A few years ago, Kristen Welch was just a mom from Texas, writing a blog about parenthood. And then she took a trip to Kenya, with Compassion International, hoping to encourage families to sponsor children living in poverty.
But when she experienced life in the slums of Nairobi, she couldn’t believe her eyes. “These living conditions were not for the living.”
Desperate and hopeless and angry, she silently questioned God. How can you allow this??? But she felt His response–Kristen, how can you?
It was that exact moment, when she knew her life would never be the same.
Yesterday, Kristen Welch released her new book: Rhinestone Jesus: Saying Yes to God When Sparkly, Safe Faith is No Longer Enough. As part of her launch team, I am honored to celebrate this book with her, and to give away 2 copies on behalf of her publisher.
It’s taken me a couple weeks to wander through her story. It made me pause and pray and think about the state of my heart. It’s an encouraging story, one I think any of us could relate to in different ways.
Kristen started with a desire to make a difference in the world for Jesus. But things didn’t turn out the way she’d planned, and at some point, she stopped dreaming to simply survive life. God used her trip to Kenya to wake her up to His heart. Afterward, He gave her an opportunity to do something, and she said yes.
In Rhinestone Jesus, she tells her story of founding a non-profit called Mercy House Kenya, a maternity home for young girls in extremely difficult circumstances. It’s an amazing story, and chapters are still being written. As of May 1st, they are preparing to open doors to the SECOND HOME!!! Mercy House Kenya is growing, to accommodate more mothers and babies.
Kristen hopes her story shows us that our small yes matters. We often want to do something “big” for God, but she challenges us to lay the “big” down. To begin with the next small thing, right where we are. Say yes in your mess–yes to loving God and loving others. See one need near you, and do what you can to meet it. Don’t be paralyzed by ideas about what’s most important or about doing enough.
Say yes now in small ways, because when you love someone and care for their needs, you’re changing their world. And you’re changing yours, too.
Now for the book giveaway: Please answer this question in the comments by Monday, May 5th at noon to be entered: What is just one way you can love God and love others this week? Do you know of someone sick or lonely or hungry or in need? How can you help someone in the next week?