It's been difficult to write home this season. The work we do here in Kenya isn't always easy and it certainly isn't straight forward! Describing it can be quite a challenge, sometimes an impossible task. I've often thought that working in a foreign field may be similar to being in a war. I know, I know you may think I'm being slightly dramatic, but there really are some striking similarities. The truth is, there is nothing glamorous about warfare. It may look exciting in the movies, but in the trenches it's a lot of hard work. The enemy has ambushes everywhere. Often you can't tell the enemy from those you can trust. And your friends get injured, sick and killed; it hurts.
When missionaries share, we often hear only about the victories and the great things the Lord is doing. I get it, it's not cool to show vulnerability and reveal that we too face problems and struggles as well as the breakthroughs and the victories. The thing is, we are daily battling with the effects that the sin of this world has caused, and it often feels like we are surrounded by evil as we are in the midst of our personal assignments. Sin is everywhere, yet suddenly it becomes more obvious as we seek to fight it and stand against it.
Here, we work with many vulnerable children, families and widows that have suffered all types of terrible suffering. One of the main issues these people have faced is abuse; physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional maltreatment. Abuse can leave psychological wounds that are harder to heal than bodily injuries. Survivors of abuse may find it challenging to cope with the intense, often negative feelings that can plague them long after the abuse has ended, and their ability to find peace and happiness in life may be affected. Poverty is serious enough without abuse also occurring simultaneously. Our hearts get heavy for these people and compassion continue to increase. All types of abuse can cause pain and psychological distress. Children who have been sexually, psychologically, or physically abused often experience emotional difficulties that can affect their academic performance and social skills. As adults, survivors of abuse may experience difficulty maintaining healthy relationships and productivity at work. CTP-K works to protect children from all different backgrounds and the children all have stories with testimonies of serious transformation due to the work in which CTP-K does. What a privilege it has been, and is still for us to serve our God and His people. We love doing life with the people we do! It isn't always easy, yet He never leaves us, nor forsakes us!
Sunsets are daily reminders to us that each child and family that we serve here do have a hope and chance at a beautiful ending.
Today was a hard day. Today, was a frustrating day, another day filled with emotion as we work towards seeing these children's lives improved and transformed. Today we have to remember the small victories, as well as the big ones we've seen this year so far. We must not forget how much has already been achieved. Today we go to bed knowing His mercies are new every morning, tomorrow is a new day.
We are determined not to give up! We are determined to stay until the time is right. It won't always be easy, but when God is for us, who shall be against us? We will fight for justice, we will see the oppressed set free!
Thank you Father God for sunsets, for your love, and for giving these kids a hope and a future.
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