Another week gone by… It was a big week with some big changes. Still trying to process and pray about it all as I prepare to write this update. Let’s visit for a few minutes and go over the week.
Last week I finished out Tuesday working on Finances, some Bible Institute planning, and reading some material on well digging. We are still pursuing the possibility of putting in a bore hole in Singuaya. Mark sent me some information on some manual drilling techniques that could reduce the cost and give us equipment for future projects. The material was good but I still am hesitant because of the cost and time factors. We really do not want to abandon this project but up to this point it has proven to be a lot more work than I can really devote to it not to mention the elevated costs. The Sunday School class at our church who gave to this project have been and are being really patient with me on this but I feel a sense of letting them down as we have been looking at this for almost two years now… I decided Tuesday that on Wednesday I would make a trip to World Vision to talk with them about the possibility of tapping into their existing water pipe or ask their advice on other solutions. I could not find the contact information I had on them so I was going to have to just show up and make an appointment or Lord willing find the right people in the office.
I spoke to Brother Chad, our Pastor on the phone for a few minutes in the afternoon. We had not talked for a little while so I wanted to visit a little with him. He and his family are talking about coming to see us during spring break and we talked a little about that. It was good to talk with him but I had to cut it short to meet with Gertrude for a few minutes before she left from the Ladies Bible study that Kenya has here at the house on Tuesdays. I wanted to talk to Gertrude a little about the situation at First Landmark in Malindi. She has been disconnected a little and I wanted to see where she was and what her plans for the future are. It was a good, encouraging conversation.
In the evening I spoke to Clayton for a while about getting ready for deputation and just a little of everything. He is excited and nervous about taking this step of faith into full time deputation. I am so excited for him and enjoy talking with him about it all. I also spoke to Brother Scott for a little while. It was good to catch up with him after the holidays and to see how he and Missy are doing. We had a few small things to talk about ministry wise but otherwise it was just good to talk with him.
On Wednesday I headed out early and went to the World Vision office in Marafa near Singuaya and Gandini. I was able to talk with two of the water engineers that are working in the Marafa area and who were in charge of the water pipe line and digging other bore holes in the area. They were a great help and were excited about the possibility of partnering with us on the Gandini project. I told them I would send our water surveys to them so they could assess the situation and advise us accordingly. I left the meeting confident that they could help us. Connecting with World Vision in Marafa may open up opportunities to do future projects if this one goes well. World Vision has the contacts and knowledge for how to do these types of projects not to mention the equipment.
I got home in time to have lunch then went back to the office to prepare for Bible Institute classes in the evening. I had the studies ready but wanted to make some copies of notes and get the table and chairs in the vehicle. I headed out for classes at around 4:00. I picked up Juma, Emanuel, and Andrew along the way to Magangani. We had class from 5-7 with seven students present. I am very hopeful that having the classes once a week will be beneficial to the students and will give me access to them regularly to mentor and disciple. This is a big change but I think a positive one. I got home around 8.
Our power was out all night Wednesday so Thursday morning we woke up not too rested but thankfully the water was on. Alphonse called me first thing in the morning to share that his cousin had passed away in the night.
He was in a hospital in Malindi so the family was coming to get the body to take it to Lengo Mbaya where Alfonse is from. He asked me if I could help them carry the body to Lengo Mbaya to which I agreed. I told him to let me know when they had everything in order and I would come.
I had a day of studying ahead of me for Bible Institute classes for the advanced Nyati class. Their studies are all new so there is a lot of work to do to get notes ready and translated. Alfonse called again later in the morning to let me know the family had decided to rent a truck to carry the body because it would allow more to ride with the body than my Land Rover. It was a bit of a relief for me because I had so much studying to do.
I told Alphonse that I would help his family with renting the vehicle. He asked me if I could come to pray for the family before they left to take the body home. I told I would just to call me and I would come immediately.
I returned to my studies until Alfonse called and I went and prayed with the family before they headed out. Standing in the hot sun with a casket in the back of a pickup and twenty people piled in all around it was a different picture than a funeral in the states. I prayed for the family as they traveled and for the funeral that would take place the next day. When I got back to the office I went straight back to study until time for Bible Study in Malindi.
We attended the regular weekly Bible study in Malindi and Godfrey asked me to teach the lesson. I taught on being accepted in Christ. I enjoyed the opportunity but there were very few people in attendance just another reminder of the big meeting on Sunday to select a new pastor.
Friday morning was spent again studying and preparing for Bible Institute classes for the advanced Nyati class. I spoke to Daniel, Godfrey, Ricklynn, and Alfonse during the week about changing their schedule for classes to every Friday from 2:30-5:00 and everyone agreed to give it a shot. The same reasoning being applied as for the new basic class, I will be able to see them weekly and can mentor and disciple theme better.
At 1:30 I headed out for class. I picked up Godfrey and Ricklynn at First Landmark then picked up Daniel in Timboni and we had class at Magangani. Alfonse did not make it back from the funeral but I went ahead and introduced the class and we went over a synopsis of what we would be studying the next few months. It was a great class and I am excited about how it is going to work out. I ran a little late just dreaming out loud with the men. I returned to the house in time for some tacos and family night!
Saturday I took the morning off with the extra evening hours during the week I thought it would be ok. We got a little rest and the kids cooked breakfast and made the coffee. They did a great job and were super excited to do it.
I went into the office and worked on this update a little and spent some much needed time in prayer for the Malindi church, the Bible Institute, and the situation in Jimba with Daniel and the church. I spoke to Daniel on Friday and told him I would come down on Saturday to meet with him about the situation and his future plans. I did not leave to go see Daniel until after 3:00. We met at the church and visited for a few hours. We talked about the churches decline, Emanuel, Juma, Daniel’s family. A big issue was the fact that Daniel’s wife has been attending a Pentecostal Bible School. We were interrupted when Emanuel showed up and started talking with us. It was ok because I really got to know a lot about Emanuel during the conversation.
Daniel and I were not quite finished but we had talked enough for him to know and for me to know the problem at the church in Jimba. It started to get dark and I told the men I needed to head home.
I dropped off Daniel and we agreed to meet again the next week to talk more and discuss what we needed to do. I passed by and greeted Juma on my way home. We talked a little about the situation in Jimba and Malindi and I asked him to pray for both situations. I also asked him to attend Jimba to encourage Emanuel and to try and help the church. I got home around 8 again.
Sunday was a big day. We attended services in Malindi to help in the meeting that was to follow services. Godfrey did not show up for services until after Sunday School and well into the worship services. This has happened the past few weeks and is another contributor to the decline in Malindi. Godfrey brought a short message after the worship service then we went straight into the business meeting. Godfrey asked me to come up to lead the meeting after he opened in prayer. Godfrey once again shared with the congregation that he wanted them to call another pastor because he did not feel he was able to lead the church where they needed to go.
The church ultimately called me to serve as their pastor again until another could be raised up. The church is not in good shape financially or numerically. I asked the church to take this week to pray and next week we would discuss some thoughts about the future. I tried to call on Ricklynn to be my assistant but he said he would have to pray about it. There is a lot wrong with the situation in Malindi and I was really discouraged by Ricklynn’s response in the meeting. I spoke to Ricklynn after services about what happened.
So I am the Pastor again in Malindi… this certainly affects everything but I have been praying about it for few weeks now and have sought council. I think that if Malindi church falls it will send a ripple into all the churches that is not good, not to mention there is a still a good core group in the Malindi church. It is a city church with multiple tribes represented with various levels of education and they need strong leadership. I believe this is what God would have me do even though in some ways I feel in my heart it is a step backwards. Also in some ways I do no want to pastor but I am certain that it is the Lord’s will and important to the future of the work.
Sunday evening we had a good service as a family. After our evening services I was on the phone with Daniel and Juma for a couple hours.
Apparently Daniel announced in services that the church would be attending a meeting at the school his wife has been attending and that they would be taking up money for his wife’s graduation from the school. We had just discussed the day before that the school she was attending is a Pentecostal school and believes very different from what the Bible teaches. Juma called to share what happened in the service and was asking me what to do. He knew that what Daniel announced and was planning was not good and was taking the church away from the truth. He said he would not return if that is what Daniel was doing and Emanuel was caught in the middle of it all not knowing what to do. I called Daniel to talk to him about it. I was in a bit of shock considering we had just talked about it and there was no confusion.
Daniel and I talked at length on the phone but agreed we needed to speak face to face so I planned a meeting the next morning with him. Even though it was Monday and my normal day off with my family I planned the meeting somewhat reluctant but we needed to have the meeting. I told him I would come early so I could have the rest of the day with Kenya and the kids.
Yesterday I met with Daniel at 8:30 until about 11. It was a hard conversation but really brought a lot out and ended very well. Daniel admitted he had made a mistake and that this Sunday he would announce that they would not attend the meeting because the school was a school that did not teach the truth according to the scriptures and our faith. He also said that he would be stepping down as pastor and allow Emanuel or Juma or both to take over leadership at Jimba while he worked on his family. I assured Daniel of my love for him and desire to see him succeed. He is in a very hard situation. He loves the Lord and I am confident that the Lord will use him but in what capacity that is yet to be seen. We plan to meet next week on Wednesday with Emanuel and Juma to discuss the transition of leadership and the future. The Jimba church at this point is just a handful of folks as a result of Daniel’s leadership and other spiritual issues. Pray for Daniel he is not a bad man at all just in a bad situation and I am not sure what the outcome will be. I know this that he is solid in his faith and will help the churches any way he can.
I managed to get home in time for brunch with Kenya and the kids.
After we ate we headed down for an afternoon at the beach. It was a lot of fun together. We spent the evening watching some movies and discussing end time events. We started watching the movie Left Behind and it lead to some good conversation about the Bible. I made it clear to all the kids that the movie is just that, a movie and an interpretation of scripture from one vantage point. It lead to some great discussion about the rapture, judgment, and the antichrist. I love how real the Bible is to our kids and discussing it with them as they are getting older is a lot of fun, yet challenging at the same time.
Well today is my office day. I have spent most of it on this update so far. I also squeezed in a chapter of a book I am reading after prayer and Bible time earlier. Please pray for us with all the new developments in the ministry here and the changes. We are seeking the Lord at every turn and we want to be sure that we are in the center of his will. Now that I am teaching Bible Institute two days a week in Magangani and pastoring here in Malindi I really need wisdom as to how I can help in Bokole, Miritini, Singuaya, and Gandini. Right now my plan is to have Bible institute classes one Saturday a month in Miritini and one Saturday a month in Gandini. It is not a lot of time but it will allow me to teach the students in these areas.
I can also see them possibly during the week some times and communicate with them via phone. Please pray for the Lord’s leadership…
Our family is doing well over all. The kids and Kenya are fully engaged in school. They are in school many days past 4:30 doing homework and grading papers. Please pray for Kenya’s sister, Angel, she is in the middle of Chemo therapy for Leukemia. Kenya tries to call her almost everyday and I know this is heavy on Kenya being so far away while her sister goes through the treatments. The kids are all healthy praise the Lord with the exception of Abigail’s wart on her foot and some type of skin infection on Sarah that we are treating.
I am feeling stressed with everything and I desperately need the Lord’s wisdom and guidance. I dare not stand in my own strength or wisdom. I praise God for the privilege to serve him and I recognize it is His work.
East Kenya Missions
This has been a great week for recovery and for getting things in order in our house. I had a minor surgery last week on Monday and I have yet to leave the house since we returned from the surgery. Everything is fine I just need to let the stitches heal and one of the stipulations was to keep the wound dry. That sounds easy but here you sweat when you get dressed in the morning so I have really worked hard to stay semi-dry.
We had a great Thanksgiving weekend. Some missionary friends from Mombasa joined us to celebrate. Josh and Maggie Ghrist along with their three little boys as well as Josh’s mom Toni and Dad Tim came in on Thanksgiving Day. Our family, Brother Scott, Missy and our guests had a feast complete with Turkey that Kenya bought while she was in Nairobi. No holiday would be complete here without a TIA (This is Africa) moment. Well our moment lasted all day since we did not have power! Thank the Lord Kenya had a “feeling” that she should cook the turkey the night before or we would have had a raw bird on Thanksgiving Day. The power went off at around 8:30am and did not come on until that night. We managed but it was hot.
We had prayer together then dove into the meal. After the meal we did not sit around watching football but we sat around the swimming pool. The kids and most of the adults took a little swim. It was 90 degrees out so a swim was appropriate. We had a great time just visiting into the evening. Thank the Lord as the sun went down it was nice and cool outside with a little breeze so the power outage was not so bad.
