Prayer is the Beginning of So Many Good and Important Things…

I am not the adventurous type. I enjoy wearing grooves in my life so that I can comfortably travel familiar terrain without incident. I love ritual and tradition.

I spent the first half (OK maybe, two-thirds) of my life as a perfectionistic over-achiever. And then I got married. To an artist. And then I had kids. And then I just couldn’t be that person anymore. Something had to change.

God had given me eyes to see and ears to hear how this life with this man could take shape; however, my head still tried to intervene. He’s an artist. Who will support the children? He’s terrible with money. We’ll be in financial ruin. Where will we live? What will we drive? What will my parents think?

And, oh, isn’t there something about having children that bubbles up all that stuff that needs to be dealt with? There’s just something about those little lives nestled up to ours that sends us clinging to our heavenly Father for dear life.

During this time, I was forced to give up everything I was doing beyond the most basic self-care for me, caring for the baby, and making it to and from work in once piece. I could no longer look to my accomplishments for my self worth. God taught me about being vs. doing. He taught me that I was enough, and that I didn’t have to prove myself to Him.

What does this have to do with prayer, or Kenya Children’s Fund, you might ask? As I left everything else behind, the only thing I gave myself permission to pursue with abandon was God, and a relationship with him that grew in those quiet “being” moments through prayer.

That season brought out “stuff” that I needed to confront. And it has changed who I am today. It is still difficult for me to discern what types of things to take on, and it is important for me to feel like I am investing myself in areas where God is at work and where there will be value in me joining Him.

Kenya Children’s Fund is one of those places where I see God at work, and where He has, for some reason, asked me to join Him. I don’t always get to see the full picture or know the full story, but I see enough important connections to step out of my comfort zone and do the things He asks of me, which is sometimes “just” to be there or “just” to pray–small things that become laden with import at God’s initiative.

Prayer is the beginning of so many good and important things that happen. We can’t jump in and do without first seeking God in prayer. We follow Jesus’ example of how he prayed for his followers before his death, how he shared honestly in prayer with his Father, how his prayer to see God’s kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven is also our prayer.

The children of Dandora are God’s children. He intends to take care of them. But He intends for us to join him in sharing His love with them through our imperfection, our tears, our prayers. Won’t you join me in praying for God’s precious ones in Dandora?

Elaine Powell Hooker, KCF Prayer Coordinator

Ruth’s Story

This is a story of a young girl, Ruth, (not her real name) with a strong will and determination to make it in life even with the difficulties she faces every day.   Ruth is a student at KDS living with AIDS—her parents died from the disease.   One of Kenya’s many children whose life has been devastated by AIDS, Ruth is blessed because she has an aunt and uncle that care for her and have taken her into their home.

Ruth explains that they cannot eat supper most nights because her uncle does not have a permanent job.  Yet that does not bring her joy down.  Ruth broke down in tears when she explained how the disease has changed her life.  Most kids her own age will not play with her because they think she will infect them. She has no friends apart from those at KDS since they love her like a sister.

Ruth talked about how KDS is the better side of life and says that if KDS wasn’t there she does not know where she would be today.  In her own words, “KDS is like the brother, mother, sister, father and friend I never had.”  She continued on saying, “I thank Mum Ginger, Mum Jane, the sponsors and the KDS family for loving me when everybody else despised me”.

Ruth and her family certainly live in extreme poverty.   The day we visited they didn’t have a meal for lunch but Ruth’s aunt was so happy to welcome us into their home.  They offered water as a sign of hospitality.

Despite all of her heartbreak and impoverishment, Ruth manages a beautiful smile. When asked how she can be happy with all of the problems in her life, she said “Our God brought us into the world to be happy and to love each other.   Why should I worry when the Lord is in control?”

Ruth emphasized that with humility and a kind heart…”life is possible and good”.

May we take to heart the lessons we can learn from Ruth and so many others whom the Lord has put on our path to teach us.  Let us put into practice humility, love and kindness trusting in God’s goodness for our lives.

He has showed you, O man, what is good.   And what does the Lord  require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.   Micah 6:8  NIV

– Ginger

Ruth’s Story