Friday, February 01, 2008

Chaos in Kenya and the Psalms of David

My plan for our Missions Catalyst e-Magazine this week fell apart at the last minute. I had something I thought was going to work but when I sat down with tweezers and scalpel (so to speak) to prepare the piece for publication, I saw it was not usable after all.

So the search for a replacement was on, with just one day's notice. My trusty news editor, Pat, pointed me to the email account where she gets all her subscriptions, and among the items she's starred was one about 200 Kenyan children who are gathering for daily prayer meetings to lift up their country. Perfect. Here's an excerpt:
Ever since the children started praying together, the pastor says there have been no deaths, houses burned or even violence in their section of this slum. Adults recite this fact in amazement. The children, however, don't even mention it because it's exactly what they expected to happen.

"Pastor told us that there is power in prayer. He said we can change the country through prayer," 12-year-old Boniface explains. "So that is what we are doing, changing the country."
I decided to run it, and add a few other stories from Kenya to round out the edition (you can read the end result and click through to the sources here). Here's another part I liked...
RoxAnne Cox, serving on the SIM Sudan team based in Nairobi, wrote, "We grieve for friends like Lydia, who fled for her life from Eldoret. She and her husband have lost everything. We wept together as she shared their trauma."

"I wrote Psalm 27:13 on a card for her, and the other day Lydia told me, 'I have been clinging to the verse you gave me. I shared it with a Kenyan friend who was on the verge of suicide because of the chaos. It literally saved his life, giving him hope to go on.'"
Have you ever known what it is to have the scriptures pull you out of darkness like that? I have, though maybe not to that extreme. Anyway, I don't think I'll read Psalm 27 - long one of my favorites - without thinking of these brothers and sisters in Kenya.

Psalm 27

1 The LORD is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

2 When evil men advance against me
to devour my flesh, [a]
when my enemies and my foes attack me,
they will stumble and fall.

3 Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then will I be confident.

4 One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.

5 For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle
and set me high upon a rock.

6 Then my head will be exalted
above the enemies who surround me;
at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the LORD.

7 Hear my voice when I call, O LORD;
be merciful to me and answer me.

8 My heart says of you, "Seek his [b] face!"
Your face, LORD, I will seek.

9 Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
O God my Savior.

10 Though my father and mother forsake me,
the LORD will receive me.

11 Teach me your way, O LORD;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors.

12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
breathing out violence.

13 I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.

14 Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.

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