I never cease to be amazed at how God uses people and the creativity in which He does it. The following is an inspiring story about a group of teenagers from one of our partner churches, Prairie Lakes Church, who heard about a need and decided to make a difference in a little rural community in Kenya called Kwambekenya. As you will read, this story is about what some people in the U.S. did to make a difference in Kenya, but it started with what one girl learned from the people of Kwambekenya themselves. Thanks to the high school students at Prairie Lakes Church for being willing to serve, and leading the effort to raise funds for the supplies at the medical clinic in Kwambekenya.
The words in this letter are real and transparent and I hope that Lord will use it to encourage and challenge you as it did me.
My heart was absolutely captured by Kenya this summer. I fell in love with the people and the country. They taught me more about loving and praising God than I would have ever imagined, and God’s hand was so present throughout our whole trip. I remember the excitement in the people’s eyes as they took us on a tour of the Kwambekenya medical clinic. How amazing! Not only did they now have access to medical supplies and treatment, but it was right there in their own village. My eyes were tearing up as a few of the men from the village took us room by room, explaining what each one was for and how it would be beneficial to their community. I remember thinking about how the lives of my brothers and sisters in Christ would be changed forever, and how as a result of that God’s kingdom would grow. My trip to Kenya was amazing and life-changing… to say the least. God did so much!
I was so fortunate that I had the opportunity to go to Kwambekenya, however I know that many people may never have the chance. My small group and I have attended BigStuf Camps for 3 years now, and every year we hear a lot about The 410 Bridge and how God is working in Kenya. A little over a month after returning home from Kenya, the missions board at our church was told that Kwambekenya was in huge need of medical supplies. I knew I was called to do something to help, but I didn’t know exactly what yet. I discussed this with my small group leader, and she had the idea of doing a garage sale to raise money. I have to admit, I was a little nervous to ask my friends at first. I didn’t want to be that annoying girl who comes home from a missions trip, and that’s all she talks about. After sharing with my small group about the medical supplies and that I felt called to do a fundraiser, one of my best friends, Meredith, said, “Oh my goodness. Ever since we got back from BigStuf, I’ve been looking at The 410 Bridge website and wondering what I can do to help. I’ve just really felt like God has wanted me to do something even though I haven’t gotten the chance to go Kenya.” The other girls’ responses consisted of things like: “I’m in”, “Lets do it!”, “When do we start?!” It was obvious that God had been preparing our hearts for this project even before he had given us the idea.
It was clear that Christ was the leader of this project. Things completely fell into place. Donations of items came easily, dates and plans were easily agreed upon (that’s huge for a group of 17 year old girls), and a newspaper heard about the project and wanted to come to our church and interview us! The story resulted in lots of people hearing about what God was doing and getting more people interested in Kenya and The 410 Bridge. We set our goal at $2,000. It seemed high, but we knew that it was God’s sale and God would provide.
God started to move in unexpected ways. A teacher of mine, who isn’t a family friend nor does he attend our church, handed me a $50 check after class one day. An anonymous encouraging note and $100 bill showed up in my mailbox, an 8-year-old girl that I baby-sit showed up at my door with twenty dollars of her own money that she wanted to “give to the kids that live in Kenya”. Amazing! The day of the sale, we were still praying for our goal of $2,000! The sale started at 8, and a little before ten I went inside to count the money, and we had raised nearly $1,000!!! Needless to say, we were all taken back by people’s generosity and desire to help the people of Kwambekenya. If someone made a $10 purchase, they would give us a $20 and say to keep the change. By the end of the sale, the girls and I went inside and counted the money on my living room floor, we recounted a couple times because we thought we had over counted. The final total is now $3,300. Praise God!
God raised this money through the hearts of his people in Cedar Falls, Iowa. He is at work in Kwambekenya, Kenya, and he is at work in small town America. You don’t need to go to Africa in order to have a huge impact on this world. Each of us is called: whether it’s to pray for Kenya, give $20 of our allowance, or walk across the street and ask our neighbor how they’re doing.
Karly Fuller[nggallery id=21]