Friday, July 29, 2011

The Second Team - Coming Soon!

It’s getting very close to time for our second team to arrive. The house got pretty quiet when Tabach and Chloe left and we’re ready for some new stimulation. Now Michelle is enough stimulation for a pretty big crowd but she’s a 2 ½ year old and it isn’t exactly the kind of stimulation we’re looking for. Sometimes we want her to go bother someone else for awhile. So we tag team her. Yahshana gets the most of this type of stimulation because she shares a room with Beatie who is Michelle’s nanny. This morning she came into the kitchen and wanted to play in the dish water. Yashana was ready for her to go into the other room so we could get done, but I felt the grace this time, which is rare. Yashana has A LOT of grace. I decided to let her help out, put her on a stool and let her wash a few dishes. Michelle was delighted!! And I had fun. Yashana took some pictures and then we were done. Little Michelle is so sweet and loving and very smart. She helps me when I miss my grandkids - which is most all the time. We actually consider her one of ours too.

Our Kingdom Hikers meeting was at the new land in the tent for the first time. We bought sodas and cookies for snacks and had a lively discussion to plan for the Talent Show coming up on August 6th. Please pray for this event. They really want to reach out to the youth in Nakuru and help support each other in Christian fellowship.

Sunday’s gathering was good. It seems each week they get better. During the worship I went with Yashana to watch her teach the kids. She’s awesome with them. 

She told the story of Elijah with her flannel graphs. 

Then we all turned toward the little door because Simon and Lloyd peeked in.  These two friends are inseparable. Lloyd was responsible for leading Simon out of gang life and into God’s life a few years ago. They are best friends. I’ve been looking forward to seeing Lloyd since we got here. We hadn’t seen Lloyd yet because he’s been away at boarding school. The two of them together remind me of those young Hebrew boys who went through the fiery furnace together. Simon and Lloyd are just like them.

As the singing died down I went back into the tent. Noah retold an awesome story from the bible about Naaman. It was so good I am including it here in this blog below:

