September 23rd, 2013
The events of this week were overshadowed by the attack in Nairobi at Westgate Mall. Westgate Mall is a very nice mall in Nairobi-we know it well from our time spent at RVA last year. I’ve eaten at the Arts Caffe, where the grenades first landed. I’ve had my hair done there. It had our favorite Nakumatt grocery store, and the list goes on. Our children were safe at school, but at least one (maybe 2? ) of their schoolmates were there with their families. Thankfully, they escaped, but only after a period of hiding. It must have been terrifying. One of our dorm boys last year, who is from Nairobi, lost 3 relatives An event like this really does strike terror. It starts me thinking a lot of “What if’s” What if one of our children had been there? (Sara actually had a plan to be in Nairobi that day, but thankfully her plans had changed). What if I had been there ? What if I had been there with the children and we had gotten separated? What if… What if….
It makes me think of one of my favorite stories from Corrie Ten Boom, from her book, The Hiding Place, when she is talking to her father about her worries about death:
“Corrie,”he began gently, When you and I go to Amesterdam, when do I give you your ticket? “
“Why, just before we get on the train.”
“Exactly. And our wise Father in heaven knows when we’re going to need things, too. Don’t run out ahead of him, Corrie. When the time comes that some of us will have to die, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need-just in time.”
I am praying not to “run ahead of God,” but to trust in Him for the security for my family and not to have a spirit of fear.
Despite the bleak news from Nairobi, we had some other bright spots: My cousin Sarah Jane arrived from the US (via Canada) and will be with us for 9 months, Lord willing. She will be helping to home school Lydia and Moses. I remember how I spent 3 months with her grandparents in Zaire more than 20 years ago and how that time was so important to me. I am praying that her visit will be a blessing to her just like mine was so many years ago. I know she’s going to be a blessing to us!
We had some good news from RVA: Sara was nominated for the Morehead Scholarship at UNC (start praying!) and Hannah, after being cut last year, made the Wind Ensemble this year:). Both girls had had some disappointments at school, and I had specifically been praying that they would have some encouragments.
Ruhengeri Hospital was a cheery place this week, with the arrival of the Operation Smile team, who came to operate on children like these, with cleft lips and palates-Thank you, Operation Smile!
Lastly, I preached this Sunday-here are a slightly fuzzy picture of the audience I preached to. The size of the service has tripled since we first arrived in Ruhengeri 2 ½ years ago. I am reminded of what I heard once: “If you preach the gospel, people will come.”
I preached on Psalm 130 and 131. I urge you to read them, and may you wait for the Lord, “more than watchmen wait for the morning.”