On Friday Josh’s parents Toni and Tim headed back to Mombasa but Josh, Maggie, and the boys stayed another night to hang out. The kids had an absolute blast playing together. Leftovers were great on Friday. All the adults played a long game of phase 10 under the ceiling fan. Even in the night the power had gone off for about four hours so sleeping was a not as sound as it could have been. Thankfully Josh and Maggie grew up here in Kenya so they both know how it is. We watched a little bit of TV and made some home made Cracker Jacks for everyone. We spent another evening outside under the stars and just talked. I stepped away for a little while to talk to our pastor brother Chad on the phone but jumped back in with everyone when I finished.
It was nice to talk to Josh and Maggie and their parents the day before because they have so much insight to being missionaries here on the coast. Josh is a third generation missionary in Mombasa. His grandfather was a missionary in Kenya for many years then he settled in Mombasa and started Light House Eye clinic where he served and Tim is now the director and Josh is an administrator. They have a really neat story and it is great to hear their advice on how to live on the field and raising kids and being a MK on a foreign field. Maggie’s parents were also missionaries in Mozambique and now Nairobi.
Saturday we said good-bye to Josh and Maggie and it was time to work on getting the kids rooms and our room in order from getting the container. We decided to put up bunk beds without the bottom bunk in the girls rooms so they would be able to use them like lofts to play under. I worked on this while Kenya went to have Bible study with Ladies at First LBC Malindi. We got the kids rooms sorted out by the time the day was over so that they could actually move in them. We also got started on our bedroom that had home school books for seven different grade levels, craft supplies, charts, books, clothes and Blaaah…it was a mess.
Sunday we had a service here at the house, with my recovery and still no van we figured it was the best thing. We did get a message from the mechanic about the van that said he was going to have to order a gear box from Nairobi so it would be a few more days on the repairs. We enjoyed the services with County Avenue BC in the morning and in the evening we had services with Brother Scott and Missy.
We spent most of Sunday afternoon working on the Home school stuff so Kenya would be able to spend the week planning and the kids can start school up next week. Monday we finished up with organizing all the Home School books and supplies. You could actually walk through our room again and even see the floor. As we were working on the Home School stuff I was thinking of how much work it was going to be for Kenya to do the Home Schooling this year. She has five kids all in different grade levels. Even though we are doing Abeka DVD classes she still has lesson plans, papers to grade, tests, homework, activities with the smaller kids, preparing charts, and ensuring the kids are all paying attention and on and on… Please pray for Kenya I know this is a heavy load for her but it is the only option we have here in Malindi. I am grateful that I was able to help her the past few days to get things at least prepared to move forward.
We spent Monday evening decorating and putting up the Christmas tree. Nothing says Merry Christmas like palm trees and 90 degree weather. We put up decorations listening to Christmas music and drinking milk shakes. We even put lights up outside when Samuel insisted we needed lights up. It was a lot of fun working on the decorating and it is even feeling like Christmas.
Yesterday I worked in the office on finances and planning for the week and next month. I made some lists of things that need to be done and let’s just say there is much that needs to be done. I had a chance to spend some good time in prayer over all that is before us. I praise the Lord for allowing us to be a part of His work! Although I get bogged down at times in the details and probably carry more than I should I realize that if anything is going to be done here it will be by God’s grace and His blessing not my human efforts. There is some comfort in knowing that I am the servant and He is the Master and I am doing His work. (that was part of our sermon on Sunday from Brother Copeland)
I had the chance to meet with Alfonse for a few hours and it was so good to see him. I also made a few phone calls to some others. There was some time invested in getting our mission finances sorted out also and entered into the computer. In the evening Brother Scott and I put on some new Brake pads on the Land Rover in hopes that it would solve our squeaky breaks. The ones we put on were Originals that cost a good penny but we are confident will take care of the issue we are having.
Today has been yet another office day sending out messages to the students about school, responding to emails, and talking to some of the men on the phone. I feel like I am gearing up for the month of December with all the prep work. I for sure need to spend some time studying for classes that we will be having next week. Brother Scott and I continue to meet off and on also discussing their departure next week and getting everything in order. Kenya and Missy attended a memorial service for their friend Laura that passed away recently. I have finished out the day working on this update and researching some programs and apps to use with writing reports on the run. Thank you so much for all the prayers and for taking the time to read this update.
East Kenya Missions
Another week has flown by! It seems like I just tapped out an update yesterday but when I look in my sent messages it says something different. Well Wednesday started off with Kenya and I going by a hospital here in town and giving them some spit for a TB test. I had to return the next day with a second specimen then get the results on Friday. Later in the morning on Wednesday we finally got word that our Land Rover was available! We have been without the van and Land Rover so it has been impossible to travel. Brother Scott, Josiah, and I left the house on foot and grabbed a tuk tuk when we reached the main road. We had to stop off at the bank to make yet another payment towards the container then on to the Matatu stage. We had no way to go to Mombasa except by public transportation so we went to the stage and got in an express Matatu that goes direct to Mombasa with no stops. It was actually a nice ride and they dropped us right where the Land Rover was.
We paid our $1200 bill and picked up the Land Rover that was looking good. We then headed into town so we could complete step 12 of the process to get a replacement number plate for our motorbike. When I went into KRA to turn in our paper work I was informed of the last and final step that meant I had to walk to the bank and pay $20 then return with the receipt and photo copies of the original bill and receipt. I literally ran to the bank leaving Josiah and brother Scott at the car because parking is so bad. When I got to the bank there were only 14 people in front of me…ugh! I waited patiently in line and looking at my clock began to worry that the KRA was going to close and we would still not get the final step completed. Thank the Lord I was able to get the money banked and back to KRA to submit the remaining paper work and complete our packet to get a replacement number plate. It has been a three month process with 13 steps visiting ten different offices and waiting countless hours and paying around 100 bucks just to replace our number plate that got broke off somewhere along the way. I was given a phone number and told to call in two weeks and the new plate should be in.
When I got back to the Land Rover Brother Scott and Josiah had been roasting for over an hour and a half but we were victorious in getting the number plate application submitted! After the number plate victory we headed out of town stopping to get us something to eat. Brother Scott ran to Java house to check on a tire cover he had ordered for a friend of ours. After supper it was back to Malindi. The Land Rover was driving great! It was a little expensive but they did a lot of work and it was running good so it was worth the money to have it done right.
Thursday I started the day off with taking another spit specimen in to the hospital for the TB test. Then I worked in the office the rest of the morning until it was time to take Kenya to the airport. She was going to go to Nairobi until Sunday. A big thing she was doing was picking up Abigail’s new passport. While she was in Nairobi she was going to visit with Cissy Hopper also. The kids and I were staying close to the house in anticipation of the containers arrival. Thursday afternoon we got word of our final bill that needed to be paid so the container could be delivered. I called to see if we could pay from Malindi but the person we needed to ask was not in so we decided to run into town first thing on Friday to make payment rather than waiting and being told we had to do that anyway.
The kids and I attended Bible study in Malindi and ate supper at Shukarani. It was a little weird being out with all the kids without Kenya but the kids did great.
Friday the kids and I got up early and headed to Mombasa to be at Kenfrieght, our clearing agents, to make our final payment when they opened the doors. We got to Kenfreight and I took the kids up with me to the office to make our payment. I knew it was Air conditioned in Kenfrieght and I did not want to leave the kids outside unattended. They did great while I paid and spoke to our agent about delivery of the container. We were told the container would arrive on Saturday morning.
We left kenfreight excited knowing the container would be at our house in the morning. After Kenfrieght we passed by the Land Rover dealership to buy some original brake pads for the Land Rover. The shop had gotten our horrific squeaking noise down to where it was tolerable but they said the next step was to get the original parts instead of the local ones. It took forever in Land Rover but I was able to score the original brake pads for the rear brakes. They only cost me a Hundred and Thirty BUCKS! They were the real deal and we are confident that it will fix the squeaking but 130 bucks is a lot of money for break pads!
After the break pads the kids and I went by a second hand shop we like to visit called soko ndogo. It is like a goodwill and actually there are goodwill price tags on some things. It is a great place to find cool used American junk. Everyone found something to buy and I got a few things for Kenya that I thought she could use for school. After soko ndogo we passed by Steer burger for lunch then back towards Malindi. We passed by the hospital to get the report on my TB test that showed I do not have TB. That was good news so it means that I just have a bad case of bronchitis. We got back to the house and I worked on getting the dishes done and living room moved around in anticipation for the container. Thankfully Mama Cedrick had cooked taco meat before she left so supper was easy to do for the kids. The kids and I watched a couple movies for our family night.
Saturday morning I was awakened at 4:30am by my phone whistling that I had a message. I read the message that said the container had just left Kilifi. I stayed in the bed a few minutes then started to calculate the time from Kilifi and realized the container would probably make it to Malindi at 6:00am so I got up and got some coffee. I called brother Scott to give him a heads up and went out to ask Ricklynn to stay over and help us unload the container and to ask Safari to help us also. I got Josiah up also to help and opened up the garage doors. We got everything ready and they called me from town at right about 6:00am to come get them and lead them to the house. I ran to town and met the truck and brought them to the house. I called brother Scott along the way to tell him we were almost there.
The truck tried to back in our drive way and pull straight in, but our gate was just too small for him to negotiate the turn. So we finally made the decision to pull the truck close to the gate and offload the stuff in to our drive way then we would carry it from the driveway to the garages and houses. Brother Scott and I got in the truck and pulled everything off the tuck while Missy, Josiah, Safari, and Ricklynn put it inside our gate on the drive way. Thank the Lord the container came early in the morning before it heated up! We worked steady at it and got the entire container off loaded in the drive way then we started working on taking things into the houses and garages. We had the looming fear that it might rain on us at any moment. It had rained earlier in the morning and the clouds left an uneasy feeling all day as we continued to move things to the different places. We put Scott and Missy’s things in their house, Ernie and Eddie’s things in Brother Scott’s garage, our ministry items in our garage, and our personal items in our house.
It was a sweaty frenzy as we moved the boxes for the second time. Finally everything was under roof and we all took a breather. While we were moving things into the houses and garages the other kids woke up also and helped with their wagon. It was a team effort no doubt about it.
Once everything was in the houses Ricklynn went home and Safari did his normal Saturday work. The kids and I went in and had something to eat before we tackled the boxes. After we ate there was a mad dash to open up boxes of toys and taking them to their rooms. While the kids found toys I started working on opening boxes and putting things in the rooms they belonged in. I knew that when Kenya got back the next day on Sunday she would not have much time to work on boxes with me having a surgery scheduled on Monday then Thanksgiving on Thursday.
The kids played with their toys and I continued to work on the boxes until everything was out of boxes and kitchen Items were nicely put in the kitchen for Kenya to go through. The decorations and seasonal items were in our guest room for Kenya to go through later. All the Home school books and supplies were in our room stacked nicely for Kenya to sort through. The kids and I put the living room back in order, ate dinner, and collapsed. It was an insane day!
Sunday we attended services at First Landmark Malindi and had a good service. We were all still wore out from the day before. After services we came back to the house and had some lunch. The kids and I finished getting the house all cleaned up so we could bring Kenya home to a clean house. We went at 3:00pm to pick up Kenya. Everyone was super happy to see mama at the airport. She came with the turkey also and bacon from Nairobi! We all really missed not having Kenya with us but at least the container occupied us a few days. We had Bible study in the evening and Kenya was able to look through a lot of the stuff before we went to bed.
Monday Kenya and I got up and headed for Mombasa at around 5:00am. I had to have surgery to remove a cyst at the Mombasa hospital. The surgery went well but we had to stay all night. The good news was that we had a private room that had satellite and A/C so it was a pretty sweet set up. We were able to leave Tuesday afternoon and head back to the house. Kenya was able to get started on some of the container items and preparing for Thanksgiving.
Today we were able to load Brother Hopper’s and Eddie Williams’ items on a truck to send them to Nairobi. I know they will be excited to get their things as well. Kenya and the kids have been busy all day unpacking and getting things done for Thanksgiving. There are some friends from Mombasa that are planning to come to stay with us for a couple days and enjoy the holiday with us so we are all looking forward to that. I have been able to get a few phone calls made to talk to some of the men. Alphonce is planning to come by on Saturday. I spoke a little to Juma and he said that Mercy and his sister Sidi were sick. His little girl Neema was sick but she is better now. It was good to talk to a couple of the guys. In the midst of being sick, not having vehicles, the container, and surgery I have not been able to be with the men or the churches much. I am hopeful that after this week I will be back to full strength. My hacking is finally starting to subside. I hack a little in the mornings but not to bad and my sinuses are starting to clear up as well. Thank you so much for those that have been praying. We are looking forward to enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday.
