Saturday, August 27, 2011


6" X 6" Original Oil on Canvas Raymar Panel

Available at Basketkases Gift Shoppe
2009 Lincoln Ave, Evansville, IN 47714
(812) 491-9799

One of the real physical needs of the Massai tribe in the sub-sarahan region of Kenya  is a clean water source.   The people in the villages do not have a water spigot to fill up their coffee pot, wash their dishes, or even take a shower.  They must work, and work hard, for water for their families.  I am told that one of the best avenues for water accessibility is “the water pan”.  It is basically a large basin of land, secured by dams.  This water is used by anyone or any”thing”  (think four legs here!) that might roam along and need to drink,……or take a bath and cool off.  Obviously, it must be purified.

On the recent trip to Kenya by Crossroads Christian Church missionaries, the water dam had broken and communities were in great need.  The pastoral team agreed to meet some of the men in charge at 9 A.M. at the site to pray, evaluate, and hopefully help with a solution.    For reasons beyond their control, they did not arrive until 5 P.M.   The pastoral team assumed the men would be long gone, as by American standards, we don’t typically wait too long for anything!   As they neared the area, they could see the gentlemen still waiting for them, trusting that God would provide and the American Christians would be faithful to their word.  (And may I remind you they weren’t waiting in an overstuffed easy chair in an air-conditioned family room watching a nice, large remote-controlled flat screen cable TV.  This area is essentially desert!)

Fortunately, I can report there is a happy ending to this story.  There had been a dozer in the area for another reason.  Financial support had run out and, as the dozer began driving away, God made His appearance.  The team had just received clearance from Crossroads Church that they would fund the repair of the water pan with dollars set aside for missions.   The dozer turned around and headed back for the reconstruction. 

Timing can be everything - the “right people” were in the “right place”, at the “right time”………”for such a time as this.” (Esther 4:14).

As a speaker at Africa Reflections, Dr. Matt Vassey, a busy Evansville surgeon and pastoral team member, shared his personal response to the Massai waiting for them for 8 hours.  Balancing career, family, and personal interests in a God-honoring way, he told of instances where he doesn’t wait.   His story was applicable and convicting to all who heard.  We start losing our otherwise sweet dispositions when we have to wait for our computer to boot up, wait in line at the fast-food drive-thru, sit in traffic, or stand in line at the grocery when we could so be doing more important things.  We even begin to push the panic button when waiting for such things as enlistment orders, a future spouse, the birth of a baby in a difficult pregnancy, or the results of medical tests.

That same impatient attitude spills over to our spiritual lives.  When God doesn’t answer our prayers in our time, and our way, we tend to act in a host of futile ways: we may take matters in our own hands, let fear overtake us, or even lose faith.

At a recent family reunion, I have to admit I stalked the little girl in the painting.   (I’m sure her mother told her to stay away from people like me!)  As I observed her in hopes of a Kodak moment, she picked up her chair (with umbrella attached) and moved it to various places with an assortment of views and angles, but she always stayed in a position to see her uncle.    See - she was looking for just the right place to wait.   There were a lot of cousins that day who wanted to catch a fish, and just one uncle with one fishing pole.  While others hung out anxiously near the shoreline for their turns, she chose to wait patiently and comfortably, protected from the “heat”, with her eyes on her uncle…….…because he was the one with the “power”.

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
in His Word, I put my hope.”
Psalm 130:5

1 comment:

  1. OK - So I'm REALLY not commenting on my own post, but my sister-in-law, Susan Milligan, (who might be just a little biased :)) sent me the most beautifully written response. I am compelled to comment for her so all can see her talent!

    The child is a perfect reflection of what we should do...fix our gaze upon the Lord. The colors are a splendid "splash" of a soothing memory that many of us have had the privilege to experience...a day at the beach. What a striking duality to the parched dry land of the African people! It seems a reminder of whether we find ourselves in feast or famine, our hope is always in the Lord. Thanks for capturing the pictorial image in such a lovely way and relaying the needs of the Massai tribe.