Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Schmorgasborg of Happenings

It’s been some time since I wrote a blog so I’ll do so now.  This will be a schmorgasborg. I want to start with thanking you all for your emails of encouragement and just loving me and saying ‘Hi’. It means a lot to know I have family and friends always praying and thinking about us while we are so far away. For example---this is an email my mom wrote after reading some of our blogs, followed by my reply.
For your reading enjoyment……

 Hi C,
Happy Fourth of July. I loved the album, especially Helen's work place. I think it shows the strength of these people, the poverty and the hard life, yet the spirit of the power of God in that life. I love that picture and the people, even though I have never met them. I also like (or dislike) the fish photo. It shows how strong you are and what you will endure to further the love of God and his work. It also shows me how very lacking I am because I could not eat it. I humbly bow to you, Dave and your group for your ability to endure. My next choice is the one of you and David. David looks tired. I see in that picture the support you give him. I see the love for him and God in you, and the determination to uphold and encourage him in this work. I would ask if David knows how very fortunate he is to have you, but I am sure he does, so I won't ask. But I would include the fact that I am prejudiced when I would ask this.
I love you and Dave and these people that you hold in your hearts,

                                                                      Hi Mom,
 I loved your email. It was so encouraging. I always feel your strong support when we come here. I must confess I didn’t eat the little fish. We actually eat well. The meats and veges are organic and the fruit is fresh and sweet. But it is inconvenient to prepare food here. We cook on a 2 burner camp stove and don’t have an oven. We bought a little charcoal grill for meats. That’s nice. I’m going to do lamb chops tonight. We have a cook that helps at dinner because we usually have meetings to go to. She’s really sweet and cooks for about $2 a day. Beatie does our laundry for $2 a person a week and irons our clothes for 10 cents each piece.  All the laundry is done totally by hand. It’s a big job. There’s definitely a big difference in life at home and we do feel the sacrifice but it is a light affliction compared to the rewards of loving these people. Everything is inconvenient and a process but nothing like what the 19th and early 20th century missionaries endured. When I read stories of the early missionaries I feel spoiled.
Yesterday we celebrated on the new land God gave us. We gathered together to worship God. We set up the tent, gave the kids balloons, sang and danced. It was a glorious day. They are all so grateful and our faith is built up. Dave is a great husband and always appreciates me. I would follow him anywhere because I know he follows GodJ
Well this email is turning into a blog. Keep in touch.
Love, C

We had a couple of slow weeks as far as the work goes because the church was actively participating in supporting Mary’s family as they endured the loss of their husband and father, Syrus. He was suddenly killed in a motorcycle accident. People visit the home of the family and give encouragement and express their desire to help in any way they can. There’s tea and sometimes snacks or food prepared and served by close family and friends to the visitors. We went to Mary’s house a couple of days after the accident. This was the first time we visited since the building was complete and the family living there.

(see She’s done so much to make a home and farm for her family. We see the timing of God to establish her in this place before her husband died. Going to Mary’s house was a particular challenge to me. This is where I got the tick bite fever that made me really sick last time we were here. I covered myself with repellent, prayed and walked cautiously avoiding bushes and the like. She’s done so much clearing of the land that the danger of getting another tick attack greatly diminished, so I relaxed and enjoyed the wonder of it all. I am amazed at the grace God gives His people when a loved one is taken home. We haven’t been to an actual funeral service here because they travel to the home village for the burial. Sometimes it’s a week or two before they go. They put the deceased in a coffin and tie it to the top of the van they will be traveling in. Truly there is no victory in death for we will all be together in eternity. God is so good!

This is the house that Mary built - Beautiful and full of God's love and grace.

We took a much needed safari to the lakes of Kenya. I really enjoyed the boat ride and visit to the small island owned by -  “one man, five wives and 26 children”. Our tour guide repeated this several times. Once he said there were 27 children. Guess one of the five wives just had a baby. The island was so beautiful! The Desert Rose trees were beautiful. We saw all kinds of birds and reptiles. (see For our Grandkids tab at the top of this page - Zelda the Zebra and abba’s blog tab - safari, for pictures and details). Nature is so very diverse and speaks of the handiwork of the Creator. These outings are always refreshing.

We go to town frequently for various reasons. The hawkers can make you a little crazy at times. They’re very pushy and won’t leave you alone.  You have to try not to be rude and unkind but firm in your ‘Hapana, asante’, (no thank you). There are some we are drawn to. Like Issac at the Wool Matt. He always greets us and offers his assistance with the heavy bags and the water jugs we buy at WM. He sells onions and tomatoes for 100 shillings a bag. That’s about a dollar.  There’s a fine line between being taken care of and being taken advantage of. We’ve learned to discern the difference. The problem is that there are so many hawkers and they all need your money. We have to choose who we give to. Sometimes it’s obvious but it’s not always that easy.

Kingdom Hikers are doing so well. They are learning to work together for the purpose of raising a standard for the youth in Nakuru. That standard is not to be drawn into the worldliness but to draw their peers into Godliness. They want to Hike to the highest mountains of God and follow Him together. We visited ‘Tamasha’ – means ‘Festival’. Tamasha is a band of college age people 4 of whom are Kingdom Hikers. They don’t just play instruments and sing songs, they send a message of hope and the life. You won’t want to miss this -

We’ve had some very good but in depth discussions with George, Nellie and Petranilla. We’re going deeper into each other’s hearts and minds to understand how we can bridge the cultural differences. In the end it’s not Kenyan or American culture that matters. It’s what does God want? How can we overcome the traditions of men to find His will and follow His leading?

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