From Geoffrey to you; Kenyan Lovin

Thursday July 16, 2009

Kenyan Lovin’

Between the books I have been sent and carvings I have purchased I don’t think I am going to have room to bring anything else back home with me. As impressed as I am with the carvings there is something even more impressive that I want to bring back home.

By now you should all be familiar with Janet and the miraculous healing that has taken place in her eyes. There is a little nook in my heart for Janet, her daughter and her mother, I visit with them each day and each day we travel further along on our journey with whatever book I happen to be reading to her. I think you need to understand that Janet’s mother, Elizabeth, is the sole provider for Janet and her granddaughter Annett. Selling fruits and vegetables along the side of the road to travelers enables Elizabeth to pay cover all of the basic necessities for the family and with Janet’s eye sight still recovering she isn’t able to work.

About a week and a half ago Elizabeth got sick. At first everyone assumed it was malaria or pneumonia and figured with the right medication she would be recovered within a few days, but that isn’t the case. This sickness has gone from being a common illness to somewhat deadly. She was hospitalized two days ago and it appears as if she has yellow fever, which is very bad. She isn’t able to take food and is very weak. She is receiving treatment from the hospital but she is doing very poorly. Someone being sick with yellow fever is a bad enough situation, but what about the fact that she is the provider for Janet and Annett. Without Elizabeth working there is little money for the basic needs for Janet and Annett and Janet is in no condition to work in her mothers place. What is fortunate for Janet and Annett is that they live here in Masii where there is an abundance of genuine love for one another to the extent that others are willing to step in when storms arise.

A few neighbors made the arrangements and collected money for Elizabeth to be taken to the hospital. Different members of our church and different friends have been preparing meals and brining food for Janet and Annett. Different church members have stepped up and donated money to help pay for Janet and Annett’s needs. It seems like throughout the day Janet has more visitors coming to her house than she knows what to do with because of the overwhelming amount of compassion that the people here feel for her and her family, I think they have taught me what compassion is.

I realize that there is a big difference between compassion and pity and at times I find it is easy to confuse the two. When I see someone in a bad situation and feel bad and leave it at that then I have pity for them. If I walk down the street and see a homeless man starving and say sorry and that is it, I have pity for him. Have you ever looked up the word “compassion” in the gospels, time and time again it says that “Jesus was filled with compassion” or “He felt compassion for them,” he felt compassion, not pity, for people in need and then he would feed them or heal them. Being filled with compassion seems to mean to be moved to do what you can to better a situation. I now realize that compassion isn’t looking down on a situation and noting that it is a sad story, no compassion is loving someone so much that seeing them in a painful situation pains your soul. With compassion comes action, words are cheap, and I am called to have compassion and to be filled with compassion for others.

Those who know about Janet’s situation were filled with compassion and felt compassion for her, they didn’t look down on her situation and have pity, no they were so overwhelmed with compassion for Janet, Annett and Elizabeth that they felt compelled to step in and do what they were able to; this is what I want and this is the type of man I want to be. I don’t want to take pity on people, as I wouldn’t want people to take pity on me, I want to genuinely care for others so deeply that I can’t bear to see them in pain and that I am so filled with compassion that I take action for them.

In him,


Prayer Request:
Janet’s mother Elizabeth
The family I wrote about last time
Our three day evangelism
The Travels of Rose Mutunga over here
I am preaching on Sunday
Stacy’s wheelchair… hoping it will come tomorrow

Praise report:
Janet went to the eye clinic Tuesday and they said her surgery was a success. Her sight is going to continue to improve!!! I have been taking some video of Janet and recording her story and I am going to make it into a short video for you guys (probably five or ten minutes).

I am headed off to the city to spend a few hours with the boy I sponsor, Stephen, and to check on Janet’s mother and to check on the status of Stacy’s wheelchair. Tomorrow is going to be a good day
I just got back from visiting a elementary school with a few hundred kids, I tell you I LOVE the kids here. I think that the best part is that a lot of them haven’t seen too many white people or haven’t been exposed to too many since this is more of a rural area and they are really scared or timid around me. So we went into the principals office and all of the kids came RUNNING towards us and gathered around the door to take a gander at me. By the time we were walking out of the office almost all of them had come… I started walking to our car and then I ran at them and yelled (I just about always do this with all of the little kids, it makes them laugh because it is something you wouldn’t expect). All of the kids ran back a few steps and started laughing! They just about all got startled. I don’t know if you would consider it a game or what but I always seem to do that with the kids. I remember at our last youth camp a lot of the kids would come outside and circle around me, I would jump at them or snatch a kid and pick him up in the air and they would run away yelling and laughing, then they would all come back two seconds later for me to do it again.

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