"And if you SPEND YOURSELVES on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness and your night will become like the noonday."

"The Lord will continually guide you. He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."- Isaiah 58:10-11

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pictures



Rick and Caleb burning Safari Ants with some boys from the Hill then teaching them to play 'Spoons'

Work Permit and the Rain Forest







Last week we had the chance to travel 5 hours to Kisumu to take another step in the process of getting our work permit. We traveled to the Church of God headquarters and met with the Bishop who is helping us. He has a pastor in Nairobi helping us. The last step is to turn in Rick’s passport and pay the fee. We turned these documents over and are praying this will complete the process. Please pray with us that things go very smoothly.

Because we traveled so far, we took the opportunity to spend the night at the Kakamega Rain forest, which is near by. This place was unlike anything we have seen before! We had Joseph bring his wife, Annah, and Emmanuel our good friend and driver bring his wife Patricia and his baby daughter, Hope. It was a much needed refreshing night! We even had warm water and showers!!!

This is Julia’s journal entry from the trip:

“At Rhondo, we had so much fun! We went hiking through the rainforest and saw all these monkeys and cool looking birds. I was trying to look for a blue bird with a red Mohawk but we didn’t find it. The Kakamega rainforest is the only place it lives in the whole world. We saw black and white Colobus monkeys and a blue monkey. At Rhondo, 40% of the butterflys in the world live there so we saw a lot of butterflies. They were very pretty. It was a wonderful place.

Community


Today was another day, atypical from my life in America. After school, Katie and Esther washed the laundry, while Julia and Rachel played with baby Paranai. Caleb was chasing Msuni and I finished grading papers. Then Caleb, Julia, and Esther slaughtered a chicken while Katie, Rachel and I tidied up. Then we all met in the kitchen where Esther and Katie taught Rachel to make chipatti. I shared the stove with them and made chicken soup while Julia, Caleb, Precious, and Msuni ran around our feet chasing eachother because it was raining outside.

After reading my post on the ‘Little House on the Prairie Day’ a good friend sent me the following e-mail, which caused me to stop and think. As I begin to get frustrated with the complexity of accomplishing the smallest tasks here, God has used this e-mail to remind me to pause and look around and appreciate the people I am doing life with here and to simply enjoy community. Thank you Linda for the reminder and the fresh perspective…

“What you did today doesn't sound simple. But, it sounds relationally rich. Almost every sentence had a person's name in it. If we were to describe making dinner, we would say....went to Jewel...bought a chicken....put it in the oven...and then add the names for who would eat it. I would describe washing clothes as walked to the mud room, took out the detergent, and started laundry. No names.

I grew up on a farm in the 60s. Uncle Wayne butchered the chickens. Aunt Ruby pulled out the feathers. My mom prepared the meal. My mom and I hung laundry out on the clothesline. My grandparents, parents, and I tipped beans and shucked peas to freeze for the winter. There were lots of names in my life growing up.

You are living a life that is putting lots of names in sentences. I envy that. And I am inspired by that, Ann. I don't diminish the work involved because I have no idea. But I do have bits of memories that are dear because I had to join in the work of living with the people I loved. Praying for you as you adjust...give Katie a hug for me and have her give you one from me, ok?”

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Gifts!



So we are the proud owners of a goat and 4 chickens! Three of the chickens we purchased for dinners – one of which as been laying eggs so she gets to live for a while. (Yes as you can see in the picture, she lays eggs on a spare bed). But the last was a gift along with the goat!

This last weekend we were able to travel to a remote village with two of the children from the home to visit their church and meet their community. The people were from the Kurya tribe, which is different from the Maasai that we are getting used to.

We traveled for 4 1/2 hours over very rough roads. When we arrived, the people greeted us by hugging us on one side and then the other saying ‘Karibu’ (Caribou), which means ‘welcome.’ They served us a light lunch of rice and avocados with chai. They have the biggest and best avocados here!

