Monday, August 27, 2012

An 8 year-old

Today we celebrate Nathan-Raegan's 8th birthday. Actually we've been celebrating all weekend, no all month. Someone in our family decided we have birthday months instead of days. So Happy Birthday Day Rae-Rae! Last night Kerry and I were going through old pictures of the little man, it was fun and sad to trace his life up to this point with photos. One of my favorite was taken when I had just returned from my first trip back to Kenya. He was too young to remember me being gone and yet a little shocked to see me in person. Another, one that I will cherish for a lifetime, is of Dad (Allen) and him devouring a bag of popcorn together. I didn't realize when I took the picture that it would be the last time they would be together. Funny, Reagan still to this day can put a bag of popcorn away faster than any 8 year-old I know. His grandfather would be proud. It got me thinking....will heaven be this way. Will we sit before our Maker, our Judge and revisit old photos that captured our lives journey? I think I remember some revival speaker somewhere in my teen years using this as a scare tactic to make me walk the straight and narrow, or come up front and rededicate my dedication. But in a not scary way, in a peaceful, thank you for the blessings, thank you for the grace, thank you for the saving times of You Father God. I wonder if it we'll have that with Him? If you know me I'm not a big theological thinker. I choose to "trust God and do the next thing", as my father used to say. So I won't be pondering this long or diving into scripture for the next week looking for answers. It just struck me, how will I celebrate life with my Jesus? If I do or if I don't is ok by me, but it does remind me to stop and look at the picture of my life today, yesterday, last week. Stop and thank Him for making life so much fun even in the face of the trials of life, because where else would I rather be than with my 8 year-old, his sister and mother?! Be blessed today as you think of the photos of your life.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

An Interns View

This past June we had 6 US College students live with us in Nairobi. They were joined by 7 Kenyan students that ACO has been working with on their campuses across the country. The group spent the mornings in training and the afternoons doing hands on ministry. God moved, students on campuses who encountered the team were changed for eternity,and each of the interns left a little of themselves in Kenya and a sliver of their hearts always wanting to return. The article below is from one of those US students recalling when she first shared her faith. My first time sharing the gospel in Kenya was quite the experience.. I have shared the gospel to students before with an illustration called The Bridge which focus’ on the verse Romans 6:23 but getting thrown into a 3rd world country sharing with a new nation is a little intimidating. Let’s just say I was a bottle of nerves with so many expectations yet at the same time not at all knowing what to expect. We were thrown in the middle of Kenyatta University and told just to find our own ministry to focus on because this was called Discovery Ministry. As my heart is literally about to beat out of my chest I get paired up with two of the Kenyan interns apart of the ACO internship which made me feel more comfortable and we were on our way. To be honest though I had no idea what was in store for these next two hours I just knew we were going to see like 45 students accept Christ… (I mean afterall I came all the way to Africa, right?) We walk up to our first guy who actually turns out to be a professor at the University. We tried to bring up spiritual conversation just to see how he would react or if he was interested at all but really the only thing he could focus on was that there was a white person who has a really weird accent and talks fast trying to speak to him. I would bet big money (not really) that he probably didn’t hear one word that we said. A few minutes later as frustration is starting to build we see another girl just sitting on a bench alone. “Yay, a girl” I thought! So I go up to her and start talking and explain why I’m in Kenya and that I am apart of African Christian Outreach and she is quick to say … “Oh….. so you are born again?” and so out of excitement I tell her that yes I am thinking awesome she’s interested maybe I can go into my testimony…. Wrong. Funny how God has his own plan that’s completely different when I try to interpret it on my own. Thankfully the Lord’s will is powerful and he is mighty and didn’t let little, over eager Cambry force something that wasn’t meant to happen. Humility is a huge thing I learned in my month interning with Tom and Kerry and the other interns. It’s a quality I really admire and the Lord showed me I was lacking ☺. At this point time was running out and it is now time to head back to meet the rest of the team. Honestly I was really bummed because I had all of these high hopes about awesome spiritual conversations that were going to occur and they were all just squished in a matter of minutes.. Thankfully I serve a God of compassion so with this frustration I was experiencing the Lord brought these 5 little children of the ages of 5-7 to come play with us. Our God never fails to amaze me and I never fail to underestimate his ability to have power over every single instance of life. Still feeling a little down in the dumps and a little irritated the Lord literally smacked me in the face with Philippians 4:6-7. “Do not be anxious about anything but in everything. By prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” So if you can imagine at this point I feel about the size of an ant. Not only has the Lord told me not to be anxious, he has commanded it. So by me being anxious I realized that I did not trust the Lord’s plan and that he has control yet I was trying to be the driver and wanting God to be in the passengers seat. How twisted is that? I’m trying to drive with absolutely no idea where I’m going. So with a little help from the big man I realized I needed to hand over the steering wheel because obviously without trust there is no faith and without faith there is nothing. So right then and there I gave the Lord complete control and I know now that I am nothing but a vessel and should be obedient.. Also I kept thinking I need to share with these students because I want them to know Jesus and I want to do this and I want to do that… Again, how silly. Nothing I say is going to change someone; nothing I say will cause someone to accept Christ. Only by the power of the gospel and the Lord speaking through me and being obedient can someone see the gospel! Yay! After God teaching me a much needed lesson and learning some incredible wisdom from Tom and Kerry daily I ended up getting to share with two different girls who ultimately made the decision to accept Jesus as their savior. Not to mention my team saw 5 girls total accept Christ just the short month we were there. 5 Kenyan students who get to spend eternity with God because of the gospel. Now if that’s not the epitome of joy I don’t know what is. It’s hard to express in one post what I learned in Kenya and from ACO but it was nothing short of incredible. Kenya is a beautiful country with even more beautiful people who are just hungry for truth but it’s no exaggeration to say the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. I will be back to Kenya hopefully sooner rather than later and I can’t express how blessed I have been to get the opportunity to go and realize that’s where my heart belongs! Happy happy joy joy! I can honestly say I have never learned more about myself, my faith and the characteristics of God than I have in the 4 weeks I was in Kenya with ACO. Being on this internship pushed me, challenged me, and even made me cry (tears of joy, of course) but it was nothing short of incredible. Blessed beyond belief is an understatement.