Tuesday, August 19, 2014

"As Perpetual Incense"

Aaron was to burn incense always. Every morning he was to burn sweet incense. When he tends the lamps.. he was to burn incense. At twilight he was to burn incense. It says.. "a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations." As i read that phrase "perpetual incense," it resonated within me. Isnt that what my life is to be?! A never ending swirl of smoke and fire ascending before the throne of my God. Not only spreading upward but also outward. Infecting the atmosphere.
You know when i think about it we are all incense of some kind i guess. We are all giving off something.. leaving some kind of lingering impression. Our words and actions dont go without noticing. They all affect something or someone. The way i handle myself affects the atmosphere of my home.. it affects the atitudes of those i brush shoulders with. Am i leaving the aroma of Christ.... or the stench of "all about me?" My attitudes.. my preoccupations.. they dont just affect me. Am i the pebble or the giant stone upon the surface of the water of the soul. Do i leave gentle ripples... spreading Christ's love as they expand. Or do i come crashing down.. and water shoots up... and spreads in waves to engulf all it in its path?! It is convicting!! I pray that in His faithful ways He will teach me how to walk in ways that please Him and cause others to see His greatness... His beauty.. His worth!! Oh that i would be as perpetual incense before the Lord affecting the generations for His glory!!
This past week was a blur of tall dark beautiful girl bouncing around our house... waking us in the mornings... attempting funny English.. filling the spaces between the walls with laughter. A local church had a week long VBS and brought in 17 children from there mission post in northeastern Kenya. We had the privilege of hosting a beautiful 13 year old young lady. The life she knows is quite different from the privileged and royal life we have here in Nairobi. There was a bed.. and a pillow and more than enough food... new clothes.. and elevators and escalators( OH MY!!) There was the fizz tickling her throat as coke was drank down.. there were forks(who needs em anyway?) ... and ear buds.. and new friends. We were reminded of the things we take for granted!! We got to exercise our Swahili knowledge.. and enjoy her phone conversations home in her mother tongue! One night when we came back from BTS i found some music on YouTube in her language and got to watch as beads were pulled out and she danced. Later we showed her our attempts and our ears were filled with laughter as she nearly collapsed at our attempts! Needless to say we all enjoyed the moments we had!! Now she is back home in the heat and desert atmosphere... we look forward to the day we are able to go visit and step into her world!
Schools are on break right now.. we have one more week before all the kiddos are back to the books. Next week we are hoping to have another BTS week. Lord willing we will have at least 3 days of teaching. Depending on the budget for lunch and material we will decide how many days we can do it. The last time we had a week like this there was a big turn out so we are looking forward to it.. and praying that God will bring them through the door! We would ask you who are reading this to join us in prayer. That the teachers would be prepared... that the hearers hearts would be soft and open to receive and that Gods word would be sent forth and believed!! In all things that He would be praised and lifted high!!
It has been encouraging to see little glimpses of change in some of their lives. In the bible study.. in prayers.. in discussion we know that Gods word is being sent forth into their lives and it will not return void. Our responsibility is simply to be obedient.. to freely share and freely give.... not to work for results but to be faithful to carry out our calling. But when God gives us glimpses of change it does inject some added joy.. it adds fire to the flame! Some of the questions asked show that there is movement there within the soul!! The prayers and discussions we have here during the girls bible study... all sitting tightly packed into our little room.. never fail to leave a smile on our lips and joy in our heart. To see the young ladies catch a vision for what life and womanhood CAN be... what a privilege to walk with them into that endless frontier!
The little men that keep our days busy with feeding and changing and playing are growing! I am forever thinking it is impossible for them to get any cuter... but then a tooth comes through.. or laughter escapes... or a wobbly step is taken with arms flailing... or he wakes up from a nap and reaches his little hands out towards you.. and you fall a little harder. The day is brighter with each smile and giggle!! Laundry is so much more enjoyable when there are jeans rolled up with little toes dangling.. suds all around. Washing dishes brings more joy(and more water on the floor) when little hands want to "help". Sweeping the floor seems less monotonous when there is someone holding on to your leg walking beside you. The only thing with the laundry one is that you have to be careful.. because who knows maybe he will think it looks so inviting that his hands also need ot join in on the fun.. and that means he has to lean over EXTRA far for his little fingers to reach. And then that disrupts the delicate balance and it isn't just his little toes and fingers crowned with suds! But we laugh and take every opportunity to love and life grows sweeter every day!!
Chris did get burnt on his face because of an accident at home on Sunday.. so we would appreciate prayer for his complete healing!!
The Saturday feeding continues... the BTS kiddos have done great at stepping up and helping out. They help all of the little ones that come color a bible picture.. learn a memory verse and sing songs. We have really appreciated the extra hands! If left to their own devices all of those little feet start running and dust starts rolling and chaos ensues. Last Saturday i looked through the window from my place at the fire and saw benches grouped together and children sitting and coloring.. a welcome change! :) These days we recognize many of the sweet faces. We know the ornery ones given to trouble... and have made friends with the timid little guy who was unsure of such light skin.. the newness has worn off and it has become more familiar! Always we walk up the hill with more dirt and sweat then when we had walked down that morning... but with hearts full!
Life is busy... but life is rich! Everyday holds something new. We aren't ever sure what will happen in that time between our climbing out of bed in the morning and falling in bed at night.. but we know that it will be good.. and if we allow, it will bring us closer to Christ and reveal Him in a greater way. Whether it is taking someone to the doctor.. helping with school fees... treating someone to lunch.. or sitting at the table and talking about life with a young lady who has known heartache and hardship more than most could imagine... GOD is good!!! That is something that can never change!
Recently we have seen a need here and have been praying and dreaming about a way to help. We know that we will be given the wisdom and direction from our King that we need.. so we will wait upon Him.. and continue in what He has for us now until He opens the next door!
Thank you to all who lift us in prayer we truly feel it every day! And thank you to all who are supporting us in the endeavor... who have sacrificed to allow us to be here. May the One who sees in secret reward you openly!!
Wherever we are.. whether working or going to school or living in a foreign land.... May we be found burning bright... spreading His light and His love.. "as perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations!"

A selfie while she called home

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