Sunday, April 23, 2017
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34 (NIV)
I must admit – I keep going back to Kenya because I get out of it as much as I put into it. I always go planning on loving on these kids, but it turns out the kids have just as much love to give in return.
Friday, April 21, 2017
Most people give me way too much credit for taking these trips to Kenya. Sure, we have some rough days, but it’s not like we spend two weeks living in a grass hut with no running water.
The volunteer house where we stayed in the neighborhood of Kidfarmaco in Kikuyu isn’t too bad. It’s actually pretty nice. And this was my first trip to Kenya where the electricity didn’t go out a single time the entire time I was there. Which makes me chuckle since the power went out at home while we were gone.Here’s the front entrance to the house.
One of the office’s in the backyard.
View of the house from the office.
The living room.
One of the bedrooms. As spacious as some of the rooms are, you can imagine them getting a little cramped when each bed is accommodating a volunteer and the remaining space in the room is filled with all they need for anywhere from two weeks to six months.
One of our team members, Rachel, journaling our first morning in Kenya
The other team member, Kenzie, enjoying the morning sun. There was still snow on the ground when we left Wisconsin the day before. Oh, that’s right, there was snow on the ground when we returned two weeks later.
Rachel and Kenzie doing laundry in the front yard. One of the few things I miss while I’m there – the washing machine.
Next time - we actually start doing stuff.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Though I’ve been home from Kenya for almost a week, I am still sorting through pictures. Remember back in the day, when we had to wait for all those rolls of film to be developed to see what we did and where we went? Oh, but that’s right, we had to be choosy about what pictures we snapped, and couldn’t shoot over 1500 on one trip.
How had I ever survived?
I can see dragging this trip out over several weeks, so you’ll have to bear with me. Those 1500 pictures need to make their presence known.
Ah, but first the trip there.Our team consisted of my daughter Val, as our team leader, her co-worker Rachel and Rachel’s friend Kenzie. On Val’s front stoop, ready to pack the car.
Our home for the next thirteen hours. (What were we thinking by booking a thirteen-hour flight?! In the past, we’ve had two eight hour flights with a reasonable lay-over. This time we didn’t have a layover, just a mad dash to our next flight, which was a mere five hours.)
And we made it! The most exciting part was that our ride at the airport met us with a sign which read, “TUMAINI VOLUNTEERS”. It made us think that we had actually made it – and not just to Kenya, but as an actual nonprofit organization making a difference in a third world country. That was the picture I wish I would have gotten.
Sunday, April 16, 2017
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NIV)
The last three months have been filled with much sadness and stress, along with a smattering of joy and peace. Mom’s decline, Mom’s passing, dealing with things she left behind. A new computer program at work and the many long hours involved with that. My fourth trip to Kenya, which was a great success.
And finally, a hand injury, which is why I will cut this post short.
It is Easter Sunday. Jesus Christ has risen from the grave, has conquered death and the devil, so that we might have eternal life. So that I don’t have to wonder where my mom has gone, so that I know I will see her again someday. So that I shouldn’t have to stress about things like computer issues or long trips in a plane to a third world country.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27 (NIV)
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for Your massive sacrifice and for granting us peace and eternal life. Amen
Sunday, April 9, 2017
Here it is Palm Sunday, and here I am in Kenya. Hopefully this will post on my blog as scheduled. I never know with technology.
Before I left for Kenya, I made sure my ducks were in a row, paying the bills for the next month, making sure Hubby knew where the important papers were. I wanted to be ready for anything.
This parable, one of the last which Jesus shared with His followers, reminds us to always be ready. I know when I will return home from Kenya, but no one knows the day or the hour of when Jesus will return.
The Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25, New International Version)
25 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
9 “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’
12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’
13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”
Sunday, April 2, 2017
I am writing this prior to leaving for Kenya and planning on it posting on my blog while I am gone. I hope that works and you read this on schedule.
Every time I go to Africa, it is in great hopes of doing great things. This parable reminds me that even the smallest thing can become great. But also, it’s not me that makes anything turn out right; it is only through the grace of God.
The Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast (Matthew 13, New International Version)
31 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”
33 He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
As I write this it is 3:30 in the morning. I’ve been awake for about an hour and a half. I have a lot on my mind. Besides work, my mom’s affairs, publishing my novel, among other things, I am of course most excited about leaving for Kenya in 36 hours. I have so much to do before then, mostly packing and remembering what to pack. I’ve been there enough times that you would think I had this down to an exact science. Instead, however, the contents of my head remain as scattered as ever.
I know that most people don’t understand why I keep going back, why whenever my feet hit the sidewalk outside of the Nairobi airport, I feel like I have returned home. I’ve taken another quick look through my pictures and none of them do that feeling justice. You just have to be there and not only see the sites, but smell the smells and hear the sounds. Feel that dry breeze on your face or that dry hand in yours.
One of my goals this trip is to actually take a picture which captures those feelings. In the meantime, here are some totally random photos from previous trips. I tried to find ones which I maybe haven’t posted before.
Also, I wrote my Sunday blogs to post as scheduled, but I don’t know if I will have internet access to post them to Facebook and my other social media. So please try to return to this blog on your own the next two Sunday mornings. Thanks and God bless you all while I am gone. I'll have lots more pictures and stories to share when I return.