Happy Neighbors Week Friends!
Our outreach week kicks of in a bit and its such an exciting time knowing that we will soon be feeling broken hearts with the life changing truth of Christ. It's amazing! The thought of people sacrificing their time, prayers and financing to share Jesus! If this doe not warm your heart, I don't. know what will!
The very first time any one joins the outreach team and visits. the slum of Mathare their hearts bleed. The image of a pure shanty, ill drainage, one bed that fits one too many people. The desolate state of mothers knowing that they are incapable of giving their children their dreams and meeting their needs. The echo of absent fathers whose children know of them as the father they hear of in the bar, who has fallen in the gutter or worst yet who has been arrested for a crime he was involved in.
The stories the slums tell have the most unpredictable ending. Many a times you leave the slum and get emotional knowing that you have left a place and remember how privileged you are. The sad truth is that what you have left is a reality that people wake up to daily knowing it is not a bad dream that they wake up in the night sweating to . Life! it is really not as easy as we think.
Armed with a bible and a word of hope, these soldiers embark on a mission to share the only hope they have Christ Risen.
A story is told of a man who was in a state that we all rate to. He was paralyzed for 38 years and was eager to get healed. He without fail sat there and when the angel stirred the water only one person was allowed to go. Every.time he was about to go in some one beat him to it. Picture for a second a man who saw his healing infant of him for 38 years and every time he almost got in someone beat him. The hopelessness and defeat he must have felt over and over again. The millions of questions he must have raised... God where are you? God is this my fate? God what does the end look like? God why am I alone? God can you hear me?
Questions like these are what we all go through, the breakthrough is right before us but we can not get it. W e can see the angel stir the water but we simply can not move towards the healing we desire.
But Jesus checks in. He does not ask him to share his struggle, he does not seat on his mat with him and ask him to give a step by step break down of how life has dealt him a cruel hand. No. Jesus went straight to the issue... "Do you want to be made well?"
The reaction the man gave Jesus is what draws this story to a more human side- the man narrates why he has not made it to the pool. The excuses. Jesus then directs him to do!
Aren't we all like the man at the pool? Aren't we all ready to blame someone for something we are going through? Truth is, Jesus is concerned about our issues but seeks to remedy and pull us out of the pity pit we have fallen into.
The story maybe dark and grim now but the truth is when Christ checks in the end is clear, we win! Hang in there, let the cards fall as they may, let the pain simmer on the unhealed like a good steak in the oven. Let it be, go though it knowing that end is clear- We win. !
Happy Neighbors Week!