"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, March 26, 2014

Esther Blessings

The heavy, wet rain thunders down on our tin roof as I write this letter, and all of Kenya rejoices as the short rains have finally come. Rain... a sign of blessing and a gift from God. 

Earlier today, during a brief interlude in the blessing of rain, we witnessed another gift from the hand of God pour into a small mud hut.  Esther, my lambas bagel maker and friend, (“Being Thankful” smithfaminafrica.blogspot.com) received a gift today. 

After reading her story, a friend sent some money for us to give her in whatever way we though best.  Money is a tricky thing in Kenya.  It can’t really be held onto because then it wouldn’t be shared.  It’s greedy to save.  So, if money is received, it must be spent straightaway, and it likely is spent on the immediate greatest need.  It is not important to spend it on it’s intended purpose, and it is also not necessary to spend it on the one for whom it was intended.  As you can see, we had to think hard about the best way to give this gift to her in a way that would truly bless her.  Really, we had to pray about it.

One afternoon, as I was overlooking the Rift Valley where she lives, the idea came.  What if we could buy her a stove?  Then she could prepare bagels in her own home.  We wouldn’t just be teaching her to ‘fish.’  She already knows how to do that. We’d be giving her a fishing pole.

So we did!  We found a used oven for sale and bought a propane tank to go with it.  We purchased some pots and baking sheets and enough cooking supplies to get her well on her way.  And today, we delivered it all to her home! 

With a shy, quiet smile Esther said to me, “I’m so grateful.  Please tell this person thank you from me.  Tell them thank you so much for allowing God to bless me. I somehow knew that if I remained honest and faithful, that God would one day bless me.” 

No, Esther.  Today, we are the ones that are blessed by your humble gratitude.  Thank you, God, for the blessings you rain down on your children!