Jesus is Enough

I recently had a dream that I and another girl were at the beach. We both were working out, but she had a gym membership and emphasized that I didn’t have one. I replied and said that I didn’t need one and that I would still work out. I started running on a beautiful beach. It was amazing cause I was running so tirelessly!

I woke up feeling wonderful and wishing that I could actually run like that, especially on the beach.

JESUS IS ENOUGH

  1. Others around me have the resources and skills, but all I need is Jesus.
  2. When I have Jesus and let Him flow through me, my actions will become tireless.

You know, this sounds wonderful, but how often do we exert ourselves trying to do things with our own strength and energy. Its great to do good things, actually it is a command, but our good deeds should come out of a desire to please our Heavenly Father! Jesus desires me, more than the things I do. I have gotten this confused so many times. I do this and that and another thing and then not spend time with God. But God wants me to spend time with Him and then do Great things for Him. When we do this, Jesus will work through us and we don’t need to use our own strength, but lean on our strength giver.

In my dreams – Jesus is enough. In my job – Jesus is enough! In my family – Jesus is enough! In my relationships – Jesus is enough! In the unexpected – Jesus is enough! In the hard things – Jesus is enough! In the good times – Jesus is enough!

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:19

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” ~ Philippians 4:13

 

 

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Hope

Its been 6+ months since I boarded that plane to return to Canada and I am trying to figure out how I feel about it!

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I miss Kenya – working with the children and my friends!

 

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Such a joyful girl. God has changed this girls story from despair to hope!

Life has been busy and now things are catching up and it all hits me in tears.

It was a rough start as you all may have read in my previous blog, but I can testify of God’s faithfulness. So even tonight as I am sitting here missing my Kenyan home, I am choosing once again to remain positive. Why because I have hope. What is hope?

Hope – a confident expectation of what God has promised

My Testimonies

  1. My job

I went with mom to help her clean a family’s home one morning and a few days later I was asked by this same family if I am looking for a job. And here I am loving my job. They are a great family and have welcomed me into their tribe! The children are awesome and we have so much fun together. I love opening the door after a weekend away and being welcomed by a little but big hug or hearing “Charmaine, you’re like family, aren’t you?” or hearing “Thank you for babysitting us, Charmaine.” Plus many more….

Thank you Jim and Jennifer, Wyatt, Olivia and Lyla for welcoming me into your family!I love you all! Oh and I also love the way you have accepted my passion for orphaned children. It means alot!

 2. Celebration of Love

As soon as you read this statement, I bet some of your were thinking “I have a boyfriend”.

Well, just read on.

My coming home was so timely, I wasn’t home long and I get a phone call from my best friend saying “I’m engaged!”. I was so excited! She continues saying “And I have always dreamed of you being my maid of honor.” Of course I’d be honored and I consented! 🙂 I would not have missed this wedding and here God timed it all perfectly so I could fully participate in the planning of her big day! Those nights of sitting on the floor planning were great! And oh the joy I had standing beside her as she said “I do”. I thank God for this special gift from Heaven.

I am not done yet….

I came home desiring friends and I found one in my home. 2 wonderful ladies were welcomed into our home and family and guess what the oldest and I are only 6 months apart! We became friends and sisters. Oh those staircase conversations were the best and also sharing our nannying stories!

She got engaged and I enjoyed helping where I could! I was honored once again to  stand with her as she married the man of her dreams!

Both of these were beautiful weddings and a reminder of why I was home at this time. I thank God for the opportunity to stand with them as they vowed before God and man and said “I do”.

     3. Friends

Coming home from Kenya was lonely. After being away from Canada for so long, understandably people take different paths. And now I was on this scary path looking for friends and searching for where I belong.

Well after much prayer and waiting, like always, God provided!

I attended a church to visit Bishop Henry and Rev. Betty that I hadn’t been at for 3 years(I think). We had talked and lost contact, but now we reconnected. I don’t believe in coincidence, I believe in ‘Godcidence’.

In this search of belonging, I was looking for a church that I can call family. It was the 2nd Sunday there and this lady and I connect like Insta friends! There was a church bonfire and we laughed and talked like we had known each other for years. The next morning, we go on a walk and that is the beginning of many other memories made!

Sorry, I don’t have photos, but trust me they are real friends! 🙂

 4. Family

My nephews are reaching an age where one can connect at a deeper level and its been so special to have these moments! Conversations about Jesus, laughing, sleepovers, praying with them and playing! There are no words to describe when you hear them say your name for the first time!

I love them to the moon and back!

So tonight in my tears, God slowly turns my tears to joy. He reminded me of His faithfulness and all the things I should be grateful for. I am blessed. I am loved!

Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the Heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.”

Psalms 36:5

Wait/Subiri

“Wait? That’s what made the bridge collapse!” ~ Of course its weight that makes the bridge collapse and not wait. However these two similarly pronounced words may be more related than we think. One of our greatest needs when we “WAIT” is to cast our “WEIGHTY” burdens to the Lord.

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Photo credits go to ‘The Heart of The Lion’  ~ http://the-heart-of-the-lion.tumblr.com/image/54839027224

God gives numerous blessings to those that wait, but oh how difficult it is to wait. After much dreaming, it’s like time and progress has come to a screeching stop.

In Hebrew, qavah, means to tarry or wait and to hope, expect, look eagerly.

In the New Testament, prosdechomai, was used in the reference of waiting for the return of the Lord. It had a similar meaning to Hebrew, but it was concerned about eagerly anticipating Jesus’ return.

Subiri in Swahili takes waiting to a new level, its not only waiting, but being patient in the waiting period. Subiri by Mercy Masika and Emmy Kosgei and Evelyn Wanjiru

I knew coming home from my Kenyan home would have its challenges. I tried preparing myself and I thank God for my faithful friends who have and are still praying for me. I knew God was calling me home for only a season. But in an unexpected season, one is never sure what to expect and one is always waiting, eagerly anticipating a better tomorrow.

I have doubted God and asked why I am home, but then God reminds me of specific people that need me over this time. I then stop in my tracks and choose to remain positive. I have been reading through the Psalms and I have stumbled on so many verses about waiting.

 Lord, how long must I wait? Will you forget me forever? How long will you turn your face away from me? Psalms 13:1

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalms 27:14

Our soul waits for the Lordhe is our help and our shield. Psalms 33: 20

Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LordPsalms 31: 24

but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lordwhose trust is the LordHe is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8

I thought I had the next few months planned, believing that I would be accepted to my preferred job thinking it was Perfect for me, but I wait and hear no response. I faced disappointment and discouragement, but then I remind myself that God’s ways are Perfect and His ways are so much higher than my ways. And God opened another door and I am a nanny to some awesome children. His ways are so much higher than mine.I am so blessed!

I have never been good at waiting, this sanguine in me loves to act and move. And here I am told to rest and wait. “God, you really are teaching me something big here aren’t you?” But even while I trust, I catch myself thinking in Swahili or wanting to say something in Swahili, when adding a new contact in my phone, I want to start with 07, instead of 519/226, I want to shake people’s hands, not realizing that this is not always the custom here. Oh such little, but big things to adjust to.

God has given me a practical lesson on waiting. I have realized that when one makes a choice to trust God on a daily basis, it makes it a peaceful season. I picture peace as a bird relaxing in her nest, when the branches are swaying in the wind. This is how I have felt the waiting process has been like, but oh I am so thankful for the peace I have.

I am relaxing in my ‘nest’.     

I hold onto the hope and blessings that come with waiting. Not only physical blessing, but peace and joy in the midst of the storm.

What are you waiting for? God is whispering to you “Take heart my child, wait. I am working things out for your good.”

Choose to walk in faith keeping your eyes on our Creator and Maker.

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“Go To The Land I Will Show You”

“I thought I had it all planned out. I had dreams and plans, but then I feel a somersault in my spirit. I close my eyes and I know I need to close the chapter with Operation Hope Sponsorship Program.

But “God, then what?”

God: “My daughter, do it by faith.”

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I have been struggling with this for awhile now, but I knew it was time and I needed to obey or else I would be like Jonah. I needed to go home for a temporal visit to rest as I seek God for His next assignment.

In this struggle, God reminded me of Abraham’s call in Genesis 12: 1-4a

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” So Abram went, as the Lord had told him.”

I felt God was telling me these same words and all He required of me was obedience. I imagined, Abraham had settled and was comfortable but when God say “Go”, he went in obedience. I imagined what people must’ve said and how he felt. Well, some people understood and others didn’t, but the overwhelming peace I had, spoke louder than all other voices.

When God closes one door, He will open another one, although it may not be the one you planned. I knew God was preparing me for the next assignment in children’s ministry. People admire those that know what they are called to, but honestly it’s a full package of the sweet and sour candies. Its fulfilling to see that sad, depressed child smile and the girl who has now turned into a young woman, excelling in university, but its heartbreaking to see the coffin of a sister who died to soon and when a girl cries as she relays what is happening at home. Child ministry is not easy, but when you know what God is using you to accomplish for His glory, it is worth it. It is an honor to serve God in this way.

 

One may say then “Why are you walking away?”. Good question. God is preparing me to take me to a higher level in children’s ministry and He wants me to rest as He is preparing the ground and me for the ground.

