All but ten of the fifty-five people who attended our Worldcomp Retreat yesterday were residents of one of the slums here in Nairobi. They are people who, by the grace of God, have risen from the ash heap of poverty and are now living their lives with the express purpose of helping others. The theme of our Worldcomp Retreat yesterday was “Being a Blessing to Others”. Our thoughts and conversation centered on God’s promise to Abram that, if he would obey and leave his old life behind, that God would bless him and “make him a blessing to others”. In fact, God promised him that he would be a blessing to the whole world. At one point the group counted off into four groups and went out to sit on the grass and discuss questions like; “How has God blessed you and how are you being a blessing to others.” When the groups returned they took turns giving impassioned speeches about “What a blessing it is to be a blessing to others”. I was deeply moved by the things they shared.
At one point in our meeting we explored the Scriptures in Isaiah 58, where God tells His people why they should they fast, and what they should fast for. Here’s what the Lord has said:
Isaiah 58:6-7 “Is this not the fast which I choose, to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke? “Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into the house; when you see the naked, to cover him; and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
The Lord is saying “I want you to deny yourself to serve the needs of others. But this is only half the story. Look at the incredible promise the Lord gives to those who will obey Him in this:
“Then your light will break out like the dawn and your recovery will speedily spring forth; and your righteousness will go before you. The glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. “Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.”
The Lord goes on to encourage us to quite judging others and start helping them:
“If you remove the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness, and if you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted; then, here’s what will happen in your life: Then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom will become like midday; and the Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places,
and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail. Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins; You will raise up the age-old foundations; And you will be called the repairer of the breach, The restorer of the streets in which to dwell.
Yesterday as one of our conference attendees was reading this verse I was struck by the power of God’s promise to those who will live their lives to serve and bless others. Try reading this again in your own Bible and see if you are not moved.
Our Worldcomp board met to debrief after the conference and we were all so blessed by the events of the day. What a wonderful group of people. I could go on and to speak about one person after another who has truly laid down their lives others! I feel so blessed to simply have the opportunity to serve those who are serving God.
For the next few days we will be wrapping things up here in Kenya. We’ll make another trip out to our orphanage, meet with our key leaders and pack up our stuff. The last three months for us has been one of the highlights of our lives. Glenda Wright told me that she has compiled all of my emails for the making of a future book. As for me feel like my great-great grandchildren will be able to read about what God did here in Kenya and be blessed.
I am so thankful for your prayers and support. You have been a vital part of this great adventure and you have made it possible for us to be here. Bless all of you!
Richard and Valerie