Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Where’s the adventure?

This is why we are here. To wipe a tear and tell of His Love.

A couple of days ago I was thinking about how things are going here. I asked myself the question, “Where’s the adventure for us? Where are the risks?”  I read a lot of missionary stories and know that if there’s no risk involved you’re probably not accomplishing much. Recently I’ve read about George Muller and Hudson Taylor and how they depended completely on God to meet their needs. Last week I heard of two missionaries here who had suffered financial loss by trusting people who took advantage of them. The loss wasn’t personal but it was money given to help needy people. We’ve visited the slums, the dump where people actually live off the garbage, and even the streets of Nakuru, one of the fasted growing cities in Africa. So I wonder what God wants from us here in our ministry. I know that God is our provider and that He will never stay in our debt. But, are we trusting in Him? Are we looking to Him or just considering our own means? I don’t know much about ‘fund raising’ but I do know how to give, how to take care of people and how to love. Not that I ever do so in any case perfectly but I am learning. So I thanked God for all He has done and asked Him to lead us into His will. Let the adventure begin again.

Yesterday we went to a restaurant and someone stole my purse. I’m usually so careful but yesterday I let my guard down. I lost some money and credit cards (we disabled the cards right away). I lost my iphone, and my Kenya cell phone, but I didn’t have any personal ID in it, like my passport or driver’s license, thank God. The police are trying to track the thief with the phones. Pray they find them. We saw them in the restaurant because there were only us and them as customers. The waitress didn’t like them and she was so mad when she found out what had happened. They were sneaky and no one noticed what they did until we were ready to go and my purse wasn’t there.…Sigh :-P  
The robbers were not bums off the street. They were well dressed and driving a nice car. The police suspect they were probably carrying weapons. Who knows what we were saved from? I feel like a burden has been lifted. My fear of being robbed is gone – although I will continue to be cautious. But I know my God is watching and will keep me in whatever circumstances come.
Otherwise things are going well here. Lots of opportunities for ministry are coming up. I’ll be speaking at a Christian ladies conference in the slums and I’m doing a health seminar on nutrition this month.
We also will do an eye clinic to test vision and give glasses. We’re working with Christine, Simon and Elkana to train them in the I SEE program.
I’ve been corresponding with the doctor at I TEC,  in charge of developing the I MED program. I offered to help in implementing the program and will meet with her when we return home in November.  These programs, I SEE and IMED, are for teaching indigenous people to be able to help their own people.
Kenya is feeling more and more like our second home. We are growing in our friendships and becoming more accustomed to the culture. I’m not as homesick as usual but I miss you all as much as ever. ….especially my darling grandkidsJ

In the garden at Johnny's boy's home.

I’ve added a donation button through paypal. Your donations will be used only for the work here in Kenya. It's impossible to do what we are doing without your prayers, encouragement and support. We are grateful everyday for you. Thank you!


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Day with Susanne

Last week we went to Nairobi to pick up Doug, Zach and Suzie from the airport. It’s so good to have them here with us. They’ve already added a new dimension to the dynamics of our household.

Today we went grocery shopping as we always do on Monday. This time, however, we had 6 people with us. Our little car has become a sardine can. Noah and Doug sit up front- Noah is our driver. Me, Nikki, Zach, and Suzie squeeze into the back seat. It’s a good thing we have a good sized trunk for all the groceries. First stop is Guava Coffee shop. Me and the young people talk household schedule while Noah, Doug and George discuss church business at another table. This is our favorite place to go. The servers have become our friends. It’s very clean and relaxing place to hang out. Ali and Joseph are so welcoming and Julie is a practical jokester. Be sure I get her back though. I’ll try to get a picture of them next time we go.
We walked a couple of blocks to the bank then back to the Butcher Shop for our meat. We get fresh organic lamb, beef and pork for real good price. We put it in a cooler because we have other places to go. I like to go in the morning because the meat is fresh and it’s not so busy. They, too, are very friendly.

Then we went to the produce market called “Top Market”. First we sit down for a nice cup of fresh juice, that only cost 20 bob. (that’s about 20 cents). Patrick meets us there to take us around and make sure no one takes advantage of the wazugu. White skin means money to most Kenyans. We don’t mind paying a little more but we also don’t want to be taken advantage. After we get our produce we go down to the end for fresh tilapia from Lake Victoria, and organic chicken. One whole chicken cost 400 shillings (about $4).

Now for the dry goods we head for Nakumat. It’s the closest thing to an American supermarket and we can find things there we can’t get elsewhere. And the job is done.
At home we are met by Simon, Lloyd, and David.

 Yesterday at Johnny and Kates we had a cook out for the kids. They had a lot of fun playing volleyball, 4 square and eating lots of nyama choma - grilled meat (goat and lamb.) 

David was going after the ball and cut his hand pretty deep. I will remember now to always take a first aid kit on Youth outings. I did a temporary cleaning and bandaging. When we got home I redressed it with rescue cream and comfrey powder. Today when I checked it, it was well on it’s way to healing. David was amazed. He asked me if I was a doctor. I said no, I’m a nurse and herbalist. I had to explain that I’m not a witchdoctor. He asked me if there were witchdoctors in the US. I said yes but I’m not one of themJ

We met some wonderful people at the Missionary Fellowship dinner last week. One of them named Susann, offered to take me to her sewing school. It turned out to be a half day tour of all that her and her husband, Leif Madsen, from Denmark, and all they have done in the past 16 years. They work with an indigenous church called Philadelphia Church. All of their leading people and teachers are Kenyan. They have sponsors to help with financial support of the school kids and many donors for building projects etc. They also rent wedding dresses, donated by a business in Denmark, to help raise money. 

But it didn’t start that way. They came with nothing, themselves and their 4 children, and just started with one thing at a time. Now they have a school for orphans including boy and girl dorms, a crisis center for street people, single moms, and others in crisis situations. They counsel and train them in a trade so they can get out of the poverty that put them on the streets. They learn skills in sewing, bead making, jewelry making and other crafts. 

One of the single moms had poison for her and her two boys to drink because she was in such despair. A friend introduced her to Susanne. Now she is on her own and is a international certified hairdresser. She is a Christian and shares her faith with anyone she can. Some of the workers in the school were raised there and are now actively involved in helping other orphans like themselves. 

They have sewing classes for students and make their own school uniforms, and a computer classroom. It was very inspiring to see what can be done with a steadfast working together to give New Life to Kenyans.

After we toured the school we went to the dump to see how so many desperate people live. They literally wait for the trucks to come and dig around to find food eating it right there on the spot. Susanne and Leif helped start a nursery school for the kids to rescue them out of the slums. They work with the moms and help in whatever way they can. The kids are fed and schooled and taught bible stories and scripture memorization. 

They are truly amazing to be around. I was surrounded by the children more than once as they stroked my mzungu skin and asked me to take their picture. Some of the newer children were sad and sick but they will improve in time. We plan to go back and visit the homes of the dump people – their houses are plastic and cardboard. We’d like to bring them food and speak to them of the love of Christ. Pray for us to know how to love these people and bring them hope.

This day was so inspiring to me. I know we can make a difference. It will take time and endurance to see a change but I see what has been done. There are so many more lost, hungry and desolate souls here. We can work together to help.