Monthly Archives: August 2012

Camalieri’s in Kenya

I was standing in a crowd of 200+ Kenyans waiting in the arrivals at the Nairobi airport. I took a short flight into Nairobi to meet my Dad and sisters as they flew into Kenya. Then the following morning we traveled back to Kisumu.

As I was anxiously waiting for them and trying to hold my place in this small overpopulated area everything stopped for a few minutes.  It was at this point that it started to become real. Any minute I would be embracing my father and sisters…on Kenyan soil. I don’t know what I thought before this, but for some reason, this was a news flash to me. I remember the sound of the crowd faded out and tears started flowing down my face.

It’s hard to explain to you what an honor it was to have my family here for our wedding. To walk my parents and sisters around the village we serve in and show them all the good things that God has been doing here. To invite them into this welcoming and beautiful culture was a complete joy. I always find it fun to be with people who are in Kenya for the first time.  In their journey, I’m reminded so much of my first trips to Kenya. I’m also amazed to see where God has brought me through each journey. Each journey has helped develop me to be able to live comfortably in Kenya despite all of the differences from an American life.

I realized my growth in “Kenya life” the other day as I was showering.  I remembered my first shower in Kenya at the YWAM base in Mombasa.  As I entered the shower I had never ran so fast and screamed as loud as I saw a lizard come around the bathroom door. I remember being terrified for that whole 6 month trip every time I entered the bathroom. Where God has brought me you ask? Well, every morning, I have a roommate or two in the shower…a friendly lizard. If you know me, you know I’m not a fan of small (or big) creatures, but as silly as is, God has helped grow in this area.  This is just an example of different areas I’ve seen God either develop or create in me a desire to live and love this culture.

With that being said, having my family here, reminded me that my family isn’t called to Kenya, however, with all of the culture, food and life differences my family did awesome.  In a way, as happy as they were to come, I’m sure they were ready to return to dependable water, plumbing and electricity, American food and safe driving. I was very proud with my entire family in how they did here; my Dad even said he wanted to return to Kenya in a couple years. God is good.

While my family was here, time flew by! The day before the wedding most of Fred’s family had reached Kisumu so it was nice to have both of our families in our home for a little bit. Fred and I are so flexible within our cultures that at times I really forget that we came from two completely different worlds. Having both of our families here together, really made it clear what complete different worlds we really do come from. It was a beautiful couple days, such diversity among us all, yet such unity.

While my family was here we visited the village we do ministry in, went to Fred’s home in the village, went on a Hippo safari boat ride and prepared for the wedding.  I look back at the couple weeks my family was here and I can’t stop smiling, I’ll never be able to tell them how much I appreciate them coming to our new home. They were a blessing to us. ImageImageImageImage




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The day we said, “I do!”

We’re married! Over two weeks later, reality is slowly hitting me. In the last month so much has happened; it has taken weeks to mentally digest everything. While I was very excited for my wedding day, I was also very nervous. I remember last August when Fred and I decided to have the wedding in Kenya, I was happy and broken hearted. I believed that my wedding day would be one of the saddest days of my life. I was nervous because of this before the wedding. I remember countless times praying to God over the last year asking for joy, contentment and happiness on my wedding day. I didn’t want to be in tears because of everyone that wasn’t there; instead I wanted to thank God for who was there and be thankful that God had brought Fred and I together.

I can’t tell you how faithful God was in answering this prayer. Honestly, I can’t recall a happier day in my life. Every time I looked at my family, I thanked God. I thanked God for providing for them to be there, for putting people in their life to encourage them to come and for loving Fred and I. Every time I looked at Fred, I was filled with joy. I consider myself a very joyful person, but I’m thankful that God has given me a man that brings much more joy to my life every day.

It was a beautiful day; I remember looking around at all of the people who attended the wedding, being in awe of their love and support for us. Unlike a wedding in America, I had very little to do with the preparations of the wedding day. Even if I had been living in Kenya for the last year, I still would have had very little responsibility.  A wedding committee of 20+ people committed their time, talents and finances to make our special day stress-free and wonderful.

I felt as if this wedding day was more than a wedding day but a welcoming into the community, family and ministry. Since our wedding, I feel more a part of this community, culture and family than I ever have.

If you haven’t seen the wedding video yet, enjoy!

How you know you got married in Kenya:

1. You receive 10 goats as a wedding present.
2. You receive 4 chicken as a wedding present.
3. You get sun burnt…bad.
4. You take a cold bucket shower the morning of your wedding.
5. You have to dodge cows on the road on your way to the wedding grounds.
6. You actually feed everyone the cake.
7. You show up an hour late to your own wedding.
8. You have a wedding committee of 20+ plan and prepare for your wedding.
9. You recite Songs of Solomon during your wedding vows…If you aren’t sure what Songs of Solomon says, look it up in the Bible, you’ll be surprised.
10. A South African Army Dance Team “Zangelewa”  bombards your wedding.
11. After returning from pictures you are greeted at the gate by 50+ women singing and dancing.
12. The train of your wedding dress is has turned brown from the sand.
13. Groomsmen and bridesmaids dance down the aisle.
14. You sweat more the day of your wedding then any other day of your life.
15. You are filled with joy that runs so deep and true it can only comes from the Father.

Check out more of our wedding day photos here:

Thank you to everyone who kept us in prayer during our wedding week. It was a very busy and overwhelming week, but very enjoyable with my family here. Fred and I appreciate all of your messages, cards, text messages, e-mails and Facebook posts and comments, they are such an encouragement to us. I know Fred is very eager to meet all of you very soon! 🙂


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Mom in Kenya and Pictures!

The last couple days have been lots of fun with mom in Kenya. We are very blessed that she was able to come a week before the wedding.  She has helped get things in order for the wedding and have helped me get the house in order.  As well as helping us take care of Lucy, Fred’s 4 year old sister.  Lucy is a big part of our lives and we have had her stay with me in Kisumu for the past couple weeks. The past two days I have had some minor stomach issues and mom and Lucy have bonded a lot. Hope you can enjoy some of these pictures from the last week with mom in Kenya.

Prayer Request: Please pray for Kelsey, Kori and Dad as they depart this afternoon to join us in Kenya.

Praise Report: Lucy was diagnosed with Malaria on Friday and we took her to see the doctor right away and she is doing much better.

Countdown: 5 days until the wedding! 


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