It’s The Stories That We Carry With Us


Dear Friends,

I am home now. It has been twelve weeks since I boarded a plane in Nairobi, Kenya to begin the journey home. As I am adjusting back to life in the States I find myself slowly processing our time in Kenya. There is much to reflect on, celebrate, contemplate and pray about. As I do this one precious story keeps coming to mind. It was a story Mama Kingsly, our house help, told me on our last afternoon together.

As I reflect back I remember her standing in the middle of the living room with her feet firmly planted. It was from this platform that she took a deep breath and began to craft her story with heartfelt words, expressions and posture.

“One day, about a year ago, I received a phone call from the husband of one of the missionary families I was       working for at the time. He told me that his home had flooded. I knew he was staying at the house alone because the rest of the family was in the States visiting family. My heart sank when I heard his words. I knew then that when I went to his home the next day I would find a dirty and smelly mess. It would take hard, hard work to clean and I would have much mopping, scrubbing, and moving of furniture.”

She then bowed her head and passionately said, “I prayed hard and fast. I heard God say, ‘Joyce (AKA Mama Kingsly) be strong and courageous.’”

Kenyans are master story tellers and Mama Kingsly can be especially engaging when spinning a story. As I listened to her that day I was drawn into the straightforward scenario. I was connected to her in a real way as I found myself despairing, moaning and hearing God speak right along with her.  I miss those stories and I miss the storyteller.

It is the dance between biblical stories and life experiences that God has taught me most about who He is. This particular story is full of impactful lessons.

It teaches to immediately turn to the Lord in prayer when facing insurmountable circumstances. It reminds me to think of the words “be courageous and strong” when I face impossible situations. Lastly, I learned that a simple story brilliantly told will come to mind and impact the heart many times after it is shared.

“Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to act in accordance with all the law that my servant Moses commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or the left, so that you may be successful wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:7

For it is the stories I heard, the lessons I learned, and the friends I made that create the rich and rewarding memories I now carry of Kenya.

And so dear friends, I close this series about our time in Kenya with this thought. Walk with the Lord as you face life’s challenges and joys, for then you will be strong and courageous.

May you be blessed by the wonder of His story.


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