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Beauty for Ashes

I am still not sure what God’s plan is next in the life of the Tackett’s but the closer I get to the end of our time here, the more convinced I am that this has been both the place and the time for this journey. God has reshaped this mission trip “on the fly” from the very beginning to now and knowing my personality, this should drive me crazy. However, the Lord has given grace and each adjusted mission outreach has been used by God in ways unimaginable to us. Just like in our personal lives, the loving Father has taken what looked bad to us, such as cancelled meetings due to the referendum, rescheduled showings of the Jesus Film, and delays in construction, and turned them into incredible opportunities to teach and encourage pastors and minister to the missionaries here. I am even learning to build as we have spent a lot of time on Phase I of the Kakuyuni Technical School Project.

Bouganvilla plants along the Muthetheni Medical Clinic Compound
     It reminds me of something I have been thinking of since we first arrived in Kenya. The place has been a real paradox. Because there are no real public utilities here, everyone burns their trash, leaving a constant unmistakable scent of burning trash in the air and the regular task of whisking cinders off your clothes. At the same time, I have never been in a place of such beautiful flowers and breathtaking vistas. Every time I see the beautiful bougainvilleas or the countless hundreds of other varieties of flowers here, I am reminded that God, even in a third world country, keeps the promise of Isaiah 61:3, to give us “beauty for ashes.”
     Lori and I have experienced that heavenly exchange many times in our personal lives but never more powerfully than recent days. How about you? I would love to hear your stories of God’s grace.
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