The start to the New Year has come and gone. We have returned to Kenya from our time in the United States, and life is back to “normal.” January is coming to a close and has flown by already. We have hosted one wonderful team, and are preparing for three more. This morning, I was thinking about the month of January. For many people, it is a month of hope and rebirth. They aspire to do things differently in the New Year, to create change, to be the change that year. The gym is always busy in January and February, but begins to taper off in March and April. Many people begin reading again with renewed fervor but by March they have not touched their book in many days. There are so many areas in which resolutions are made.
Personally, I am usually not one to make New Year’s Resolutions. That is because I can never keep them. I am a very goal-oriented person, but most years I lose sight of the goals I made early into that year. In life it is easy to lose sight of goals or resolutions, no matter how big or small. For me, it is especially easy to lose sight of the goal of the gospel. You may be thinking, “Your life is the gospel. Aren’t you a missionary in Africa”? It is easy to think that someone whose life revolves around ministry is super spiritual and they spend hours with God each day. While we do spend much of our day ministering to the needs of others, the truth is that it is still hard to carve out time to be still before God. It can be hard to sit down and study the word for any length of time. This past year has also been a little extra challenging to spend time with God with the responsibilities of a new baby. But I truly cannot blame it on being a mother or the baby. Maybe you are like me and say “If there was only more time in the day”??? If we are honest, I think there is plenty of time in a day, but I am often not a good steward of my time. My focus often shifts on those things that are temporal instead of focusing on the advancement of the gospel in every aspect of life, even the small ones. I am beginning to learn, thanks to the Lord’s leading to weave in time, to make time, to set apart time for the advancement of the gospel.
This year, I want to make much of the gospel and my time. I want to seize every opportunity that the Lord puts in front of me. I want to be led by the Holy Spirit and act boldly for the sake of the gospel. For me, this does not mean standing on a street corner preaching to a crowd. Instead, I want to be intentional about building relationships with those around me, especially those I come in contact with who may not know the Lord. I want to invite my neighbors over for dinner. I want to attend temple to have a better understanding of the Hindu religion in Kisumu and its impact on those who practice it. I want to pray for the sweet Muslim family whose restaurant I eat at on the weekend. I want to love unselfishly on the widows and orphans that I have been called to serve. Those are my goals for this year. It does not require huge time commitment, sweating at the gym, or immense amounts of reading. Instead, it requires that I be available. Available to how the Spirit yearns to lead and guide me, available to live out the Gospel. I don’t want it to be a resolution for a month. I want it to be a goal for my life.
“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction.” James 1:27
Cooper and Moses are the best of friends. It has been beautiful to see the bond between these two boys. Though they may not be brothers biologically, they are part of our family.