I've been in Kenya for over five days now-- and all I can say is that even with difficulties (there have been some)-- this place causes joy to rise up for me. It's hard not to keep smiling!
What I mean by joy is not just happiness (though there has been that too), but what that soars, what is deeply anchored in the soul of things, and what opens eyes to the larger picture of what God is doing in this world and what the words of Jesus are truly all about.
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. . . .
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
For our eyes have tasted this kind of blessing over these past days and we couldn't feel more inspired to be do this kind of work. We've experienced the blessing of being in the place where we are to be for right now. And even when there are moments of sadness, moments of questioning like "Why does the world have to be so unjust?" (we've seen lots of this too), it's a beautiful kind of living to be here.
Blessings like having beautiful orphans wrapped around your legs and arms, allowing you to love on them:
Blessings like singing Christmas carols with young men with developmental disabilities with smiles bigger than you've ever seen on their face or yours either:
Blessings like watching kids who don't normally get Christmas presents discover the joy of blocks and bubbles:
Blessings like watching the very best Christmas play ever with some of the most beautiful actors you've ever seen:
We are so happy to experience joy looks that looks like this.