Peace Be With You

November 2014

This morning’s post comes from recent Impact Trip participant, Kristen Wills.

As we stepped across her home’s threshold, our eyes adjusted to the dim light. There were six of us visiting Miriam, a beautiful 46 year old Kenyan woman, in hopes of offering encouragement to her. We shuffled/squeezed our way into the small room as Miriam darted behind hanging fabric to fetch things for us to sit on. As often is the case, God turns things upside down on you, and those of us who went to encourage, left feeling lifted up ourselves.

Miriam was one of the first three clients in the CFA program in this community. She had much to say about CFA’s financial skills classes and she shared how she has learned to make many products, which she could make to start her own business. Like many entrepreneurial-minded Kenyans we met, Miriam is in need of finances to purchase materials to begin and expand her business. She currently gets materials at a secondhand market for wholesale price and sells them for profit for rent and food. She was actually introduced to the CFA program while walking around and selling her goods and talked to one of the two clients enrolled in the CFA program already. She is confident “God will take care of me and is able no matter the situation.”

Currently Miriam’s health situation is poor. She has not been feeling well as of late. But even though she has not been feeling well and is oftentimes sick, she still prioritizes going to church and is able to join the congregation there. Miriam started to get ill in 2010. She was working as a housekeeper at the time and her employer, noticing her declining health, took her to different health facilities. It was during one of these visits that Miriam found out about her positive HIV status. At that present moment, she did not tell her employer, choosing instead to find a replacement for herself before quitting.

It was a difficult status to accept, but accept it she did. She was willing to follow doctors orders and leave her work. She put her hope in God’s hands. It was her cousin who accepted her positive HIV status first and encouraged Miriam to take her medicines and to live positively. Next to God, the one driving force for Miriam to live her life as fully as she can is her daughters. Oh! To hear such mother’s love. To see the devotion in her eyes. Miriam has sacrificed her whole life for them and their well-being. Aseuath Moraa is now 23, and her sister, Zipporah Gecsare is 20. Miriam adores them. They live with her Mother in Western Kenya and both Miriam’s mother and daughters love and accept her despite the stigma of her status. Miriam’s life has been spent working in Nairobito send money back to her daughters for their education. Her younger daughter wants to further her education. Her oldest is now looking for work. Miriam continues to send money. She considers it joy to provide for them. Again, her hope is in God’s hands.

The peace about Miriam and the peace felt in her home could only come from God.  The Holy Spirit led us to Psalm 84 which begins:

How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

Miriam asks that we pray that God will expand her business so she can continue to help her family and please to pray for her mother’s health. And God is so good. No sooner had we left her door did she step out and tell a CFA staff member that she felt better already. Amen to the power of prayer! Please take a moment this morning or this afternoon and lift Miriam and her needs up before the Lord.