Never Once

As I sit here, wondering where to begin, Matt Redman’s song “Never Once” is playing. I am so overwhelmed with the truth of this song. “Scars and struggles on the way, but with joy our hearts can say, never once did we ever walk alone. Carried by your constant grace, held within your perfect peace, never once, no we never walk alone….You are faithful, God, you are faithful.”

These words have taken on a new meaning as I walk on Kenyan soil. I can’t believe the Lord has called me to this place! It is a miracle that I am here, that I am alive, that I am serving and knowing Christ. The pre-christ Ashley didn’t even enjoy life, let alone helping other people. she was helpless and alone, broken and bruised. She wouldn’t have even made it to age 20. But, the Lord in His grace saw it fit for that Ashley to be made alive in Christ. Praise God! He never left me on my own, even when I wanted to take my own life. The Lord, Jesus, held on to me and grasped a part of my heart that I wasn’t even aware of. He drew me to himself, called me his daughter…holy, redeemed, chosen, precious, alive, blameless. These things amaze me…but when I think that in His plan for my life, He saw it fit to pluck me from the land I knew, good ole Dallas, Texas, and bring half way around the world, because he saw it fit for me to serve him in this place…I am simply overwhelmed, humbled, blessed and in awe!!

I think about the path that got me here, and the word of the song about scars and struggles ring eerily true.  Life in general is not easy, and anyone who tells you they have no baggage or no scars, well, they’re probably lying. It’s just not that simple! Scars and struggles remind us where we come from, force us to lean on Jesus and release the Triune God to be all that He is intended to be in our life. They give us testimony of who God is and the power He has. We see the strength in the Lord when we look back and see the scars and struggled that HE endured WITH us! Praise the Lord that I don’t walk alone, ever! He carries me in constant grace and perfect peace.  Such a refreshing truth, and one I need to be reminded often.

This week, I have been a little overwhelmed with the challenges of working in Obunga and wondering how the Lord is going to work in different situations, and then I am reminded that my God is not made by human hands, as is preached in Acts 17. He’s a God who is bigger, who is stronger, and mightier than any dominion or ruler on this earth. At the end of the week, though I am tired, I have great hope that the Lord will make a way for restoration! He gave me a glimpse of that in church on Sunday at Prince of Peace, Obunga. Watching some of our former Ndoto students (now staff), who I have had the pleasure of knowing these last several years, preach in church and lead the congregation shows me just how strongly the Lord has moved in this place! He is alive and well in Obunga! He is bringing change and restoration in this place…and I am encouraged that He is making a way where people thought there was no way!

Meeting with the staff this week, I am humbled and overwhelmed by their hearts for the students of Ndoto, and their love for Jesus! They really are the greatest staff around and I am so honored to be working with them! I’m still not convinced that I can really teach them much, but I am certain that they can, will and are teaching me so so so much about the Lord and about life! I kind of feel bad for you all that aren’t here…you’re missing out! 😉

Pray for us this week as we work out a discipleship plan for Ndoto, and really ask that the Lord gives us vision for the future of this area in Ndoto, and that He would soften hard hearts, unveil eyes to truth and bring healing to the wounded!  Pray that they would walk in the truth that Never Once have they EVER walked alone!!! He is faithful! He is able! Nyasaye Nyalo!!!

Mungu Ni Baracka this week friends! It means God bless you! 🙂 I’m trying to learn…we’ll see how it goes! ha I’m not even 100% sure that’s correct!

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