Visitor Reflections: Laurie Motz, New Life Community ChurchAugust 15, 2014 by Diana Coombs
As we reflect on our time at ELI in Ilula, Kenya this past June, we wonder, how could we have ever given to this beautiful place as much as they gave to us? What will we do now that we have been given the gift of being a part of their world? I feel that God allowed us this tremendous opportunity to come home and connect more with heart, mind and soul with others here as we did there in Kenya.
We were able to use our minds as a water tower was completed with the men and vehicles were repaired. We shared devotions with the women and children, and our Pastor John taught and encouraged a group of pastors from nearby villages.
Our hearts were filled with joy as we spent time using nail polish, lotion and ribbons to pamper a group of women who were ready to graduate with new faith and hope as they gave up brewing illicit alcohol. They gave us joy as we danced and sang with them and shared our stories. We played and made crafts with the children of the children’s home. We apologized for all the kazoos we left as we acted out Joshua and Jericho, but the house parents laughed and told us, ”It’s okay! They are happy!” We experienced the kids’ school time, always with many hugs and smiles. Time with the house parents and people who worked at the compound were treasured memories. We experienced such meaningful worship and hospitality with the people of a small village where we spent the weekend.
Our souls were touched as we were astounded at the sincere simplicity and strength of faith amongst all we met. Their joy in singing brought us to tears, and we were blessed to sit with them, listen to their stories and pray together.
The night before we were to leave ELI, our Pastor John had come down with the shakes from a high fever, cramps in the legs and stomach and headache pains. There was a six-hour van drive ahead of us to Nairobi. Our team was praying as a group of children were passing by on their way to school, and we asked one of them to pray. One little boy no older than eight years old began his prayer: “Lord Jesus, we pray for Pastor John, that You would heal him right now, Lord. And we STOMP Satan OUT of his body (as he stomped his foot into the dirt) and bring in Jesus’ healing…” His prayer was so full of simple power that it stunned me. Checking in on John moments later, his fever and stomach and headaches were gone, and his fever had broken. Gone were the symptoms that could have meant malaria. A miracle.
When we reached home, we read these verses below and realized how they completely explained the hope and work that the people of ELI have learned and truly live out day after day. May our lives be changed by the power of love and action. We will always carry the love and faith from our new friends with us and remember them always in our prayers.
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. – Romans 12: 9-12
To our dear friends, you made our lives better because you live out this scripture so beautifully.
New Life Community Church – Atwater, CA