friendly fire · How to eat an elephant · James Ouma · Life according to Jim Buttons · Lifesong Kenya · lost in translation · Mentoring boys in Kenya · Mission Field · The gift of blindness · the making of Jim Buttons

Running for My Life Countdown: Biting more than I can chew

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Running a reading camp session for children at Eternity Gospel Church, Karen in 2010

As the marathon kept drawing near I kept doubting myself, my intentions and whether I had the strength to run a half marathon. Though I had already gotten my doctor’s blessing and knew I could make the 21K distance, I still doubted myself. Every single day. I would wake up and ask myself lots of questions.

Biting more than I can chew

I don’t know what God makes of my inadequacy. But I will tell you what I think of myself. I think I am a guy who got into something so big, I felt like I had been thrown into the deep end of an ocean without swimming skills. I got into working with boys in juvenile prison feeling, and strongly believing that I was biting way more than I was able to chew.

Yet, the more I tried to struggle with what lay ahead of me, the more I kept getting deeper into it. With time, I had to quit my job and fully launch myself into mentoring boys in juvenile prison. My decision was informed by the fact that every job I have ever gotten hasn’t been as a result of being qualified for it.

Much as walking away from my job as a children’s TV producer was difficult, I believed God had greater things in store for me. I also quit my job because I knew I was going to earn an income from my children’s reading club. I had already submitted a proposal at NPC Buruburu Academy and it was only a matter of time before the club kicked off. By then, it was apparent i wasn’t going to work a 9 to 5 job anymore.

I also knew I was going to get a cushion from my January salary. There was no way I was going to know things were not going to happen according to my expectations and plans. With time, I realized I didn’t know what I was getting into. Not only did I fail to get my January salary, the reading club proposal was put on ice. I didn’t have a source of income anymore!

Swimming with the sharks

I packed up my stuff and told my landlord I wasn’t able to pay rent anymore. I distributed my belongings between friends and started staying with a friend. A few months later, I sought refuge from another friend, where I stayed up to May 2013. Most of the people I knew in church doubted whether I really knew what I was doing. They thought I didn’t want to work, and wanted to depend on others.

Deep inside me, I knew I had a plan. I knew I had to keep believing and trusting God for a breakthrough. I was treading on dangerous rounds. I was standing at the edge of a cliff, trying to balance between reality and fantasy. If only God could answer my prayers and give me clients for my writing and reading club, I kept wishing and hoping.

Even though I had failed to find partners for Lifesong Kenya, I wasn’t failing in other areas. I was getting story books, needles, sewing thread and buttons for my work. With time, these resources became the foundation of my work. Up to now, I don’t worry so much about money. But don’t get me wrong, I need money. My work has grown to a point where it is becoming bigger than buttons. Os so, I keep thinking.

I thought about all these things as I kept preparing for the Shompole Wildlife Marathon. By now, I was running more than 5K without walking or stopping. All I had to do now was take one day at a time…

“I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.”

PHILIPPIANS 4:13

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