Saturday, June 25, 2011

A GOAT, CHAI, and DAILY dependence on GOD

Being in the place we know God has called us to - we are blessed!
Still, we walk daily, asking God, “What do you have for us today?”  It is always wonderful to have the reassurance to fall back on - God brought us here!  Whether it’s exciting, embarrassing or needing to endure, we anchor ourselves to that fact.  God got us this far, He’s not going to abandon us now!

Nairobi Chapel has definitely been a gift that God placed in our paths.  They are gently helping us find our way so that we can be effective here in Kenya.  “Don’t ever serve a cup of chai that isn’t full to the brim.  Rather risk a spill than the lack of generosity!”  And much bigger ministry lessons about how we “muzungus” sometimes come across and how we can avoid hurts and rifts in relationships and in ministry.


 We also have been greatly honored.  As Nairobi Chapel introduced us to the congregation, we were surprised by a wonderful gift - a live goat.  I wish we had a picture of our faces, as we were standing on stage - in a church of about 3000 people, as a goat was walked up to be presented to us!  

Pastor Oscar quickly explained - this is NOT a pet - we will have a feast at your house.  Sam cried afterwards - “I can’t help it, I felt attached the minute I saw him!”  We realized the gift was in earnest when a friend came and asked for keys to put the goat in our “boot”.  We all giggled the whole way home as the goat “maahhed” with every bump and turn.

Sam has since resigned himself and is now busy carving pegs to dry the goat's skin.  Nate is worried that the oldest son may have to be involved in the slaughtering.

 I was surprised the other morning with a visitor in my kitchen - he had gotten loose!

So, a goat and chai, and so much more bring us to daily dependence on God....

Thank you to each of you, friends and family who pray for us and care about us each day!  We think about you often and care about you dearly! 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Visit to Kiambiu

Yesterday we had our first chance to get to Kiambiu and visit with Lauryn and Tekla.  We got to share the moment with our first visitors, Alex and Craig Petersen, from our home church Summit.
As a family, we have been waiting for this day for a long time.  All five of us finally got to meet these important women in our life.   We have been praying for these women and talking about them around our dinner table for four years.  It was such a sweet moment to see Abby and Lauryn running towards each other to embrace as if they were long lost sisters finally reconnecting. There is an eternal bond there that can only come from the LORD.
We all got to sit together in Tekla’s home.  This was actually our first visit in someone’s home since we arrived last week.  How appropriate that it would be in Tekla’s place.  Health wise, she seems to be doing ok. 
We inquired about the rest of the widows and their Friday support group.  We were sad to hear that they have not met in quite some time and it seems that things have fallen apart a bit.  At this point it is unclear why or who is involved but we hope to be an encouragement and perhaps in time help put things back together.
Overall it was great to reconnect and visit but we left with a sense of discouragement. We’re not sure why the widows are not meeting together. There could be a number of reasons.  Then again, this is part of why we have chosen to be here.  To be on the ground helping serve and encourage whenever we can. 
We prayed together.  As we left, it was great to realize that we would all see each other soon.  In the past it would have been another year or so until we would be back, if ever.  For the first time we were able to say, “see you later” rather than, “good-bye “.
We left Tekla’s place with a helpless feeling, not knowing what to say or what next step to take.  We don’t have the answers.  Jesus does.  At this point, I am just find peace with the fact that God has a plan.  We realize the importance of being physically present and also having the presence of mind.  This week we have been encouraged by three scriptures.
1 Thessalonians 5:28 “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.”
Be present-
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
Presence of mind-
1 Corinthians 3:21 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?  But we have the mind of Christ.”

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dusty Shoes and Tired Feet...

Dusty Shoes,  Tired Feet,  Blistered Hands and Full Hearts

The fog of our jet lag is lifting!  We woke this morning to Sam’s yelps and cheers as he ran from the front to the back of the yard... “Monkeys!  Big monkeys!  Can I keep one?” Yes, we are definitely in Kenya!
The best part of our experience so far undoubtedly is our new Kenyan friends!  They have made us feel so welcome, laughed with us at our fumbling attempts at Swahili, and even broken the news to Sam, “only muzungus say Jambo”.  Duncan taught Sam to use a slasher and he’s proud of his big blister from chopping grass.  Nathan “got schooled” in his first football (soccer) match.  Abby has 5 new facebook friends  - her girls’ small group from church.
I (Camie) got to experience the market today!  Janet was generous and brave in letting me tag along.  The matatu ride was one of a kind!  A 12 passenger van packed with 16 people and 2 more hanging out the door.  I was thankful for my safe seat, in spite of the open hole in the floor with a car battery and wires. Together we carried the heavy grocery basket home.  My hand got sore and I had to keep switching sides with Janet.  Eventually she offered a better way, easily hoisting the basket onto her head and balancing it with one hand.
Dusty shoes, tired feet, blistered hands and full hearts... we are all ready for bed... in Kenya!
Throughout each of these experiences, and throughout some that have not been as much fun, God keeps whispering to us, “TRUST, My way is perfect!”

And so, as a family, we continue to cling to our verse, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” Pr. 3:5-6.