOPE. Thank you for being the feet of Jesus. Praying always

  10. 17


    Amen! I wish we would all remember that daily. I wish we would all be broken enough by the lost around us to need that reminder daily. I may not be with you in Africa, but I hope to be with you in the trenches for the cause of the Gospel.

  11. 18

    Laurin Beardsley says

    I am praying…I am one small person in California, but I hear you – and I’m listening and I’m praying. Thank you for your example of loving and trusting God – and showing us your real insides. Laurin

  12. 19

    Ann McCarville says

    Wow. Every dongle blog you’ve posted from Kenya has made me cry. It’s so easy to try to put poverty out of our minds and here you are not only facing it but doing something about it. You have inspired me more than words can say and thank God that there are people like you willing to answer God’s call! I’m praying for you and all if your girls there.

    • 19.1

      Ann McCarville says

      Oh my goodness that’s why you should proofread before you push send! I meant “every single” blog not “every dongle” blog! Sorry. :-(

  13. 21


    I spent some time reading, thinking, catching up with your trip this morning.

    Kristen, the picture of you alone above is an image of Joy personified. I know you don’t want personal accolades but I’m proud of you for being proud; because it’s not a pride thing, it’s a “look at what Jesus can do when people are willing…”.

    I love you, I miss you and hope to see you sometime this year.

    In the meantime, I realize how much I want to be more like Jesus, in large part, because I see such a lovely picture of him in you.


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