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The joy of Christmas is all about sharing your blessings with others.

A practical lesson I learned this Christmas.

In the hustle and bustle of preparation of Christmas celebration how often do we pause and think about all the people who are less privileged than us to celebrate Christmas the way we celebrate in America?

As both of our children are not in Texas where we live and very busy with their intense professions, pretty much it was going to be a very quiet Christmas for us this year. I was slightly depressed that there will not be any kind of celebration in our house as it is an empty nest now!. During those moments of dejection a week before Christmas somehow my thoughts wandered to the poor Maasai community of Narok, Kenya whom I had an opportunity to visit and conduct medical camp in Nov of 2017. God suddenly put a beautiful thought in my mind – How about blessing that Masai community of around 100 people with a sumptuous Christmas meal and make my Christmas day really MERRY!. I immediately contacted by email the Pastor who overseas that little church made of maasai community and conveyed my desire to give them a Christmas meal. The response I got was as follows:

Dear Dr. Rachel,

Last Saturday, the pastor there, John Karani gave me their Budget for their Christmas Big meal 2018 so that I look for money to assist them. You are coming as an answer to their prayers. Surely God answers prayers. You are the answer to the prayers of that Maasai Church to enable them enjoy together Big meal 2018.

I thank you very much for remembering the needy Maasai Church of Olooltoto. I received the funds today safely. Thank you very much also for remembering my family this Christmas 2018 season. I am greatly touched by your generosity, love and care. I have asked pastor John of Olooltoto Church to come to Narok town Church on Friday this week to get the money and purchase their Big meal items. Other branch churches will not have a full Big meal budget met like Olooltoto Church but you have greatly supported us. We are truly thankful to you and your family. My family will also enjoy this Christmas because of your generous support which you have also allocated to us. I will send you photos after the Big meal. May God surely bless you.

The Olooltoto Church had a wonderful big meal event and they took care of about 150 children and about 100 adults with the funds you gave them. They are truly thankful to you. They ate meat, took sodas, took candies/sweets, etc.

On behalf of my family and on behalf of People For Jesus Ministry, we thank you and Wish You A Wonderful Christmas celebration of 2018. You have put CHRIST smile in our faces. God bless you richly.

Pastor Tom Opiyo

This letter made this year Christmas (2018) the best Christmas year of my entire life so far. Today though we were by ourselves, me and my husband I was in a state of exhilaration thinking of those precious Maasai brothers and sisters in Christ celebrating the coming of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ into this world with a big meal which is a rare privilege for them as I have seen with my own eyes the level of poverty in which they live every day of their lives.

I am not sharing this testimony to flatter myself but to make us think how our joy can be multiplied to hundredfold when we share our blessings with those who are not privileged like you and me!

Merry Christmas to all my family, friends, and all those who have taken time to read this testimony.

Devotional 2

Are you in a dry season of your life like Elijah – I was in 2018

“Why my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my savior and my God.”

 (Psalms 43:5)

After my voluntary retirement in 2013 I was very much engaged in mission trips, ladies ministries overseas to the third world countries till 2017. I was very confident that I am doing what God wants me to do the rest of my life. It was very exciting at the same time a very challenging period of my life but I enjoyed it very much because I felt I was being very productive spiritually. However in Nov of 2017 I returned from my very successful mission trip to Kenya with severe pain in my left knee which turned out to be severe osteoarthritis and according to experts in the field of orthopedics it can be corrected only by knee replacement surgery as my knee cartilage was completely worn out and it is literally bone on bone with effusion in the joint. I was very much disappointed, discouraged and despaired as I knew my overseas mission trips would either have to be postponed or I may even have to stop in view of my difficulty and limitations in walking. My travel plan for 2018 was put off though I had more invitations than the previous years. I developed a sense of fear and lack of confidence to make these long ardent physically exhausting trips. I was not happy as the year 2018 has been a dry season for me spiritually. There were times when I felt God is done with me and His purpose for my life is over. The memories of last wonderful 5 yrs when God used me in different parts of India and Africa to help the sick and poor and share the good news of Jesus Christ made me feel even more frustrated because now I am not in a position to travel and help people in need as much as I wanted to.

Dear friend, Have you ever felt the way I am feeling? All energy sapped out, completely burned out and spiritually unproductive? You might have had great plans for the things of God but perhaps illness, loss of job, financial crisis, relational problems, job related stresses, etc fizzled out all of your aspirations and spark you had and you want to run away from everything and hide in a corner just like Prophet Elijah, a man of God who could stop the rains for three years, who could bring forth the fire by the power of His prayer to burn the sacrifice, who had the strength to kill 400 hundred prophets of Baal all by himself, and who could bring forth rain after three years of drought by faith started running for his life in fear of a mere weak woman Jezebel who threatened to take his life just as he has done to Baal prophets. What a contrast! Can you identify yourself in Elijah’s shoes? I could this year 2018. A year of spiritual drought, fear, stagnation, physical disability, I can go on with the list.

When Elijah was in the lowest ebb of his life, sitting under a broom brush and praying that he might die, God sent His angel to strengthen him with hot baked bread and a jar of water. After eating he fell asleep. The angel woke him up after some rest and fed him with more bread and water and reminded him that he has a long journey to take which turned out to be forty days and forty nights until he reached mount Horeb, the mountain of God.

God reminded me through Elijah’s story that He has allowed this period of physical pain just to give me a break, a period of rest that I may be strengthened and renewed spiritually to be used more powerfully in the years to come. Contrary to what doctors predicted primarly by the power of prayers of many people around the world for my healing and secondarily with rest, exercises, and losing some weight I feel much better and hope to resume my labor in His vineyard soon whichever way He wants to use me without immediate surgery.

I want to start the New Year 2019 with the hope that God is not yet done with me. The purpose of creating me is not yet over! Let not a dry phase which all believers go through at some period of their spiritual journey wither you away but be reminded in those despairing moments that God will send His angels to provide you with hot bread and a jar of water to make you strong for a new journey because He is not done with you yet !!

Wishing all a very Blessed, spiritually productive and prosperous new year 2019!

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