"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

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Dry Season

As a kid I (Rick) played baseball – a lot.  Although I loved the game, by mid-summer I was typically burned out.  The problem, really, was that each day I would leave my friends and siblings at the pool to put on a uniform and play yet another game of baseball.  Every once in a while, the sky would turn dark and heavy clouds would roll in.  Rain seemed imminent.  My hopes would rise for the blessing of a rain out, but, more often than not, the clouds would pass without dropping any water.

In Africa, rain is also a blessing.  Particularly, in the rural part of Kenya where we are working, the difference between having food to eat and money for school fees depends on the blessing of rain.  Therefore, if it rains at a wedding or a funeral or a graduation ceremony, it is seen as a great blessing and a sign of a hopeful future. 

When we moved to Kenya, we came with the hope that, like the rain, God would use us to be a blessing.  Our prayer was that we would be like a bursting cloud ready to rain blessing on the communities we worked in and, specifically, on orphaned children.  Indeed, when we first arrived we experienced some of the blessing God was ready to give through Oasis for Orphans.  We were involved in bringing 27 new children into the children’s home.  We saw children come to know Jesus as their Savior.  We saw lives spared from urgent medical issues.  We met other leaders who have now become partners through a common vision.  Those first days were not easy, but looking back, we can see the “rain” God brought through our work with Oasis. 

Recently, we have been in a literal dry season.  Although April and May are considered the “rainy season” in Kenya, very little rain has fallen in one of the communities where we work.  Unusually, even the creeks have dried up.  But, this is not the only reason I consider this a dry season.  In regards to being a tangible blessing to that community, it has also been a dry season.  For a variety of reasons that I don’t need to share in detail, God’s blessing has slowed down, as we have had to struggle through some difficult issues.  Like a dense cloud ready to pour down rain, we wake up each morning wanting to be used by God to be a blessing, but instead of dispensing rain, we have been like heavy-laden clouds floating by as we work through challenging problems. 

About a week ago, we finally experienced the beginning of a breakthrough.  The primary issue we have been working and praying through for over a year has finally taken a few steps towards being resolved.  Although there is still a long and windy road ahead, the first big step was taken towards God using Oasis once again to be a blessing in this community.  Simultaneously, for the first time in several weeks, it actually rained there.

I typically don’t write our updates, but I want to extend this one to personally say thank you.  I want to let you all know that we are extremely grateful for your support of Oasis and our family.  Almost four years ago we asked for three things from you.  We asked that you follow us, pray for us, and support us financially.  If you are reading this, you are following us. We know you have been praying for us, as the issues we are facing can only be resolved through prayer. We also see each month how you continue to faithfully give financially to our family. We believe that exciting days are ahead. Thank you for being a part of our lives and for journeying with us through both rainy and dry seasons.   - Rick