Monthly Archives: July 2012

Update

Each day is getting better and better!
It’s hard to describe the past two weeks in Kenya. As each day passes by I’m feeling more and more at home, physically and emotionally. The biggest challenge that I’m dealing with is my indpendence. I was very independent in the States, and I was able to do things freely as I wanted, when I wanted and how I wanted. As you can imagine that changes a lot when you switch cultures and add Fred to that. We are both learning and growing together on how to do things “our way, when we want, how we want.” Including Fred in my decisions isn’t so much the hard part, but being so dependnet on Fred to complete many tasks is a bit of a struggle. As much of a struggle it is to loose some of my independnece, it’s also bringing us closer together. I’m amazed on how God hasn’t only called me to serve and love these Kenyans, but he put a Godly Kenyan man by my side, as we help one another serve our brothers and sisters. I can’t imagine how this transition would look like if I didn’t have Fred in my life.
Fred and I met with James and Vangie to discuss upcoming ministry plans.  We are excited for everything to hit the ground running! However, they assured us that they do not want us to do any ministry until after the wedding. Even though we are anxious for future ministry plans, we both agreed that it’s important to take things slow right now as I continue to adjust to full-time life here. Our first focus after the wedding will be on children and youth ministry in Kisumu. We will aso work on developing a structured orphan sponsorship in the village.  James and Vangie have asked us to pray about taking over ministry in the village.  While we knew that the Children’s Village (orphanage) would be in our future, the entire village ministry is new and exciting news. We are praying about this as well as asking questions of relocating closer to the village.
We both enjoy life in Kisumu as it’s much easier than the village, but we both agree if the village ministry is what God is calling us to, then want to be living by who we are serving. We are open to whatever God has, it just raises a lot of questions for now and the future. All of this makes us excited to see how God will use us. Hopefully we will be able to share more about this as God reveals more of His purpose for us. Please join us in praying, that we may not miss out on what God has for us and that we would be at peace for our future plans.
Wedding Update: Since I’ve been here, we have met with the wedding committee twice. I’m continually thankful for their dedication to us strating our life together. It’s a beautiful resemblance of the communal way of life that Kenya has. While I may not be the one making all the decisons as  “the bride” I’m thankful that this wedding day is about our community and the people who have poured into our lives over the years. It should be a fun day filled with celebration! A missionary friend is making a video of our wedding and he will post it on Facebook as soon as it’s done, hopefully within the first week!
Life Update: We have been able to get some basic necesisites for our apartment. This was something I wanted to do right away because my family is coming next week, I wanted to make sure we had everything set. It’s been fun going to the market and pick out hand mand furniture. Another big change for me, is preparing meals everyday. While Fred has always done that, I certainly haven’t! In the States, I enjoyed ready made dishes and take out :). It’s been fun though cooking together and learning how to prepare Kenyan dishes, and of course challenge their taste buds with some American dishes!
Internship update:I’ll be starting my internship at Agape Ministries in September. I’m excited to see how God will use this opportunity to help me in the future. I have yet to meet with the staff at Agape to talk speciics, but I know that it will be a great experience.
Prayer Requests: Please keep my family in your prayers as they are traveling to Kenya. My mom leaves on August 1st and my sisters and Dad leave on August 6th.
Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Physically & Mentally

I’ve made it- through two whole days in Kenya, however I feel like weeks have passed by already! I had imagined the first couple weeks in Kenya would just feel like a visit because I’ve come for short trips every year. However, today it really started to become a reality that this wasn’t just my home in my heart, but it was now physically my home. 

It was a full day of unpacking and furnishing the apartment- and will still will have more work to come tomorrow. I am staying in a two bedroom apartment that use to be James and Vangie’s (Directors of Good News) home for the past 5 years. I’ve stayed here every time I came to Kenya, so I’m very familiar with the home and the area. Fred has been staying at the apartment for the last 6 weeks and will move back in after we are married, he’s rooming with a friend nearby for now. As comfortable as I was with our apartment, I also was aware of some not so strong areas of the apartment. Low water, one toilet didn’t work and the water heater was broken. I was fully prepared to move into the apartment and worry about fixing these things in the future. Little did I know, Fred was working hard to make our home ready and perfect. I was so surprised all of these things were taken care of- great props to Fred :).

