"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

Friday, November 4, 2011

Journal Entry – October 8, 2011 – Ann Smith

I am still tying to process through the events that occurred here last week when we traveled to the Bush. We had gone there for a community celebration to announce the day program. Right after we finished lunch and were walking towards the beginning celebration, a group of 15 or so women from a nearby hut came frantically running up to us screaming that a woman had swallowed some poison in an attempt to kill herself. They pleaded with us to take her to the hospital.

Changing directions immediately Rick, a local pastor and I ran to the car and drove over to her hut. She indeed had poison spilled down the front of her shirt and was clearly becoming delirious. We quickly loaded her into the car along with her 10 month-old baby and a neighboring mama and drove as fast as possible to the main road where there was a local clinic.

At the clinic, we were able to get her to throw up the majority of the poison but didn’t have any of the drugs she needed to stop the effects and she seemed to be deteriorating rapidly. So we all climbed back in the car and Rick drove the 45 minutes to town in about 25 minutes. All the while the baby girl was screaming for her mother.

As we reeled into the hospital parking lot, I again turned around and looked back at the scene behind me and my mind snapped a picture that is forever engrained in my memory. The baby - a healthy, beautiful baby girl - had finally stopped crying as she rested her head on the neighbor mama’s shoulder that was closest to her own mama. Her searching black eyes were fixated on her mama’s face and her small, chubby hand was extended to its limit as she desperately clung to her fainting mama’s vomit soaked shirt.

We left the poisoned woman in the capable hands of the hospital staff who assured us she would be fine and went back to get our own children. As we did so, we were thanking God for the car and that we happened to be in the bush that day.

About 10 pm that night, we received a call from one of the nurses at the hospital. She told us in faltering English that unfortunately the mother had died. What? Died? What happened? What went wrong? The questions flowed and as the story unfolded over the next few days our hearts became sick.

The reality was that a beautiful 19 year-old girl, a child herself, had died at the hands of a 45 year-old husband who had beaten her to death. He had done this the day before when he couldn’t find his cell phone and accused her of taking it. Upon returning to the hut the following day, he had found her fainting on the floor. He knew she was seriously hurt and in an attempt to cover up his actions from the previous day, forced her to take poison so it would look like suicide.

The night she died, her family caught wind of the situation and sent out 80 warriors armed with bow and arrows, pangas (swords), and rungus (clubs) to ‘take care’ of the man. As they approached the hut, the elders from the community stepped in and calmed them down insisting that two murders were not necessary. The warriors listened to the elders and instead beat him severely and hauled him off to prison where he was convicted of murder. He was hung the next day.

The image of that precious child with outstretched hand reaching out in love to touch her mother one last time keeps playing over in my mind. She is an orphan now, as is her 2 year-old brother, at the hands of a wretched, horrible and sinful situation. Is there redemption in this? And what is our role in this?

Here it is week later, and the community is still reeling from this event. They buried the girl and the children are currently living with the grandmother who doesn’t really have the means to provide for them. This community clearly needs a Savior…


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Legacy in a Library

Last year, right before we moved to Kenya, some school friends of ours suffered a devastating tragedy and lost their 13 year-old daughter, Lauren. Our daughter Katie was the same age and was a friend and a classmate to Lauren. All of us as parents and friends who knew this wonderful family ached for their tremendous loss. We cried for them and with them and tried to walk alongside them. But in reality, who, but God alone, could truly know what they were going through and why.

A friend and I sat with Lauren’s mom for a time the night after she died. It was late – and we could only listen and cry tears of sorrow because words could not express how deeply we felt. After a while, her father came in and we talked…this was a first meeting for me. He asked a little about my life and I shared a small bit about our family moving to Kenya because we loved some orphaned children there. It seemed that it was just a short story that filled a small space of time because really we were there because we just wanted them to know we loved them and we cared about them and we hurt with them and for them.

As a result of this short story, a few days later we heard from Lauren’s family. They had sat together and talked and decided that the gifts from the funeral should be donated to Oasis for Orphans because their hearts went out to these orphaned children and they wanted to be involved. Who does that? What kind of family thinks of missionaries and children on the other side of the world when their own world is reeling? Overwhelmed and humbled we sent a letter to the family to thank them for their gracious act of kindness in the midst of such tragedy and we set up a Lauren fund.

And then these generous donations began pouring in because so many people clearly loved this family. So we, at Oasis set aside this money and prayed that God would make it clear what we should do with these precious gifts given out of love and in the midst of pain.

I’m not sure who thought of it first, but amidst multiple conversations this idea evolved that we should build a library in honor of Lauren because she loved to read and she loved vulnerable children. And we had a whole host of vulnerable children who had never read a book before. So that was it – Lauren’s Library. That’s what we would call it and plans began.

We first contacted Lauren’s art teacher and she, along with many of Lauren’s friends began making pictures of the continents of the world to hang in the library. And then we contacted the literature teacher who began making a book written by children who were friends of this family. And we painted the room, and purchased book shelves and books and tables and benches and a rug…

And today, this 14th day of July, I sit and write this after the official opening of ‘Lauren’s Library.’ In true Maasai fashion, we celebrated! We welcomed the women dressed in their colorful kangas and beaded jewelry. We welcomed the men wrapped in shukas and we welcomed the children to come and see the library. We welcomed a whole community of adults, many of whom never learned how to read and are hopeful that their children will not suffer the same plight. There were more than 300 people there! There were dances, and poems, and songs, and speeches. For 3 hours we sat on the grass and celebrated God’s blessings!

And most importantly, we prayed and thanked God for the gift of a library. As many as could, crowded into the library and we prayed and dedicated the room to God. In a community that is forgotten by the government and suffers the lowest school ratings in all of Kenya, we thanked God for a family who lives with a different perspective than that of the world and can see that this is not our home but we are only here for a short while to do whatever it is that God asks. We praised God for a family that did something noble and generous despite their personal pain.

On behalf of our family and all of us at Oasis for Orphans, we extend our deepest sympathies and our most heartfelt gratitude to the Doherty family. We know Lauren can never be replaced and that she is in her true Home now. For the 324 Kenyan children at Hill Springs school, the Doherty’s are heroes and Lauren’s memory lives on. We are humbled by theirr generosity and are proud to call them our friends.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Another Car Miracle!

Each day as we live here on the Hill, I am constantly amazed at God’s provision and presence in such a tangible way – through good and bad. And at His spontaneity. My plans are definitely not His. I can’t believe how many times He has dropped something in our path and our plans change completely for the day.

Last week, after lunch we received a call from a very good friend of ours, Pastor Elijah. He was married about a year ago and his wife, Phyllis, is 6 months pregnant with their first child. They are super inspiring people. They both have a joy that just exudes from them and they are constantly looking to serve God in any way possible.

A few months after they were married, in a sacrificial decision, they decided to leave their comfortable house in town move to ‘the Bush’ to serve among the Maasai people. They are the first Kenyan Missionaries we have met! When we went to their installation service, there were 2 adult church members in the congregation – yes only 2! The eight of us who came to install them increased the attendance at church by 400%.

Today, six months later, the church is at 40 adults and over 80 children! They started a reading class for the Maasai men and women in the community who never learned to read and want to begin reading their Bibles! Even though they live in a tiny 10X10 room house, they are so joyful at God’s movement among the Maasai people.

One of the stories they have told us is of a Maasai couple they asked to come to church. The couple told them they would come to church but they didn’t want to become members or have to be spiritual. Last week, the same couple approached them and said that now that they have come for a few months they have changed their minds and want to know Jesus!

So as I was saying, I got a call from Elijah and he was in distress. Phyllis had fainted in the morning and it was three hours later and he still couldn’t rouse her. In fact, he informed me, that she had been fainting off and on for about 3 weeks now and it was getting progressively worse. He wanted to know if we could come out and pick them up and take her to a hospital.

Now, I thought twice about this for good reason. They live deep in the bush, accessible by the worst road in Kenya, about a 2 1/2 hour drive away. I asked if there was another vehicle or taxi coming by that could come bring her so I could meet them at the hospital. He said he had already waited for 3 hours for a taxi and none were coming.

So Rick and I and our clinician Moses went to them. And that’s the first miracle – the fact that we have a car that can even access the Bush. And the second is that we had our dear friend Nate here visiting. AKA ‘Mrs. McGillicuddy’, Nate stepped in without batting an eye and took over the management of the Smithereen children.

On the way, I called my dad, who being accessible was also, a small miracle. He helped walk me through the possibilities of her condition, so I felt prepared to properly assess Phyllis.