I think of it like a seed planted in the ground. Its alone, dark and maybe wet and it takes months to germinate and grow into a productive and beautiful plant. I have been planted, being prepared for a new ground.

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So currently I am in the US with my sis who has a precious lil girl. I am having a wonderful time with my nephews and niece. There are no words that describe receiving a letter from one’s nephew and hearing another one saying your name for the first time. Special aunt – nephew moments.

 

But still I knew culture shock would not be easy. There is no water shortage, no need of wiping dusty or muddy shoes, no electricity power outages, no washing laundry by hand, no side to side hugs/greetings and I wonder what to think. I miss those friends that get me and have taught me so much. And I wonder do I belong?

And I begin missing my Kenyan home and the beautiful children.

But then God reminds me that He is not done with me yet and that He is preparing me for the next assignment. And the preparation for a task is not always what we would choose, but God has our best interest in mind. So that is what I hang on to.

I want to thank all of you who sacrificed your time to pray for me and your finances to fund God’s work. I do not take it for granted and I know God will bless you 100 fold.

“Whoever oppresses a poor man insults His Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors Him.”

Proverbs 14:31

Well, you and I are only a vessel and God used you in different ways to be generous to God’s people who are less privileged – prayer, encouragement, visits and finances; so I am confident that you will be honored by God. May God richly bless you.

Keep looking back here for new updates cause this is only the beginning of God’s call on my life.

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Raining Cats

I am preparing supper in the kitchen, when I hear a sound, a sound that was coming from near by in my house. I thought that was strange, but kept going. I heard it again and I then opened my suitcase. I gasped….

Thursday, I came home from work and I found some tell tale signs that a cat had come to visit me when I was away. There was no big deal and I ensure the door to the cats entrance remained close. Everything was good.. or so i thought….

An unforgettable experience in Nov.

Sat. morning I wake up in good time to do my last 6 CAT’s(Mid term exams). Saturday alone I had four, so I was in for it. I got home around 7, 7:30.

As I am preparing supper in the kitchen, I hear a sound, a sound that was coming from in my house. I thought that was strange, but kept preparing supper. I heard it again and I then opened my suitcase. I gasped and stood still for a few minutes in shock of what I saw.

Three cute kittens.

Here the mother had come visited my house seeing that it would be a good home for her kittens. This explains why she kept coming to my house persistently meowing.

“What do I do?”

  1. I knew I would need to tell the landlord
  2. I wasn’t sure about the next step, but decided to put them in the ‘laundry room’, where the mother was able to enter. I also tried giving them some milk. My love for cats as a child, has not left me.

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Sometime later, when I was on the phone with my sis, I heard the mother cat came and carried one kitten. I now could relax knowing she would come back for the others.

I knew everything was fine and retired for bed. After doing my devotions, I switched off the light, and closed my eyes only to hop out of bed a few minutes later after hearing a sound. I went to check on the kittens. I opened the door and I see the two remaining kittens dead with blood on the floor. Again, I was in shock and angry at whoever had committed this act of murder. In shock I scooped them up with the dustpan and dumped them in the dustbin. I had to decide in my heart to forgive this person, so that i could sleep in peace and wake up to do well in my remaining two exams.

After a night of ‘raining cats and dogs’ or in Kenya ‘raining lions and zebras’, i wake up and prepare for, I am hoping a better day.

I could tell it was going to be a rainy day, so I wore my boots. As I am walking out of our compound, a girl stops me and says that the shops outside our compound have been flooded. I think ‘Oh, so its really rained last night’

I then casually ask in Kiswahili ‘But there is still a way to pass, right?”

She repeats her previous statement of how its flooded. Obliviously, I continue walking, until I reach the gate and think twice ‘Oh, so its seriously rained last night’. I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture, but I will try to form a picture in your mind.

Imagine a 3 – 4 inch river running over a sidewalk blocking you from the church entrance and remember you don’t have a vehicle. What will you do? The river is passing over your walkway/road, with no way, so you choose one of the following options:

  1. you pass through the river hoping your boots will be waterproof, knowing that you have exams and the whole day ahead of you
  2. Wait for a vehicle so that you can get a ride across the river
  3. You can be carried across by someone and of course you’ll need to pay.

Lets just say I chose one of them, thinking that I had experienced ‘Life in Kenya’. 🙂

Here is a photo of one of the places we had flooding, and this is like a week later, so just imagine it like almost running over the road. The flooding caused some people to lose property and forced people to temporarily move out of their houses.

 

We know the saying goes “Its raining cats and dogs”, well I had the mixture of the rain and cats that weekend, but I thank God that I had a dry place to return to at the end of the day.

