"And if you SPEND YOURSELVES on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness and your night will become like the noonday."

"The Lord will continually guide you. He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."- Isaiah 58:10-11

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Smith Update

God has been so faithful to us and we cannot begin this update without giving a shout out to Him for bringing about two miraculous breakthroughs in our work this month. 

The first miracle involves relationship…Living and working in a different culture has its challenges.  We’ve faced several difficult issues that are being named “cultural differences” but, in truth, are more accurately issues of integrity. Sin has a way of distorting and entangling every person and culture, but confession and truth can are the keys to healing and beginning afresh.   In a truly miraculous situation this month, we saw this in action when a Kenyan friend and co-worker approached us and apologized for their part in the problem.  It was unprecedented and rarely seen in this culture, and it has allowed God to begin the restoration process in their life and in our relationship.  Though we still have a long way to go, we have renewed hope in moving forward and would appreciate your continued prayers as we walk through this process in love.

The second miracle involves provision…We have been in a process of fundraising to cover our family’s needs in order to remain here for an additional three years.  Our financial needs will increase as we move to Kijabe, and several of our donors who committed to supporting us for two years have been called to other areas.  This is a humbling process to go through, but we are so thankful to God for encouraging many of you to respond by renewing your commitment to pray for us and continue supporting us.  We are also very grateful for those of you who have joined our team!  We have recently reached our goal for year one, through some generous one-time gifts, but are still in need of more monthly commitments to get us to our three-year target. 

The Top 5 Things We’ve Loved About Summer Break!

  • Katie’s home! Our summer began on July 13th, when all four children finished the school year.  We started our summer by spending a day together in Nairobi seeing “Spider Man” and eating at Java House, our favorite restaurant!  Then we headed for The Hill via the famous Maasai Mara Game Reserve for a mini-safari.  Though the animals were scarce at that time, we were so glad to be back together again as a family!

  • Visitors! Five days into summer our first visitors arrived.  We’ve had a revolving door at the Hill with various teams coming and going over the last 6 weeks.  We have enjoyed every moment reconnecting with family and friends and watching them fall in love with the Kenyan people we serve and love.

  • New Oasis Sites!  Over the course of the summer, we’ve been able to visit every potential new Oasis site and spend time with the leaders and children from each place.  We are more excited than ever to see these dreams become reality and are working diligently to lay the groundwork for this.
Rick with kids from The Bush
  • EPIC Planning!  This year, the Oasis Year End Benefit will be entitled EPIC.  Oasis kids will tell an epic story, complete with heroes who have participate in their rescue.  Through this event, we eagerly anticipate sharing with you what God is doing here in Kenya!  Rick and I will be in Grayslake for the benefit and would love to see you! If you live in the Chicago area, mark your calendar for the evening of Sunday, December 2 at the Chapel in Grayslake.  Oasis will also be hosting many living room EPIC events all over the country.  If you are interested in attending or hosting a EPIC event in your area, please contact Ann.  ann@oasisfororphans.org. 
  • Moving to Kijabe! Our kids have been praying for months that our house in Kijabe would open up early so we could begin getting things moved there and  start meeting people.  Miraculously, the house opened up on August 3rd and though we only spent a few nights there, it was fun to meet our new neighbors and begin to get things settled!  We are excited about this new opportunity God has placed in front of us and the potential it brings to rescue and develop more orphans.  Rick has begun teaching two classes at Moffat Bible College.  His schedule worked out wonderfully and he is teaching Tuesday afternoons and Wednesday mornings, which allows him ample time to continue working on Oasis tasks and he is loving teaching!

First Day of School at Rift Valley Academy!