We have been exploring some interesting passages in the bible this week. My daughter bible is those children bibles with lots of pictures and the characters wear bright coloured clothes. I’m biased- I think the author must have Kamba blood- the colours !!!!. We are are Kambas and we really enjoy bright colours especially the shouting ones. If its luminious, the better.
It’s a good bible because the stories light up with colour and there are new animals and colours to explore, for example Jonah ( with yellow hair that looks like a starfish) was swallowed by a big blue fish with a pink mouth, Abraham & Sarah live in a tent that is Yellow and Orange. Funny thing is that I now think of Abraham as the faith dude that lives in a Yellow and Orange tent.
So one evening, We are teaching her how to pray. So we say the prayer and ask her to repeat it after us. Somehow when it comes to praying for food- the prayer is spoken in mumbled supersonic way. We are teaching her to slow down her words so that its clear what she is saying when praying. Anyhow we finish the story about Jonah who was sent to Nineveh but said he isn’t going, rebelled and went to Tarshish, got swallowed by the big blue fish because he refused to obey, but prayed to Jesus (God) who forgave him and the blue fish spat him at Nineveh. When it got to praying, she usually begins all her prayers with… “Oh God bless this food, In Jesus name…”.. then adds what needs to be prayed for. When I told her what to pray for, she mumbled it very softly and so we asked her to please repeat it. She said in a matter of fact way in Kiswahili. “ Nishaomba” “I have already prayed for that!”
Why should she repeat. We noticed that whatever she prays for God always answers. For a moment Levis and I look at each other and are like … Yeah, by the way !!! It reminded us of how God already knows what we need even before we ask him.
“ And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God sits in a box seat? Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. ” Matt 6: 5-9 (MSG)
We realised we don’t have to keep repeating to God. If anything He already knows before we ask. It’s not a theatrical production as well. Sometimes you learn amazing things from children like the simplicity of prayer- it is a conversation with God.
The last month we had several children with disabilities who came for corrective surgery. It was a partnership between Machakos Orthopaedics and Bishop Kioko Catholic Hospital. There were several surgeons who gave of their time to operate on these needy children. This season is one of my favourite times in the year because we get to interact with many children and also use our skills to correct some of the deformities.
This year one of our old patients - Aggie came back. She had a fall 2 days before and she fractured her thigh bone- Femur. She has been doing very well and is currently walking on her own using crutches. We were so disappointed because of the fracture- we had hoped to work on her wrist so that her hands would be more functional. It has been a journey for long and we were hoping this would be helpful for her to write better. She had been hopeful to start school next year. I had been babling, complaining and arguing to God why this patient and other children have to struggle so much.
Despite the setback and having to readjust our goals, the girl was in high spirits. It is interesting to see how she has blossomed over the recently years. She talks more confidently and with such purpose. Her mum was also very cheerful. They are known by many of the hospital staff. In fact they had made lasting friendships with several people. Though we now focused on correcting the fracture femur, she was so happy and constantly encouraged other children and parents in the ward. She reminded us that she has come from so far, she never thought she would walk on her feet ever.
At times we are have many concerns. Aggie and my 3 year old daughter taught me the value of being thankful and prayer. Aggie was always happy with a big smile and my girl reminded me how to pray with simplicity. That God already knows our troubles. No wonder she has been singing the song - mainly the chorus- “To the river I am going ” by Brian Doerkesen. The chorus goes:
“Precious Jesus, I am ready to surrender every care. Take my hand now, lead me closer Lord I need to meet you there”.
Indeed I need to surrender every cares (My girl can’t say care) to the Lord. He cares about Aggie and all the other children. He knew them before we met them and has a special plan for them.