Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over. —Matthew 26:14-16
03 Apr, 2023
Today’s devotion is brought to you by Patricia Mghendi-Otachi. Patricia is a Survival and Early Childhood Specialist working at Compassion Kenya.
“I know I will live. I will live to raise my children and testify of the greatness of God. I know they will live.”
These are the words Maristela kept saying as she narrated her story to us, and we could not hold back our tears. Maristela is mum to twins Amani and Pendo, who are part of the Compassion Mums and Babies program, living in one of the most impoverished informal settlements in Kenya. I, alongside the local church leaders, paid a visit to Maristela’s family soon after she entered the program.
26-year-old Maristela had been diagnosed with a complex heart condition while she was still pregnant and, coupled with a lack of sufficient food, was so weak that she wasn’t sure she would survive childbirth. By God’s grace, Maristela gave birth to the twins and the doctor advised her not to breastfeed them because her heart condition medication would have dire side effects on the twins’ health. She was advised to put the twins on formula; an expense that was beyond her family’s financial reach.
Neighbours and well-wishers would offer her a little cow’s milk, which she diluted and fed to her severely underweight babies. They also gave her a few old cloths to keep her babies warm, along with some food so that Maristela and her two older children could have one meal a day. Her expensive heart medication drained the family’s resources so much that Maristela’s husband abandoned his family, leaving them under the care of her mother who had no income. Maristela’s family survived one day at a time because of the compassion of their neighbours, who eventually informed the local church of their situation.
When we met Maristela, she did not know much about the Mums and Babies program, yet she was so full of hope that the God who had sustained her life and the life of her children was able to send her the help she needed. Today, through nutritional support, Maristela is responding well to her medication and, at 11 months old, Pendo and Amani have gained the necessary weight to enable them to achieve significant development milestones. The local church has also supported Maristela in opening a small business, and she is now able to feed her family three meals a day.
That is the God of hope that we serve.
Despite the immense number of challenges we may have endured in the past, or the depth of darkness in our current situation, it can never derail God’s plan for our redemption from physical or spiritual oppression by the enemy.
Like Maristela, our part is to keep the hope alive that our God, who turned around the betrayal of Jesus by His good friend Judas, into a perfect plan for our salvation is not only concerned about our physical wellbeing, but even more deeply about our journey into eternity with Him. Therefore, as we commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, let us embrace His free gift of redemption. It is through His redemption that we as believers live, breathe and have our being and it is also why we have hope!
Words by Patricia Mghendi–Otachi.
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