After the Holiday Kenya is planning to hit the Home school stuff hard and start the kids in school the first week of December. I think they are all ready to get started also. School kind of gets all of us on a good schedule so we are looking forward to getting back to “normal” at least normal for us. Since we returned from furlough there has been nothing normal and it has been crazy. We will have about six months of good solid work before the summer groups and interns arrive. I pray that it will be a productive time and that the Lord will give us clear direction as we labor for Him in His fields.
East Kenya Missions
Wednesday last week we loaded up in the van to go on safari with Alex. He was with us for nearly a month and still had not gone on safari. With his departure on Friday this was our last chance. I was really hoping the Land Rover would be done but after calling them on Tuesday morning it was certain that it would not be done that day so we had no choice. I remember telling brother Scott I was reluctant to go on safari in the van because I did not want to tear it up since the Land Rover was down and we had a Nairobi trip planned. However we made the decision and our family loaded up on Wednesday with Alex and rolled out at 4:30am for a day in the Game Park.
We got to see a lot of animals, it was nice having the A/C in the van for the drive. Going into the park was not too bad and even the entire game drive was good. We drove around until about lunch time and went to a public camping site to have our picnic lunch Kenya had packed us. We had some awesome cold sodas from the cooler, isn’t it amazing how a cold drink just refreshes you. Anyhow, the public camp site was a great discovery also. They have nice restrooms and even showers in the restrooms. This may be a place we could over night with groups in the future. One of the biggest complaints we have about the game park is that it is a long day in the vehicle…not to mention rough. Breaking the day up and enjoying a night in the “wild” might make the game park experience a little better.
After lunch we really did not see a whole lot of animals and started to make our way out of the park. Kenya took over the driving until the gate so I could take a break from driving. The first thing she said was, “do we have enough fuel to get home?” I really had not noticed and I just told her we would work it out, besides there is no where in the park to get fuel. So we started back towards Malindi. After we stopped at the main gate and started back towards Malindi I was back in the saddle and watching the gas gauge go down to where it was certain we were not going to make it back to Malindi. I finally shared the good news with Kenya, that after a long hard game drive we were going to be stranded in the middle of no where… Ok I did not say it that what but that is what I was thinking. I was praying that just maybe one of the little villages ahead might have some fuel. After the gas light had been on for a while I started to think of how maybe I could call brother Scott and ask him to bring some diesel on the motor bike and meet us along the way where we run out of fuel. When I had come to the conclusion that is what I needed to do there was no cell service!
So what do you do…I just prayed and kept going forward hoping we would find fuel. I could tell we were almost to the Lango Mbaya turn off and I knew there would at least be cell service. As we crept closer to Lango Mbaya I was waiting for the van to spit and sputter but at the junction to go to Lango Mbaya there was a little shop that had a sign on it that said Diesel and petrol. I thought to myself…”self just maybe there will be some semi clean diesel in that little shop.” I went in and the man said that he had 20 liters of Diesel that he would sell me at a ridiculous price, at which I smiled and said I’ll take it if you pour it in. So we bought some expensive diesel but we were back on the road!
Five minutes after we got the fuel when life was good and I was Zing Zanging down the dirt road that’s when it happened… The road turned into a pile of huge stones and even with smashing on the breaks I could not stop the bouncing up and down and we clobbered the under side of the van. Once we all recovered and everyone was accounted for and awake we all thought we had managed to get through without a problem. That feeling lasted about 30 seconds as we built up speed again only to find the van would only go 35 kilometers an hour then the transmission would not shift even though the RPM’s continued to climb. At first we kind of sped up and slowed down thinking maybe it would give but it got worse on an incline and started to make a clicking noise. It was time to get out and survey the damage underneath. I was expecting to find a Transmission leak that would account for the Transmission not shifting and sure enough there was a substantial leak.
Alex and I tried to plug the leak with some old dried up baby wipes but the fluid was hot and once the dried up wipe was reconstituted the fluid continued to seep through. We knew we had to stop the leak so while I was under the van Alex searched for something, then we switched and I looked for something. Alex dumped out the first aide kit and we used it to catch the draining transmission fluid as we tried to think of a solution. I tried putting a stick in it and breaking it off but that attempt revealed that it was a crack not a hole. We thought about it and everything we could come up with would not work due to the heat, then I noticed the grease in the sliding door and got a glob of it on my finger and crawled under the car and put some of it on and it almost worked but it was too loose. I rolled back out and mixed the grease with some mud and made a putty and put it over the crack and BOOYAH! We are back on the road flying at a whopping 40 kilometers an hour (25 MPH).
Needless to say it was a long drive the rest of the way home. We were a one hour drive out normally but we took around 2 hours to make the same trip. We were talking about how to fix the crack and how it was probably just out of fluid and that is why it would not shift. We got back in town and I went a back way trying to avoid town traffic going so slow. Well we got lost for a few minutes on the back side of Malindi but we found our way finally. We fueled up and bought some transmission fluid and headed to the house. It was a full day!
Alex and I let the van cool down a little then we drained the transmission and put on some epoxy to seal the small crack. I was very hopeful when we went to bed that the van was going to run fine now that the transmission was full.
We got up Thursday and Kenya ran to town to do a few things while Alex and I went for a beach run. After setting in the car all day the day before we thought a little run would be good. Besides Alex had not gotten the chance to go down to the beach while he was with us so it was a great chance to run and visit with his departure at hand. When Kenya got back she informed us the van was not working still and that it would still not shift. That was not the news I was hoping for so we contacted our friend Josh in Mombasa to get the number of the mechanic that he uses. He had highly recommended him before so we spoke to the mechanic and he said he would come over the weekend and pick up the van for repair. I worked in the office a little but by mid afternoon I was feeling pretty bad. I have had a deep cough and sinus issue for the past couple of weeks and it finally was starting to over take me. I went upstairs and laid down for a couple hours but was awakened by a call about the container.
It was our agent calling to give me the two options that were before us. I asked him what they were. He said one was the official option where the customs officer would write the A147 we need to release the container with much more duty to be paid. The agent said it could be another 180,000/= shillings ($2300). There was the unofficial option of giving an additional 30,000/= and the report would reflect that we had no more customs due. In other words we could bribe the official. I told the agent we had already been over this and that there was really only one option and that was for the customs official to write the report for what ever we needed to pay but that we would not pay a bribe and the official (if he was asking for the money) would not get one shilling but the Kenya Revenue Authority would get the money according to the law. I told the agent once again we feared God more than men and if it would help we would gladly come to visit the customs official and clarify any questions about our shipment or if we had made any mistakes. I told our agent we had done nothing wrong and we had nothing to hide and if the government says we must pay we will pay even if it was 500,000/= shillings. He understood what I was saying and I asked him why he was giving us this second “option.” He said he did not want us to be upset with him for not giving the other “option”. I assured him for us there was just one option and we would take our chances with the Lord and let Him work out the details.
Brother Scott and I talked a little about the container issue and what should we do. We decided to call the General Manager at Kenfreight to let him know what was going on. When we spoke the GM he did not know our case exactly but said that corruption is all over the port and these things were all normal. We once again emphasized that we feared God more than men and that based on our convictions we would not pay a bribe. We requested him to push the agents on the ground to get the report and just see what it turned out to be.
Brother Scott and I talked also about the vehicle situation and even went so far as to get the little scooter out as an emergency vehicle. It is our only fully legal vehicle that we have running. The other motorbike is running but with the missing number plate we do not use it right now because the police will give us a hard time. As I shared in previous updates we are on step 11 or 12 of the process to get the new plate so that bike is out without risk.
We had Bible study at our house watching the County Avenue BC services on DVD. It was a great message on the Philippian church. Since we did not have a vehicle we would not attend the Bible study in Malindi. After our Bible study we grilled some steaks and had an amazing dinner for Alex’s last evening with us before he headed out.
By Friday I was feeling pretty rough but we all got up visited with Alex a little before his departure. We had to call a tuk tuk to come and get Alex to take him to the airport. It was kind of lame but I guess it beats walking. Alex was a great visitor and we enjoyed the time the Lord gave us all to work with him. After Alex left I basically went down for the count. I was in the bed the rest of Friday evening.
We did get a call on Saturday that our A147 had been completed by the customs agent for our container so we had to pay an additional 60,000/= shillings that was less than we expected so we were grateful. I tried to run to town on the motorbike to pay the bill but missed the bank closing by a few minutes. I spent nearly all of Saturday in the bed with the exception of my quick trip to town. We had a cinema scheduled on Saturday for Gandini but with no vehicles that was not possible. I was feeling pretty miserable with coughing, sinus pressure, coughing, hacking, coughing and did I mention coughing. Blaah!
Sunday we were still stranded with no vehicles so we decided to have a Bible study at our house. I was still not feeling great but much better in comparison. The rest helped me a lot. Josiah led us in some songs for our worship from our Iworship discs. Then we started watching a County Ave BC DVD and about the time the sermon was coming on the power went off. I did not mention that we did not have water either. We waited a few minutes then I decided to at least give a brief lesson from some of my recent studies. I spoke on contentment which seemed appropriate in light of our current state of being with no water, no electricity, no transportation, no container, and my health failing me… Sounds bleak but we know the Lord has a plan and we must be content with our circumstances and where God has placed us.
After services we swam a little with the kids to cool off then had some soup for lunch. By then at least the power came back on. I retreated back to the bed still trying to shake this chest stuff. I have been through two rounds of antibiotics, using Vicks, and shooting I am not sure what all up my nose but still to no avail.
Yesterday I was feeling ok and decided to run to the chemist to ask him what else I could take since I finished the last antibiotic he gave me and three bottles of expectorant. He started to give me some pills and expectorant again but I had already taken that so after a couple questions and listening to me he gave me some more medicine to take twice a day. I got back to the house and took the first dose immediately. I helped Kenya move our living room around a little to make it homier and we put up some pictures. Josiah and I occupied ourselves in the afternoon with burning trash. We had a bunch of trash but no way to take it to the dump site so we burned it down until we only had one small bag of trash in the end. After lunch we walked down to the beach with the kids and played in the water for a little while. In the evening we played the Wii in the living room and just were together.
Today I have worked a bit in the office except for a trip to town to get Kenya a plane ticket for Nairobi. We decided with our vehicle situation and the possible arrival of the container any day it was best for her to make the Nairobi trip and I would stay behind with the kids. She will be able to go by the embassy and pick up the Sarah’s new passport. Right now the passport we have for Sarah is expired and we really do not like to be without a valid passport on us. You just never know when you may need to go somewhere at a moments notice. Brother Scott and I were able to talk for a little while and make some plans for the week’s events and get updated on vehicles and container news.
Kenya has been able to talk to her sister a few times about her leukemia and what they are going to do next. Right now her sister has a blood clot in her lung that they are trying to dissolve with medicine. Also the doctors are trying to boost her immune system in preparation for Chemotherapy. She goes back to the doctor the first week of December. Please pray for Angel as she has a lot ahead of her. I know that it is tough on Kenya to be so far from her family during this time but we are grateful for the internet and good phone service and rates that make it possible to communicate.
This has been a trying week with the vehicles going down, container, delays, my sickness, Kenya’s sister’s news, water being off, electric going off, internet up and down, but TIA (This is Africa). Also I am sure that this is giving us some rest time and family time that we must have needed. Our family is well and the kids are doing great. In all reality they have not noticed all the craziness around them they are just as happy as can be climbing and jumping out of trees (literally). I would be happier if I was not hacking up a lung. If this new medicine does not help I am going in for a TB test. I was the only one that did not do it. We do not think what I have is TB but we should rule it out with our exposure from Richard.
Please pray for our vehicles. We cannot complain about them, we have had the van for four years and have done very little to it and the way that we abuse the Land Rover it deserves a little break. Also pray for the container to get here soon so the kids can get school started. Also pray for my health, I rarely get sick and this thing is dragging on. All these distractions have me feeling a little disconnected from the men and the churches even though we have spoken some on the phone. I look forward to when we are fully functional and back to full strength to hit it hard. Until we can do that there are lessons to prepare and things we need to do here so we will focus on those things that are needful. We appreciate those who read these updates and are taking this journey with us.
If you ever want to respond to an update do not hesitate to do so. Your response will only be sent to Brother Scott, Missy, Kenya, and I so feel free to email as you are able. I am going to be sure Kenya reads this update before it goes out as I feel a little medicine head. Earlier when I was on the motor cycle a palm branch on the side of a road looked just like a monitor lizard for an instance and I started to swerve to miss it but then I realized what it actually was. I knew then it was time to get home…
East Kenya Missions
I wrote this more as a journal entry a week ago, with the thought that I might send it. I was afraid it might make my kids sound like little monsters, but the truth is, they aren’t, they just struggle with the same things we all do. So I decided to go ahead and send it.