By the time we arrived, she had finally ‘come to’ and was sitting up. She was tearful and we all surrounded her to pray. After thoroughly assessing the situation we determined it would be best to get her to Tenwek Hospital. We were suspicious that she may have had preeclampsia and knew she and the baby needed really good care.

Now, I have never been to Tenwek, and had no idea what we were getting into. I called one of our friends who is a doctor at Kijabe and asked if he knew any doctors at Tenwek. He said, “I only know one doctor at Tenwek, an OB.” God is so good – of course he only knew an OB. He called this doctor and she had the ER staff ready for us to arrive and to page her as soon as we got there. Another miracle…

OH, and it is the rainy season and it hasn’t rained a drop for two weeks straight – which would have made our 2 hour drive to the Bush and 3 hour drive out of the Bush impossible. The roads are so bad there that they are literally impassible when it rains – so of course, God held the rain off for us…

She was able to stay at Tenwek during this last week and was cared for well by the amazing doctors there. Her situation is still tenuous but miraculously she has been able to keep her baby and come home this week. Please pray that things progress normally for her so she can carry this baby to full term.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Shoe Miracle

Can Shoes Be A Miracle???

Every year at Christmas time, the children of the Chapel work together gathering their dollars and coins towards a compassion project. Many of the children empty their banks, or give from gifts they have received, or help with odd jobs around the house to earn money towards this project. They are generous beyond belief! Two years ago, they helped raise money for the deep-water well here in Kenya. Last year they helped get bunk beds for Dorm 2 at the Children’s Home.

This year as the TGA leadership team sat down to brainstorm what the children could do and an unusual idea came up. Instead of just getting something for the children at the orphanage, why not include the community as well? Everyone agreed and decided the most tangible and useful thing was shoes - new shoes for everyone at the community school! Cool idea!

Now shoes may not sound very exciting to you. I, myself, an American living in Kenya, have 5 great pairs of shoes - a lime green pair of Keens for hiking, a pair of awesome Spenco flip flops that I wear every day, two pairs of Crocs, and finally a sweet pair of beaded shoes for ceremonies.

Most of the kids at the school sort of have a pair of shoes. A few of those have a pretty decent pair but the majority of the children have a VERY shabby second hand pair of shoes… Several of the children have never owned a pair of shoes – ever. And as a matter of fact, no one at the school has EVER owned a brand new pair of shoes. NO one…EVER…

So when TGA contacted us in October with this idea, we were pumped! We looked around at the only shoe store in Kenya, Bata, and found a great pair of tennis shoes for about $10! This was perfect and the Chapel ran a really cool shoe drive called ‘Ten dollars covers ten toes!”

Then things got even more exciting! A good friend whose children attend a private school felt led to get the school kids together to run a different Christmas compassion project. They decided to raise funds to purchase socks for everyone in the school and not only to purchase them but to decorate them as well!

December came and money was raised for 400 pairs of shoes! WOW! This was enough to not only buy shoes for the kids at the school, but for the teachers and staff at the Children’s home to get a pair as well. Mind you we kept the whole thing top secret so it would be a huge surprise!

In February, a group of children from the Chapel were coming with their parents to visit so February 16th was set as shoe and sock distribution day!

And then the setbacks began…

Setback #1 - Beginning in January, we attempted to start the shoe buying process. The original shoes we were going to get at Bata were 'sold out' over the holidays. The next available shoe cost about $20/shoe so this was not an option.

Setback #2 - We decided to go to the markets and get the shoes second hand. However, the closest towns didn’t have enough shoes for us.

Setback #3 – We decided to send someone to Nairobi to get the shoes at the larger markets. This would cost less and we could get all the shoes at once. However, we realized we would not be able to return incorrect sizes and the markets can have varying sizes of shoes since they come from all over the world.

Setback #4 – We went back to idea of new shoes from Bata and decided to get the younger children a cheaper pair of shoes and the older children a more expensive pair of shoes hoping it would balance out. We approached 5 different Bata shoe stores asking them to help us with the quantities we needed. They were literally so overwhelmed with the idea of that many shoes that every one of them turned us away.

At this point, we were 5 days away from our visitors coming. Time was of the essence. We decided to send someone to Limuru, to the Bata factory. Surely we could get the sizes we needed there. Since our family was going near there to pick up the Oasis team of visitors, we volunteered.

