You remember the bibles Eden bought? Well, she got to deliver them too!!!
The day didn't start well. We were planning to go to a church about 20 minutes away to give the bibles out during service. We ended up leaving over an hour late. We were really piled into the vehicle. The kids were in the way, way back of the truck and with all the bumpy roads Eden got sick all over her dress. Then we got lost, so the 20 minute drive was much, much, much longer. It was one of those 'what are we even doing' kinda mornings. But she was stronger than I would've been and pressed on. We were so late, but the people were gracious who had been waiting for us. It was a hard morning. Mike spoke. Eden passed out bibles. And at the end of the day, Eden said, 'Mom, those ladies were really beautiful.' YES!! That's exactly it!! I want her to see that, yes, we are here to serve. But its not us coming in with capes to save the poor and pitiful. Its us being obedient, and having the privilege of walking beside people who are resourceful and kind and BEAUTIFUL. People who know things about God that we don't because of their culture and heritage. Things that we can learn. There are things we can teach, but also things that we can learn. Yes, they are beautiful. And this is a hard and beautiful thing we get to be a part of.
When we arrived at Tenwek after language school at the beginning of last year, I started working with the Tabitha Ministry Bible Study right away. I love more than anything to go out into the village and hear the women singing and laughing together. I love watching everything! I love the food, I love the language, the interactions. Everything. I had hoped that Eden would love it as much as I do. She takes everything in, in a deep way. So being out is harder for her. Honestly, she doesn't love it.
She has heard me talking about the ladies in the bible studies and how in awe of them I am. She has heard me tell visitors over and over how each woman can earn a bible in Kipsigis by memorizing 17 verses and consistently attending the weekly bible study. A few months ago, it was like a light went off for her. She still doesn't love going out into the village, but she has found her niche. She has been doing different things to raise money for bibles. She's made bracelets, baked cinnamon rolls and muffins.
She just went up to the bookshop to turn in her hard earned money for four beautiful Kipsigis bibles. I couldn't have been more proud of her, for so many reasons. She is passionate about sharing Jesus. She figured out what her strengths were and used those. And most of all, she is embracing the truth that she is a missionary and called just as much as her parents are. It's pretty awesome to see God answering my prayers for her, but in His design, not mine.
I feel the need to state the obvious at the end of this story. We are so proud of her, excited about the choices she is making. But I also have to say that we still struggle too. Child rearing drama and tantrums (not all of them mine) are still common occurrences at our house. I don't want this to be one of those stories that is discouraging to others in the thick of raising young ones. This is a victory that we are grateful for, fully mindful of the fact that so many days in between are still hard.
Mike (pediatric surgeon) and Julie (nurse/mother to two) living in Kenya, East Africa