September 2010


When I lived in a remote western region of Uganda for 2+ years, we often relied on pilots and planes with Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF). to fly us in and out of there to Kampala, the capital city.  My favorite pilot was a British woman who was raised in South Africa.  She and her family – complete with 2 adopted Ugandan children – have since left Uganda and she now works with MAF in Kenya.   In a series of emails, she recently shared about the plight of a Kenyan family whose  pre-adolescent son disappeared in the middle of the afternoon at a shopping center in downtown Nairobi.  Prayers all around the world were mobilized for this family for weeks.

I added my meek prayers to this effort.  However,  I have to admit that though I prayed for the safe return of this boy, I seriously doubted whether his family would ever see him again, let alone find out where he had gone or what had happened to him.  I actually feared the worst, that he’d been abducted to be used as a child sacrifice to appease some “gods “somewhere. 

For fear of exposing my tepid faith in the power of prayer or my doubts about God’s extravagant mercy, I am delighted to report that this child has been reunited with his family.  This happened 6 whole weeks after the child vanished and after at least one false sighting which devastated the family even more.    The details are somewhat sketchy but in broad strokes, the boy’s father received a phone call, a meeting time was arranged, an assurance that the police would not be involved was given, and the child was returned unharmed – at least physically – to his family.  He will of course require counseling and has already begun to receive that. 

Praise God for this unlikely reunion!

Just a glimpse of the trials that some of us face, but a remarkable recovery and a powerful reminder that ‘the Lord is near to all who call on him.’

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I’m on a Eugene Peterson kick at the moment. He is fast becoming one of my spiritual mentors.  I am so drawn in by his integrity, his honest, his transparency.  He’s so down to earth, with no pretension or sense of self-importance.  He merely writes what he sees and tell it as it is.   Here’s a recent excerpt from ‘A Long Obedience in the Same Direction’ (don’t you just love that apt phrase, which is from a poem of Friedrich Nietzsche’s!) that I came across recently.  It was so timely for me. 

“The Christian faith is the discovery of that center in the God who sticks with us, the righteous God.  Christian discipleship is a decision to walk in his ways, steadily and firmly, and then finding that the way integrates all our interests, passions and gifts, our human needs and our eternal aspirations.  It is the way of life we were created for.  There are endless challenges in it to keep us on the growing edge of faith; there is always the God who sticks with us to make it possible for us to persevere. ” p134.

A good word on what it means to persevere in this journey called life, with Christ right there beside us, the Holy Spirit living within us.