Tag Archives: Light

Light 22/31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5 (NIV) / Pixabay

You might find this strange, but one of the things this city girl had to adjust to when I moved to rural West Virginia was how dark it was at night.  I know, I know night is supposed to be dark but when the sun goes down here, it is DARK!

The unfamiliar inky blackness of living in the midst of farmland and the shadows of  mountains is quite unsettling when you’re used to street lamps, neon signs, and porch lights illuminating the way. It wasn’t until my then fiancée went home with me that he finally understood dark and DARK!

As with so much of this beautiful place I now call home, I’ve come to love the DARK.  Why you ask? Because in the DARK you can see the light!  The night sky here is a spectacular sight!  Standing in my yard on a clear evening, the brightest lights around are the stars, planets, and  Milky Way shining down from the vast heavens. I’d never have experienced this amazing light show had I not stood in the DARK.

Isn’t life just like that?  As much as we (I) don’t want to venture into those DARK,  we can’t see how everything’s going to turn out places; that’s exactly where we experience the beauty of light.  It may be a flicker, but in the DARK a flicker is all it takes to brighten our way.  Maybe it’s a meal provided by a friend, a card or phone call, flowers, a visit, or an offered prayer. When it feels we’ll never find our way out of the DARK, God uses the love of those around us to begin to lead us step by step into the light. It isn’t easy.  We may stumble, fall, and lose our way as we struggle to leave DARK behind.  But, life’s taught me that God doesn’t leave us to find the way on our own. Once we emerge from the DARK we are then able to look back and see that His Light was guiding us all along! And the amazing thing? His Light will continue to shine, leading us Home where finally, DARK will be no more!

 

 

 

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A Light in the Dark ~ A Living Hope Story

“No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.” Matthew 5:15 (NLT) Pixabay

This is the fourth in a series of miraculous true stories about Living Hope High School in Bungoma, Kenya.  Stories that share the divine inspiration and dedication to helping students of poverty, who once had no hope, reach their full potential.

When Marilyn returned to her storage building classroom she found things much as she had left them. The teacher she’d hired before she left and her freshman class welcomed her back. She embraced her role of teacher again right away. They spent long days together in the dark shed using every moment of daylight they could for learning.  The students flourished academically and they developed a respect and admiration for Marilyn.

Because the students and Marilyn ate and slept at Rehema Orphanage, she encountered the Director regularly.  He was an influential man who flaunted his position, wearing suits while those around him wore meager clothing. He owned a car while others walked for miles. His quarters were equipped with running water while the children in his care had to haul theirs.  Marilyn suspected he’d been the one to take the money she’d donated instead of using it for firewood. As time passed, the Director couldn’t hide his jealousy of Marilyn’s success.  He also made it clear that he knew about her bank account and he coveted that money.  The situation became so unbearable she knew she had to find a way out!

When Marilyn heard of an empty building down the road, she planned to leave with the kids in the dark of  night to find it.  Once again, God had a better plan!  “Unexpectedly,” the Director was called away from the orphanage in the middle of the day.  Taking advantage of his absence, Marilyn packed everything she could and with her partner teacher, led their 25 students away from the only home they’d ever known. In the light of the afternoon sun the students and teachers walked four miles until they came upon a long, abandoned, mud building. Peering through one of the many doors that lined the hut, Marilyn discovered it was much like looking into a cave.  The inside was dark and the air was damp.  There were no windows, no electricity, no bathroom, no water of any kind, dirt floors, with small spears of light piercing the darkness through holes in the old, rusty metal roof. What was she going to do?  A kind looking gentleman and a gruff looking, wild-haired woman approached the worried teachers and their exhausted students. After some negotiation, the old man and his wife agreed to rent the dilapidated building to Marilyn at a reasonable price. Unpacking began and soon the two rooms on each end of the building were designated as the dormitory rooms, boys on one end, girls on the other. The two middle rooms became classrooms leaving only a small space for each teacher.  School was back in session.

All was not smooth sailing, however.  Marilyn was on her own in an unfamiliar place, conditions were primitive, and she was now a teacher/mother to 25 teenagers. She was also receiving threatening messages from the Director she’d left behind.  He found subtle ways to instill fear into the students and teachers.  He attacked her confidence and caused her to doubt her ability.  Finally, when he went as far as sending one of his workers to lie in wait for the opportunity to run Marilyn off the road; she’d had enough!  She rallied the students and together they began to pray as they never had before, asking God to put the “devil” behind them! Those dark days soon faded as their prayers were answered and the threats stopped. The challenges however, kept right on coming. Marilyn was quickly learning that starting a school literally from the dirt up entailed much more than just buying books.  Basic things like pots and pans, mattresses, food, and kerosene lamps needed to bring light to their dark rooms, were just the beginning. Her dwindling savings account was a reminder of the enormity of this undertaking.  On top of that, the landlord was unable to make the needed improvements so Marilyn found herself building a latrine, patching holes, AND teaching the students!  It soon became clear, that if she was truly going to establish a school she had to have more space! Marilyn didn’t know how she’d find her way; but God had been her light in the dark many times before and she had faith He’d show her the way this time, too.

~copyright Living Hope High School, Bungoma Kenya

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (NIV)