Praise God for the gift of His amazing grace and the beauty of answered prayer!
These past few days have been filled with incredible opportunities for seeing God's grace at work. Yesterday we had the privilege of spending our morning with a group of AIDS orphans. Through our teaching time, singing songs, playing games and providing material gifts we were able to share God's great and eternal love. What a testimony it was for us to be able to experience such thankful hearts through these orphans. As we distributed clothes, underwear, shoes, toothbrushes and toothpaste (many thanks again to those of you who helped contribute to the support of this outreach), we were able to share with these children that our reason for coming was because of a desire to be an extension of God's love and grace. Words cannot express the beautiful sight it was to see them coming out of the orphanage dressed in their new slacks, dresses and shoes as they displayed radiant smiles of deepest appreciation. When asked how many of them had given thanks to God for the things He had provided (a place to live, food to eat each day, mama's in the orphanage who love and take care of them, etc) it was such a testimony to us to see all of their little hands go up-- the practical things of life we so often take for granted were recognized as daily gifts from their Heavenly Father.
Yesterday afternoon we were able to visit Amani. Amani is a baby cottage that has been providing care for orphaned and abandoned children since its founding in 2003. Many of the children there are without parents due to AIDS, birth complications or other factors. Some are abandoned in the hospital after birth. Others are found abandoned at taxi stops, in latrines, or on the street. Amani's goal is that each of these orphans would find a place within a loving Christian family. After spending time holding and loving on these little ones it was hard to believe that anyone could give up these beautiful children and it was hard for us to have to give them back.
Women, Prison, Christ
Following our Sunday worship service this morning we were able to visit the women in Kirinya prison. This had been a highlight from our 2007 visit so it was with great anticipation that we were looking forward to this day, but what God had in mind for us was far beyond what we could have ever imagined. We had come hoping to plant a few seeds of God's love but today we were able to enjoy in the reaping of a great harvest. As we shared testimonies highlighting our need for personal relationship with Christ and the ability to find eternal joy in the midst of suffering, three women responded to the gospel invitation and accepted Christ as their personal Savior. "Mukama yabaziwe" Praise His name! What an incredible delight it was to be able to participate in harvesting such fruit from the investment that had been sown through the Pierce's ministry.
As we found a common bridge through dancing, ululating and worshipping; barriers were brought down and a unity of Christ's love was established. As the women worshipped and shared with us their traditional dances and songs we were blessed. In return we shared with them our traditional American dance ..."the hokey pokey." I can't say that it was as impressive but a commonality of sisterhood was certainly established.
Tomorrow we will enjoy a day of rest and Tuesday we will be returning to the prison to share on servanthood and have an opportunity to bless these women as we demonstrate Christ's servant-hood through a foot washing service.
Please continue to pray for us and for the ministry God has ahead. Pray also for these three who have made a decision to follow Christ as they follow Him to fuller maturity.
Rejoicing in His faithfulness and the beauty of answered prayer,
Michelle (for the team)