             Lessons from 2 Kings Chapter 5 and the Story of Naaman
This is an awesome story and without much effort we can find some wonderful truths contained in it. Naaman was a good man. He was a real ‘man’s man’. He was a famous and a respected national hero.He had the admiration of his King, the love of his household, his servants, (even the captured servant girl from Israel liked him), the men he commanded and the gratitude of his country. God had mightily used him to conquer their enemy Israel. He was probably wealthy and as stated very highly respected. He seemed to have had it all with the exception of one problem. He had leprosy.His wife’s servant girl, quite on her own, suggested an answer to his problem. There was a prophet in Israel who could heal. It seemed worth a try, but being a man under authority he sent his request to the King.The King of Syria loved the idea and sent a letter to the King of Israel to take care of his general. The King of Israel having no relationship with God freaked out. Elisha, who did have a relationship with God heard about it and said, “send him to me”.Now this great and famous man really had two major problems. He could only see the more obvious one but God saw them both. And his leprosy was not his main problem. His main problem was the leprosy within ....pride. For that would keep him from ever knowing the one true God. So God began to deal with both the leprosy and the pride.Naaman rides up to Elisha’s house with great pomp and ceremony. He imagined he knew just how God was going to heal him; and it would be glorious. Being a great man there needed to be a great healing. But God had other plans. He usually does.As Naaman pulled up with all his entourage to Elisha’s house he waited for  Elisha to come out and wave his hand over the great general and his God would send down from heaven a beam of glorious light containing his healing….or something like that. So he waited for the great man of God to come out. And he waited, and waited, and waited.Elisha doesn’t even come out. He sends his servant out to tell this great warrior to go take a bath. Not just one bath seven of them. Can you imagine how Elisha’s servant must have felt? How would you like to go out and tell this man who conquers nations to go take a bath?Naaman was furious. How dare this hick prophet not come out and honor him. The rivers of Israel were but mud streams compared to the rivers of Syria. This is stupid. So off he goes totally irritated and indignant.Thank God for good friends. Naaman had some real friends in his servants. They risked his wrath and indignation to say …. “Hey; if the prophet would have asked you to do something big you would have done it, why not do what he says and see what happens?”  They knew about Naaman’s pride.Well Naaman recants’ cause he’s not only a good man but a wise one to boot. Yet all he can do is dip seven times in the Jordan.  Not wash …dip. His faith is small but enough. Several times while dipping he probably looked at his servants and men as if to ask… “Are you sure about this?” But the seventh time he dipped the proof that there was a man of God in Israel who knew the one true God was manifested.Filled with gratitude he returns to Elisha’s house and offers him a reward. He is clean inside and out. He has had an encounter with the living God. He got saved. Elisha says no because he really is a man of God. Real men of God don’t take money for things that God does. Remember what Abraham said after rescuing the kings? Hallelujah! He cares about God getting glory than his getting rich.Naaman has truly been converted; but he knows that he must go back and serve his heathen King. So he asked if would be alright if when his King went in the Temple to serve his false god if he could keep helping his king worship. What’s amazing to me is that Elisha says ….go in peace. God never puts more on his new born children than they can bare. See (Acts 15:28)But a double minded servant of Elisha’s by the name of Gehazi is plotting how he can “turn a few bucks” from this event. He figures serving God is ok but nothing wrong with making a few dollars in the process. He thinks no one will be the wiser anyway so he heads out to intercept Naaman.Naaman sees Gehazi and stops. Being so happy and extremely grateful for his healing and revelation of God he gives Gehazi what he asks for.When Gehazi returns he is greeted by his master with some terribly bad news …. “Gehazi you have broken my heart and defamed God”. Do you know where Naamans leprosy went?  It was looking for another home and it has found you. Gehazi went out a little richer and full of leprosy.Some spiritual lessons really emerge from this story. The first of which is our Father loves people who do the best they can with what they have no matter what they have done previously in ignorance. Naaman was a good man… just not a spiritual one. Much like Job who went from good to godly; Naaman was found by a God who was looking for him.Secondly; our ideas of how God should help us can really be a hindrance to … God helping us. Best thing to do when in need is to take what comes from God’s hand and not to question how it comes. Like the Syro-Phonecian woman who asked healing for her daughter and go called a dog. We should always remember that God is after more than what we’re asking for Him for. He is always considering our eternal well being over our temporal well being.Third; Better hope you have surrounded yourself with people who care more about you more than how you feel about them. If Naaman,s servants had not have had the courage to risk his wrath and correct him Naaman would have died in a leper colony.Fourth; Men in whom God entrusts His power to, are not in it for the money and them seeking it will ruin them. Godly men’s aspiration is to bring God glory not to obtain money.Fifth; Hanging around or even living with godly men does not ensure their godliness will rub off on you. And it’s foolish to think that God doesn’t see everything you do. Sometimes there’s a little Gehazi in all of us.Hopefully we have included in the collection of our relationships a few of Naaman’s friends. More hopefully we will listen when they speak.

I may be a bit prejudiced but I think he's a great story teller and gave a good message that we can all apply to our lives. People got excited. George spoke some clear words about following God in everything. Mary was back for the first time since her husband died. She said she didn’t want to stay away as long as the custom of grieving allows. She would have been here last week but she was sick. She thanked everyone for all the support she and her family were given.

Then she went into a story about how wonderful her husband was and how God had prepared for the time of his departure from this earth. They had a conversation and Syrus (Mary’s husband) told her he wanted to be a part of the church and he wanted to give his tithe. Mary really does believe. She was looking for the tithe she was sure he must have left behind and couldn’t find it. Suddenly, while she was at his coffin God showed her his wedding ring. This was the tithe he had left behind. She called the funeral home man and asked him to give her the ring. As she told this story she was bright and shining as if she were in the presence of God. That is why we call her our “priestess”.
After the gathering Noah spoke to the men. They’re growing strong in their faith and love and desire to hear the undiluted message of the gospel of the kingdom of God. Keep praying for us. God is strongly supporting our work here. He is the King of Glory!

We’re counting the days until our second team arrives. Karibu to Doug, Tara and Brandon!

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