TO KENYA, WITH LOVE
By Mandy Clare: I gazed out the window of the plane as we approached Texas, wiping tears from my eyes. As much as I longed for my own bed, air conditioning, a toilet with a seat, and ice water, I longed to be back in Kenya. My heart was aching for the people I had met while on my first trip serving there. I had never seen such poverty.
My mind wandered back to Ann, the deaf woman whose husband had kicked her out. She ate ravenously at lunch with us, while my mother held her baby in her arms, who was too weak to even hold up his own head. I think about that poor baby, who probably won’t be alive in a month.
I think of Ann, and the tears she cried as she told us her story, and I cry with her.
But God can move mountains; there lies my hope.
I am a mountain, if there ever was one. Stubborn and willful to the core since the day I was born. My parents will tell you that, as a baby, I never cried – I screamed. I was so eager, so anxious for attention and love, that I would stubbornly do whatever it took to get it. This continued as I grew older, as I got involved with men who would never be right for me. A psychologist diagnosed me as a sex-addict. I’m not sure if the diagnosis was right, but I was definitely addicted – to affection and attention, eager to be loved, cared about and wanted.
I ached to give and to receive love, and doled it out with the wrong kind of generosity. But God began to show me that love can be given to more than just a man; it should be doled out generously to the broken, to the wounded, to the unforgiven, and the forgotten.
So as He shared with me the possibility of going to Kenya, I began to understand that if God never provides me with a husband, He will still provide me with more people to love than I have ever known.
Who am I, God, that You would send me to these people? Who am I that You would send me across the world to sit in their homes, to hold their hands, to cry with them, to rejoice with them and to pray with them?
God has shown me what it is to offer Grace and Forgiveness. If God can purify, sanctify, redeem, and send a girl like me, then He can give me love and grace to share with others.
His favorite people to use are the broken and the shamed, because only He is able to make them whole.
How can He use your brokenness?