Saturday, June 25, 2011

Some Happenings In Kenya (long)

Monday June 20, 2011

I have written many things about our trip so far in a notebook. I have been transfering it to the computer when I have some extra time to devote to that. I would be putting all of this on my blog daily if I had access to it, but I do not. (I didn't have Interent until a week ago. Trying to catch up.)

I have fallen in love with Kenya. I can’t really explain it but I feel warmth inside myself for these people. They have been so loving and kind and welcoming. Last week was so full of activity. This week will have some. Today we are supposed to go into town and pick up a dress that I ordered (funny story about the dress, will tell you about it later) and have the girls fitted for dresses for an ordination ceremony for Joe and Tammy that is next Saturday.

I am sitting in the villa watching the rain poor down. I have learned that it rains often but doesn’t last for very long. The kids and I stayed at the villa this morning but will head up to the church for lunch. The kids are playing a game in the girls room. They have their moments of getting along and I suppose this is one of them.

The food has been different but still good. We have tasted some traditional Kenyan foods and just some regular recipes that taste a bit differently than what we are used to. The kids are adjusting very well to it. They know they can eat it or not but they will have to wait until the next meal to get something else.

I am enjoying the villa except for the mosquitoes. They are eating us alive. The kitchen help says it is because the owners won’t cut down the bushes next to the pool. I wish they would because then you could see the ocean from downstairs. You have to be on the second or third floors to see the ocean because of the bushes. The ocean is beautiful and I have taken many pictures of it at different times of the day. During the day you can have all of the windows open and enjoy the cool breeze. But around 5 they put down the mosquito nets and shut the windows in the bedrooms. It doesn’t always help. The windows also have shutters on them that do not fully close so you can’t spray your rooms and expect that to kill everything. More can get it. I am not sure why they don’t do anything about it when they rent out the home to people. Do they want their guests covered in bite marks? JC’s right side of his face is covered. Jennifer got her first bits last night, on her face. John and I have our foreheads covered in bites and my right arm looks terrible. People cringe when they see it. I also got bit by some kind of bug on my arm in the crease. It has been there for a couple of days now and kind of feels like a burn.  One of the ladies at church said it will just go away in time. We are keeping an eye on it. (It's healing slowly but surely). Next time we come I want to stay in a room that the windows close all the way so we can spray and kill the bugs in the room and not let more in.

Yesterday we were talking about roller coasters and other things that are scary. I said I didn’t do roller coasters because I have never been one to do things that are scary. I don’t like being scared like some people. For them it is a rush of excitement. Someone said that I was brave for coming to Africa. I said “No, there isn’t anything brave about that except maybe the plane ride. I’m not scared to be in Africa. I love it.” And I meant that with all of my heart. I was never scared to come here, only of the airplane. After being on five of them in two days I think I might be over that part. We traveled so many places just on the plane and went through different airports. Because of our cancelled flights we were rerouted to Dubai. That is an airport that is filled with people from all over the world. I wasn’t scared in any of the places we stopped. I just put on my smile and kept it there for all I passed by. Most of the time I got a return smile that was just as genuine.

Someone told me before I left that I need people too much. In a way I think I do need people but I don’t think that is a bad thing. It draws me to others in a way that builds relationships in a short amount of time. I have made many friends during this conference. I have only been here for a week (as of tomorrow) and I have made so many new friends. They can see that I care about them and want to be their friend.

John has just jumped in there and become a part of things. The people are so eager and happy to work. Even the women have gotten out there and worked at the water well drilling. And when there has been down time where they are waiting on something John will sit down and teach them out of the Word. One of the ladies told me about that last night. She said he really got them to thinking about how they need to use that well to reach out to others.

John and I were talking last night about the “next step” that God might have for us. We both feel that it will be even bigger than this trip and that there will be many challenges but it will be something big and exciting. We both feel if God truly wants us in a country outside the US He will make it happen. We also have said to each other we don’t see why we couldn’t do it. We know God is the ultimate provider and He will supply all of our needs.

We attended the church service yesterday. They have an English service at 9:30 followed by a Swahili service. That service ended at 1:30. The kids (including our girls) got up and sang and danced during the service for a couple of songs. Their songs usually last about 7 minutes or so. They aren’t as short as ours in the states. And when they worship, they worship with everything inside of them. I got some really good pictures. I can’t wait to get Internet so I can upload them and share all of this with you.