On Monday, three days before distribution day, the Smith fam hopped in the car and as we drove away, Rachel prayed that we would have a shoe miracle and find everything we needed. As we drove in to the Bata factory campus, there was a small store at the front above which hung a sign that read, "80% off clearance center."

We entered the store, asked if they could help with our large quantities, and off-handedly inquired about the clearance center. Not wanting to waste too much time, we reluctantly decided to just check it out to see if they had any of the sizes we needed. We were sent on a wild goose chase and truly almost gave up. Rachel however, got a ‘bee in her bonnet’ about it and was so insistent on continuing, that we persisted. Eventually we found it, ‘the Bata Clearance Center”, on a desolate dirt road, tucked inside a Bata shoe employee neighborhood.

We walked up a short flight of stairs into a huge warehouse. As we stepped inside, the first thing we noticed were huge boxes stacked up along all four walls of the building. As we took another step into the room we saw tables in front of the boxes circling the entire room. And the boxes and the tables were filled with shoes - thousands of pairs of shoes!!! We looked at each other with tears in our eyes and knew we had found our miracle!!! There were shoes of every size and style everywhere. So for the next 5 hours we searched through boxes and across tables and lined up tennis shoes of every shape and size all across the warehouse! We found all but 11 pairs of shoes! It truly was a miracle!

We stuffed all 389 pairs of shoes into our car and as soon as the last shoe was loaded, the heavens opened up and drenched us with a massive deluge of rain. In America, rain is seen as an inconvenience but in Kenya it is a sign of God’s blessing. And what a blessing it was! We drove away with shoes falling down on top of the kids with every bump we took, overwhelmed that God would care so much about kids and shoes!

On Thursday, we had the blessing of personally serving each child by placing a beautifully decorated, clean pair of socks and a brand new pair of shoes on their feet! Joseph compared it to the time when the disciples had their feet washed by Jesus. And truly we felt like that in those moments. To take a filthy, dusty, smelly, calloused foot, and carefully place a clean sock and shoe on it was such a blessing.

There was extreme joy in the community that day. Children were jumping, running, racing, laughing, and giving hugs of thanks. It was lavish extravagance on the part of the American children who so generously gave and heartfelt gratitude on the part of the children here.

Every day, we see children in their new shoes and socks. In many ways, it brings more joy to us than to them…

Thank you to all of you who made this possible! We loved being ambassadors of your generosity! May God richly bless you!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Knife

Two thoughts, an anomaly, and a take away…
One of the things that is both freeing and yet frustrating about living in Kenya is the value placed on personal possessions.

On the positive side, possessions are not valued over relationship. That is good. Having an accumulation of possessions doesn’t give a person status, which is also good. Things are appreciated, especially if given as a gift. Having possessions which make life easier are also appreciated. However, if a possession breaks or is lost, there is no sense of sorrow or even much of an attempt to fix it. “I lived without it before I had it. I enjoyed it while I had it. Now it’s gone and I’m fine without it again.” That is the mentality here.

On the frustrating side, possessions carry such little value, that if it breaks or if something that belongs to someone else is broken, there is no remorse or attempt to rectify the situation. “You lived without it before you had it. You enjoyed it while you had it. Now if it’s gone, you’ll be fine without it.” It is expected that if you let someone use something that you are never going to see it again, at least in good working condition.

“I’m sorry.” In Kenya, these two simple words are spoken every day and yet never spoken. Every time someone trips, drops something, spills something, accidentally hurts themselves, etc. ‘pole,’ which means ‘sorry’ can be heard with deep compassion from everyone in the vicinity. Kind of like ‘I’m sorry you did that to yourself.’

And yet, if anyone intentionally or unintentionally hurts someone else’s feelings, breaks something that belongs to another, makes a mistake, or does something wrong, these words are rarely spoken – really almost never. It is culturally unheard of to apologize for your actions towards someone else because the shame carried with admitting a personal fault is too great to overcome. The incident is insignificant compared to the weight of the shame. And so, the injured party is expected to shove the issue under the rug and not mention it – forever. It would be incredibly offensive to shame someone else and even bring it up. Yeah – this is a big problem.

The Anomaly
After experiencing both of these facts about Kenyan culture, we have become selective about the things we share with our friends here. Call it selfish or prudent, there are some things we don’t want to do without.

So, I’ve been saving some of the kitchen items I brought from my home in America for when we have a kitchen of our own. One of those things is a big butcher knife. My mom bought it for me in a set several years ago, and it is a great kitchen tool. I’ve sharpened it and re-sharpened it and I love using it! I intentionally didn’t bring it out, first of all, because it’s expensive and I can’t get another one like it here. Second, because I want to be able to use it in good working condition. Third, because it was a gift from my mom and I value the sacrifice made to give me such a good tool in the kitchen.

The other day, I couldn’t find any of the other 3 knives I had ‘donated’ to the kitchen so I pulled it out during dinner to cut the pizza. I’ve actually used it a few other times and washed it immediately and stored it away. This particular day, I intentionally used it not in the kitchen but in the dining room, which is in a separate building than the kitchen, so I could put it away after we ate. We got caught up in things and I forgot to put it away but it wasn’t even in the kitchen so I wasn’t worried.

The next morning, I went into the kitchen to make breakfast and there was the knife on the counter, broken. The center part of the blade was mangled and chipped away. It was full of food and it was useless. My heart sank. I took it to Annah and asked what happened. She hadn’t even seen the knife before nor had any of the other women. I washed it and put it away anyways and then I walked away and I cried. I cried because I was mad at myself for not putting it away. I cried because here I have taken care of this knife and used it for years without incident and now in less than a few hours it was ruined. I cried because no one values our things here and I wanted to have one working thing in my kitchen (yes, an exaggeration, but when you are emotional you are entitled to a little of this). I cried because I felt sick of having our things broken without apology. And I cried because I knew no one here would understand or care.

We left for the Children’s home that morning and I was sad. When we came home for lunch, one of the young girls that live here approached me tentatively and asked to speak with me. In broken English she said, “I was using your knife last night to cut meat and I broke it. I am very sorry.” WHAT?!!! I could not believe what I was hearing! It took me a full 30 seconds to get over the fact that she apologized – she actually apologized! And she was a young girl! This was the first time in the 6 months we have been here that I have heard these words in connection to doing something wrong.

When I finally came to my senses, I was so overwhelmed by her words that I didn’t even care about the knife anymore. I was so blessed by her willingness to put herself out on a limb personally and culturally that I put my arm around her and thanked her for her honesty. And of course I forgave her verbally.

The Take Away:
So I heard from my brother Dave who lived in Kenya for 5 years. He could completely relate. What I learned from him is this….
In America, we are predominantly a guilt-based culture. We apologize to an injured party out of an overwhelming sense of guilt. Early on, we learn to follow rules and respect things. We feel bad if we don’t toe the line. We apologize because we have crossed a boundary and inflicted injury to a person or property on some level. Our actions our wrong.
In Kenya, the culture is shame-based. Hurting someone’s feelings or property goes to the core of someone’s person and is a deeply personal issue. A boundary is not crossed; a soul has been marred. To bring this issue to light means admitting that the person is bad in and of themselves, not just the action.
The cool thing about Jesus is that He transcends both cultures. When He died, He took all of our GUILT and SHAME. He offers us forgiveness and completely removes the guilt and shame from our lives. What a gift to live in His freedom!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Christmas - 3 Unexpected Gifts

Christmas – 3 Unexpected Gifts

We expected Christmas to be different this year being in Kenya, but not only were our expectations different, but our plans were as well. As I reflect back on Christmas day, I can’t help but marvel at God’s provision.

The first gift came in a snafu with our visitors. The plan was for some friends to visit the Hill a few days before Christmas, and then spend some time relaxing with them on safari over Christmas Eve and Christmas day. But as God would have it, they were delayed in London for 7 days. Their initial thought was to turn around and head back to the States. Disappointment flowed on both ends. However, after some praying and re-scheduling of appointments and travel plans, they decided to come even though they only had 3 days to spend here. And so our first gift came in the form of their actual decision to come here instead of turning around to return to the U.S! There was no relaxing safari but their gift of relationship was priceless to us in this first Christmas away from home for our family. We didn’t realize how empty we were of good connection with others, especially those who come from the same cultural reference that we do. It was wonderful to see them catch a passion for the same people we already love and to hear them begin to dream of the things that could be accomplished here as well!

