Choosing to move forward

I went on vacation.  Like a real one. . .to a new country. . .a new place. . .a new wonder of the world (Table Mountain).

Ever since Kenya took over my life, traveling anywhere but to my favorite East African country has fallen off my radar.  So when I got an email from the Christian Hospitality Network saying they will pay for a hotel and meals and pampering for a few nights in Cape Town, South Africa, as a ministry to care for of missionaries, I said. . .

Sign. Me. Up.

And since my favorite social worker and BFF works harder than I do, I said. . .

Sign. Her. Up.

Cape Town is stunning.  It was refreshing and fun and soooo good to get away.


In the first few hours back to “work” yesterday, we met with kids being “chased” from school due to lack of school fees, we learned our good friend who has next to nothing got robbed, we saw one of our beloved 18 year olds who was plastered by 9 a.m., and we searched endlessly for a student of ours who should be in school but is not.

Our day ended with a visit to see the grandmother of one of our BEAM Kenya boarding students.  This grandmother has one of the biggest “brew dens” in the slums where she sells chang’aa for about 20 cents a cup.  Chang’aa is an illicit grain alcohol laced with chemicals (like embalming fluid) that can cause blindness and even death.  The brew den slash “home” of our student was packed at 1 pm. . .men with blood shot eyes, women with slurred speech, grade-school drop outs, pregnant teenagers, and kids.  Lots of kids.

I almost hopped back on a plane to South Africa. . .because I’ll take vacation over that reality any day.

Buuuutttt a still small voice reminded me about our BEAM Kenya Counseling Center and it’s official opening this week.  And by official, I mean we have our fabulous Kenyan counselors coming to a semi-noisy room with a desk and few plastic chairs to be available for counseling for some of the families we know in the slums.

And guess where it’s located?  On a place called Black Street, an area known for prostitution, street kids, joblessness and illicit brew.  And it’s just a stone’s throw away from the brew den slash “home” of our student’s grandmother.

Hmmmmmmmm.

Our counseling center is so not perfect and so not fancy and there will not be a debut or a ribbon-cutting ceremony.  We have no idea how receptive people will be or where this will lead.

Yet we have faith for what we our eyes can not see and dreams for what we believe is possible.  

And so we choose to move forward, out of vacation-mode, and into reality, with a blend of courage, fear, faith, frustration, trust and trepidation.

With love and gratitude,

Colleen

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Comments

  1. What a powerful and exciting testimony! We’re so grateful for you and all God is doing to bring his light to the people that surround you. May God continue to strengthen you for each and every day.

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