“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think He'll attend to you, take pride in you, do His best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving."
‭‭{Matthew‬ ‭6:30 MSG}

Friends: I have been in Kenya for a little over a week, and to say I am ecstatic is an understatement. Throughout the last eight days my God has taken every opportunity to reaffirm that I am exactly where He wants me.

I could go into great detail about the past week of training or tell you about all of the incredible LIA staff, but I'd like to leave this simple and focused on what the Lord is teaching me right now.

Whether you're the pastor of a mega church preaching to 25,000 people or the single mom who wishes she had the energy to get to all four kids ready to even make it to church once a month, my Jesus takes pride in you. Whether you're a professional athlete proclaiming the gospel to your thousands of fans, or the foster child who feels utterly alone, my Jesus takes pride in you. Whether you're a bible professor training up the pastors of the future, or a man with disabilities shelving produce at Kroger, my Jesus takes pride in you. Whether you're a billionaire philanthropist or a child in the slums of Kibera, my Jesus takes pride in you.

It's not about your fans, your success, friends, your followers, or your money to Jesus. We are all made in God's image—fearfully and wonderfully made to glorify His name and take His Good news to all nations. No one person has a better story than another. No one person is more valuable to the Kingdom than another. We are each here to serve a purpose, using the unique skills and callings God has blessed us with, in the places He has called us. All of us; whether you're Beth Moore or plain old Em.

Kenyans have a way of valuing a whole person in a way that I know is a pure reflection of the way Jesus values and loves us. They take time to learn each person's story—their whole life story. They take time to pray for each other and intercede on the behalf of their brothers and sisters. In my few days here, I've learned that as an American Christian I have missed the value that Jesus placed on each individual throughout the gospel. The paralytic's story mattered. The taxpayer's life was valuable. The adulterous woman was loved. I've fallen short in this area as I find myself placing value on the lives of the successful, intelligent, and popular. This summer God has called me to learn to love people in this manner and to value the stories of His children (including my own).

I have so many stories to share already, but I want to take this post to set the tone for the summer as I focus on acting the gospel, listening and loving others, and doing everything with the motivation of proclaiming God's glory.

Prayer Requests:
•Tomorrow my team will travel to Mathare for church. This will be our first time traveling into the slum, as we have been training this whole week. I am very excited, but I am asking that you pray that the Lord prepares my heart for the interactions I will have there; that I may be a reflection of Jesus, not to be overwhelmed or moved by emotions such as pity or sadness.
•Pray for the church in Mathare as they celebrate their anniversary; that they will continue to thrive, making known the name of Jesus.
•Pray for the week ahead as we spend time with leaders in the community of Mathare. I am so excited to see how this community is being empowered and transformed through the work of Life in Abundance.

Ps. Here's a few pics from our week with the amazing LIA staff. As well as our adventure in Nairobi today :)

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