Okay so it started for me last Friday while in Mombasa. We had several things to do in town, doctor visits and such. We were pretty excited about the day, because we were going to eat at Java House our favorite restaurant in Nairobi that has opened a new location in Mombasa. We were also excited to eat dessert at the new Planet Yogurt. It was all so great. I even made the comment at Planet Yogurt that it was my new favorite place. I remember thinking to myself that you could forget you were even in Africa inside of that shop. Well sometime in the course of the day, Sarah’s flip flop broke, but not to where she couldn’t walk in them. I told her we would just get a new pair, they’re only a dollar, right? Well Sarah told James later that we needed to get her a new pair of flip flops. His response was, “they’re working fine, you have more shoes at home, we don’t need to get another pair of flip flops today.” At first I was thinking to myself, “it’s a cheap pair of flip flops, what’s the big deal?” But not wanting to go against his assessment of the situation, I agreed, “he’s right, they’re working fine, no big deal.” Now keep this story in mind for later.
Now fast forward over the weekend to Monday or Tuesday. Since we still do not have our container, we have not officially started school, which is very frustrating, but there’s nothing we can do about it, so I have tried to do some review, but have not been super disciplined about it. I’ve just chalked it all up to “well, we had a rough year last year on furlough, and we could use the break anyway.” But here is what has happened in the process, the kids have been pretty bored during the day, so every time they ask to watch a movie or play the wii, I break down and say yes, thinking well, they don’t have anything else to do. Also in the process they are basically doing whatever they want in terms of having no structure, so they are eating snacks and drinks at their leisure, playing whatever, and making mess after mess after mess. I, in the process, have not been very strict on them to make sure that they are cleaning up after themselves and have basically checked out in the area of making them have some sort of accountability. Now let me say, it’s not that they are running wild and causing a raucous. I’ve just been letting them play as long as they are not fighting and things are calm and fine. And all of you grandparents out there might say, “Oh let the kids play, what’s wrong with that? They’re fine!” Here’s what’s wrong with it. When it comes time to clean up, nothing but moans and groans and complaints. When Mama Cedrick folds and puts away their clothes, she comes back the next day only to find them a mess again. When there is a simple request to put the dishes in the sink, they make their way only to the kitchen counter. Even I have had to check myself, in that I was falling into some of the same lazy routines. When I made sure the kids were making their beds, my own bed was a mess. Now again, keep all this in mind.
So this morning I wake up late, not intending to sleep in, but I thought, well I must have needed the rest. When I get downstairs the kids were already up, and there are dishes everywhere and toys scattered about. I get to the kitchen, only to find there’s no water. I was tempted to get frustrated, but determined not to make this a bad day. Alex needed a ride to the orphanage where he was volunteering today. So I decided to take him and then deal with the mess when I came back. And here is where the perspective and gratefulness comes in. When I dropped him off I decided to go in and greet Mama Agnes and the children. When I went inside, Mama Agnes was gone, but I greeted the children, who were happily doing chores. One group of children was scrubbing chairs, another washing their own clothes, another group repairing flip flops. Flip Flops……..A boy was literally sewing flip flops back together. I didn’t see one kid with an ill look on his or her face. They were happy, laughing, and working hard at their chores. It didn’t click with me really till later, I just thought, “wow, that’s so awesome all those kids helping Mama Agnes out.” Here’s when it clicked. I came back to the house and the kids are all upstairs in my room watching a cartoon and coloring. Sounds sweet, huh. Well one complains, “I’m starving! We haven’t even eaten breakfast!” (remember I woke up late) Another one, “when did you get back, will you make breakfast?” So in my mind, I thought, “okay, make breakfast and then we are going to clean this house.” So I make breakfast, French toast, delicious French toast. As we sit to eat, Josiah inspects his to be sure there are no burned spots, because he would let someone else have that piece if there were. Another complains because the syrup isn’t passed quickly enough, while another is impatiently waiting for the juice. And it all starts hitting me that if I don’t do something my kids are going to be ungrateful and spoiled children, who will feel entitled to their every want. So after breakfast I make a list of chores that need to be done. Clean up the living room, clean off the front porch, clean bedrooms, brush teeth, brush hair, get dressed, bring dirty clothes downstairs to the washer. Pretty simply, some things shouldn’t even have to be on that list, but I wanted to be sure there were no miscommunication. I explain the list to the children that as they complete each chore they are to put a check after the chore, so that when all was done I would see 5 check marks after each chore. They go off to their work. I went off to my work of washing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen. After about 5 minutes I realize I don’t hear any noise, so I go to the living room to find that it is only half cleaned. Abigail comes down and complains that everyone else is upstairs playing. I call all the children down. I asked them one by one, “are your chores done?” All but Josiah say yes, Josiah’s complains he was laying down because he has a headache, so I told them all to go to James office and wait for me. Upon inspection, no one is done. I go to the office and line them all up for a swat on the tail. After the swat I told them all about what I had seen at the orphanage. I explained how blessed they really were and how ungrateful they were acting and how they were showing such a sense of entitlement. So the judgment was declared. The chores would be done immediately and to my satisfaction, they will cook their own food tonight for supper, they will wash their own clothes today, and they will NOT play. If that doesn’t work we will do it again tomorrow. The chores will be done regardless, but if done properly, then there will be time to play. The entitlement and ungratefulness stop today. Lydia, sobbed the whole time I spoke and the others teared up quietly. I asked the children if they thought I was being unreasonable and all but Samuel said no. Samuel is another issue. Haha. As I write this, Abigail is already done and sitting quietly in her room, hopefully reflecting and praying about what I have said. The others are finishing up their rooms to my satisfaction. It is now 3:00 and there will be no playing today. I am not a mean parent, I am just trying to teach the kids and myself that we truly need to be grateful for what we have.
Here’s the bottom line. We are blessed. God is so good to us. And I am not saying we don’t want his blessings or should try to play the martyr about deserving his blessings. I believe God blesses those who are obedient to Him. The problem is when we start expecting or feeling entitled to His blessings. When we are ungrateful for the blessings He gives us is when the error comes in. And for my kids recently time has been the blessing. They have had all the free time in the world, yet they continue to feel entitled to their freedom. They make a mess and are ungrateful that someone went along behind them and cleaned it up. Every time Josiah complains about something I have cooked, that is a sense of entitlement coming out in him, that he is entitled to only foods he likes. Every time Sarah complains about picking up her toys, she is ungrateful that she even has toys to pick up. Every time I complain about the water being off I am ungrateful that I even have running water at all. So that’s the long and short of it. I don’t want to feel entitled and I want to be grateful for the awesome life God has given me and my family. And today I am grateful most of all for a little perceptive that He showed me this morning at the orphanage.
We attended the services in Malindi on Sunday and had good services. Godfry’s message was a little short but was really good. He spoke of the tragic deaths north of us in the Tana River area and how they need the gospel there. It was a solid message that stirred my heart. North of us where all the problems have been are three unreached people groups (Orma, Wardai, Pokomo) that we have been praying for and still are praying for. Godfry’s words struck a cord as he said it was our responsibility to take the gospel to the people north of here. It was awesome to hear a national pastor say those words. I pray God will raise up missionaries for amongst the men we are working with and open doors into these unreached peoples.
Godfry announced that after services the church had been invited to come to the police station to meet with Samson’s widow to comfort her and the family. Samson is one of the police officers that was killed in Tana River and who has attended the church in Malindi a few times. He was also Obed’s good friend who is a member of First LBC. Samson was the police officer that arrested Kenya a few years ago. Several church members were going so I decided to go with them. Kenya took everyone else back to the house.
Those of us who decided to go were about twenty or so. We walked from the church to the police station which took about a half an hour. When we arrived Obed was just getting there and joined us. He had been on patrol in town all morning. On Sunday’s the police patrol and some are stationed at various churches, which is good but stinks for Obed because he is not able to attend services like he wants to. We arrived and sat down in chairs that had been arranged in a circle. Godfry lead the meeting and we prayed, sang songs, Godfry asked me to bring a devotional message, and we gave an offering for the family. We were also served lunch while we were there. It was a really good service and opportunity to meet Samson’s wife and to offer her the churches condolences.
After the service at the police station I walked back to the house. Obed walked over half the way with me. It was such a beautiful day and it was nice to visit with Obed along the way. It was announced that on Tuesday there would be a final collection to help the family. I told Obed that I would attend with Godfry.
Monday was my day Off to just be with the kids and Kenya.
Tuesday was an office day with a few phone calls as well.
I had a quite lengthy conversation on the phone with Daniel that was really good. It is nice to talk to the pastors about our thoughts as missionaries and plans to see their perspective. Daniel was excited about our plans for the Bible Institute and expansion into new areas. We also discussed some ways we could help him in Jimba with some outreach. Brother Scott has some friends coming in to visit next month and he had planned for them to do some evangelistic outreach so I told Daniel that maybe they could come to Jimba. Of course he was excited.
I also had a good conversation with Juma about how he was doing and his mom. She was diagnosed with TB and they have started the treatments. Juma said she was already feeling a little better but still not great. We also spoke a little about his situation of traveling back and forth from Gede to Bokole every week which is costing him 1000/= shillings a week. This is a huge burden on him and Mercy as they have a new baby and are trying to establish themselves. It is very admirable what Juma is doing but we have discussed and have been praying for a solution to this dilemma. He does not want to leave the church with no one to lead but he cannot continue what he is doing without burning out. I had suggested he contact a new pastor in Mombasa that has started a Landmark Baptist church not too far from where the church at Bokole is.
While we were in the states a church in western Kenya sent their pastor to Mombasa to baptize and start a church with a man that was from Western Kenya who had moved the coast. The new church is called Mnyara wa Kweli LBC and the pastor is Ely. We knew Ely from when we were in western Kenya but we do not know him well since he left after we had only been in western for a year or two. Brother Hopper was involved in getting Ely reconnected with the churches in Western and knows Ely better then we do. Juma contacted Ely and they talked about trying to meet. I told Juma I would try to contact Ely as well and also contact some pastors in Western to know a little more about Ely and his situation. Juma was optimistic that maybe Ely and the church there in Miritini could help the church in Bokole. Ely mentioned to Juma that they had another preacher in the church. Pray about this perhaps God is working out a situation that will be better for the church in Bokole and Juma. It will also be good to establish a relationship with this new church and pastor.
In the evening I left to attend the fundraising event for Samson’s family that was being held at the police station. It was scheduled to start at 6:00. I ran by Godfry’s and picked him and Andrew up to attend the fundraiser. We arrived at 6:30 and found nothing happening, yet. The guys just laughed and said it would really start at 7:30-8:00. We sat down and visited for a bit, then Obed arrived and ran to change before joining us. Before the event started Godfry and I were asked to sit in the front with another pastor that was attending. The other pastor was the local African Inland Church pastor. I met the missionary that used to work with the church a couple years ago. His name was Van Davis. He was a sweet man and actually had baptist background and was a third generation missionary. He passed away last year from cancer. It was good to meet this pastor and talk a little.
Godfry, the AIC pastor, and myself represented the “religious” representatives for the meeting meaning it was our responsibility to open and close the meeting. Godfry was called upon to open the meeting in prayer. The spirit of the meeting was light hearted and had one purpose in mind and that was to raise money for Samson’s family. Every department in the police station gave, local businesses gave, government officials gave, churches sent money to give, and individuals gave. Everything lasted until around 9:30pm. The MC announced that with all the contributions of the night and from the week over 350,000/= shillings was raised for the family and the funeral costs. I was quite shocked. I was asked to close the meeting in prayer. The police station had borrowed First Landmark’s chairs so we followed the police truck to return the chairs back to the church.
The entire evening was interesting to me but also a great testimony of the church in Malindi and their support of Obed as a member and Samson as one who had attended. Godfry was planning to attend the funeral on Saturday.
Our family had a wonderful time at the Retreat in Turkey! Thank you so much to all those who made it possible for our family to go. We would never be able to afford this much needed rest and training without our church, Pauline BC, and the many churches, Sunday School classes, and individuals who gave so generously. We are truly grateful.
I have to say that one of the biggest benefits of the retreat for our family is the ministry to the kids. There are a few ladies who pour themselves into ministering to missionary kids. I have said this before and I hope people realize how true this is, but missionary kids are just different. They are the same, but different. They grow up in such a way that is so different to most kids their age. I remember once when we were on furlough, Josiah was eating with some kids his age at a fellowship dinner. They were just chit chatting and Josiah said something about going to Greece. The other boy asked surprisingly, “You’ve been to Greece?” Josiah answered, very casually, yet surprised at the boy’s surprise, “Well, yeah!” Missionary kids grow up seeing things and experiencing things that the average American child doesn’t. I’m not saying that to brag only to state the difference in Missionary Kids.
