Mission & Stewardship

Strangers in Kenya

If you can’t bleat ’em, join ’em

It’s been an eternity since I’ve blogged, so if you’re one of the three people who actually check our blog regularly, I apologize to you (and to my mom and my obsessed ex-girlfriend from 2nd grade).

The irony is, I still haven’t written anything new. I spoke at chapel today, which took some creative energy, so don’t get all over me. I’m not sitting around eating bon-bons over here, but I haven’t written anything for the masses (all three of you).

However, I do have something special to share with you. It’s just the kind of thing I wish I could say I’d written. It’s just the kind of story I used to write back when I wrote for this blog every other week. It’s just the kind of story I know my adoring fans love. And I didn’t even have to write it.

A few weeks back, a new young missionary, Ashley Tierney, shared this awesome story that weaves together cross-cultural experiences and humor and the truth of God’s loving promises. It’s a gem. Enjoy!

baby goatI (Ashley) want to share this with you and hopefully you will also be blessed by this awesome way that God demonstrated His love to me through a stuck baby goat.

One day, a man was herding his goats right next to a woman’s home. One of his baby goats got close to their long drop and the slippery mud caused by all of the recent rains ended up causing it to fall way down into the long drop. In case you don’t know what a long drop is, it’s a hole in the ground outside that is so deep that it pretty much goes to the center of the Earth. And it is used as a toilet. You can only imagine how nasty and gross it would be to fall into a long drop.

They could not see the baby goat after it had fallen, but they could hear it crying. The next morning everyone could still hear it crying. Nothing more came of this for several days. Then a man who lived next to the long drop, Joseph, not only decided to build a fence around their long drop to prevent any further tragedies that might involve their precious little children; but he also took the time to do what he could to try to save that baby goat. He found a friend who is a security guard for Kijabe and used his powerful flashlight and was only able to see the goat’s head with it (that’s how deep in the muck the poor goat was stuck!) He found an electrical wire that she said was incredibly long, made a loop on one end, tied the other end to their clothesline pole, and was able to get that loop around the baby goat’s neck and he pulled it out! The goat was choking from the tight wire around its neck, but Joseph quickly got it off and the goat was okay! The goat rolled around on the ground and got itself cleaned off pretty well. Because it had been starving for three days, Joseph made a sort of bottle and fed milk to the goat, and the goat eagerly drank it down. The next morning, Joseph went and found the owner of the goat, who had been so upset by losing his baby goat that he hadn’t come back. Joseph told him that he had gotten the baby goat out and that he could come back to get it. Everyone was overjoyed over this and amazed that the baby goat was able to be rescued from a pit that deep and returned to its owner.
At that time, I was starting a new thing with our 4-year old daughter, Abby, where I was trying to teach her a Bible memory verse for each letter of the alphabet, so our verse for letter ‘A’ that week was “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23.) Abby wanted to know why Virginia and I were so excited and happy after Virginia told me this story, and I was able to explain that verse to Abby in a whole new way as I told her that the baby goat had fallen into a hole so deep that it could not get out on its own. It’s interesting how that verse uses the word, “fall”, isn’t it? I had not thought of the verse in that way before. Then I was able to share with Abby that the baby goat was rescued from that stinky, horrible, gross pit just like how Jesus reached down to save us. That reminded me of another verse. Psalm 40:2 says, “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”

The dictionary defines “mire” as wet, slimy soil of some depth, or deep mud. Just imagine yourself stuck in a stinky, muddy and gross hole that is at least 20 feet deep. What a way to picture what life is like when you have not been rescued by Christ. Now imagine Jesus taking the time to make a way to save you. He didn’t just take a day or two to come up with a wire long enough to pull you out. He saved you by dying for you. And all along, He was appalled by your sin in the same way that we are appalled by the way a goat would be covered in that stinky filth…yet He didn’t turn up His nose at you and decide He’d rather not save you – that it was too gross. He died for you so that you could be pulled out of that pit.

I hope this brings encouragement to any of you who feel like God is putting you through some hard discipline. Jesus’ decision to save us even though we were so filthy and deep in our own long drops of sin.

Taken From: http://thetierneyfamily.wordpress.com/2013/05/20/lessons-learned-from-a-stuck-baby-goat/. June 23, 2013. NOTE: The Tierney family also works around Rift Valley Academy. For a full version of the story, visit the above webpage.