“We are people who need much less of ourselves and much more of Jesus.”

– Julie Hunter

Living in Florida has given us a whole new perspective on what people do in retirement. There are so many options in this beautiful Sunshine State. The weather, restaurants, entertainment, activities, and sunsets are all part of the many reasons why people flock here every winter. The options are endless for us, and it is what we have come to expect in this country. 

After retiring seven years ago I left the teaching field, and my husband Craig sold his dental practice. We started praying for a greater vision of what to do with our time and talents, in what is known as our “golden years.” Growing up in a small farming community in the Midwest, I never dreamed we would have the opportunity to join the mission field and work with a team like ITEC. God orchestrated our coming here and opened the doors of opportunity… But that’s another story. 

Training In Africa

In January, we traveled to Uganda where Craig trained with mPower, teaching prosthetic dentistry. I traveled on to Siaya, Kenya, staying in the home of my friend Josephine and her family of six. She and her husband, Abraham, have planted five churches throughout western Kenya. Experiencing day-to-day life in a third world context was an eye-opening experience. I saw people with hunger and people with dreams. There were people ready for change but just don’t know how to get there. 

I met hard working people who wish they could be free from the daily struggles that plague them but don’t really know where to start. Everywhere I looked I saw more and more needs; wells completely dried up,  no running water, no refrigeration, and no plumbing. The meals were cooked in the bedroom/kitchen on one coal burner using a flashlight to see. Josie told me, “We eat what we have not what we want.”  Yet the family opened their home and gave me the best of what they had. 

Josie told me, “We eat what we have not what we want.”  Yet the family opened their home and gave me the best of what they had.

Four God fearing men and Josephine were eager to learn the I-SEE training program. We visited a total of five churches, but getting from one to the other was no easy task. Since they had no vehicle, we took various forms of transportation.  How many people would we stop to pick up along the way? Would the road conditions or the safety of the vehicle allow us to even get there? People and animals are dying because of lack of food or water, and I’m worried about how dusty and dirty the road conditions are! People in this area of Kenya experience firsthand the harsh reality that life doesn’t always turn out how they planned. 

The Well Loved Bible

Those who received glasses were grateful and happy. For most their quality of life would be changed because they could see well for the first time in years.  After they receive the reading glasses we had them read the Bible to be sure they were using the correct pair.  This also opens the door to talk about Jesus. The Bible you see in the picture is owned by one of the I-SEE graduates.  He offered us his bible to use since it was written in Swahili. As I took the fragile pages in my hands, I told him that everyone’s bible should look like this.  His smile opened wide and he said proudly, “I read it every day!” Seeing each person prayed for and the love of Christ being shared was the goal. I thank God for this divine intervention.  He is our hope and glory.

Josie’s words are printed in the picture as a reminder to us.  No matter what shape our lives are in, how much we have in this world, or where we live, we are people who need much less of ourselves and much more of Jesus. Let us cling to our God who is the author and finisher of our faith. Trusting in God is more than rubies!

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