I got to listen to some wonderful Kenyan music the other day and when I get back to the states I want to get on Pandora and find a Kenyan station. I am learning some of the language already. One of my new friends told me yesterday she was going to teach me some and I told her GREAT, I want to learn. I think this is a language we could learn pretty easily, especially to read. The vowel system is so much easier than English. It would just be a matter of learning the words and remembering them. We would have to spend days just speaking Swahili and nothing else to make ourselves learn it.

Our Kenyan friends on the team left yesterday. They were only here for one week of the three. I will miss them greatly. I did my best to pick their brains about everything I could think of. I learned a lot from both of them. The kids are sad to see them go because they have grown so close to their kids. They helped me to understand a lot about the people and the culture. I know there is much more to learn but I feel blessed to have learned the things that I did over the last week. And I gained a great friend. I want to cry when I think about her not being here. We had great times. She took me to the market in Kilifi on Saturday and it was great fun watching her haggle with the merchants over their produce. It is something I would have to learn how to do if we ever live in a place like this. I am not sure I could do as well as her but maybe in time.  

The rain has stopped after about 20 minutes. The sun was always bright in the sky but now the clouds have passed and it is shining brighter than ever. I am unable to sit where I can see the ocean because I am charging the battery in my computer. When it is fully charged I am going to unplug it and move over. I don’t like sand very much but I love looking and listening to the ocean. We hear the ocean at night and throughout the day. That is how close we are to it.

Everything is very different from American and what we are used to. The supermarket is kind of the same and the only shop that you don’t seem to have to barter at. The ones on the street you barter for everything. Ruth even got my dressed cheaper than they had them priced. I am glad I had her with me. I think that if I lived here I would just order material and make my own dresses. They are very simple to make.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I find it so hard to believe that next week at this time I will be on a plane back to the states. It has gone by so fast. Last week we had the conferences that took up most of the time each day. This week we have done lots of running to the market for different things. There was an ordination ceremony for Joe and Tammie Friberg. Dresses and pants were made. Shoes and shirts were purchased. Hair was done on Friday (That took a LONG time!) This morning we got to the church at 8 a.m. The service didn’t start until 11:30 so it ended at 3:30 instead of 1:30. Lunch was served after that. It was a long service but very interesting. They take ordinations very seriously here. It is like a wedding. So many people came and it was great to visit with them when the service part was over.

There are children here that are “on their own”. A co-team member told me that they are street kids and they don’t really have a home. During the day they fend for themselves and then at night they sleep where ever they can find a place. And even sadder is the fact that some of these kids are raising other kids. These young girls, who are 9 and under, carry around babies on their backs. One of the younger ones who is always on her own has been coming up there with a infant that looks to be under 3 months old. She looks about 6, if that. A new friend, Joyce, has a program for orphans. They don’t have the money to pay to go to school. One hundred and fifty of them come each day. She feeds them and teaches them. She gets donations from other parents to help buy food.  She told me she doesn’t have much help and sometimes the help she has doesn’t do things the way they need to be done. Her vision is to get a well on that property so she can grow fresh vegetables to help feed the kids. When I wave at the children that stand around the gate to the church they get big smiles on their faces. And they come closer to talk to me or just smile. As I walk through crowds of these kids or even drive by kids they are so ready for me to notice them and say hello and wave. They especially want our kids to notice them and say hi. They also love for you to take their picture and show it to them afterwards.  

I am not sure what this next week will hold other than well drilling and more discipleship training of the pastors. We are very close to water. We are almost 50 feet down and water should be between 50 and 60 feet. We only have until Friday to get the well finished to completion. We know God can do a mighty work and get it done. It has been filled with many challenges this past two weeks. But they have managed to hit each one head on. There is hard coral that they have to go through. It is good for those here to see that there are things that will come up but there is always a way to work through them. There are some of the pastors that are really excited to take this water well drilling back to their church and use it to further the Gospel. We are praying that they can carry on once we go back to the states or that we can somehow come back and help them. It’s in God’s hands and He knows the plans He has for these pastors and us.
It is late. Time to rest for a bit. We have church in the morning and there are two services that we go to. John is speaking in the English one. Thanks for taking the time to read this long post. I know most of people don't have time to read things this long. Blessings to you!


Ashley said...

It's great to read an update. I'm continuing to pray!

Kate said...

Loved reading this update! Can't wait to see your pictures. Praying for a wonderful, blessed final week. I know you'll be leaving a big piece of your heart behind.