Have you ever been fearful? Have you ever felt like you knew God was calling you to do something, but you just were not sure that you wanted to say yes just yet? Well, me too, and well since I already said yes to moving to Africa, I bet you are wondering what else could be so fearful: Two words……… MY NEIGHBORS! 🙂 About two months have past now since I said yes to what God was calling me to. It was by far one of my best yeses. I will first start out by saying this story and these pictures are shared with permission from the family.
Meet Fransicah and her husband Michael. They are our neighbors. Fransicah was a drunk. She drank very often and many nights we could hear her yelling and fighting with her kids and herself. Now, our walls are not the best, but to hear fighting clearly from one yard over, through the walls, and through the TV noise, well, it was loud. It was also scary. I could hear a baby crying a lot, even in the daytime, and my workers would tell me things they could over hear in Swahili. I spoke to my house helper Judith about the situation and decided that the Lord was telling us to go over and share the gospel. We had no idea how the response we be. We prayed for one week and then we asked through the fence if we could come visit. (saying no to someone who wants to visit you, especially the mazungu or white lady, is kinda rude around here so they agreed).
We went over the next afternoon and met our new friends, including this cutie. Her name is Irene and she is the granddaughter of Fransicah and Michael. Her mother is Rose and she was also there. We shared the gospel and they accepted. I encouraged them to also share with others and that I would come every week to read the Bible with them and answer questions. I also bought them their own Bible in Swahili so they could read together. I agreed to transport them to church with Judith, my helper, that Sunday so that they could have a familiar face in church.
Since that time, Fransicah has only drank once that we are aware of, and we are very excited over our good Father taking that desire from her so quickly. We know she will continue to be tempted and will always struggle with this, but our God is bigger than her addiction and she is seeing that too. We meet weekly for Bible study and talk through the fence even more. They are sharing their story and bringing not only more of their family, but also friends to Bible Study. I guess we have ourselves a little house church on Tuesday afternoons and it has been so fun.
This family has hard stories and they still struggle a lot. They have kids still in school, which means school fees, and they have to go out daily almost and look for work just to put any food on the table. Two weeks ago, while I was away, Fransicah was very sick. She was having very serious asthma attacks. She had been to the government hospital three times and they were giving her some medications that she could not afford, (this hospital is suppose to be free but it is not) and she was only getting worse. When I returned, I visited and I knew right away she needed to be admitted somewhere. I felt compelled to help my new sister in Christ. (and by the way……so did you if you support us)!
I used some of our ministry money and met a huge need for this family. I took her to a private clinic close to our homes and had her admitted. She had multiple asthma attacks that night and even said to me she thought she may die. After two days in the clinic (which has its own stories and could make a whole other blog), this is us ready to come back home. Supporters, we could not have ministered to this lady in this tangible way without you and we really thank you for standing with us even when you don’t always see where your money is going. Along with this hospital visit, we also help them with some food each week and bought them a blanket so she could stay warm during this cold season.
God has and is still changing this family and they have a huge testimony because of it. They love going to church and reading their Bible. They love Bible study and one of the men they invited walks, even in heavy rain, to meet us each week. This family foots to church every week if they do not have transport money and it is not a short walk. They still have one child who is continuing at the Mosque, though he also sometimes sits in Bible study. They have two children who are polite, but will not stay for Bible study at all. They are still struggling to meet their daily needs, but God, in his goodness, has saved them. They are bold in telling people and I pray that the rest of their family will come to know Christ as well.
These last few pictures were taken Tuesday. They are laughing so hard because Judith was telling them to say chapati to make them smile. They told me that day, “many people had tried to share the gospel with them and they would never listen to it……but this time, was God’s time, and He is faithful!” What a humbling and powerful statement. I am not sure why God chose Judith and I to encounter this, but I am so glad we said yes!
Thank you again for your prayers and support. God is using all of you also in a mighty way. Not only for his Kingdom glory but for encouraging us to keep up the good fight that He has called us to. We serve a great and mighty God who is able to redeem all people!