Friday, April 4, 2008


Jambo Friends,
I have not written for awhile and wanted to drop in this morning with a greeting...and a story. Before I tell the story though, permit me to share with you a good word I received today from a man named Joel Vestal, director of a mission project called ServLife. In his recent newsletter, he tells of visiting with a friend from Zimbabwe who expressed his gratitude to God. Joel asked him what he was grateful for, and the man's answer humbled Joel very much. He said he was grateful that he'd had enough food for the family today, and that he had not been caught in the ambush that had occurred nearby. The humility that descended upon Joel was born in his realization that he often measures God's blessings using a very different sort of yardstick. Like Joel, I find that spending time with our friends from Kenya often enables me to make an attitude adjustment regarding my prayers of gratitude.

Let me add another story to the mix. It's not mine. It comes from our young friend, Dennis who is now ensconced at TCC and working hard on his studies. He came by a couple of days ago to help me in my garden. That in itself is a blessing, as he is a marvelous help to me. It was a beautiful day and a joy to work alongside Dennis and visit with him.

As we worked, he told me a story about his maternal grandmother who had to leave their house one day and go in search of firewood. She had to walk a long way (I'll remember that next time I grumble about hopping in my car to run up to Fred Meyer for milk). Far from home, Dennis' grandmother grew tired, so she decided to lie down on the forest floor to rest. Time slipped away and she awoke late in the day. It was not good to be caught so far from home with night coming on, and not only that, as she slept she had acquired a curious visitor. She awoke to find a leopard watching her.

She remained still. Finally, she decided she had no other choice but to move, and she began -- slowly -- to walk. The leopard followed her... all the way home. At one point, her fear subsided a bit as it appeared he had no interest in having her for dinner! When Grandmother arrived home, she ducked inside and instructed the children to make noise and stir up a commotion in hopes it would send her new friend back into the forest. That was the last they saw of him!

Imagine Grandmother's prayers of gratitude that evening -- for a bundle of firewood so she could cook dinner -- and for the fact that her leopard friend had apparently eaten a bit BEFORE encountering her asleep on the forest floor! Amen?

Let's all give thanks for manna for the day! In addition, I am giving thanks for the opportunity to work alongside Dennis and hear firsthand accounts of life in Kenya.

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