January 9: Sights and Sounds

Today was our first true work day at Light of Hope. In tomorrow’s post, I will describe the work that we are doing. Today, I want to share a couple of moments from my day. I was working with four others from Messiah, painting the inside of the dormitory for the older girls. I took a break and walked outside. I could see the lush green of the grass, the bright colors of flowers, buildings to my right and left, and in the distance Lake Navaisha. It was an idealic scene, a haven of rest and hope not just for the 66 girls but for the fourteen of us who are guests. And then I listened to the voices of children. They were in their classes reciting their lessons and repeating what their teachers were saying. It was a happy sound. I went back inside and as I picked up my paint brush I could hear singing from outside my window. There are a few girls who are not in classes because they are waiting to hear where they will be going to high school. Last month they passed the entrance exam for high school. They are excited about their next step, and also excited that their rooms are being painted – almost like a gift for having completed grade 8. At various point during the day, I could hear Margaret outside the window and from inside the dormatory. She was singing songs of faith – songs we had heard yesterday in worship. It was a beautiful, happy sound.

This trip is about 66 girls who have a chance. Too many girls in this country have none. Thank you, Messiah congregation, for the way you have embraced this mission, supporting girls and providing them with hope. I met many happy girls today. My day began by reading Luke 9. In verse 47, I hear Jesus say that greatness comes in welcoming the child. Today, I feel very proud to be part of a congregation that understands this.

Today’s readings: Genesis 23-24; Luke 9

Our Old Testament reading gives us a story about Abraham finding a burial place for his wife, Sarah. But this is a story about much more than that. Why would there be so many verses devoted to this? By purchasing this land for her burial, Abraham is laying claim to God’s promise that Canaan would be the Promised Land. How have you investing in or laid claim to God’s promise for you?  In the next chapter, we see the next generation (Isaac and Rebekah) living into the Promised Land. Rebekah has never been to this place and has never met Isaac, and yet she says, “I will go.” In doing so, God’s covenant is passed to the next generation. There is hope for the next generation.

In Luke 8, Jesus sends forth the disciples – the next generation. This is their first venture without Jesus. In the not so distant future, they will be given the responsibility to bring God’s promise to another generation. Maybe that’s why later in the chapter, Jesus places a child before the disciples and tells them and us that we experience greatness when we welcome a child. As turn in for the night and look ahead to a new day, how will that be accomplished in my life tomorrow? I have a great responsibility and an opportunity for greatness. We all do – with God’s help.

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