No Easy Day
so much longer. I have heard from her,
though. She wrote me a letter and gave
it to Ayanda’s younger brother, hoping he’d give it to Ayanda to give to me the
next time they met. Luckily for me, it
was sooner rather than later. The letter
was actually quite beautiful. This is
what she wrote:
“Dear Mama Kate,
Mom I want to say thank you for your love that you give
me in my heart thank you for your help I want to tell you that sorry about I
leave Teen Challenge. I no that you are not happy and thank you for you take
care of my kids even I do that and I no that you are so angry about me right
now Mom but still I love you so much and I pray for you that God give you the
strength to feed your lamb and his sheep.
God always he is your light. I
will come visit you and my kids… Now I want to go found the job my sweet mom
please forgive me the program is not easy it hard…sorry sorry love you
visit. Apparently, a friend bought her a
phone, so she was able to send me a message a couple days ago. She had texted me again that she was sorry
and asked for forgiveness and claimed she would come the next day to
visit. I knew better than to trust her
word; I felt like I was back in time four years ago with her empty
promises. Of course I was slightly
hopeful, wishing she really would show up.
She didn’t. So the waiting continues,
like the father of the Prodigal Son.
have lightened my load. First and
foremost, I have my Maria back! It’s
been like living with a miracle. The
changes in her since the casting out of demons episode have been nothing short
of a new life! She has become not just
an obedient (mostly) daughter but an encouraging friend when I needed it
most. Last week I had a breakdown and
had been feeling quite miserable actually.
One girl had her rape court case, another girl ran away from the home
for the sixth time since the home opened, and still others had other emotional
problems. This is what I wrote in my
journal: “Thank you so much for (Maria)! She amazes me with her hunger for you,
reading the Bible every night and praying.
She said to me tonight, ‘Mama Kate, you’re not happy.’ I started bawling. Because I’m not. To be honest, I haven’t been happy for a long
time. How can I be, when I can’t have
just ONE easy day?! It’s always something
EVERY day. And I’ve had enough.” Maria
proceeded to pray for me in English and it was extremely powerful and gave me
tears and chills. She prayed, “Jesus,
put your blood in Mama Kate’s heart to chase out all the pain inside.” Another day, she surprised me by hand washing
all my laundry, hanging it out to dry, and even ironing it! What a delight it was to walk into my room
and see all my laundry folded neatly on my bed. She’s been doing extremely well in school and works very hard at home doing her chores. Seriously, she’s living proof that Good overcomes Evil. Some days before bedtime, I’m too busy or tired to read the Bible with her, but she insists, and she’ll wait however long it takes for me to make time to sit down with her. In doing so, she reminds me to keep my priorities straight, and her hunger for the Word really revives my burdened heart. What a gem!
job. I cannot begin to describe how
incredible it is to combine two things I love: teaching and my love for
Christ. At African Christian College, I
get to be ME. I get to share the most
important part of my life with all my students (ages 20-45) every Monday and Thursday. And while it adds a little more work to my
load, it adds NO stress at all. In fact,
I shared my testimony and a few life stories with my students last week, and I
was astounded at their incredible responses.
Some raised their hands and affirmed me right there in front of the
class. Others chose to thank me in the
written word (what I love most). One
student wrote one of the most empowering emails I’ve ever received, and here are just a few snippets of the long message:
“Dear Miss Kate:
We Africans take the Americans, British, or any white person to be Rich, without problems and everything starts from them they don’t need to be given. but with you it’s a different thing. I see power in your life testimony…According to your testimony which is still going, it shows that much of your stay here has been of worries and cries that would make you go back a long time ago and create your own world and enjoy yourself. but you still persevered until you proved before God that you really are depending on Him and with Him youre strong and that He is good enough for you, like you said… You have given me courage that I can also do it, somebody, somewhere is waiting for my help.
…It is my prayer that may God reward you abundantly like Job my he bless you double of what you have lost already. Your classes are awesome and everybody confesses that teaching is in you. you know how to run the business..everything you touch, you place your feet, is blessed. May God continue blessing you.”
In my most difficult moments, God knows exactly how to speak to me. Even in Tenele’s letter, her comment about God giving me strength to feed his sheep was a Word from God himself. He uses the written word to chase away lies and doubts that cloud my mind. For example, right before I received the email from my student, I had journaled: “Lord, maybe I’m not the one. Maybe I’m not supposed to be here long term. I can’t do it. It’s too hard.” And it was as if God used this student in the flesh to bring me HIS answer, his words of the Spirit.
While each day is a battle of its own, I’m falling more and more in love with my Lord and how he continues to sustain me. He never said it would be easy, but he said it would be worth it: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” -Mark 8:34-35