We were then escorted in to church with singing and dancing. During the service, the children we brought were recognized and were called to the front of the church where they were celebrated and prayed for. It was very special to be with them and to see a village so excited about the care these children were receiving. At the end of the 2 hour service, they started singing a special song and called our family up to the front of the church. They presented us with a goat and a chicken! Rick held it’s front legs and danced with it as was expected! Picture that one in your mind…yes it was funny! Fortunately they gave me a woven basket so I didn’t have to dance with the animals.

After, we had lunch of cassava and millet (kind of like purple, tasteless dough), chicken soup (head and feet included), bananas, chapatti, and soda! Joseph ate the feet just to prove to us it was delicious. We wouldn’t know as we took a pass on this one.

We did find out that from this area there are many orphans as there were border skirmishes between this tribe and another several years ago. Maybe some day there will be more children from this tribe represented at the Children’s Home here or at site two. Please pray for this community!

A Day in the Life ...




We are living in the home of Joseph and Annah. They are the pastor and his wife that we've stayed with before. They are wonderful! They have gone above and beyond the call to make us comfortable. They live in a 4 1/2 room house and have given us two of the bedrooms. It is partially a mud hut and partially a mud hut that has been covered with plaster and concrete. There is a separate mud hut that serves as the kitchen. The roof is made of tin so when it rains it is REALLY loud. No one can talk. Living with them has worked out well. We enjoy their company and when they or we want to be alone, there is space we can go. Joseph is an engaging storyteller so living with him is like having an audio library on hand. He has TONS of thrilling animal stories and stories of the adventures he experienced growing up in the bush. Joseph and Annah have two 12 year old girls living here that needed a place to stay. They are becoming good friends with the girls and Caleb. They also have 3 of their grandchildren here as well. One comes up during the week to go to school while her mother works. Her name is Precious - and she is. They also have Ruth, one of their son's wives here while he is away at school. She has two small children - a boy Msuni who is 2 and is the cutest thing you've ever seen! Also a baby girl, Paranai, 6 months, who is SO sweet. They live in a mud hut just a stone's throw from here.

We purchased a tiny stove last week! So even though I have to turn the propane on to make it work and manually light it with a match, I feel like I can cook better and faster for our family. Cooking over the fire and the 'jico' (basically over hot coals) is extremely time consuming as it takes longer to heat, more effort to keep it hot, and you can only cook one thing at time. We even made cookies the other night.

We have hired a house worker who helps with laundry, dishes, and cooking as well. Her name is Esther. She is the best gift to our family we've had so far.

We start our day and I start boiling water for coffee and chai. Then my quiet time. Then I make breakfast. After, we fill our camping shower with water and set it out in the sun to get hot. Then we move on to school. I leave the dishes for Esther and I let her know what to begin making for lunch. It would be nice to get a refrigerator in the future as this would make meals easier. Because we can't keep things fresh in a fridge, we have to cook every meal from scratch. This is tedious to me already. There are usually several visitors that stop in to say "Hi' to us during the day. We finish school around 3:00 - 4:00 which is when the kids on the 'Hill' get finished and then we go up to spend time there. I have been organizing the office and the clinic so we can figure out where things are at and start moving forward with getting things running more smoothly. Esther starts washing veggies and may get some things started for dinner so when I come back, I can finish making it. Evenings are spent sitting around talking and listening to stories or reading to the kids.

Saturdays we have had meetings and we work and play with the kids on 'the Hill.' Last week, we brought the Wii up to the Children's home and introduced the kids to video games! It was a BLAST! They loved it! They played Mario Kart and were cheering for each other and laughing at each other. It was very, very funny to watch them try to figure out the remotes!

On Sunday we walk to church or travel to a distant church. Rick preaches which he has done every week so far! Then we have sodas with the church leaders. This is one of Caleb’s favorite things of the week. And that just about sums it up…