I met a 25 years old woman with four children, who had already lost one child. The community does not like her; her neighbors describe her as rude and uncooperative. Two individuals in the community still believed she needed help, so they took me to her. As we stood in her compound, many people stood at their doorsteps to watch us. Wondering what in the world could we be doing, visiting this woman? When I saw her, I was struck by how young she looked in a frail, small frame. I had to ask her when she was born and she could not recall, she had to produce her ID. Then I really saw her, a woman of great strength: she had her first child at the age of 11 years and the second one at 13 years, she was widowed at 18 years, she lived through grief of losing her husband and later her child. She must have great faith to still believe that tomorrow will be a better day for her children. No one in the community would offer her a job or food due to the stigma of HIV.
I am challenged by Isaiah’s answer to the call. He first sees himself as unclean and asks for forgiveness. The seraphs touched his lips and made him whole. He was then able to hear the voice of the Lord and receive his commission. “…here I am Lord send me”.
In the story above, the people in the community are all Christians who sing the song “Here I am, Lord, send me” almost on every Sunday. Have we really heard the voice of God? Jesus tells us that we have to be born in the Spirit, meaning being born again so that we can have eternal life. John 3:15 “for God did not send his Son to the world to condemn but to save the world through him.” Isaiah truly believed in God. It is why he even thought he was ruined because he was un-clean, Yet, God saved him and used him to take his message to the people.
Are we still in the flesh and only see the woman above as someone who needs to be driven out of our community because she brings us shame, or are we driven by the Spirit of God to walk beside her and hold her hand.
CABSA does a great job of training Churches, Channels of Hope facilitators who are sent to various parts of the world to be ambassadors. God is giving us, as channels of hope facilitators, a chance to ask for forgiveness and to renew our vows and be re-commissioned: That the spirit of the Lord may send us to give hope in our homes and in our communities.
To think about:Are you ready for when or where God will send you to say ‘Yes’ like Isaiah , without knowing the question?
Written by: Ms Ann Mary Gathigia, CEO, MKONO WA UPENDO CENTRE, Nyahururu, Kenya and trained Churches, Channel of Hope Facilitator.