 

 

God Made An escape

Have you ever felt something in you dying and you are powerless? It’s like a lioness creeping up to her prey, which today is an antelope. She takes her time and in her slow movements, her friends join her leaving no hope for the antelope. The antelope at first oblivious to the fact but loses hope as she looks around at her enemies. But than something happens.

After being in ministry for 5 years, God has taught me so much through HIS word, people and circumstances. In the beginning I needed to depend on God for the learning of a new language, finding friends, finding where I belong, little education when it comes to vulnerable and orphaned children, little comfort from what i am used to(scorpions, snakes, matatu, etc). As the years went by, I became more accustomed to the culture, people, the ministry with children, and life. I guess I could say I began to depend less on God n more on personal knowledge and experience. One could say, I knew what i was doing, considering the knowledge and experience. It partly may be true, but in ministry one constantly needs God and His Spirit.

Many circumstances began to deter and discourage me and I wondered what was happening to me. I felt lost and powerless. I had my Teaching Practice from May to July and God knew I needed it in more ways than one. It was a practical lesson for teaching and it was another lesson that I still had the calling to minister to children. I identified a few children, whom I saw their self esteem was low and God used me to be hope and love. Tears came to my eyes when I read how one sensitive girl who didn’t talk to other teachers but initiated talk to me. She wrote “I want to be a teacher like you.” or “You are my favorite teacher”. The other day, I met two of my students at a wedding and they were thrilled to see “Teacher Charmaine”.

It was a great experience teaching and depending on God. I feared being assessed by the professionals, but God gave me favor and success. The one Professor who assessed me marveled at how I knew all the students names and actually thought it was my school where I teach. I told him it was my interest and my love for children. His response was humbling “I could tell”. My professor for teaching practice told me more than once that he had a very good feedback from my assessments. A week ago, I received my results and I got an A!! I never had taught in the classroom before and here I succeeded with flying colors. Truly, “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me” Phil 4:13.

God showed me once again that yes, I am in the right place, but I wasn’t quite convinced.

I went home for an unexpected 6 wk visit to encourage my bro and when I was home, I had an encounter. One night, I felt like Jacob wrestling with the angel. I came out with a breakthrough. I now faced my fears and believed the truth that God has called me to be His hands and feet to orphaned n vulnerable children.

I was at peace. God was beginning something new in my life. He made an escape for the `antelope`

“It was dark and all the other passengers on the plane were oblivious to the fact that God was speaking to me, he gave me a word/vision”

God gave life to the dead bones, I witnessed that in my life. He breathed His breath on me and has given me a second chance.

“But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.“

Psalms 3:3

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. “

1 Corinthians 10:13

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Reflecting and looking ahead

“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.”

2 Corinthians 4: 8 – 9

This elephant has visible battle wounds on her ears and a broken tusk, but yet she has persevered. Her life has been tough, but she is walking strong and her calf is confidently walking beside her. 2016 has been tough, but I believe by the grace of God I have come out strong.

As I look back on 2016, I think of the above verse. It was a tough year with numerous challenges.

Big changes in the workplace, losing a brother and 2 sisters, sickness off and on, etc.

I was burnt out and it was affecting all areas of life – physically I was weak, emotionally I felt like I had nothing to give to the children, I was unable to study as well in school, etc.

I recognize the fact that its only by God’s grace that I came through this season. I was so ready to come to my Canada home for a lengthy break, to just rest. Oh, those four words, REST, sounded so wonderful, but yet at the same time I felt guilty. I am so used to serving 24/7, so taking that step away made me feel guilty. Through friends and family, God somehow gave me grace for those 5 months and now I am home. Resting and taking a break.

Despite all that inside and outside turmoil, I was not crushed and destroyed like 2 Corinthians 4: 8 and 9 says. To my surprise, I still performed well in school, which was a some of my studying and a lot of God’s grace. I thank God for the support and prayers of my faithful Kenyan and Canada friends in this season. God truly carried me through.

I thank God for a new year and for the opportunity to see 2017. 2017 comes with excitement, fears and many questions, but I go forward with confidence, knowing that God is in control. I am in expectancy of what God has in store for me this year.

I am in Ontario till the beginning of March. My mom will be coming back with me and staying till the beginning of May. I will be beginning my Teaching Practice or placement for school in May, where I will be teaching at a primary school in Kenya. I am ready for a new challenge, although it comes with a little fear of not knowing what to expect with my very little teaching practice.

With all this said, I want to thank all of you for your words of encouragement, prayers and support that you gave me in 2016. I look forward connecting with you all in 2017.

I wish you a BLESSED 2017!

“For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.”

Hebrews 11:6

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