The next morning would start spiritual emphasis week here at CURE. This year’s topic was on growing into Christ’s fullness. Ephesians 4:13-16 was the passage that the traveling preacher had quoted. It says once we grow into mature men in Christ’s fullness that we will no longer be like little children tossed around by human cunning and the ways of the world and then Paul finishes with challenging each one of us to grow into Him. No doubt I had already been growing since I had gotten to Kijabe, but the way that the pastor laid out the message really gave it a new concreteness. Intentionally seeking God and striving to be filled with His presence every second. Intentionality.
As our day started at the hospital I trekked up the grassy hill with the path laid out for me from its previous travelers. Today I would observe the orthopedic workshop. Four men, some students and some teachers made up the orthopedic team. In their little workshop they had everything that they needed to process the prosthetics, orthotics, and shoes used for correcting deformities. Each made by hand. Numerous hours had been put into each and every product that came out of that workshop. While I was there, the team sent 220 correcting shoes, varying in sizes to South Africa. Mind you it took them only 2 days. I was blown away at the work ethic, and the genuine regard for their work. All I could think about was back home how much people would complain about having to make these by hand and that most of our prosthetics were made by a machine. Seeing it in this light, a country away, I had a new appreciation for every prosthetic that I saw and could see the love pouring out of each one. After helping and observing for the day at the orthopedic workshop I began to make my way back down to the house, but on the way I stopped by the ward.
My friend from yesterday greeted me with that same warm smile and cold handed shake that he had given me the day before and in that moment I could tell that we were becoming friends fast. I got right down to it. I asked if he had decided on Christianity or Islam yet. He told me that he had not, but he was continuing to read the New Testament that he had from yesterday. So I took that, applauded him for his pursuit of correct knowledge and walked around and visited with my other patients. Their pictures were still on their nightstands, for the ones that were there and some of them had left. The patient’s bed’s that had been discharged were now filled with new smiling faces, eager to meet the mzungus (white people). I gave hellos and played with balloons for a little while until something called me back to my new confused Muslim/Christian man.
I walked over and wasn’t sure what I would say. I was nervous and started to stammer as I approached him. I wasn’t sure what was about to come out of my mouth. I told him that Jesus loved him, just like I had written on the picture and given him. I told him that God had let our paths cross for a reason and that I thought that God had wanted us to meet. I told him that Jesus loved him again, adding that I hoped I had shone him the love that Jesus had for him. He told me that I had shown him that love and that he accepted it. I wasn’t sure what that meant, but in my heart I could tell that I had made an impact. After all, it wasn’t me that was going to get him to know Jesus. The only way to Jesus is Jesus, if that makes any sense at all. So I thought that by showing him Jesus’s love that Jesus would be able to handle the rest.
The walk down the hill to the house I started so happily, but as I got closer to the house I thought about the implications that it had back home. Because back home I hadn’t ever asked anyone about Jesus. But in another country, I could talk to a man of a rival faith about Him. Right in the heart. God was showing me that I wasn’t living up to my potential back home. And I realized that if I could speak to a Muslim man about Jesus through a language barrier in a different country, a different continent, then I could do it back home. So that’s what I’m working on now.