Sunday, September 27, 2009

What I Go Home With

As my portion of this trip comes to a close I am reflecting on all the events of the past two weeks. I think about the mission that we were sent here to do and I think about the actual mission that God has called us all to do. I have had my eyes opened to a country that has corruption and evil intentions, there is no doubt. The saddest part is that we see the children are the most vulnerable victims.

But I have also seen people come together in this country to stand on the Word of God and join together to believe for something that they themselves have never even experienced. We have joined as one with local Sierra Leonians and believed God for the redemption of these children. We stand and believe for truth to prevail. We stand and believe for justice in a country where injustice comes from the top and trickles down. But still.....in all of the chaos, there is that still small voice. It is the same voice that each of us christians whether American, or Sierra Leonian have heard on this trip. It is the voice that gives us hope to keep going when all seems hopeless. It is the voice that reminds us that we are all made in the image of Christ. We are reminded of the sufferings that He endured while on this earth. But we are also reminded of the end of the story. He was not defeated by the enemy. Therefore we have victory over the enemy no matter what his schemes may be.
In the midst of all the craziness that I have encountered, there is the presence of Jesus everywhere I turn. Maybe that is why the enemy tries so hard over here because he sees Jesus everywhere he goes. I see Jesus on the walls, on the shirts of the poor, in the music in the marketplace, on the radio as I drive down the bumpy pot hole filled road, and out of the mouths of all of our employees that God has brought to the new center to stand strong and believe for these kids. There is no doubt....God is here. Yes everything here, compared to America, is very hard. It is a struggle to do just about everything here once you have lived in America and had everything at your convenience. But I do believe that makes their faith here all the more strong.

I wanted to leave with some of the beautiful images that I captured while here in Sierra Leone.












You have no idea how highly they think of America. It is most African's dream to say "by God's grace they will one day visit America."
The below pictures show the home of Tina's adopted son's home. No kidding, the American flag is the front door to their home.
Once you walk in their home there are two pictures of Jesus on the walls with Tina and her famil right in the middle of Jesus. They think very highly of them to say the least. They view us as very blessed......and we are.



We went down to a place called Crew Bay. It is such a poor village with make shift houses and 16,000 people who survive the best they can. It is a life that most of us can't even imagine. We met up with one of the locals and he guided us through this place as we walked in the rain with our rain boots on, trying to avoid what these people live in everyday, passing children playing in the same river as pigs. It was very sad to witness. He told us there are many, many orphaned children among this group as well.

Even among their circumstances, some of them give us the biggest smiles to show us their sweet spirits as they live in poverty which most of them have known their entire lives.
Our eyes have really been opened to the reality of the Rebel war that lasted for 10years in this country. We have heard many stories of survival from many of our staff. One of our sweet cooks told me the story of the rebels invading and she watched her mother get shot in the head and then they burnt the house to the ground that had her body in it. She said she went back later and collected her bones which is all that she could find of her mother. Her father died a short time later and she said she identifies with the orphans because she is one. But this woman has faith that you can't imagine. God has brought her through a lot in her life. The war ended here in 2002. You still see the effects of it everywhere.

This woman below was attacked during the war. She escaped with her life...but not her face. She so sweetly said she would love for me to take her picture. She is beautiful.






We left there changed once again. Our eyes were opened to a world that we didn't even know existed.



I caught the children below digging through the trash on the side of the road.

But once again, I am brought back to the beauty of Sierra Leone. The beauty is found in the children....in their sweet looks of curiosity and innocense. Their beautiful faces and their beautiful spirits.



I leave with these children in my heart. I have witnessed more God moments on this trip. I have seen one boy stir up the man inside of him and step out on his own to come find us and ask us for help because he knew that we were his only hope. Because of him many children will get set free because he so bravely spoke truth and wants with all his heart to see his family taken care of. He is the hero on this trip. God still has a work in progress. I ask that you continue to pray for the relinquishment of these children. We definitely stepped into more than we bargained for but God's ways are always the right ways even when we don't see His plan in the middle of it. We will see it in the end.
I will continue to give updates on this special trip and we will all together pray it through to the end and pray for those that will remain in Sierra Leone to make sure that we don't give up on these kids.


5 comments:

  1. Kelly, what a privilege you've had to touch the face of Jesus in these beautiful children. What a privilege for me and all your friends to follow this journey through the lens of your camera and catch a glimpse of this holy ground. I know that you are even further changed, even beyond the beautiful person you already are. And I know that processing all that you have seen will be so hard inside our WC Bubble. I'll be praying for you, sweetie. Can't wait to get together at Kristie's and hear all the stories first hand!

    Ondrea

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  2. Wow wish i could be there with you first hand hearing the stories. I would love to talk to you sometime. My heart is just so burdened for these kids. Praying for a safe trip home for you and for renewed health for all of the women. Thank you for sharing these amazing pictures with all of us! God is working! Sure pray the children are free soon. I am just heartbroke and am praying to our all powerful God who can do the impossible.

    Kelly you are amazing!!
    God BLess, Heidi Schafbuch

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  3. Been with you all the way, thanks to Karson's fwded emails. Thank you and your team for giving your heart and sharing the story. May Jesus be glorified as the prayers are answered! BIG HUGS! whitney

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  4. ..ONCE OUR EYES ARE OPENED WE CAN'T PRETEND WE DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO. GOD, WHO WEIGHS OUR HEARTS AND KEEPS OUR SOULS, KNOWS THAT WE KNOW, AND HOLDS US RESPONSIBLE TO ACT. -PROVERBS 24:12
    Kelly,
    Thank you so much for being our eyes and ears while you were there carrying out God's mission.There are so many here that were and continue to stand in the gap for the team. I pray your strength will be renewed and a refreshing of God's love will fall on you as you begin to digest all you have seen and done in SL.

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