They also miss out on things that they normally would get to experience in their home culture, things like VBS. So that is the fun of the retreat for them. These ladies do an excellent job putting on a VBS, or VBX as I have been informed by my children. It’s now called Vacation Bible Xperience! Mrs. Jeanean Wilson, Betty Reece, Pat Story and Dawn Burnett did an excellent job. Shawn and Alison Crane also teach the teens, as well as lead worship. I appreciate so much the love these ladies have for our children. Through these retreats, our kids have grown especially close to Jeanean Wilson, who even on furlough opened her home to us. Josiah made the comment that Mrs. Jeanean’s house felt the most like home to him. So to all of you who helped us go please understand that you aren’t just sending a check for us to go you have made a difference in an MK’s life.
Not only does the retreat minister to our children, but it gives us a sense of revival. Some may have thought, well you just came off furlough, you should be refreshed and revived already. Not really. Furlough is a wonderful time to reconnect with our family, our church, and our supporters, but it’s work. And please forgive me if anything I say offends you, I truly mean to share my heart with you honestly about the work and life that we live in hopes that you can better pray for and understand the life of a missionary or missionary family. Furlough, is wonderful, we do love it and enjoy our time of travels, yet at the same time, it’s tiresome. You get weary of never being settled and living out of a suitcase. When I say this I truly mean it, the church appointments are not the hard part, we love going to each church and telling about the work, it’s the day in day out, travelling, packing and unpacking, eating fast food till you are sick, and then doing it again. And SHHhhhhh please don’t tell anyone, but I heard the same sermon at least 75 times. It’s a good one and I’m pretty sure it’s gone platinum, but you can see why it’s easy to fall into a spiritual slump. And since I have said that, please don’t think badly of my husband for this. When the Lord gives a good sermon, why not preach it, each Sunday is a new church and a new crowd, who have never heard it. Not to mention the fact that my husband was also travelling and driving at least 30 hours a week.
So sorry about chasing that rabbit, but that’s another reason this retreat was very much needed for our family. We needed revival! And we certainly got it. I tell you, Brother Darvie, well, it was like he was preaching straight at me. You know those kinds of sermons, where it’s just you and the preacher. The Lord used him to break me, and the build me back up. And I needed it. You know how your car needs an overhaul sometimes (our van does by the way), my heart needed an overhaul and it got it. Thank you, Brother Darvie, for letting the Lord use you to speak truth that I needed to hear. And then there were the women’s classes! The Lord had already been dealing with me about the very subject Mrs. Martha Owens taught on so her classes were dead on what my heart was ready to hear. Not to mention that she is a TON of fun! And then Dr. Deb Quaid to me was more than a doctor. She was most helpful in addressing women’s health issues, medicine in general, and our physicals, but for me she was a great example of the knowledge of God’s Word. All throughout the week during our discussions, when someone would mention a struggle that they had been through or just a certain issue, immediately she pulled a scripture out of her heart. It was amazing to me. I kept thinking, “I want that! I can’t do that.” Occasionally I’ll get all proud of myself for pulling a scripture out but I want to think God’s word. Where it’s so much a part of me that it just comes out. That’s what I saw in her. I thank the Lord for her example that week to teach me this.
And then on top of all that, as if that isn’t enough, the fellowship with other missionary friends. I am such a people person, I ate up the fellowship time. Just catching up with some, reconnecting with some, and continuing on with others. I loved it. We even made new friends, as we didn’t really know Dawn or Dr. Deb very well. Dawn and I even bonded during a Turkish Bath. She will probably die that I wrote that, so I won’t go into the details, but it’s quite an experience if you’ve never had one. It’s fun just being together, encouraging one another, praying for one another, and loving fellow servants. I thank God for this time. I thank God that Lynn and Brenda are able to administrate and organize these retreats.
And one more thing, I’m sure I am rambling, but if you’ve ever talked to me much, that’s nothing new, but I just really want to thank Jack and Pat Story for all they do. Not just for the retreats, but just all the work they do for missionaries, mission trips, and mission teams. Their job isn’t easy. I can’t imagine how many grumpy travelers they must deal with, including myself at times, I’m sure. I know I know, we are all Christians and probably never get frustrated at Jack when airlines get things mixed up, but seriously He and Pat are probably gone from their church I don’t even know, I’m guessing 75 % of the time, Oh my goodness it’s probably like perpetual deputation or furlough! AHHHHHH! Anyway they travel a lot, put in a lot of hours, not to mention are probably “on call” 24 hours. I know we have called him several times at who knows what hour. I just hope you guys know how appreciated you are! Thank you, Jack and Pat!
Well since I have already rambled off a whole book, I guess I will have to save the rest for another email, plus my kids are in the other room playing with legos and stuffed animals, making the most annoying sound, and I can’t take it anymore, I have got to send them outside! LOL
Thanks for reading and praying!
Well this week I spent getting ready for Lydia’s birthday. She asked for an owl cake and a tea party table and chairs. I looked online with her for some ideas. She found a cake she liked and I did my best to duplicate it. I love cooking and although I have no real skill in the culinary arts(LOL) I enjoy trying to decorate cakes. I guess if one watches enough Cupcake Wars, Ace of Cakes, and Sweet Genius while on furlough, in Kenyan standards, one would be a specialist. The Swahili word for skilled worker is fundi. And anyone with the appropriate tools and some knowledge as to how to use them for a certain job, regardless off skill is considered a fundi. So I guess you could call me a cake fundi this week. It was a lot of fun. On Saturday Caroline and Obed came for lunch. Obed is a police officer, who sat with me outside the jail cell when I was arrested several years ago for letting the insurance expire on our van. They are members of First Landmark here in Malindi now. When they came, Caroline brought me avocadoes, bananas, and mangoes. We like all of those, but the only thing I know to do with avocadoes is either put them in a salad or make guacamole. There were more than enough for guacamole, so I decided to search the internet for recipes using avocadoes. I found one for Chocolate truffles. I whipped them up, and the chocolate was AMAZING! It was smooth as silk. It didn’t quite set up like it was supposed to so I decided to use it as the icing for Lydia’s cake. It was perfect. I don’t think I have tasted better chocolate icing.
The next part of Lydia’s birthday was her gift. Because toys are extremely expensive here we have to get creative. She really didn’t have anything specific at first that she wanted so we sort of gave her some ideas to help her think of something she might like to have. The only thing she asked for was jewelry. That was easy we can buy all kinds of the handmade necklaces and bracelets here. As I talked to her about some things she likes to play I was asking her about maybe some costume dresses or things for tea parties. That’s when she said she would like to have another tea party table and chairs since her old one broke and we had to throw it away. So we had these little chairs in our garage we used to use for school and an arts and crafts table. They were the bright primary colors. So I got the idea to paint them, recover the seats and backs and then add little tuling tutus to the bottom. Then we bought a small plastic table at Nakumatt for about $10. I really had fun redoing the chairs for her. James helped me put the finishing touches on the tutus the night before her birthday.
Sarah’s birthday is on Monday. We have already found a cake she likes online, so I will be playing Cake Boss this weekend as well trying to make The Prettiest Princess Cake. The only thing she asked for was a Barbie, we did manage to find a Cinderella Barbie at Nakumatt. We bought that and then James and I are going to make her a little Kitchen play station out of our old washer that died earlier this year. We thought about several ways to make one. We could build one out of wood but termites pretty much destroy anything not made of plastic or metal. So that’s when James thought of repurposing the old washer. I am not sure how that will turn out but I think using the metal from the washer is a good idea.
We also took Josiah to the eye doctor this week. He had to get glasses to correct a slight astigmatism. We of course tried to get the coolest pair we could find. I think we found some nice ones.
The kids are enjoying their freedom probably a little too much. I have totally relaxed and been so inconsistent that I probably am going to have to nearly beat them to get them back into a routine for school. Oh well!!!
Well I guess that is about all on my end!
Thanks for reading and praying!
So things have settled down now after visitors and just settling in general after furlough. I’m now anxiously awaiting the container so I can get all of our school stuff and start that. In the meantime I have been working on things around the house, getting organized and still of course cleaning. Nine months of dirt doesn’t go away on its own. I believe we have most of the lizards evicted and dust and mold under control. But the bats are driving me crazy. I at first was totally cool with the bats, because they eat mosquitoes and insects, right? Well unless we unleash them in our house at night, our mosquito problem isn’t any different with or without bats living in our roof. So the only thing they are doing for us is leaving a full dustpan of poop or guano every single morning to clean up. It’s pretty disgusting. And since the washer and dryer are out there as well, we have this semi-aromatic smell of guano and fabric softener wafting through the air each day especially in the evening when the bats descend from their home on the roof and literally rain down poop in my kitchen doorway. I’m going to video it one evening just for your viewing pleasure, the nightly event of “poop rain.”
Enough complaining, just thought I would let you in on that bit of life in Africa. Now on to Lydia’s recovery from the worm in her leg, albeit also disgusting, she is doing fine and now just has a small knot on her leg that is getting smaller every day. I spoke with my dear veteran missionary friend Cissy Hopper on the phone this week, and she reassured me that Lydia mostly likely didn’t get it from anything here in our home. She said she would bet that it came from the special needs school or somewhere outside of here. Wheww! That makes me feel so much better. Cissy has been such a great help to me in our 8 years here on the field. My time with her in western Kenya was invaluable to my success as a missionary wife. She helped me learn to cook, drive, shop, and just live in a third world country. Not to mention she is a great story teller and can cheer anyone up with one of her true life experience stories. Twenty five plus years on the mission field in a third world country will give you lots of stories with which to entertain. I pray that as a result of the help from Cissy and other veteran missionaries and of course the Lord, I can have such longevity on the field and maybe through my experience I can pass the same along to other new missionary wives some day.
Speaking of shopping, I have enjoyed going around town to do all of my shopping and reconnecting with all of my friends at each place on my route. I go to the bakery, green grocer, supermarket, butcher, can’t forget the hardware store, beauty salon (got my African pedicure already), and the posta. Now the Posta however, doesn’t have any of my friends there anymore. They rotate people every year or so. So all of my friends except one have been rotated to another posta somewhere on the coast. But besides there everyone is still there for the most part. Okay well another guy named Bush who used to help me pick the best pineapple at the green grocer isn’t there anymore either, but I think that is all. And most importantly our friends are still at Shukurani. That’s our favorite restaurant in town. We go there at least twice a week. It’s cheap and the food is good. There is one new lady there who is super friendly. The other day she said, “Will you be back?” I said, “Oh don’t worry, you will know us very well before long!” Usually if we miss a week, they start asking, “Where have you been? Is everything okay?” This month is Ramadhan, the muslim holy month, so most restaurants including Shukurani, are closed during the day. Muslims fast during the day and feast at night when the sun goes down. The kind of cool thing about this is that in the evenings people set out tables all along the roads with all these delicious foods that are really cheap. They have things like fried donuts, chapatti, kaimati… well a lot of foods that even with the names you wouldn’t know them. But they are really good. It’s kind of like going to the fair and getting funnel cakes and corn dogs. I like to go with a bag and buy something from every table. It’s awesome. The kids like it too, I give them money and they each buy their own.
We have been going around on Sundays to visit each of the churches just to greet them and see how they have been doing. It’s been so encouraging to see them all doing well. Of course each of them has their own struggles, but I know that when we left James was so worried about all of the churches because they were all so young. Such a young work is delicate and as James has said before could fall apart at any minute. I know it has encouraged James to see the churches continuing on to the best of their ability. I pray for James and Scott daily to have clear direction as to how the Lord will use them to help the churches and further His Work here on the coast.
Well I guess that’s about it here on my end. Thanks so much for reading and praying!
Monday brought the close to another successful 516 missions Kenya trip. We loaded up the buses and headed for Mombasa after one last group picture. It is always terrible saying good-bye but it is the way it is. The groups are amazing and they do so much while they are here. We have some that have been coming on these trips for four years and they are just part of our ministry team so it is tough to see them go. The great thing is that some of those on this team will be back next year so we will see them again.
We took the groups to the airport said our final bye and hugged everyone and thanked them for coming. We gave our last waves then headed to Mombasa town to do a few things before heading for Malindi. We remained with one guest who was planning to intern with us Kayla McElroy who was very sick. She came with us to see the group off but she was really not felling well. We ran by the doctors office so brother Scott could try and see the doctor and Josiah and as we got close to the doctors office Kayla had some projectile vomiting out the side of the Land Rover. It was pretty intense to say the least. Once she regained composure we continued our journey.
