Lucy, Nice, and Alex are three kids from our Potter’s Field kids club program who we’ve been caring for. They have been diagnosed with scabies, their mom had left the family about a year ago, they are living in a run-down shack with a dirt floor that is not fit for anyone to live in, let alone a family with three young children. It seemed hopeless for this family in some ways, especially when we got the scabies diagnosis and learned from the doctor it would not be effective to treat it if they weren’t living in a clean environment and getting warm baths every night during treatment. How does that happen with only a dad who is working and away from home often and 3 kids on their own living in a very dirty environment?
But we have a God who can do immeasurably more than all that we can ask or imagine!
In the last 2 weeks, their dad came to meet with our Kenyan pastor, us, and some other leaders in the church. They encouraged the dad, found out more of his situation, and shared that the mother should be involved with the kids’ lives if at all possible. It’s actually Kenyan law.
That evening, their mom returned to the family and began living with them again. She loved her children but needed to leave because her husband used to drink a lot and was physically abusing her. She was missing a tooth to prove it. Over time, their dad stopped drinking. God was preparing this family for something special…After meeting with some church leaders last Sunday, the mom and dad accepted that they had both wronged each other and were ready to forgive and start over.
Today we met with the family again to search for a more suitable living situation and then to start treating the scabies. After looking at a few homes that were too expensive and poorly constructed, one of our Kenyan church members found a home for the same rent that they had been paying at their previous home, 1000Ksh/month(or $12). We went to visit the one-room home, and it was clean and much more fit for the family – cement floor, better location, wooden slat walls covered with cardboard to keep the wind and the bugs from coming in between the cracks, and clean outhouses. The landlord also wants to hire the dad to do some work around the compound which will help him earn some extra money. This was an answer to prayer. The family was very happy with this place and wanted to move in right away. We paid the rent and the deposit, and now the place is theirs.
We then returned to church so the family could try on some clothes that had been donated by church members. After trying on the clothes, Steven and Terry, two Kenyans from church, started to share about Christ’s love for them. The father of this family decided he wants to start to follow Jesus. He said, “For years I have tried many things, and all of them have caused much suffering in my life. I realize now that all of those things were from the devil. I can see God in all that is happening now – my wife returned and people are caring for me and my children.” For the first time since we have known this man, he had a joyful face. He wasn’t shy or downcast. He smiled and responded to us. He was even playing with his younger daughter and laughing alongside his wife. That was an encouraging, promising sight.
Tomorrow we will purchase bed frames and mattresses for the family thanks to support that has come in for us – the only one they have needs to be thrown out because of the scabies.
The road ahead continues to hold some challenges for this family, but with their trust in God, things are looking brighter. And God has promised, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”, and “I will be with you always, even to the end of the age.” Though everything may not be easy, it is so much better with Christ in your life. We see that clearly with this family.
Who knew that God would use scabies on these three children to save a marriage, provide a good home, and to rescue a man and woman from darkness and bring them into His glorious light? God can use everything for good.
Here are some photos of Lucy, 7 and Nice, 4.