Saturday, July 16, 2011

God is Good ALL the Time

A few months ago in the US, my friend Cheryl told me she was going to Africa in the summer. “To Kenya,” she said.

“Wow! Me too!” I told her. “Who are you going with?”

“I’m going with Bush Telegram,” she replied.

“You mean…with Charlotte Barkley?” I asked, astonished.

Charlotte is a good friend of my parents, and a wonderful, world traveled missionary. I couldn’t believe that my friend in the US was going to Kenya the same time I was and was going with a friend of my parents. God does funny things like that.

Charlotte had to leave early on their day of departure, so she asked my dad if him and I would come out to Nairobi and spend the day with Cheryl and the other missionary, Daniel, and get them to their flight on time.

So I got to hang out with my friend in Kenya.We ate lunch at the Ya Ya Center, a mall that rivals any in the US, then traveled a few miles down the road to see Kibera, the biggest slum in Africa.

The contrast is almost unreal, except, we were there. It was real. Kibera is a bit over one mile by one mile long, almost one million people occupying dirty shanty houses for 100 ksh ($1.20) a month.

As we drove through the slum, Cheryl took a picture out the window. A man yelled back in Kiswahili, “Stop taking pictures or we’ll throw stones at you!” Our driver, Willy, decided it was time to get out of there.

Another half mile past Kibera and we were seeing white riders playing polo on a lush green field.

A few days ago we, the group and I, got to go to the home of one of the students at Nice View Academy, Dennis.

At the Academy there are boarders, who stay at the school, and day scholars, who go home at the end of the day. Dennis was asked if he wanted to board at the school because his grandmother is his guardian and is very old, not able to take care of him well. He said he did not want to board because he takes care of his grandma. And he does. He bathes her, helps her get dressed, and begs for food for the both of them.

When we arrived at the apartment, Grandma Rose was out begging for charcoal for the fire. We squeezed into the 6ft x 6ft living space, bringing in some stools from outside for people to sit on. While we waited, Dennis opened up a photo album and sat next to me while I looked through it. I asked him about people in the pictures.

“That’s my mom,” he said. He paused. “She died.” His eyes began filling with tears.

“That’s my dad in the hospital. He was beat by thugs. He is dead now.”

When Grandma Rose arrived, she showed us her hands and feet, deformed from Tuberculosis and probably other diseases that come from untreated illnesses. Both her and her daughter (Dennis’s mom) got TB at the same time. Her daughter died while she lived to take care of her grandkids as well as she could. She has never had enough money to get treated for TB. I looked over at Dennis, his head hung, his eyes to the ground.

“Does it hurt?” we asked.

“Very much,” she replied through our translator, Teacher Jane. “If people say I am lying about not being able to work, I show them my hands. It is plain to see. It hurts very bad. I wear this hat because my hands cannot tie my beautiful scarf around my head anymore.” This statement more than anything made me tear up.

Our friend Tameira reached over and grabbed one of Rose’s deformed hands. She prayed a beautiful prayer of healing over her, praying that God would allow Rose to wear her beautiful scarves once again.
We handed Grandma Rose the gifts of flour, cooking oil, sugar, and milk. We then realized she had nothing to cook these things with since she did not have any charcoal. We gave her a few shilling as we said goodbye, telling her that God had heard her prayers. She never stopped praising God the entire time we were there.

“I keep praying to God,” she says in Kiswahili. “Because God is good.”

This woman whose feet and hands are deformed from Tuberculosis, who is living in pain every day, who is begging for food and charcoal to feet her and her grandchildren…this is the woman who says God is good.

How dare any of us say otherwise.

Dennis is in need of sponshorship, meaning he needs someone to pay for school fees and daily essentials. If you feel led to sponsor a child, visit Saved By God's Grace website to find out how:

You can also see more of the group's daily activities by visiting my mom's blog:

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