September 29, 2014

THE INSIDE NEEDED TO BE HEALED!


"Now you Pharisees make the outside of the cup and dish clean, but your inward part is full of greed and wickedness. Foolish ones! Did not He who made the outside make the inside also?" Luke 11:39-40

 
I would like you to meet a joyful mzee (elder man) named Joseph Gamubaka, I also want to tell you a little of his story I hope it may bless you as it has me.

Joseph has lived without full use of his two legs due to polio since his childhood. In Africa the disabled are looked upon as less than human and cursed. As Joseph grew older many “faith healers” told him he could be healed and delivered from this curse, one day there was a healing crusade nearby and a minister told him you need to come and be healed… Joseph proceeded to tell me he understood he needed healing, but not physically… Inside he needed to be healed, his heart needed to be changed. He told the minister what good is it if I can be healed and walk. Will I be like others who receive healing then I walk away get drunk and do whatever I want? The healing I need you cannot offer me. Later in life Joseph found that healing that only can come from God through Jesus   

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.” Ezekiel 36:26-27

To this day Joseph is still disabled physically, but blessed beyond measure he teaches a sewing class inside an old abandoned building to other disabled individuals so they can learn a trade to make a living for themselves and not be idol. It was amazing to see how they all work and live together on this small block of buildings, they all have various disabilities, but Joseph and others repair clothes, one man washes and dries the clothes as a living and the mamas have an ironing business. They also meet together for prayer and worship regularly!

I was blessed to be in fellowship with them on Sunday, such a humble group I can only think of God looking down as a proud Father and smiling at these beautiful individuals and the love they have for each other.
 

This is one of many stories I hope to post over the next week or so as I continue my journey around East Africa, I’m still in Uganda for a couple more days then I will travel to Tanzania and from their back home to Kenya.

God bless you as you walk in obedience to Jesus Christ.

Charlton    

September 22, 2014

BIRTHDAY BLISS



There is such excitement for a child that goes along with the dawning of a new birth year. To be a year older brings a sense of maturity, and responsibility to a little one.

We do not have the luxury of a real toilet where we live. We have what some would call a choo, or latrine. Basically, you stand over a small hole that goes forty plus feet in the ground and you do your business. Due to the extremely unpleasant smell of the outdoor potty, I try to avoid the thing at all cost. As some of you know, being pregnant can bring on a very heightened sense of smell, that can be quite sensitive. Ergo, we have what some would call “the potty bucket.” This high tech device is a large paint bucket, with a small toilet seat and lid. I praise the Lord for that thing on a daily basis. 

So, what does all this have to do with a child’s birthday you may be asking yourself. Well, over the weekend Ava celebrated her 4th Birthday. If you think I’m going to tell you that she wanted to use the choo, you are mistaken. (That thing would give any small child bad dreams. Haha!) But Ava did have to use the facilities, which usually leads into her throwing a little fit when we challenge her to open up the potty bucket lid by herself. Apparently, the little latch on our bucket is hard for her hands to snap open, so she continuously needs an adults help to open the thing. Well not anymore folks. Yesterday, she proudly announced (when asked if she needed help) that she could do it herself, now that she is four. 

Brought a small tear to my eye. :)

So, her actual birthday was this past Friday. And guess who happen to be in town that day? Our dear brother-in-Christ Glenn Roseberry. He flew in to the Kitale airport Thursday morning, and flew out today. (For those of you are not familiar with Glenn, he is a missionary with KDM that has been working between Tanzania and Nairobi for the past two years.) Like I mentioned, Ava is starting to feel more grown up, so Thursday morning as I was getting her dressed, she told me that she wanted to wear a head covering because Mr. Roseberry was coming. It was truly was the sweetest little request, and showed maturity on her part… that lasted about two hours… then Boaz ripped it off her head (pulling out some hair while in the process) and she stubbornly told me she did not want it on anymore. 

Ava had a great birthday, filled with loving cards and small gifts from all the Carrier children. She was able to talk to her Oma on the phone, and I made her a homemade chocolate cake, with peanut butter frosting and sprinkles. (Per her request) As well as enough homemade french fries to feed an army. And I praise God for that, because three of Glenn’s disciples came up a day earlier then expected. Since he was going to be in town, he brought along three men that he wanted to get plugged in, and shown how we do house church here. So, instead of them coming Saturday, they all came Friday. We housed two of the men here, and the Carriers housed Glenn and Wilson (Glenn’s right hand man) at their house. 

