She Told Me Not To Cry
I wanted to share with you why I have told Bridgette not to cry.
Nick is the one who taught me not to cry. I used to cry when I made home visits to those infected with HIV/AIDS and heard their stories and saw their living conditions. Nick explained that I wasn’t helping and I was even hurting people.
Nick sees it this way. If he can bring a smile and a little joy to someone infected with AIDS they just might live a little longer. That is why when you make visits with Nick or Charles or any of their team they make small jokes with the people they visit. There is always laughter and joy when we visit those infected with HIV/AIDS.
I have also learned that I misjudge what is sad to someone. I use my life experience to decide a home is too small or the lack of a material good is sad. My son would be very sad to be given a bike to get back and forth to college where here giving PFC staff bikes brought great joy. I love my son but I am afraid he might just cry if I told him that his mode of transportation would be a bike.
So I have learned to not cry at what I see and what I hear. It doesn’t mean I don’t cry later in private. It doesn’t mean my heart isn’t broken at the sickness and hurting I see. And, I found myself tearing up when I read Bridgette’s update. But, I respect those I meet enough not to judge their situation through my own world view.
I am learning from those who serve everyday on the ground here in Kenya.
As you read Bridgette’s update you will see her heart and passion for the people here in Kenya.
Connie Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T
We see many things here that move us to the core of our beings. Without this exposure and awareness, God cannot use us as humble servants to glorify Him. Connie has taught me over many trips here that we must try very hard not to show our emotions in front of the people when faced with difficult challenges/situations. Imagine how anyone would feel if others around them cried whenever the shared their struggles or hard circumstances? We all strive to maintain dignity, no matter who or where we are.
So I have tried to be very strong…but must admit that I have fought back tears, some joyous, some sad when:
I saw little Adan’s gangrene feet for the first time;
One of the PFC staff workers in Marsabit held my hand, thanking me for “coming so far to help his people”;
I walked into Pastor Hirbo’s home and saw how 13 people lived there;
I washed jigger infested little feet;
I saw the Second Chance center transformed with fluorescent lighting and bright colored paints…and the smiles of all who study and learn there;
I walked into the what If? Computer center in Marsabit and saw 4 computers we had hand-carried there working;
Parkishon women drinking brown, muddy water…followed by goats doing the same;
I walked in Marsabit Hospital where they don’t even have gloves to protect their hands and the doctor said “This is our children’s ward”;
When I heard and saw the beautiful women of Parkishon singing and praising God’s blessings while dancing in the middle of a parched desert;
When little Adan hugged my neck and first smiled after a warm bath in a plastic basin and a full meal;
When Pastor Hirbo’s adorable 3 year old daughter played with and tried to braid my curly hair;
I saw the women of Parkishon filling their Greif water back packs with water;
I took one of the full 50 lb. packs off an old woman’s back and put it on my own….
These are just a few of the many times I have fought hard to hold back tears. If you really want God to break your heart while on the ground here, you have to see the work of the humble people who serve others every day here. God breaks our hearts to allow us to become more like them. “Whatsoever you do for the least of these…you do for me”. I pray I will always be moved to tears…because through humility, it allows transformation to be more like Him.