Thursday, May 14, 2015

True Blessing -lessons from Kenya

A few weeks ago I went to Kenya on a mission trip with Project 82. We visited and played with some of the kids in their orphanages. We held training conferences for Kenyan pastors and we even sneaked in a mini-safari. The trip was amazing and my mind is still trying to process all that I learned. My heart was simultaneously broken and warmed at the orphanages. Seeing such precious children without families is hard. Seeing such amazing people take care of these children was incredible. In countries like Kenya you see a lot of poverty and suffering. Yet, you also see resiliency and joy. Behind the hardship lies great spiritual strength. Meeting with the Kenyan pastors and seeing their hunger for God's Word was an incredible site. There is no paid time off in Kenya and most of the pastors have other jobs. Thus, most of the ministers gave up a day's wage to be at the conference. Many walked miles to get there. Their example has challenged  me and my own desire to learn. 
This trip also clarified my own calling in life to...

Seek God's Presence
Preach the Gospel
Serve the least of these
Be a voice for the voiceless

Obviously my life includes numerous other elements. Having a calling does not mean I stop changing diapers and washing dishes (although it would be great if it did). But I'm beginning to realize that God is pulling my heart into different places. He is giving me opportunities to serve in ways that stretch me. This can be hard at times, but I pray for more. I see a reoccurring theme in my own life: my greatest joys come through service and sacrifice. Whenever I live for something bigger than myself, I gain a greater intimacy with Christ. My self-centered prayers are slowly becoming externally focused. Instead of asking God to bless me, I'm beginning to ask him to do something with me. I desire being used by God more than I desire my own needs being met. 

I think sometimes we desire God's blessings more than we desire his presence. We desire his gifts more than we desire his glory. We fail to realize our true blessing is knowing God and being used by God. We fail to realize our true blessing is found in blessing others. I tend to forget these truths...Kenya was a great reminder.