Beauty and Survival

By Nancy DeCamp

 

On my first trip to Kenya I was amazed at the juxtaposition of the city bustle in Nairobi, with so many people walking and driving everywhere, against the peacefulness of the wild Masai Mara National Reserve, a large wildlife refuge in Narok County. And yet, I wonder if the city and the wild are not so different in their beauty and survival. 

No matter what or who I saw, I felt Kenya had a beautiful soul. I’ve never known a people so committed and loving of the Lord. Their faith is strong and they are appreciative of so much when some have so little. And I’m fairly convinced that no one else has a smile like a Kenyan. I enjoyed their spirit of giving. It is contagious. 

As I took in all the sites of the majestic and often violent animals of the wildlife refuge and the busy streets of Nairobi and the University campuses, a multitude of bible verses came to mind expressing my awe at each image along the way. 

 

My first morning on safari brought us past a herd of zebra, single file and moving along the grass. We continued down the road and rounded the bend to a quiet watering hole.  Only a lone stork was working his way through the water. It was so still and peaceful. I can’t explain it, but you could actually feel the peace. Soon, the same zebras we had passed appeared and one by one wandered into the water to drink. For me looking at this image will always bring me peace.

“Be still and know that I am God.  I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world." Psalm 46:10

“Be still and know that I am God.  I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world." Psalm 46:10

 

We were fortunate to view this beautiful lioness up close. There is a strength and confidence in the way they walk and hold themselves. They have no fear.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

 

I took this picture of a beautiful Kenyan sunset during an evening safari. It was the perfect ending to a beautiful day.

"From the rising of the sun unto the going down…the name of the Lord is to be praised.” Psalm 113:3

"From the rising of the sun unto the going down…the name of the Lord is to be praised.” Psalm 113:3

 

We returned from the calm of Masai Mara National Reserve to the busy city of Nairobi. Still, God was with us everywhere.

“A land for which the Lord your God cares; the eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the beginning even to the end of the year.” Deuteronomy 11:12

“A land for which the Lord your God cares; the eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the beginning even to the end of the year.” Deuteronomy 11:12

 

Those smiled I mentioned?  Am I right?

“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:8-9

“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:8-9

 

Daystar University, Athi River Campus - Graduation Day!

“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

 

I can’t help but think of the hope that fills the hearts of the students as they begin their journey at the University and the dreams they have for what they will do with their knowledge.

“May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

“May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

 

I feel so blessed to have seen this country in person. And I feel blessed that I work with a team of servant-leader hearts, both in Africa and the U.S. that look to better the lives of those in Kenya. There is nothing more rewarding. When I hear the stories of some of these students and then have the opportunity to meet them in person and know they have been given the tools and funding to change their lives, it is humbling. I pray for the Holy Spirit to continue to fill their hearts and enrich their country. And I pray that we can expand our mission in the U.S. to support their growth.

 
IMG_20150903_104246.jpg

Nancy DeCamp is the Finance Manager at Daystar U.S. and has been at the organization for over five years.