In God’s Own Time
Are you patient when praying to our Lord about a request? Normally, I am not and want an answer as soon as possible! But Psalm 37:7 tells us: Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him.
My friend from church, Judy Verbosky and I were in northern Kenya this fall and the village we were visiting, Gem, has suffered through a three-year drought. Their crops and livestock are dying, and they have no clean water.
When our Praise and Worship Center previously and generously built a well for the orphans and villagers of Gem, it took THREE years to complete. The Third World does not operate on American time. Then Covid hit and construction stopped. Finally, the well was completed and there was rejoicing both in Gem and here at Praise and Worship.
Instead of having to scale down and then back up a steep cliff to dip feces infested water into their yellow jugs, young and old alike could now walk a short distance and get clean water. Thank you, Lord!
But, unfortunately, this past year, we got word that the well had been “sabotaged” and someone had destroyed part of the well. We don’t know who or why. So, not to be deterred by a broken well and a historic drought, our Praise and Worship Center acted with the backing of our church’s International Ministry Committee. Judy and I took the long journey to Kenya buoyed by our congregation’s fervent prayers and our feelings of hope.
First thing on our agenda, replace the broken part and get the well fixed. Accompanied by Habiba Mengesha, our “boots on the ground” partner with Global Hope Network International, we went straight to the office of the company who dug the well. The male manager there wasn’t expecting us three women to be kind, but tough negotiators! The very next day, the broken part was replaced! As we gathered around the well with the villagers, we could not wait to see that glorious water flowing again! Not meant to be.
The water barely trickled out and was filled with sludge. The well was still very broken.
That night, Judy and I went back to our modest quarters and were devastated. We only had four days to get the well fixed and had no extra money to make that happen. We had to convince the well company to pay to fix the problem themselves. They wanted us to give them money.
That night, a “G.M.” happened… a GOD MOMENT. A young woman sitting across from us as we ate our simple supper, turned out to be a hydro- geologist! Victoria, who was from England was a volunteer for ActionAid, the non-profit that had originally helped us years ago to contract out to the construction folks who dug the well. Bottom line, this “angel” agreed to help us keep the project moving forward after Judy and I left. She kept her word.
Another, “G.M.”…we did convince the company to repair the well for free! Hallelujah!
And yet another “GM” that occurred, took place on the day Judy and I felt a calling to feed the entire village of Gem …over 500 people. They were so in need for sustenance, we personally purchased huge bags of rice, beans, and heating oil.
As Father Dale recently proclaimed in his sermon, Judy and I were privileged to be “in the room” where God was moving. The scene was like the story of the loaves and fishes, we had just enough food to feed everyone. Late in the day when we drove back to our quarters, another “G.M.” happened. It started to rain for the first time in almost a year! “What a beautiful sight to see,” Judy proclaimed! Thank you, Lord.
Today, the well is now up and running again and the villagers have decided among themselves to have a “security guard” to watch the well 24/7. They also have plans to build a greenhouse.
As Judy and I reflect on our trip, we realized that the villagers who have practically nothing, possessed a patience that we do not have. It took all day for the food we purchased to arrive, and they sat for many, many hours. Once it arrived, they calmly put the older people first in line, then the women and children, then the men. Each person had only a small mesh bag and took only one scoop. They hugged us and shook our hands and could not thank us enough.
Judy and I agree that we are both works in progress when it comes to patience. We have lots of work to do, but as Judy reminded me, we know that with God, all things are possible. The trip has humbled us, and we also want to be more generous.
Finally, we are beyond grateful to our Praise and Worship community. By your generosity, we have been able to change lives and save lives to a community 9000 miles away…in God’s own time.