Last night we were so tired, so just made some ramen noodles for dinner. So tonight I was a little nervous around dinner time. I had always helped Vangie prepare dinner, but I hadn’t prepared a Kenyan dish on my own since 2006 during my Discipleship Training School. Fred and Edwin (our good friend) were really helpful all day long so I knew they would really be grateful for a Kenyan dish, rather than an American, my specialty! 🙂 Making dinner in Kenya can be very difficult (well, at least compared to throwing in a pizza in the US). But I must say- I rocked dinner tonight! Fred and Edwin were finishing things up around the house, so I was pretty proud of myself for doing it mostly alone. As much as I rocked cooking tonight- they definitely brought their game during clean up time.
We had a great evening together. It’s starting to feel more and more comfortable hear as I adjust to the changes.  Although I’m still struggling with slowing down. The last 3 months of my life in the US have been the fastest yet, so to transition to a slower lifestyle here is a bit of a struggle, though I’m trying to find rest in it.  Everything takes time here, and no one is ever in a hurry, it’s focused on the person and the relationship rather than the task. By slower, I don’t be lazy, their is nothing I find about this culture to be lazy, just slow and personal.
It makes me reflect on my relationship and time with Christ. So often I go into his presence with an agenda or a mental timer on what I have to do next.  I want the Kenyan lifestyle to reflect my desire to be with my God, slow and personal. 
Thanks for your prayers during this adjustment period. I didn’t anticipate that the adjusting time would happen so soon, as I had been in Kenya for week trips every year. However, it’s different this time coming to Kenya. It’s permanent and my mind is in it long term rather than short. I think this forces me to confront the adjustments right away. None of this is bad, just a process, a change of thinking, living and doing. I’m looking forward to what Christ is doing in me and through me now and what is to come. Fred loves listening to music- so it was on all day as we were unpacking and a song called “In Me” by Casting Crowns came on and these lines really made me smile as I was unpacking my life in the States to my home in Kenya.
Cause when I’m weak, You make me strong
When I’m blind, You shine Your light on me
Cause I’ll never get by living on my own ability
How refreshing to know You don’t need me
How amazing to find that you want me
So I’ll stand on Your truth, and I’ll fight with Your strength
Until You bring the victory, by the power of Christ in me.
It’s such an honor to be wanted by God. He doesn’t NEED me here in  Kenya, but he wants me here. He has called me and designed me to be here, among these people, serving his Children.
I will always be amazed that God chose me to do this work, in all of my weaknesses and inequities  it is He who makes me strong and qualified.  

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Never Alone

I’ve arrived in London, half way home!

The journey this far has certainly been an unforgettable one. As I’m embarking on this journey to more- more of Christ, I’m reminded that this journey to more has started a long time ago. God continues to call us to something more, not something tangible or materialistic, but the fullness of Christ.  When I first became a Christian, one of my favorite things to hear was…

God loves you just the way you are, but he refuses to leave you that way.
He will take, challenge you, grow you, uplift you to experience more and more of Him and what He has for our lives. I’m excited to continue to experience that MORE! My desires don’t lie in this world, rather the heavenly treasures of what Christ has for me.
The last three days have been more difficult than I ever imagined and the presence of God has been more powerful than I ever could dream of. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for all of your encouragement, love and support, it has been very overwhelming and uplifting. I’m now going home to Kenya, thank you Jesus 🙂
After saying goodbye to my family, passing security, and finding my gate…I sat down. After having people around me non stop for the past weeks, I felt very alone. On the plane I opened my devotional before passing out and I wanted to share with you these words that were so sweet to me…
I am nearer than you think, richly present in all of your moments. You are connected to Me by Love-bonds that nothing can sever. However, you may sometimes feel alone, because your union with Me is invisible. Ask Me to open your eyes, so that you can find Me everywhere. The more aware you are of My presence, the safer you feel. This is not some sort of escape from reality; it is tuning in to the ultimate reality.  I am far more Real than the world you can see, hear, and touch. Faith is confirmation of things we do not see and the conviction of their reality, perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses. 
 
Thank you Jesus for traveling with me, for never leaving my side and for showing me your love and grace in your people.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Overwhelmed!

It’s very hard to believe that the last days are here.  It’s extremely difficult to try to explain how I feel as these days are approaching.  Every time someone asks me, I have a different answer because my emotions are ever-changing. Ultimately, I’m overwhelmed 100% of the time.  I’m not overwhelmed with anxiety, nerves or fear, but I’m overwhelmed with gratefulness. 

The past months have been a beautiful preparation for what is to come. I have so many people and things to be thankful for. God has surrounded me with a remarkable community that has again and again encouraged and supported me this entire way.  It’s hard to feel a need anymore, because God has taken care off all of our needs as we take this step. He had carried us through this entire process, it hasn’t always been easy to trust Him, but he has again and again proven Himself to be always faithful.

I’ve always been aware of God’s plan in our lives, but I’ve never felt this guided before, this cared for and protected.  I was sharing with someone the difficulties of leaving my family, friends and community, which has continued to be a daily emotional roller coaster. I said to them as difficult as it is to leave my family, it is more difficult for me to live outside the will of God.  It reminds me of a quote I read a few years ago…

I’d rather die in the will of God than to live outside of it. — Dr. Jack Hyles.

I’m excited to continue on this journey…it won’t always be an easy one, some days I know I will cry, fight, scream and want out, but ultimately I know I am where God has called me and there is no greater feeling than that.

Thank you for helping lead me to this new journey…your friendship, love and support has been a complete blessing.  I feel so overwhelmed with joy and thanksgiving that God has put pillars of strength all around me to keep me strong. I’m excited to see what God will do through all of us in the days to come, as we partner together to bring the fullness of Christ to the ends of the Earth. 

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized