Monday, July 18, 2011

Dreams

All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible.
T.E. Lawrence

"He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night,
when deep sleep falls on people as they lie in their beds."
Job 33:15 (NLT)

As a child, I had dreams; lots of dreams and a vivid imagination.  Money and material things were in short supply in our household.  That meant my family didn't own a car among other things and we lived somewhat out of the city district of my small city. I had lots of time to myself each day during the school year, walking to and from school.  I remember walking through vast fields in Fall, Winter and Spring through all the seasons of the school year. My imagination came in handy.  I would hold conversations with my imaginary friends and keep myself company on the way to and from school.  It was a long and lonely walk, especially when I started junior high school and my brother was still in the elementary school so we had to take different routes.  Don't get me wrong.  I wasn't living in a fantasy world and "seeing" people that weren't there and believing that they actually existed.  I was simply imagining a different life; a life full of adventure and travel and exciting things.  I had no real idea of what I might do in future. I only knew that whatever happened, life would be better.  At the same time during these tender years, I was going to Sunday School.  I believed very much in God and looked forward to Sunday service as well as services during the week.   It was there that I was introduced to missions and to the continent of Africa. I even envisioned that one day God would send me to Africa  as a missionary.

Then life happened.  And indeed life was better. God gave me many rich experiences and blessed me in many ways. He enabled me to gain a university education, one of the few people in my extended family who has been blessed with a rich university education.  He also enabled me to travel and see many of the things that I always wanted to see.  However, I was very much tied to my family and the extended family and their needs.  Thoughts of Africa became a very distant memory and an almost forgotten one.  A place that I would see on television when it came time for public appeals for funds to assist drought stricken or poverty stricken places.  It seemed Africa was no  longer much on my mind.

It wasn't until much later that my dream of Africa came to life again. I can't explain exactly how it happened. Suffice to say it was a God thing. My latent dream of helping in Africa came back to life and I've never been more thrilled.  However, instead of going as a missionary who lives in Africa and raises funds to spread the gospel, I have a more modest calling.  One in which I've been involved for a few years now.  I've been helping widows and orphans in small villages in Kenya in various ways as God leads and provides. I've been to Kenya several times and have been able to help in a number of ways (food, education, medical, jiko stoves, planting).  Some of the work has been featured on this blog.

It gives me a great deal of pleasure to assist there and to assist directly those people who have needs.  I do work through pastors and lay leaders in the communities where I visit and through friends who are Christian.  My deepest desire is to "see" the aid reach the people who need it and to know that I am really making a difference in one person, or several persons' lives.


My God opened efforts have taught me too the real meaning of the biblical teachings on "giving" and "helping" the widows and the orphans. Scriptures like

"If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?  Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth."
1 John 3:17 

and

 "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." 
James 1:27

Although I got a late start in life in missions to Kenya, I know that with God there are no limitations and there is no such thing as impossible.  Through God's grace I pray that He grants me many more years and ability to do what I can and perhaps even to inspire others to join me.


I had gone to this village in Kenya to see first hand the jiko stoves I had made for some of the village women. We decided to do a food distribution as these were widows and it was close to Christmas.  There were many more woman than I expected.

We had purchased food for several stops at different villages to meet with widows and orphans but this first stop required much of the food we brought. The male leaders said we should not distribute more than we intended but I could leave this first group of women without food.  At my request, the pastor kept going back to the car to bring more food.  Somehow God made enough for the other stops we had. Kind of like the loaves and fishes story.

Everyone is making their way to where food has been prepared. We were invited also but due to the inclement weather and needing to make several more stops before the day's end, we couldn't join in the feast.


Sometimes I get overwhelmed with emotions when I think about where God brought me from and how much he has done for me. I can't even believe it myself sometimes. He has surely been with me all the days of my life.  I can't thank him enough for it.

I have burdens for others and sometimes those get overwhelming too.  It is those times when God lets me know that He is in charge and I need to trust in Him.

What are your dreams?


My blogging friend, Shanda Oakley has started a new meme called "On Your Heart Tuesdays" and this is the very first edition of it.  I do hope you've enjoyed my contribution and that you will join Shanda and others here in this new venture. Happy reading and sharing.





10 comments:

Linda said...

Bless you for following the dreams God placed in your heart! You have made a bigger difference than you might imagine--blessings for generations to come! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. :)

Linda

Joyful said...

Thank you, Linda. I appreciate your visit and your comment. Blessings. xx

Shanda said...

Oh...I love it. That God gave you a dream when you were young and waiting until you were ready to be used there in the way He knows best. Thank you for letting him use you in that one village.

Stacie said...

I love this because it reminds me that God plants our dreams, though some of them may take longer than others to sprout and bear fruit. An encouraging truth for me today...

Joyful said...

Hi Stacie, I'm glad the word was an encouragement to you. Sometimes we must wait for what seems like forever for our God planted dreams to be realized. But 1000 of our days is just a day for our God (2 Peter 3:8). Hold fast to your God dreams. xx

Joyful said...

Hi Shanda, I'm so glad you understood what I was trying to convey. Sometimes we think our dreams are just that. But God knows the perfect plan and time. Indeed he allowed me to be used the village and I hope to have more opportunities as He opens the doors. God bless.

Barbara said...

Thank you for sharing your blog and your dreams. Both are very inspiration.

Joyful said...

Barbara, thank you for your visit and your very kind words. :-)

Kilauea Poetry said...

Thanks for sharing your story and I enjoyed the quotes. Your travels always intrigue me and it is encouraging to see what God can do with and through us.
Wishing you a wonderful day tomorrow my friend-

Lonicera said...

What a lovely story. I'd love to sit with you one day and swap life stories!
Caroline

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