I dropped Brother Scott, Missy, Kayla, Kenya, and Josiah at the Doctors office while I ran to pick up some English Bibles to take to the Deaf School. After I got the Bibles I went by and picked everyone up and we went to lunch at Pizza Inn. Kayla was not well she just laid down on a bench and sipped on some Ginger Ale. After lunch we ran by Nakumat to do some much needed grocery shopping while we were in town then headed back to Malindi.
Our house was quiet with the group gone and we were all exhausted!
Tuesday after the group left Kenya and I slept until 11:00 before finally getting up. It was nice to just sleep in and take a breather. In the afternoon we did manage to get our living room in order and brother Scott and Missy’s offices back in order. Kayla disappeared for the entire day still not feeling well. We really did very little on Tuesday.
Brother Scott and I had a meeting with Kayla on Wednesday morning about what she was hoping to get out of the internship with us and what she was passionate about. We also shared a basic schedule and some of the things we would like for her to do. She was well enough to have the meeting with us but still not feeling great. After the meeting with Kayla, Brother Scott, and I talked a little about the next few days and all the administrative things we needed to do from finances to reports as well as how we felt the week with the group had gone. After our meeting it was into the offices we both went. Wednesday, Thursday, and half of Friday I spent working in the office trying to get reports written, finances worked out, and emails answered. Our family did attend services in Malindi on Thursday and had a great visit with the folks after services. It was also Kenya’s Birthday! We stopped by the store on our way home and picked up some cake, ice cream, and strawberries to have for Kenya’s birthday. We made up some chips and dip and watched a movie that Kenya had gotten that she wanted. It was a nice evening together.
Kayla was sick all week, Kenya started giving her hydration drinks and took in a stool sample to see if she had something in her gut. She tried several times to do some work outside but just did not feel up to it. We managed to meet in the mornings to talk about the books I had her reading but otherwise she remained not well. Friday after noon Brother Scott, Missy, Abigail, Lydia, and I loaded up and went to the special needs school in Gede to give out English and some Swahili Bibles to the students. They requested English Bibles for the Deaf students and some of the others as well. While Brother Scott, Missy, and the girls went to the special school I visited met with Juma who came to the school. He said he needed to talk to me about a church matter. We sat and talked for a good while and it was obvious that we needed to have a meeting to deal with what he was sharing so I told him that we would try to arrange a meeting the next day with the other pastors. He agreed that would be good. I also told him we had plans to come to Bokole for church so hopefully we would resolve any issues on Saturday.
When the Bible distribution was over I spoke to Brother Scott about having a meeting with all the pastors on Saturday and he said he would be available also so we left it at that with Juma. We loaded up to head back to Malindi and I called all the men as we drove. Everyone said that they could meet at First Landmark BC Malindi at 12:00pm. This was the first chance we would have to meet since our return so I was very excited about the chance to meet. Brother Scott and I had a pre meeting when we got to the house to discuss a few things that we would be bringing up then it was TACO night at our house and little did we know it would be a night to remember! Read the Worm update by Kenya
East Kenya Missions
Well a couple of days before the group left, Lydia started getting what we thought was a boil on her leg. She has gotten about 6 of them since we have lived on the coast. It’s just part of life here, so we knew what to do. Usually after a few days it swells up and is ready to bust. We usually wait till it’s white and then put hot compresses on it to make it bust so we can clean it. I know it’s gross to think about but it’s just how it is. Well we waited a few days and then started with the hot compresses. I started in the morning and nothing happened. She really cried with a lot of pain with this one too. Usually she complains but never really cries a lot. So all day she complained. I told her we would try the hot compresses again in the evening. So we tried again and still nothing, just lots of pain and cry<span ><span >ing. So I gave her Tylenol and she went to bed. This time she woke in the middle of the night crying with the pain, so I told her we would go see the chemist in the morning. We went to the chemist who said it looked infected and gave us antibiotics. This is also normal, we had to do this before with both Lydia and Abigail. She we thought, “no big deal, we will take the antibiotics and it will go away.” So we started the antibiotics and Tylenol. Again she complained the whole day. In the evening we tried again with the compresses. Still nothing. We decided to just wait on the antibiotics to start working. The next day, all day she complained with pain and it even oozed a little, so we thought maybe it was going to bust. Well that evening was Friday, so after taco night, we were watchi<span >ng lady and the tramp, James decided to do the compresses again. This time, there was something white that kept coming to the surface, but would never finally ooz out of her leg. I told James, maybe it was like (again, sorry for the grossness) a zit that was sort of seed like in nature, so when I pushed on her leg, he grabbed the white substance with a wet washcloth and then with an ill look on his face ran to the kitchen motioning for me to follow. Well, Lydia felt immediate relief, so I left her to watch the movie while I went to the kitchen with James. He looked at me and said, “It’s a worm!” That was it for me, I had the “heebee jeebees” for the rest of the night. We examined the maggot-like worm, and looked in our village medical book to find out what it was. We at first thought it was a maggot, but it was so big. There are lots and flies here and in the village it’s very common for kids to get maggots in any open sores or wounds that are left untreated. Well we certainly hadn’t left this untreated, so we were skeptical. Well when we started reading, we got to the section of the book that had a picture of the worm. Cissy Hopper had told me about these worms before I just never thought we would actually get one. There are flies that can lay eggs on your clothes and then the egg can burrow into your skin when you are wearing them. Usually it’s when your clothes are on the line after the sun goes down or early in the morning. Well we use a dryer and don’t hang our clothes out so we didn’t expect this. But now after talking to local people you can even get them from sitting on the ground or just from dirt in general. So as disgusted as I was, I made everyone take a second shower and then washed all the bed sheets. James laughed at me for my constant cringing and near vomiting. It really is the grossest thing I have ever had to deal with. I can handle vomit, poop, and any else, but a worm, in MY kids leg! UGH! We decided to confirm this with the chemist, so James put the worm into a ziplock bag and I took it to the chemist the very next morning. I walked in and put the worm on the counter, asking Mr. Suchek what in the world this was. He said, “oh this is what we call the mango worm.” I said with a look of horror, “Okay, it came out of my little girl’s leg!” He laughed and said, “Don’t worry, it’s common.” I said, “But it came out of her leg! Am I a bad parent? How did this get there?” He again laughed saying, “Don’t panic, it just happens, it’s like jiggers (another worm I hope I don’t have to deal with), it can come from a bug bite or from dirt.” So there you have it…..It’s NO BIG DEAL! HA! I have goose bumps just writing about it right now. He told me to fill the hole with petroleum jelly in case there are other eggs, it will suffocate them. YUCK! Well let me tell you her leg has been oozing Vaseline for days! There won’t be any chance of anymore hatching from the same hole. ooohhh. So this weekend when we were in Bokole we asked one of the men there about it. They knew of it and said the way to know if it’s a boil or a mango worm is to put water on the spot. Like a bicycle tube with a hole, if it’s the worm it will bubble up, and if it’s a boil it won’t. So we will immediately do that test the next time we think someone has a boil. Well I hope none of you were getting ready to eat breakfast, lunch, or supper since you may not feel like it now especially if you were having rice. Have a great day!
Saturday started us off on an action packed ministry weekend with Brother Scott and I heading over the First Landmark BC for a meeting with all the pastors. Before we left Kayla said she wanted to talk to me so I asked to wait until I got back from the meeting and we would meet. It was great to have all the guys in one place at one time to talk through a few things. Everyone made it to the meeting except Jonathan. William was a little late but made it for the majority of the meeting. Alphonce, Godfrey, Ricklynn, Juma, and Daniel were prompt so we started with them. First we gave everyone a chance to give report on the churches and how things were going.
Godfrey and Ricklynn reported that the church was doing ok at Malindi but to pray for the members to stand firm in their faith and to get busy with the work of the Lord. They feel that the church is relaxing and putting the load on the pastors so they asked for prayers.
Alphonce gave a good report on Magangani and that they had visitors the previous week and were preparing for baptism services soon. They also were doing visitation and the church was full. He asked for prayer for the area of Sita where he is hoping they can start a new church in the future.
Juma gave report on Bokole and said the church was well but needed prayer to stand firm.
Daniel gave report on Jimba and asked for prayer for the church because they were surrounded by Pentecostal churches that did not speak the truth and were influencing those he was working with. He also asked for prayer that the Lord would bring men to the church not just ladies and that those attending would stay faithful.
After the men gave reports it was obvious to me that they were a bit discouraged and we talked a little about Evangelism and the need to plant seeds to get a harvest. Alphonce shared some of the things that he was doing to reach out and the success that he was getting with it. His outreach was solid and very encouraging. He told the men that if the older believers did not want to work or show up when they scheduled visitation to go and get one of the new believers and take them. Then you can train them and they are more likely to listen. He also shared how he his trying to teach all the people to reach out and help them know how to talk to people about the Lord. It was so good to see him excited. I shared a thought that I had about our work and something that I had not done but felt it was a mistake I had made before concerning visiting husbands and fathers of those who attend the churches. It is true many times we have a lot of kids and mamas come and I shared that it was because men are leaders and it is harder to get the head of the household at times but that we should make it a practice that if a mama or children come to our services we will visit the husbands and fathers out of respect to tell them thank you for allowing their family to come and to welcome them. I know that I jumped this in the past but I told the men I believed it was a door we have been passing by and we need to start going through immediately when God sends us kids or mamas. We moved on after a few more comments.
William had not yet arrived so Brother Scott started to give a report on Singuaya since he was the only one who had been to Singuaya recently. In the midst of the report William showed up so he continued to give the report. In all reality even William has not been in Singuaya very much recently because he got a job near Mandunguni. He said the church in Singuaya had gotten a plot and had collected poles to start a building. Again we know from Brother Scott’s visits to Singuaya that William really has not been present much and they have one of the young men doing the leading. Lord willing we will get out to see them soon and see what the church says about their situation and to confirm if William is still even their pastor according to them. Hopefully in the next few weeks we will get out to see them.
Jonathan did not make it to the meeting because we do not have a phone number for him and we are not sure where he is staying so there was no report on Gandini. William’s wife is still in Gandini and he said they were still doing ok but had a funeral this week and he was unsure if Jonathan was going out to Gandini. So that is another urgent visit that needs to be made.
After the reports from the church we asked the guys how they thought the graduation and ordinations went. There were a lot of positive comments. One issue was brought up about some of the member murmuring because the men received gifts and offerings at the services. Those murmuring seem to be isolated to one church so as a whole the men encouraged the leadership of that church and gave some advice as to how to deal with it with some teaching.
During the talk about the ordinations and graduations it opened the door to talk about when we have visitors from the states and things we should and should not do. We informed the men that we tell the group members not to give out their addresses or phone numbers to protect the young people in the group. The men know that here on the coast it is a huge problem with men and women looking for a white person or someone from America to take them to America. We told them for the sake of the college students and young people that come over we tell the groups not to give out personal information because that is not why they are here and one problem could result in groups not coming back if parents and churches feel that their young people are coming for inappropriate reasons. We also discussed the pressuring of guest for assistance and asking for things from the guest. We told them the guest have given much to come and it puts much pressure on them when they are cornered and asked for money or items individually. All the men understood what we were talking about and agreed that would not be good and would not make the guest want to return. We did tell them to share the needs of the church publically was not bad to ask the groups to pray for them and leave it to the Lord and his leadership. It was a great chance to talk openly about a subject that is sensitive. The men even offered suggestions about teaching their people and how we could encourage visitors to come serve with us not as Americans or outsiders but as brothers and sisters. I think it was a great conversation.
We opened up to the men for any questions they might have and Daniel asked about marrying people since they were ordained now and we told them we would look into that with Hopper and what the laws of Kenya currently say about marriage. There were not really any other questions except William had a question about women wearing shorts that came from way out in left field. He ended up answering his own question in the midst of discussion. The guys just laughed at his questions because he is so random. It was fun just visiting a little.
We then moved on to the issue with Juma and the rumors that he was not going to Bokole on the weekends. Juma went through a lengthy discourse and several spoke to it including brother Scott. The conclusion was that because Juma was without a phone for three months and there was a lack of communication with Juma that there was some confusion as to how he was doing. Also one of the men in Bokole during a visit that brother Scott had made had said directly that Juma was not coming to Bokole regularly. The other men could only say they had seen Juma in Gede, Watamu, and even Malindi but no one knew if he was going to Bokole. Juma was adamant to brother Scott he was going regularly to Bokole and that the church would confirm it when we were with them. As for the one who made the comment to Scott they as church would ask him why he said it. It was good to clear the air of all that and get everyone on the same page with Juma and to know that things were not bad in Bokole or that there was not problem with Juma and Bokole LBC.
