I got to talk to Bella in Kenya today. I was so glad to hear from her and find out about their first CBS (equivalent to our VBS). They had around 125 kids show up! God is truly blessing their work in Meru, Kenya.
Something Bella said really got under my skin. The team noticed that pretty much every song that the Kenyans sing in worship is about Heaven. Why do Kenyans sing about Heaven so much? They asked the Kenyan Christians and the response just astounded me. The reason the Kenyan Christians sing about Heaven all the time, they explained, is that Americans live in Heaven now, but Heaven is the only hope the Kenyans have to look forward to. WOW!!!
Did that just hit you like it did me? They are correct, these wise Kenyans. We Americans have no clue how the rest of the world lives. Just today my office was all in an uproar because our internet access was down and the phone and fax weren’t working too well either. It took approximately half a day to fix them. We were all stressing about not being able to check our email and do our jobs. Yes, it was frustrating but how important was this actually?
There is the beginning of a famine in Kenya. The people in Meru haven’t had enough rain to grow crops to eat for the past two years. Even worse, the people of Maasailand haven’t had enough rain for three years. Their cattle are beginning to starve to death. The Maasai people are having to herd their cattle 150 or more miles to get to the base of Mt. Kenya where there is more rain and vegetation for the cattle. And I’m worrying about my email?
Heaven is the hope for all of us. We Americans are just too pampered and have it too good to remember how wonderful Heaven is. People who are truly suffering know the hope that is Heaven. The live with that hope everyday. That is why the sing constantly about Heaven.
As much as I hate “suffering”, if you can call anything I’ve been through really suffering, I don’t think I’ve suffered near enough. Because if I had actually suffered, I would long for Heaven. I would long to be resting in the arms of Jesus.
So while I am praying for God to ease the suffering of the people of Kenya, I am also thanking God that He is letting me see the Kenyan Christian’s faithfulness during their suffering. Paul tells us in Romans, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed in us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willing, but, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.” Romans 8:18-25