Comfort Zones

This is Ornella at 5years old, badly malnourished and couldn’t walk.

When we met this dear little girl I was struggling with deep emotion seeing her state.  It is not comfortable to witness children in this and often much worse health.

After so many years living here I still find I have to step over the areas where I want to be comfortable, where life looks nice, smells nice and everyone is okay.  However, of course it is not like this in life no matter where one lives.

IMG_3113Here is Ornella now, thriving as she is being loved and cared for through the team The Cries of a Child in Burundi.  It is a joy to see how she is growing and developing.

It is amazing that when we dare to say “yes” to step out of the areas of comfort we settle in, we witness miracles in our own lives and others.  As hard as it was to hold Ornella without falling apart with emotion of the injustice towards children like her, I am thankful to have seen the process of God’s love and restoration in her life.

Recently I travelled upcountry on my own  endeavouring to respond to God’s nudges to not succumb any longer to my “settledness” in the comfort nest I had made.  I left Boss and Ray behind in Bujumbura which is a city, to visit and spend time in villages and a community that has great need.

Sometimes your one brave  yes is how God destroys a tangling net of nos.~(Ann VosKamp)

I love spending time walking through the dusty streets lined with people carrying all manner of things on their heads, sometimes there was a  pig or two walking along, cows, bicycles, motor bikes and I tried to speak to the people as best I could but without much of the language skills it was interesting.

Visiting a very poor home with a mother of six, helping her prepare beans for drying, holding one of her little ones who was very sick with malaria and sticking happy stickers on heads of many dirty sweet children was a special time…sad to me but special in the sense I received some thing from them I won’t forget.  In the midst of much poverty this Mama Eve was full of grace and pride in her family.  She was very tired but took time to smile and talk with us as we sat on the ground and worked with her a bit.

Her husband helped me especially to manage the slippery mud path through trees down to the road.

Their house is mud bricks with gaps between the bricks.  They have a dirty straw mat on a mud floor where they all sleep and rainy season is here! Mosquitoes that carry malaria are thriving in that situation.  The children walk a long way down a hill to get water from a river which is far from clean.

All these situations seem unsurmountable for me but I came away from that time realizing how much more I saw God in that time than I do sitting in my comfortable place in the city with water and food each day.  Of course I am very thankful for comfort but I do believe that when we step out of the boxes we have built, our hearts wake up. Jesus is calling us out of our comfort boats to do something unthinkable, something that is possible only with His power.

It’s like God looks at us and says “I wanted to go crazy through you. I wanted to change your neighbourhoods, your city…and you just keep going to your room to watch net flix.” (from book Nothing to Prove by Jennie Allen)

I am deeply challenged to continue to allow God to work in and through my life wherever I am.  Age or health is no excuse to settle back and withdraw from the exciting journey we are on.  After all it is not about us or how strong we are.  It is in our weakness He works.IMG_3122IMG_3135

“worm” pills distributed to the children in a village where I was. They ate them like candy and we pray this medicine will help their health.

I believe God is wanting to pour out of us and pour into the world.