Rose & Thorn

Good morning! I thank God for you and pray especially for those of you who are in America today. It’s a day called Black Friday. Some are already planning to get up early in order to get out into any of the stores that might open to offer slashed prices to early bird shoppers in spite of COVID….
So, I’m wondering what this day in history will look like?

Me & Several of the Challenge Farm girls

Here in Africa the sun is rising like any other day. There are no early shoppers out. Only those preparing for their work day. It is just like any other work day. Most of the people here in Kitale, Kenya begin their day by only the morning light. You are considered blessed and are very thankful if you have power and clean water to make tea, and have a piece of fresh bread. Here at Challenge Farm it all starts by chopping wood for the fire to boil the water!

I arrived in September to help my son Maverick, his wife Amy and their family transition into missionary work at the Challenge Farm. After supper at the insistence of my almost five year old grandson Jonah, we have continued a tradition he learned at his PawPaw and Nanna’s house in North Carolina called “Rose and Thorn”.

Each person must go around the table and say what their rose is (something good); followed by their thorn (something they disliked), about the day. Usually Jonah’s rose is spending time with his mom and dad, or his thorn might be “not” spending enough time with his mom or his dad.

Jonah’s younger brother Hudson’s rose is normally spending time with his baby sister Ava. Even if the thorn’s vary, Hudson sometimes gets his rose and thorns mixed up or instead of remembering something about the day he will repeat for several days something that happened days or weeks earlier, like a day he got car sick in the car.

Jonah & Hudson waking me up on Thanksgiving Day

Yesterday my rose and thorn were mixed together. I was able to go out and meet with a group of the girls from Challenge Farm. Most often when I speak with them and learn their individual stories, it is a blessing and a rose to grow more intimate with them, but the thorn is hearing their testimonies of why and how they got here.

Most of their short lives have been filled with heartache and pain so many are struggling to grow stronger physically, mentally and emotionally. My past sorrows pale in the light of these children. Today, when I talked to them about their rose and thorns, when asked about their rose most of them reply, “They are happy, healthy and are blessed to have a safe place to live and a bed to sleep in.”

When asked about their thorn, they all declined to answer. When mingling with them, I rarely hear them complain. How unbelievably simple, is the faith of a child. Jesus takes their sorrows and throws them in the sea of forgetfulness.

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
    my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
    as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
    beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
    my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
    in your name I will lift up my hands.

My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
    and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
when I remember you upon my bed,
    and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help,
    and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
    your right hand upholds me.

Psalm 63

After our time together and watching a group of the children getting on the Challenge Farm bus, the girls and I walked home to where my daughter in love Amy and the kids were. They wanted Amy to come out so they could pray for her. She had been feeling ill the day before.

What a day of roses! I was so thankful to be part of these young girls lives.

Thank you for sending me here to be with Maverick, Amy, my grands and these wonderful men, women, and children at ChallengeFarm. God is changing lives here, including my own!

BLESSED IS OUR LORD MOST HIGH!

Marlene
Cinderella Released Ministries
Email today for prayer…
http://CinderellaReleased.org

Partner with me…

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Philippians 1:6

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