Several people have asked Valerie if she was sure she should go to Kenya with her health being so fragile. She had the same question so she earnestly inquired of the Lord for a confirmation of His will in this matter. Finally about a month ago the Lord spoke to her while she was reading the book of 1Timothy. His word to her, inspired by Paul’s word to Timothy, was “You will suffer, now go and preach the gospel.” Now you have to admit that this is not the most comforting word in the world, but it gave her the assurance she needed to go. As always the word of the Lord is tested. Soon after that a number of things happened which could have discouraged her from going, and it all ended with her dad being very ill. Through it all though “His word endures forever”. And we are here! Valerie says “I feel humbled and overwhelmed with gratefulness and praise for the opportunity of being sent out to do the will of God.
On the airplane, I looked over at Valerie and she was reading a book called “The Insanity of God”. The premise of the book is that the whole of the Christian life seems like insanity to the people of this world. Words like “If you follow me, you will suffer persecution”, “If you love me, they will hate you” and “If any man would come after me let his take up his cross and follow me”, make the prospect of going with God a little suspect. Those who would follow Jesus, must first sit down and “count the cost”. But after the cost is counted there is no argument! Following Jesus, even at the risk of loosing our lives, is the only sane choice there is.
A number of people have suggested to me that I am “some kind of hero” to be doing the things I am doing. But believe me when I say “I don’t feel that way at all.” You know how I feel? I feel like a man who was walking along, doing his own thing, when he fell down into a deep hole. But do not pity me, because in the bottom of that hole he found a mighty fortune. The unfathomable riches of Christ. I am a blessed and fortunate man, who fell down the hole of God’s wonderful will and every day is a blessing. May everyone be so fortunate!
Tomorrow night the nurses arrive. We will meet them at the airport and the following day we will have dinner with them and do our best to orient them to their mission. We have only seen pictures of the nurses, but they look like a very sweet group of people. We are looking forward to working with them.
It is now 10:30pm. We forcing ourselves to stay away, in the hopes of getting a good night’s sleep.
We have been so blessed to hear from so many of you in the last few days. Thanks taking the time to write. You are all loved.
Richard and Valerie