In Kenya when a woman has a daughter, the mother is then called by the daughter’s first name. Lucy Njeri is loving known to us as Mama Regina. We met her in 2005 on our first trip to Ruiru Kenya. We noticed her smiling face and her dedicated service to the church. Her story is one of victory and great sorrow.
A widow and mother of two, she lived in extreme poverty at that time. Her house was a rat-infested mud hut which filled with water during the rainy seasons. She had an incurable illness, was jobless and she was skin and bones. Even her mother called her “The dead!” Daily meals were not an option. Lucy began to attend the Father’s House. She decided if she was going to die she would die serving the Lord.
We watched her work so hard, diligent, faithful. She scrubbed the floors with this bucket and a rag. She wiped down every chair, cleaned the bathrooms, swept the dirt walk ways, shook out the rugs. Afterwards she would often fall asleep on the floor of the church because of her illness and the strength it took to clean. This sickness was robbing her of life. But she became such an asset to the ministry they began to pay her for the work. God was showing himself strong on her behalf.
Her daughter Regina had a son, Morgan; we lovingly termed him “the church mouse” as he was there with grandma every day. What a smile he had. What fun we had with him. There was never a dull moment. He captured all our hearts.
It has now been 8 years; each year we return to find Mama Regina working and smiling. This death sentence illness was loosing its grip; strength and health were springing forth. This picture from 2007 is dark but here she is dressed beautifully, I could hardly recognize her. Her joy was evident to all, her life glowing with warmth. Her voice had been attacked by the illness making it deep and gravel sounding, so her smile and service were her modes of communication.You think… Lord, how can I be more like this woman? She is such a role model.
Her time working at the church put her in a position to hear the teachings in the daily services and the bible school. She began to hear that the healing and restoring power of the love of God was at work in her. The Church knew she was so valuable they made her the Custodial manager of the facility. They also made sure she had nutritious food to eat and medicine. Love and Life began to take hold. We returned each year to find her the joy of the day! Then in the fall of 2011 we learned her daughter Regena died of pneumonia. She had remarried and moved to the coast. But when she passed so suddenly the husband no longer wanted to keep Morgan. Morgan had health issues and needed constant medical care. We saw him once again in December and put together a small Christmas package. Morgan needed steroids and his kidneys were failing him. His sorrow of the loss of his mother was a heavy load to bear. Our sweet Mama Regina carried all this on her. Her smile was there but the light-hearted joy was harder to see. She was grieving as we were with her. Then once again the unthinkable came, we got an email Morgan’s health is serious, please pray. As we sat on the couch praying for Morgan a text came to our phone: Morgan had passed. We wept. Our dear Mama Regina, the widow, once again faced death in her family, her daughter and grandson. She knows her heavenly father is holding her in his wings. He comforts those who mourn. Precious to the Lord is the death of his saints. And we shall be together again.
Africa, Kenya is too well known for this sorrow, needless death because of lack of medicines and facilities to treat. So we honor you Mama Regina dear Lucy for your strength and faithful service, for your example to all around you, for your courage, for never giving up, for knowing and walking with God your father and Jesus your Lord. Last December as we walked the church grounds I could hear her singing joyful songs as she cleaned; another sign of the healing power of God in her body.
So all this makes the enemy mad. Like Job, in all this she didn’t blame God, she praised him. And like Job, satan attacked once again. thieves broke into her one room home, no longer a mud hut flooded during the rainy season; a nice home filled with treasurers of love and service stolen. In one foolish moment the enemy found a fool to do his biding.
That makes me mad! Mad enough to act. Mad enough to get revenge on the enemy, to do like Jesus go heal, give, serve and love others! Join me in this victory march. Help me restore what the enemy has taken. Help me do something.