The second gift for me came in a message. On Christmas morning, before we headed to Nairobi to pick up our friends, we went to church to hear Rick teach. He preached from Luke 2 and Philippians 2 about the miracle of God coming to earth in human flesh as a servant. He asked the question, “Why would God chose to come to earth in such humility when He could have come as such a powerful reigning king?” For some reason, this hit me in a new way this year – the God of the universe, coming to earth wrapped in human flesh, as a servant king. Living in this rural cultural the redefinition of what is valuable and worth striving for, pointed me towards the fact that for all time what man has considered respectable and noteworthy and important is not what God considers valuable. From the world’s perspective, He came through an insignificant young girl who was engaged to a poor carpenter boy and was born in a filthy, animal’s cave with only a handful of people aware of His coming. Yet, here we are, 2000 years later, awed at the fact that God’s ways are not man’s ways and His ways are higher than ours. And that He values a relationship with us more than anything else! What an incredible gift!

The third gift came in the form of an unexpected meal. We spent the bulk of Christmas day in the car driving to Nairobi with our children. Originally, only Rick and I were going to pick up our friends so the kids could stay for the celebration on the Hill, but we decided the night before to travel together. We relished the time listening to American Christmas music and just being together. We all arrived at the Mennonite Guest House early enough to get a shower and dinner in before we had to go to the airport. The shower was a gift in itself for all of us. As we entered the dining room, we were greeted by our host who had reserved a table just for our family. “Silent Night” was playing in the background and the room was decorated with beautiful red and green flowers and greens from the gardens. We sat down together and were served a sumptuous meal of beef tenderloin, turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, sweet potatoes with brown sugar, and rhubarb crisp for dessert. As each part of the meal was brought to our table, tears began to fill my eyes. I could not believe it, but this was the exact meal we would have eaten in America if we had been with family – down to the rhubarb crisp. I sat there and cried that God would care so much about us that He would give us the incredible gift of having a few moments alone with our family on Christmas day and would provide us with a meal that felt like home. I still tear up at the thought of this gift.

So on Christmas day this year, we were without extended family and had no presents to unwrap and but I do believe it was one of the richest Christmas experience I have ever had because the gifts were so unexpected and straight from the heart of God.

The Sanctuary

The dictionary defines a sanctuary as a safe and holy place. We received one of those a few weeks ago in an unusual form. It’s a pretty cool story…

Rick was talking to Joseph late one evening about two months ago. They were discussing all of the various churches we had visited deep in the bush and the need to continue to make inroads into these lost communities. They were talking about how many Maasai people there have never heard about Jesus and how He died for them and wanted a personal relationship with them. They were talking about how other cults were beginning to infiltrate the area and the urgency to bring truth to these precious people. Rick said, “Joseph, we can’t keep bringing the van to these areas. It’s not the right vehicle for the terrain. We need to pray that God provides a vehicle that can get us to these remote villages.” And they prayed and the conversation ended.

So the next day, Rick gets this e-mail from a man from the Chapel he had heard of in America of but never really met. It says this, “My wife and I and I have recently spent some time on the website and reading your blog, and Oasis has been in our hearts and prayers, along with You and your family.

If we may ask, we would like to know the needs of both Oasis and your family at this time, so we can be in prayer about helping. My wife heard from someone she attends bible study with this week, that there still are not windows and beds in the house that received the new roof. We are not sure if that is the most pressing issue and don’t know the costs of items.

When you have time, please email me with the needs of Oasis and Your Family….”

Okay, so Rick and I look at each other in awe and he throws out the idea of the need for a vehicle. But who buys a vehicle for a stranger? That’s absurd.

And this family e-mail’s back that they would indeed like to help us along with their best friends to get a vehicle! WHAT IS THAT ALL ABOUT?!!! Seriously, strangers to us, buying us a vehicle because they read about Oasis and felt God calling them to do something for us! Unbelievable! Incredible! A Miracle!

So we picked up the four wheel drive, all terrain Land Cruiser, complete with a winch on the front, which I call ‘The Sanctuary’ two weeks ago. I call it this because we can put a tape converter in the stereo and attach Rick’s I-pod to it and crank our very own American worship music to it and ride around anywhere without getting stuck.

As I showed it to Joseph that first night, he laid hands on it and burst out in a prayer of thanksgiving. He prayed that every time we drove it, we would be reminded that it was an incredible gift and it’s purpose was to bring the gospel to the un-reached people of Kenya.

I can’t wait to see the stores God will bring about from the places we travel in this car…