After we finished with the Juma talk and gave some council concerning going directly to the source to find out what was going on rather than talking to one another we moved on. We moved into talking about buildings and finances. We spoke on the need to keep good records and be accountable when it comes to buildings as well as what Brother Scott and I are here to do and not to do. It was shared that we want to partner with not have dominion over the work on the coast. We shared a little of our financial needs that we have been having and how the Lord is supplying but that we did not have funds right now for buildings. It was again a good open discussion.
We opened it up again for any final questions or comments but there really wasn’t anything not to mention we were all tired from sitting in council for five hours straight. We closed in prayer then began to disperse. Brother Scott and I loaded up with Daniel, Alphonce, and Juma to head to Gede. We had chairs to take to Gede for Jimba and Magangani that the visitors donated when they left. 516 Missions gave 13 plastic chairs each to Malindi, Jimba, and Magangani. Richard also jumped in with us so he could come to the house to stay the night. We ran to Alphonse and Juma’s first and dropped off the chairs for Jimba and greeted Mapenzi, Alpohnce’s wife, and Mercy, Juma’s wife. Alphonse wanted us to stay and eat but we respectfully declined since it was so late in the evening. We ran by Daniel’s also and dropped the chairs off for Jimba and greeted Daniel’s family. Brother Scott, Richard, and I finally made our way back to the compound and found supper hot and ready to eat. NICE!
After supper Kayla asked me if she could speak to me. We went to the office and she started crying and sharing that she did not think she was going to be able to intern with us. She was still feeling sick and she was missing home. She said she felt it a little when the group was here and they were talking about going home to restaurants and doing this and that but she thought it would pass but it had not but only had gotten worse. She did not want to let us down or others but she was not getting better physically or emotionally. She had spoken to her grandparents who are obviously very close to her and are a big spiritual influence in her life and they told her they would support her staying but they felt like she did and that it might be best for her to go home. I assured her that we understood that this life is not for everyone and that she had done great with the group this year and in the previous year that she had come but 3 months is a whole other ball game. We were not disappointed in her and that we wanted to make sure she did not hurt herself by getting sicker physically or emotionally. We talked a little more and I asked again if she was sure that she wanted to go and she said yes so I put in the calls to Ryan and Jack Story to get her tickets changed.
I also spoke to Clayton Howell a little on the phone and we talked about his future and ministry plans. It is always exciting to talk to him and see how God is working in his life. I pray that the Lord will continue to guide him as he seeks the Lord’s will. While talking to Clayton and Ryan I took great joy in telling the Worm story to them. It really freaks Kenya out but hey we live in Africa.
Sunday morning we got up to go to Bokole and headed out at around 7:30am. Kayla was still not feeling well so she stayed behind while we went on. I did get an email from Jack that he had put request in for her change of flight and that we would hear from them on Monday so I think that was good news for Kayla. We headed towards Bokole and picked up Juma, Mercy, and Neema along the way. Juma road in the Land Rover with Brother Scott, Lydia, Abigail, and I while Mercy and the baby rode with the ladies and the rest of the kids in the van. I talked with Juma all along the way and he shared some questions that he knew the church would have when we arrived so I could prepare to teach on the subjects. The question had to do with putting a grave stone on a grave and if it was wrong also if it was wrong to put a cross on a lost persons grave.
I also got the chance to talk to Juma about a subject that has been in question for a while about him and Mercy. He told us that they signed the Marital agreement in November to take Mercy as his wife but if you look at when Neema was born there was not enough time unless they were together before. Rather than just assume I asked Juma about it. He said that Mercy’s grandfather came in from their home area and met with Juma’s parents and Mercy’s parents in September and they wrote everything down and agreed on dowry and everything and told him he could take her at that time but that the official signing with the chief and everything was not until November. That added up and showed that he had not been outside the parental agreement which would have been really bad for his testimony and could have spoiled his testimony. To be sure I asked him if he had to pay for “making a mistake” common way of describing getting pregnant before marriage and he said no because he had not done that. Her family had given her to him in September. All this customary stuff is so hard to grasp with marriage and all. It is like I told Brother Scott later in the day all the culture and customs give me a head ache but again asking directly rather than wondering is better, if you have relationship of course. Juma was great to share all about the details and he said that if you ask Mercy she could tell you the date she moved in, the date they met but he could tell roughly, I assured him I understood that that’s the way ladies are. Juma said his dad had all the records of their meetings and amounts paid already what was owed and everything. It was good to understand in some small way the situation because there was a fear that maybe there was a problem among the family and maybe even the church over this issue.
When we arrived at the church there were some already inside and the choir was practicing. Shortly after we all arrived Mercy’s mom and dad arrived and a few others. It was so good to see everyone and to greet them. The church has started to build another building in another location so they are not too far along but they at least have some shade. Juma asked me to take the teaching time to answer questions and for brother Scott to preach during the service. The fellowship seemed sweet in the church and the questions were good. The question Juma had prepped me for was asked right off the bat so we jumped into the scriptures. That question was followed by two or three other ones. It was so good to teach, I love opening the scriptures and reasoning together. After about two hours we finished up then went into the worship service. The singing was great! Since the folks at Bokole do not know how the hymns go that are in the book they make up tunes for the words, it is so awesome! You look at the name and think I know this tune but it is not the same tune in Bokole but it is good. After the singing and offering brother Scott shared a good message from the scriptures. Mercy’s dad also shared from the Bible a lesson that he had prepared already not knowing that we were coming. It was a good thought of seeking the face of the Lord in hard times not going to man or to the witch doctor.
Once we closed in prayer Juma brought up the matter of him not coming to Bokole and our discussion with the other pastors. I shared the conclusion of the matter from the standpoint of the other pastors and also shared that it all started from one of their men saying directly that Juma was not coming every week. The thing about that is that the man that said it was there in the service with us but half way through the services left because he had something to go do so he was not present to answer why he said what he said. It was obvious that the folks in the church were shocked but were reassured that there was no problem with us or the other churches. We told them were sorry for any confusion on the outside but they had to understand that the issue started with one of their own. They assured us that they would take care of that later and they were glad all was well. It was so good to get all that behind us so we could look to the future. After services we had chai and bread before leaving. Juma told us on the way home his mama was mad that he had not called ahead to tell her we were coming so she could prepare food. He assured her it was all fine and he wanted us to find the church as it would be normally. It really was a great day of fellowship and a bit longer than normal since we have not been to the church in so long but it was great. The church needs prayer and even they were asking for help as to how to grow and reach out. We will pray and speak to Juma more about the visit but in short it was a good visit.
After we had chai we loaded up and headed to Mombasa and stopped off to eat at the Pizza Inn and Chicken place. While we were waiting for the food Juma asked Mercy about a mark we had seen on their babies head in a picture. I had asked him in the car about it because it was thought by some to have been witch doctor stuff but I did not know what it was. He said even him he did not know what it was. He said even when he went to the hospital the baby had a marking on her head and he asked the doctor if it meant she had something wrong or what? Juma said the doctor laughed at him and told him it was just drawings. When Juma asked Mercy in front of us she said her mama had put it there and that it was just for looks. On Saturday at the graduation there were a couple other babies that were brought to church with hearts drawn on their foreheads and even eyebrows drawn on so it appears that it is just a coastal thing. They said that it was not Mganga (witch doctor) markings it was just beauty markings.
Kenya commented just today that it was good when we were in the restaurant with Juma and Mercy to see them talking to each other and they seem happy together. In some marriages we see you wonder if there is any joy or relationship so it is nice to see a couple talking and happy. Anyhow after we ate we headed back to Gede to drop off Juma and his family before making our way to Malindi. We were all worn out but our night was not over by a long shot. Brother Scott and I were in an accident just as we entered into Malindi. We almost had a head on meeting with a bus but instead we grazed a motor bike beside us. We pulled off immediately and called Obed, the police officer who is a member at Malindi. We asked him what to do and if he could send someone. He said to just wait and the traffic police would be there soon.
As we were waiting for the police to come the motocycle rider and his passenger came to the car and we told them the police were coming and we would fill out the report and take care of their needs. They did not want us to call the police but we told them we had to follow the law and would do whatever the police told us to do and that we had not run off but pulled off immediately to ensure they were ok. They did not want the police involved and ultimately left saying they were going to the hospital. We sat in the car and talked to the group of people that had gathered from the bar that we were in front of. By the time the police arrived the motorcycle was gone and the driver and rider. The group that was gathered together said that no one had seen the accident only that we had pulled off then they saw the bike down but that those involved were gone. No one even knew the color of the bike. The police said that there was no case probably because the rider had no license or insurance but they took our number and names and said they would contact us if they need us. Even the traffic officer walked to where we thought the bike went down and he could not even identify where the bike went down. When it was all over the crowd was gone back to the bar and we left with Obed and took him back to the police station.
He wanted us to come up to see Carolyn his wife and have a soda. It was hard to refuse since he had come to our rescue and besides that he has always been super sweet to our family and the church. We met Ruto one of the other officers that comes to the church from time to time at the gate of the police station. Obed told us while we were visiting that he thought he would soon be getting his transfer but before he left he wanted to introduce us to the Base commander in case we had problems in the future. It was a great visit and we were so grateful for Obed sending out the police so fast. We finally drug into the house worn out physically and mentally from the days events but praising the Lord for watching over us.
Monday is my day off to be with my family and I was ready for it! We had a great day just being together. We got Kayla’s results from that lab tests that showed she had no ameobas or bacteria in her gut, which is good but she was still queasy. Oh yeah, Samweli learned how to ride his bike with no training wheels!! We also got an email and call from Brother Jack that Kayla could fly out on Tuesday afternoon all he needed was confirmation. I asked her one more time if she was sure and without hesitation she said yes, so she was finished. We confirmed the flight and she went to packing.
This morning Kenya took Kayla to town to do some shopping before she departed. While Kayla was in town with Kenya brother Scott and I had a great meeting talking about the weekend and the future. We needed a little more time to plan the week but he and Missy said they would take Kayla to catch her flight in Mombasa. We said our good-byes to Kayla and told her she was always welcome and she said she would like to come again, quickly adding “short term”. We are praying for her as she returns that she will get well and the Lord will help her as she continues to serve him there. I know the decision to leave was not easy but again we understand this life is not for everyone.
Well that finishes the writing portion of the updates now to go back and put in some pictures and we will be up to speed! Pictures took several hours to go through and put it but I hope that those who read the updates will get a good overview of the past few weeks. I did meet with Gertrude a little today and visited with brother Scott about a few things. I also tried to get some emails answered and looked at a few more days and we should be back on task. I am so glad to have the updates done I hope that you all have enjoyed them. I must admit that writing the updates was so tiring almost like reliving each moment but it was also exciting to see all that God has been doing. Thanks so much for taking this journey with us!
East Kenya Missions
Wow here we go again another effort at trying to get the updates written. I have waited another several days to work on the updates and the days continue to compound, but there is just so much to do! As I sit here in the office trying to work on finishing up the monthly report and look at pictures for the updates I have realized the day is half over and I feel like it has not started. So many things to do it feels like so little time to do them. My plan is to spend the time to get caught up on the updates today and stay current…I just bit my tongue when I said that because that is ALWAYS my intention. Thanks for your patience those who stick with us and read the updates. Well let me pick up where I left off.
Friday July 27 Ugh! I just realized how far behind I really am….anyhow. On Friday it was a split situation. The main body of the group went to Tsavo Game park to go on safari but Clayton Howell, David Nix and I went on a trip to Mpeketoni. We all left out around 4:30am but in different directions. I was not on the safari but the group said they had a great time minus the hard bus ride on African “roads.” Clayton, David, and I made our way North then East to Lamu district to visit Pius who is a trainer for a program called Farming God’s Way. We wanted to make this trip to meet with Pius and see the farm he is working on because this a program that Clayton is looking into and wanted to see first hand what it was all about. Clayton is praying about and even preparing himself to join our team in the near future and this Farming God’s Way program is something the Lord has laid on his heart. The way I understand the program is that it combines discipleship and farming principles from God’s Word to help people produce better crops and learn to depend on God and His Word. It is really exciting to see the possibilities.
We made our way north to Garsen then headed East crossing the Tana River towards Witu and Lamu. Just before Lamu we cut south to a town called Mpekatoni. It is known on the coast for farming. Along the way we even saw some Wild life and attempted to get some Hyena Teeth but decided to try that on our way back.
