“You are the light of the world, so let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” -Matthew 5:14-16
I just got back from spending a month in Kitale, Kenya, with Project Go. I have a huge heart for missions and desired more than anything to see what the Lord was doing halfway around the world.
While in Kitale, my time was fully devoted to the kids at the schools and Seed of Hope orphanage. Their joy and enthusiasm for life were noticeable constantly, but their smiles shone the brightest when I taught them songs.
One of the favorites was "This Little Light of Mine." In the U.S., it’s usually sang with younger children, but I noticed all ages singing along with me. As I taught the words and tune, I also had conversations with them about the true meaning behind the words, and what it means to shine the light of the Lord in the world they live in. These kids have such spirit, and are so alive in Christ, they need to know that it’s their job to show that light to the community.
Just as I was teaching the Kenyan children to be the light, I was also a light to them. John 15:8 says, “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” I took this verse to heart and lived it out daily while overseas.
It was difficult being in an entirely new culture, living without running water for days and having the patience to bear with the demands of mission work. Through the trials, I had this verse as a reminder that I was called to serve the nations, not to give myself credit, but that all the glory may be given wholeheartedly to my Father in heaven.
Reflecting on my time in Kenya, the lyrics to the song "Shine" by the Newsboys have been playing in my head. The chorus says, "Let it shine before all men, Let ‘em see good works and then, Let ‘em glorify the Lord." I strongly feel my servant heart and my willingness were all about God’s light and his glory shining through me to the children and families I ministered to.
My prayer daily is for the hearts I touched to remember the love I showered them with, and the words I spoke to them. I pray they would give their worship to the Lord and shine their light bright.
Hannah Hagar is a junior at the University of Missouri, studying health sciences. She served with Project Go this summer for one month in Kenya.
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