God has been moving in the life of Haley Clasen through work with Village Project Africa. Here are her reflections after her most recent trip to Makutano:
When I went to Kenya for a second time this year, my experience was so totally different. Without the factor of shock at the lives of these beautiful people, I began to see the way they live and to let it change the way I live. Here are the things I learned:
- Exciting things are going down at Village Project Africa!
- They are people, not pictures. I have no right to take their picture without first remembering that there is a person, and we have no right to look at anyone’s pictures without a thought and a prayer for the person and the story behind the picture.
- 2 Corinthians 12:9 – “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect
- ^that does NOT mean that God will call you to the very worst thing you could imagine, the place you are very weakest. However it does mean that God just might turn the very worst thing into the very best thing.
- There is so much more to life than being happy, if you can put behind fear and pursue what’s really real.
- Long days make short nights, and when I am at the end of my rope, there is my God the whole way.
- My capacity for love, grace, trust, etc. can only do so much, but these things define my God and He defines them, and He is more than enough.
- Life keeps you learning. I choose not to remain static.
- I was reading a book about trees to Class 4, and I asked them, “Can one tree change the world?” They all agreed yes. Later, I asked them, “Can one person change the world? Do you believe that you can make a difference?” and they all just looked at each other. Maybe it’s simply that they didn’t understand my English well enough, but I was reminded—one tree, one person cannot change the world. One God can, and He made all the trees and all the people. He chooses to let us love and maybe change the person He has set in front of us.
- Every moment I spend serving, every dollar I don’t spend, is a minute someone else can rest or something I can give to them.
- Kenyans love the ceremony. It is less about the time, or other demands, and more about the community through ceremony.
- If I go here or there, I will see God in a way I never would have had I not moved.
- THE LORD WILL ALWAYS TAKE CARE OF HIS CHILDREN!!!!!!
- The moment I start to feel good or brag about anything is the moment I will consider my intentions.
- I am learning to live changed.
It’s hard coming home. It’s hard to be a different person in the same place. It’s hard to be so different inside that the people who once knew you so well don’t understand you anymore. It’s hard when the things that hit you are the ones you don’t expect, when you have an uncontrollable breakdown in the middle of Target. It’s harder coming home than going there—and that is when I am reminded that God, You are who You are, no matter where I am. I want to see Him, know Him, and love Him and His people everywhere I happen to be.
Obviously, in my two week trip, I only experienced a fraction of what others have experienced, but it is still the cry of my heart. I want more of God, wherever He takes me, and in the meantime, I need more of Him here.
I love you all and would love to talk more in person for anyone who really cares. I pray that God is working in your hearts too, that you begin to care in a way you have never experienced before, and that together we can pray, as I learned at International Youth Convention, “more of you at any cost, Lord.” I pray that we conquer fear and take hold of our calling. I pray that we can do nothing by ourselves and don’t ever try, but that God is the root and heart of all.
In Jesus’s name we pray and believe, Amen.