February 24, 2012
I believe that encouragement can be powerful and life changing. The Bible says in Isaiah 1:17, “Learn to do right. Seek justice, encourage the oppressed.” So what exactly is encouragement? The dictionary says that encouragement is to give support, confidence, or hope. I have personally seen encouragement change the lives of CFA clients all over Kenya, clients who have lost hope and given up on life. Many Kenyans who have HIV have become isolated, lonely and outcast because of the stigma. Often friends and loved ones will leave when they find out that someone is HIV-positive. But there is hope for men and women with HIV. That hope often comes in the form of encouragement.
Encouragement is exactly what young adults from Cornerstone did. They wrote individual letters to CFA clients in Kenya. Some of the letters had scripture verses and some had personal messages of hope. Each letter was hand written with the love and acceptance of Christ. These letters were brought over to Kenya and distributed among centers and handed out personally by staff. I witnessed the clients receiving and reading several cards and I can tell you it had an incredible impact on those that received them. The clients were amazed to know that people were thinking and praying for them all the way back in America. Many could not believe that people on the other side of the world would want to communicate, think and pray for them. For some, it was proof of God’s love.
One client, Jane Njeri, was overwhelmed when the card was given to her. She could not hold back her tears. Jane said that since her husband divorced her she has been very disturbed and had stopped attending church. Jane was amazed that someone was promising to be praying for her. Through this, she realized that God is good and his ways are just. Since she received the letter, Jane has started attending church.
David Apollo from Kangemi said, “I must be precious in the eyes of God seeing that he touched an American to send me this card, God has shown me his love through this person more than I ever thought or imagined.” Another woman, Teresiah from Banana, said, “I never thought that people that do not know me can bother about my life. May God bless them for showing concern to me.”
These are just a few testimonies of those who received cards. Many more lives were impacted, encouraged and challenged to continue living life and seeking God. So for those of you who may be reading and wondering how you can be involved, I have seen the power of a letter.