We met up with Pius at a hotel in Mpekatoni and had breakfast with him and he shared a little about the area with us. Mpekatoni is also called little Nairobi. There is a very large population of Kikuyu which is one of the largest tribes in Kenya. They are not from the Mpekatoni area but according to Pius what happened was when the first president of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta, visited the area it was still all bush and full of wild animals so he divided it up and gave it to people so they could drive out the animals and farm it. On his second visit the people complained because the land was still so untamed they complained and told Kenyatta that they wanted tractors. He went back to Nairobi and gathered up all the street people he could find in Nairobi and anyone else around loaded them up on buses and sent the to Mpeketoni and told the people “here are your tractors.” Most of the people that were sent were Kikuyu who are known to be good businessmen and hard workers. Now weather that is all true are not we were not sure but it was an explanation as to how all the Kikuyu made it there from Nairobi.
Pius was a big help telling us about the area and about the Farming God’s Way Program. He told us at breakfast that it would be better to show us the program on his farm rather than just tell us. After breakfast we headed to Pius farm that was about 15 minutes from town. When we got to his farm it was a normal looking farm except his corn was amazing! It was like we were looking at a field from back home in Indiana. The corn was tight, in straight rows, healthy, and full of big ears of corn. Upon first sight we could see a difference on this farm compared to others. Clayton spoke a lot with Pius about farming and understood everything Pius was saying especially since Clayton has a degree in Agriculture. David also has some farming background so they were both listening intently; I on the other hand really know nothing about farming. We toured the entire farm and learned much about what Pius was doing. He attributed the success of the farm to what he called “God’s blanket”, two sticks and a rope, and maintaining standards. Everything done on the farm is done by hand also and with local seed so the results we saw can be reproduced in other areas. We were all three impressed with the farm and with Pius. He was a great help and told us much about the program. I think it just fueled Clayton’s fire and desire to work here with us. From his first trip four years ago and his three trips since he has always marveled that the people get any crops let alone a good crop and he has noticed their ignorance to basic farming principles. The trip to Mpekatoni was invaluable to Clayton and his future. Please continue to pray for him as he seeks the Lord’s Will.
After we left the farm we headed to town and passed by Pius’ shop for a soda before saying our good-byes. We gave Pius two Bibles one for him and his wife and thanked him for his time. Then we started our four hour track back to Malindi. We stopped along the way and successfully got us some Hyena Teeth after much effort on Clayton’s part and some help from a jack handle. The Hyena carcass we found had THE most foul odor I have ever smelled, so bad that David and I had to stuff toilet paper up our noses to keep from vomiting! We also got some shots of some baboons along the road. It was a smooth trip! We at our lunch as we drove, we had some Peanut butter sandwiches, smoky Bacon chips, and sodas. I also showed David and Clayton the built in Bottle openers that are installed on the Land Rovers Door latches. We had a great time, learned a lot, and visited a new area I had not been to before.
When we got to Malindi we picked up a few things for supper since we beat the group back and started working on the tacos for taco night. We also picked up some Oooh Ice cream for everyone to enjoy after supper. We had most everything ready for supper when the group rolled in from safari. Again they said they had a great time minus the bus ride and all the dust that had coated them on the drive home. They did get to see lions and got some great pictures. Everyone dove into the tacos! After the tacos we put in the movie Ghost in the Darkness that is based on a true story of Man eating lions in Tsavo which is the park the group had gone to. As a prelude to the movie we shared a video of Clayton knocking the teeth out of the Hyena carcass to set the mood. Then we popped up some popcorn and dished out the ice cream. It was a nice evening of rest for everyone.
Brother Scott and I met with Darren and Ryan about the graduation services and just went over the details and made some final plans.
These are the confirmed appointments that we currently have. We are still working out the schedule. We have some calls out and calls that need to be made. Our hope is to visit as many supporting churches as possible. If we have not contacted your church yet please email us and we can work out a date. Thanks for praying for our travels and I will try to write an update soon about week one in America. We do not have many Wednesday scheduled but they are available depending on where we are. Pray for Furlough that God will bless and use our family for the cause of missions.
4-Sep Pauline BC 909 Hyatt St Monticello, AR
4-Sep Pauline BC 909 Hyatt St Monticello, AR
8-Sep Cumberland River Association Pinehill MBC
11-Sep Victory MBC 312 Meyers St. Seymour, IN
11-Sep Columbus BC 4821 Hwy 31 N. Columbus, In
17-Sep Friendship Association Bethel no 2 in Herbine
18-Sep Little Springs BC 4040 Hwy 58 Poughkeepsie, AR
18-Sep Pleasant Hill MBC 11 Law 318 Lynn, AR
23-Sep Spring River Association Pleasant Hill BC in Lynn AR 7pm
24-Sep Bartholomew Association Calvary BC Hamburg
25-Sep Pleasant Valley BC 2645 White Dr. Batesville, AR
25-Sep Mount View MBC 17 Mt. View Rd. Cave City, AR
28-Sep MTM TEACHING 2:00pm Missionary Baptist Seminary Little Rock
29-Sep Saline Association Ten Mile MBC, Lonesdale AR 1:30pm
30-Sep Clark Pike Association Pilgrims Rest BC Lodi AR
2-Oct Faith BC 109 Tanglewood Rd. N. Littlle Rock, AR
2-Oct Wises Chapel Church Hwy 227 N. Pineville, AR
7-Oct Bethlehem Association Missionary BC Datto, AR 10am
8-Oct southwest Association Bethel BC Texarkana at 9:30 AM
9-Oct Flatwoods MBC 2709 E. Main st. Mtn. View, AR
9-Oct Flatwoods MBC 2709 E. Main st. Mtn. View, AR
13-Oct Pine Bluff Association Bethany BC White Hall AR at 1PM
14-Oct Grand Prairie Association
15-Oct Central Association
16-Oct Victory MBC Cabot, AR
16-Oct Corinth MBC Sheridan, AR
21-Oct Howard County Association
22-Oct Macedonia Association
23-Oct Holland Chapel BC 15523 I-30 Benton, AR
23-Oct Fairplay MBC 8516 Fairplay Rd. Benton, AR
30-Oct Calvary BC (revival) 80 Hwy. 79 N. Magnolia, AR
30-Oct County Avenue BC 3604 County Ave Texarkana, AR
3-Nov Arkansas State Meeting Sharon Benton AR
6-Nov Victory BC Madison MS
6-Nov Emmanuel MBC 57500 Knapp-Thomas Rd. Bogalusa, LA
9-Nov Louisiana State Meeting Camp Glenwood Folsom LA
13-Nov Crestview MBC 825 Southeast Parkway Arlington, TX
13-Nov Sublett Rd. BC 4211 W. Sublett Rd Arlington, TX
15-Nov Texas State Meeting Walnut Street MBC100 Hillsboro
20-Nov South Union BC 159 Farm Rd. 997 Daingerfield, TX
20-Nov Nevills Chapel MBC 113 CR 3210 Mt. Pleasant, TX
27-Nov Sugar Creek MBC 94 CR 44 S. Ironton, OH
27-Nov Jeffersonville BC 412 Washington St Coal Grove, OH
11-Dec Nelson Valley BC 2651 Hwy. 39 Somerset, KY
11-Dec First Landmark BC 7010 E. Thompson Rd. Indianapolis, IN
1-Jan Mt. Hebron BC Lancaster KY
1-Jan East Somerset BC 345 Pumphouse Rd. Somerset, Ky
8-Jan Grace BC 7210 Race Track Rd Bowie, MD
8-Jan Grace BC 7210 Race Track Rd Bowie, MD
15-Jan Loveland BC 4044 N. Duffield Loveland, CO
15-Jan LifeGate/ Greeley MBC Greeley, CO Kelley Stringer,
22-Jan Twin Lakes BC Hwy 491 Navajo Nation Gallup, NM
22-Jan Landmark MBC Farmington, New Mexico
29-Jan Lone Mountain MBC 6319 W. Lone Mt. Rd. Las Vegas, NV
29-Jan Wagonwheel MBC Las Vegas, NV
5-Feb Pixley MBC 367 S. Maple St Pixley, CA
12-Feb Landmark MBC 124 N. 9th St. Okemah, OK
12-Feb Unity MBC 7th and Hope St. Ada, OK
19-Feb Hyde Park BC 709 Wallace Dean Rd. W. Monroe, LA
26-Feb Lifepoint BC Owasso, Ok
26-Feb South Lakewood BC 6108 E. 20th St Tulsa, OK
14-Mar Greater Heights BF
2-Apr Landmark NLR Mission Rally
April13-14 AYC ARKANSAS
15-Apr Bethlehem MBC Kirby , Ark firstname.lastname@example.org
29-Apr Landmark MBC Clinton email@example.com
29-Apr First Landmark MBC 8th and Fulton, , Danville, AR
13-May Harmony MBC 6430 Greers Ferry Rd. Greers Ferry, AR
13-May East Union MBC 20422 N. Springlake Rd. Hensley, AR
27-May Cornerstone BC Bolingbrook, IL
27-May Landmark Mishawaka, IN
20-Jun ABA MEETING
1-Jul Pauline BC 909 Hyatt St Monticello, AR
1-Jul Pauline BC 909 Hyatt St Monticello, AR
August 24 Wednesday
Mark Purington, his daughter Sarah, and Jeremiah the geologist all came in on Tuesday afternoon to do a water survey in Singuaya. We loaded up the Land Rover and the Van with Mark and his team with their equipment and our family and headed to Singuaya first thing Wednesday. Kenya wanted to go out to Singuaya and tell them good-bye before we left so this gave us a great chance to all go out together. Mark, Sarah, Jeremiah, and a few church members did the water survey while we visited with everyone. The survey took a couple hours and the results were that water is available at about 50 meters down. There was water again at 100 meters but Jeremiah the geologist suspects that it may be salt water. All this was good news so it seems the project has potential.
While we were doing the survey some of the teen boys in the area showed us some bush babies and squirrels they shot out of trees with sling shots. They were planning to eat them, they said it was really good. Kenya was looking at them and made a sigh and said poor thing. Then Mama Martin said, “don’t be sad it is food”. It was so funny and she was serious.
We got the survey completed and took a water sample to test if the current water supply is contaminated or not. After we gathered in the church and shared the findings we prayed together and Kenya left with the kids and the visitors. I remained behind to talk with William, Jonathan, and Mzee Philip about a few things. We had a good meeting followed by some Kumbu. It was my last chance to have the Minnows in coconut milk soup and it was good. After we ate together I said my good-byes then headed to Singuaya Primary with William to meet with a group that he is meeting with. The church in Gandini has sent him to the next village over to try and start another church.
When we arrived there were over fifty people present. They had prepared chicken and rice for us already. We had arrived late but everyone was still present. We greeted everyone and I shared from the word for about 45 minutes then we ate. The group seems to have a desire to learn. Pray for William and Jonathan as well as the Gandini church they have such a huge opportunity in their area to start multiple churches but they need to grow spiritually and as leaders. All in all it was a great day! I got back in the evening and visited with Mark before we called it a night.
August 25 Thursday
I ran Mark and his team to the airport in the morning and came back to the house and began working on appointments and mission finances for the month. We are getting our schedule all lined out and pastors have been so gracious to accept the dates we have requested. We really want to get our schedule worked out so that we can work the plan once we are there and visit with everyone.
Bible Study was great and we had really good attendance. Godfry did a good job teaching.
By the way the water in Gandini is most definitely contaminated. It stank and turned black as Mark said it would if it was contaminated.
August 26 Friday
It was another day of office work getting things ready to go. There is so much to do but we really made a dent in it on Friday. I also got the garage all back in order. Kenya had a great activity for the kids on family night involving painting your hands. The kids loved it!
August 27 Saturday
Saturday was Sarah’s Birthday the big 05. In our family the official age you do not have to take afternoon naps anymore. Even though since it was summer, naps were suspended. We had Rebecca and four other Peace Corps volunteers come spend the day with us as well. We cooked out and had a good time visiting with them. I ran them down to the beach to enjoy the waves a little. In the evening I ran to see Daniel to give him the baptismal certificates for Jimba and passed by to talk with Alphonce a little.
August 28 Sunday
We had a good service followed by a business meeting where the church called Godfry as their pastor and Ricklynn as the treasurer. I was glad that it worked out and pray that God will continue to bless this church. I have enjoyed the opportunity to serve as their pastor.
August 29 Monday
Today has been nothing but preparing for our departure. tomorrow we are taking the kids for a special day out. We know it will be busy once we get to the states so we wanted to take a day to be together.
East Kenya Missions