I’ve only cried twice today.
I actually thought this and smiled as I quickly blinked away tears standing in line at the grocery store.
Maybe this was progress…
But I was still in a place where I wanted to scream at all the nonsense on social media and remind the world of the poor’s normal.
So, yeah, I’m a real delight to be around right now.
We’ve been home from Kenya less than two weeks and it feels new and different and old and the same every time I try to fit what I’ve seen and experienced back into where and how I live.
“I can’t stop thinking about her,” my husband whispered in the middle of the night. I knew he was trying to make all the normals fit together as he referred to the young mom and her handicapped child we visited on our last day in Kenya. I’m still trying to figure out how to tell you her story.
“I know,” I whispered back wondering if I want to progress…
We saw a lot of hope and joy as we visited the huge Mercy House family, teen mothers and their children and their families and women in multiple slums who are now artisans. The beauty from ashes kind of joy that feels like you’re witnessing a miracle. Because you are.
And the kind of hope that reminds you that God can do anything.
Maybe that’s why we the visited the hardest places last–so we would remember what God can do. But when you’re confronted face-to-face with the kind of oppressive poverty that knocks the wind —and the hope–right out of you, you walk away from so much sadness and sickness and wonder how in the world you’re staring down the impossible again. We had no idea how we could help.
But not for long.
Because when you let it, worry can turn to worship. Sorrow into songs. Brokenness can become a bridge to hope.
Within a few hours, we rallied because God is hope. We started dreaming of how we could provide work for these women. We emailed and made phone calls. We hired teachers and rented a space. It wasn’t part of our plan, but how can we not try to make a way? When you stand in a woman’s home and pray that God will provide, you are desperate for Him to be a Way-Maker.
We knew God was asking us to step out again, to jump into the unknown.
We’d been here before, standing on the edge, scared senseless, wondering if He was really asking us to do something uncomfortable and a little (or a lot) risky.
But when God says jump–it’s for a reason.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s some free-falling, stomach-dropping, scary action required. But God is always working.
Around eight hours after we landed home from our trip across the ocean, we were invited to an unplanned meeting and were given a huge opportunity to sell more product, which will create more jobs and a way. I was so tired I couldn’t see straight but I could clearly see the Way-Maker. I cried happy tears.
We finally get one of our HIV+ moms out of the hospital in Kenya with a $5000 bill attached to her life-saving care. Friends send $5000 the same day.
But then another couple of days and we get the estimates for what we needed–kilns and looms and equipment–suddenly, I was falling, flailing again. It was a lot of money. On top of a lot of money we are constantly working to raise every month. One need is met and 5 more fill it’s place.
We don’t need God to make a way on paths that are easy. We need Him when we are lost, when we can’t see. When He says Go and we say How.
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness,” -Desmond Tutu.
Friends, hold on. Whatever you’re waiting on, working for, whatever He has asked you to do, hold on. God knows what He is doing.
It isn’t so much in how He answers, it’s the peace in knowing He is listening, always working, way-making. He is a step ahead of us.
Less than an hour later, and the money is donated for the equipment. We still have more questions than answers, more needs than we can meet, more women than work, but we are holding on. Because God knows what He is doing. The impossible.
Oh, and I didn’t just cry. I wailed. But who’s counting.