Heaven Sent MannaJune 19, 2013 by Diana Coombs
Written by Tori Greaves, Intern
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:25-26
I cannot count the number of times I have heard these verses, either in a sermon, as a word of encouragement, or as a challenge. But because of the way we live in America, it is a hard concept to grasp. We are always saving and planning. And thanks to things like retirement funds and insurance, we may never have to wonder how we will eat or where we will live; let alone what will we eat tomorrow. Instead, we have to be creative when applying this passage to our own lives, asking ourselves questions like, “Will I still have this job next year?”, “Should I go back to school?”, or “Will I be able to provide the right opportunities for my children?” But whatever the question, the command is still the same: trust in the Lord, for He is the one who provides and sustains. But to actually build up that trust within our hearts, perhaps we could use some help from those to whom God’s sustaining power has been made unmistakably clear.
A few weeks ago at the Ilula Children’s Home, the kitchen noticed that they were running low on corn flour which they use to make ugali—a staple food for all Kenyans. Because of the rising costs of school fees and food in Kenya, ELI staff has worked hard to save wherever possible to make ends meet financially. Since corn flour is universal, and also a huge business for companies here, it is a simple and acceptable way for fellow Kenyans to give to one another. For this reason, the Children’s Home solicits donations from churches and local businesses, allowing them to support the Children’s Homes and be part of what ELI is doing. This, alongside other initiatives like bread-making and tree-planting, are all part of an overall plan to help the Children’s Home become self-sustainable.
This time, however, the donations of corn flour had run out. Days and then weeks began to pass, and a company that had committed to give was unfortunately not following through. Friday night came, and the kitchen made up one more batch of ugali. They looked at the one sack left in the cupboard, and it had only a couple handfuls of flour left in the bottom. They closed up for the night, and went home with nothing else to do but pray, knowing they would need to purchase the corn flour the next day.
The next morning, the Children’s Home received a call. It wasn’t the company that we had been talking with for the past few weeks. It was some other manufacturer, letting us know that they had a month and half’s worth of ugali flour ready to be donated and picked up that day. One of the house parents immediately jumped into the truck, and by that afternoon, we were unloading sack upon sack of flour and carrying them into the storage room. The miraculous story began to circulate around the workers in the Home and if you had been there that day, you would have seen a number of adults wandering around with eyes round and shining, heads shaking in bewildered awe.
I listened to a couple of the Kenyan staff telling the story themselves. Though they were joyful and amazed, they did not sound very surprised. I wondered as I processed it all in my mind. For me, I had never seen God’s provision in such an unmistakable and tangible way. When I am at home in America, manna only falls from heaven in the stories that I read. But here in Africa, miracles are a very real part daily life.
Do not worry about your life. That is the command. God is trustworthy and able to provide in every way. But how do we practice really trusting in Him? We can start with the learning and encouragement that comes from our brothers and sisters in Kenya. God still performs miracles, and though they may look different on different continents, each and every life is valuable and under His care.