We certainly had a memorable weekend. It was wonderful celebrating one of the little lives that God has entrusted us with. Ava is a little firecracker, and what a joy it has been up to this point, watching her grow and mature. 

With Love,

Natasha









September 12, 2014

BLESS THE LORD, O MY SOUL

"Each little part of our life,
Or burdens hard to bear,
God knows about them all,
And surely he does care.

The little sparrow does not fall,
Unnoticed by his loving gaze,
How much more he cares for us,
And knowingly plans our days.

He knows the winding path,
He calls on us to trod,
But never ever will we be,
Forsaken by our God.

His ways are far beyond ours,
He knows what is for our good,
So even if we don’t understand,
Let’s trust him as we should.

Because he cares for us,
We need never fear,
His love surrounds our lives,
And he is always near.

He’s near to bless and guide,
He’s near to hold our hand,
And when his purpose is fulfilled,
He’ll bring us home to Gloryland."

-Miriam Chupp


There is a story told in a book called, “Coals of Fire” about an old Mennonite Minister named Peter. He lived during a time when the Anabaptists were heavily persecuted. Many people in his Swiss town did not understand why he and his people believed it was wrong to go to war. One night, a few young men thought they would pay a visit to Peter’s house. They decided to vandalize the old man’s house, and see just how loving he truly was after that. They climbed up on his roof and started destroying his thatch. After sometime, Peter awoke because of the strange noise coming from his roof. He carefully made his way through his house and out his front door. When he discovered what was going on he called to his wife, “ Mother, workmen have come to us; you had better prepare a meal.” His wife was startled but she understood, and before long a meal was waiting on the table. Opening his front door once more, Peter called to the boys on the roof, “You have worked long and hard, surely you are hungry. Now come in to us and eat.” The men awkwardly came into the room, and a heartfelt prayer was given by the old man. The men where so ashamed that they could not eat, and hurriedly left the room. After they left, sounds could be heard on the roof once again. But this time they were putting the thatch back on!

This story is a beautiful example to me of how God can use trials to become a blessing in disguise when we allow God to break our self-will. The question I can’t help but ask myself is, “Am I truly allowing God to break and purge me? Or am I acting like a small child, throwing a fit and fighting through this entire process.”

A few night’s ago we got robbed for the very first time. A very large water tank, that we used to collect rain water for wash and what not, was stolen from our yard. This tank cost us about $100.00 American dollars, which translates over to about 18,000 Kenyan shillings. This is no laughing matter, if those men would have been caught in our village, they would have been torched. What a horrible thought! If they knew that was a possible outcome, I can’t help but wonder, what else would they try to steal? We would have never dreamed that someone would actually try and steal a tank full of water, or that people would be planning to come into our yard two nights in a row to empty the water out of the tank so they could just carry it off. The tank was located right next to my children’s window, praise the Lord for the loud bark of the Carrier’s dog that alerted us to the situation. I truly wish I could relay an amazing story like the one I shared of Peter. But alas, there was no remarkable outcome in our story, except the sad realization of how naive we can be.

Our family forgives the thiefs for the crime that they committed, and we continue to pray for their repentance and salvation. Pray with us. 

Since this incident, we have taken down the little dog run that Charlton made for Lilly (a puppy we got that died of parvo). That is where the robbers hung out to prevent coming in contact with the Carrier’s dog. We have also repaired, and reinforced the back fence where the robbers entered. The windows made here have bars on them, so I do take some comfort in that. And a siren was installed in the house before we moved in. The siren is a tool used for the good of the offender, because it allows them a minute or two head start to escape before the locals get a hold of them. As mentioned before, if caught, one could be killed for stealing.

We are trying to put our trust in God, and not dwell on problems that we face. We want to take courage, and be comforted in the love of Christ Jesus. The flesh at times may want to linger and focus on the bad, and we need be stripped of all that.

Brokeness is a process of cracking away our hard outer shell. God has definitely been stretching and purging me. 

“May my life eventually become a demonstration that it is possible to allow God to break my outer shell in order that brokenness can really become a blessing.” -Anna Byler

John 12:24,

Natasha

Where the tank use to be!