You know how sometimes you come in contact with someone who just raises the bar so high, you can't really see it anymore? This is a story about a woman like that. Her name is Betty.
We recently went to visit Betty in her home about an hour from Tenwek. Its rainy season now so the walking can be messy and take much longer than usual. So we drove about halfway there, had to park the vehicle, and then continue the rest of the way on foot.
Betty is one of the first women that the Tabitha Ministry built a house for so Peris and Linda know her well. But I had never met her before this day. (Betty is in the orange skirt)
She told us a story of the difficult life she has lived, pointing continuously to the love and redemption of Jesus. Even in the telling, her story was hard. Its not easy to talk about one's weakness and hardships in front of new faces, but she did so willingly because she wanted us to know that the Lord is her strength.
She served served us chai and bread and we sang together before leaving.
It had rained pretty hard while we were there so the muddy paths we had walked to get there were a whole new level of mess. As we started to get ourselves together to go, I heard a bit of chatter that seemed urgent. Betty had noticed that Eden was wearing flip flops that would be really troublesome on the walk and was yelling to her daughter to run back to the house and get Eden a different pair of shoes.
There were so many children that belonged to her and her neighbors all around us. Very few had shoes. Most were barefoot. But she wanted to make sure her visitors had shoes that would be good for walking. That kind of sacrificial love stings your eyes and catches your throat. After all that we just heard from her, she still has a heart that is unreservedly generous in a world that has taken so much from her.
It was convicting and inspiring all at the same time. The bar for following Jesus and loving like He does was raised significantly that day. I'm so glad we went instead of staying home because of the rain. It was like going to church. Only better.
(I feel the need to mention that we did NOT take the shoes....)
Mike (pediatric surgeon) and Julie (nurse/mother to two) living in Kenya, East Africa