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Jesus’ promises about pain

not being a victim
I'm returning from two weeks in Kenya. One night we went to sleep to the sounds of a torrential downpour. In the morning we woke to the news that three children that members of our team had played with the day before had been killed by a mudslide. Nor was that our only encounter with death…
By Seth Barnes

I'm returning from two weeks in Kenya.

One night we went to sleep to the sounds of a torrential downpour.

In the morning we woke to the news that three children that members of our team had played with the day before had been killed by a mudslide.

Nor was that our only encounter with death on the trip. On the roadside en route to the airport, police were gathered around a pedestrian who lay still on the pavement, apparently dead. Onesmus, who was seated next to me remarked, "The government doesn't want to build walkways over the highway, so that happens."

And we'd had our own close calls as well. The week before, thieves had broken into the camp where one of our teams was staying. The electric fence, guard, and guard dog did nothing to stop them. They took our team's stuff. Fortunately, though traumatized, the team was OK.

Life in Africa is cheap. And in the midst of all the good things you see, it can leave you scratching your head. "Where is a God?" "Why isn't he protecting us better?" We ask. "Didn't he promise to protect us?"

I was talking about this with one of our racers. And then I remembered Jesus' instructions before he sent his disciples on a journey. He didn't promise there would be no pain, in fact, he promised the opposite. "You will be beaten, betrayed and arrested," he said. "You will be taken before the courts."

"In this world you will have trouble," he said.

But in the midst of the pain, he promised one thing: his presence. He promised to be with us. He said not to worry and not to fear.

It's been a good week, but a week where we wrestled with pain. I'm working on taking Jesus at his word. How about you?

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Kenyan TV news recorded the video about the mudslide above.

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