Friends and I have been praying for me to be able to have really intentional times and conversations with my former female students while in Kenya, and yesterday I had the coolest chat with two of them, Naiseku and Catherine. We were meant to have a girls’ football game, but the coach had to run off and deal with a medical emergency, so Naiseku, Catherine, and I parked on the sidelines of the football field, watching the boys kick around the ball, and dust. I asked both of them, “Can you tell me one thing the Lord has been teaching you during the past year?” and they both had ready responses!
|Catherine and I at Tirrim Secondary|
Catherine is a young lady who actually got pregnant her first term of secondary school (my first year of teaching at Tirrim.) We had to send her home on a one year probation, but I kept up with her quite frequently throughout the rest of my time in Korr. (Her son, Gideon, was eventually born on my birthday, January 30th! I got to visit mother and child a couple of times out in their hometown of Logologo.) So, as you might imagine, Catherine has been learning quite a bit about God’s grace through her early years of motherhood. She says that she has become keenly aware of how many blessings the Lord has given her and what an incredible and joyful responsibility she now has to live for Him! Catherine also explained how she has taken it upon herself to counsel other young ladies about physical relationships with “those boys” (spoken disdainfully) outside of marriage. Both she and Naiseku tell me that they remember the Bible studies we did together and how I told them that every time you sleep with a boy, pieces of your heart get connected to theirs like the wires of the chain-link fence around our schoolyard. Catherine now uses her perspective as a single mother, “who has done a mistake in the past,” to advise her peers to shut out the lies of evil men and to keep oneself pure before the Lord.
|Naiseku and I at Tirrim Secondary|
Naiseku then explained to me the extreme grief she suffered during her father’s battle with cancer and his later death. She told me how hard she tried to keep herself together, not sharing her anguish with her friends or even to the Lord, but how it is too much to bear the burden of death alone. We then talked about her baba being a Believer, and that while death is still massively sorrowful event, it is only so for those left behind, not the Christian in Heaven. She smiled when she thought of her father currently in
Paradise and no longer in pain. Death is never right,
but Naiseku now sees how the family of Believers in the Church and in her
school can be a valuable ally with their weapon of prayer and admonishments to
remember the eternal comfort Christ offers. She concluded that the Lord allows
trials, even as excruciating as death, but that He provides the strength to not
only survive, but move on and thrive.
Amin! (As the Rendille say.)