"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

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Warm Christmas Greetings from the Smith's

Warm Christmas Greetings from the Smith's!

Thank you for being a part of our lives and for growing with us over 2015. This year is marked by refocus and renewal in our personal and professional lives. 

In addition to family and Jesus, these are the things we are thankful for in 2015:

Friends who can stitch up your forehead
People who make living in Kenya possible
Texting Katie during ND football games
New staff, missionaries and partners
Fishing and golf 

Ann -
Our kids character growth
Friends who provided a visit to Paris
Relational time with people in the US
The connecting power of the internet 
Rick's ability to scare monkeys and baboons out of the house
Seeing children's lives changed 

Katie - 
New beginnings 
Notre Dame
Hearing God's voice
World travel
Costa Rica

Rachel -
Teaching piano
New Oasis kids 
Henna tattoos
Water Skiing!

Domino's! We welcome you to Kenya!

Julia - 
Domino's Pizza in Kenya
The flute
Parisian ├ęclairs 
Formal dresses 
Airport surprises

Caleb -
Rugby. The trumpet. Healthy teeth and friends. Burger day. Mombasa. 

He'll probably hate this some day...but he's just SO CUTE!

Now may the Lord of peace Himself 
continually grant you peace in every circumstance. 
The Lord be with you all.
(2 Thess 3:16)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Coming Home

“Do you feel like Kenya is home or the US is home?” she asked me with a quizzical look on her face.

Thinking for a minute and knowing the answer sub-conciously, but verbalizing it for the fist time, I replied, “I feel like I have two homes.”

How do I begin to describe the longing we have to be in both places at once? 

We love America.  It’s the greatest country on earth.  We logged over 5000 miles on our car visiting friends and family and churches.  Our culture is there.  Our daughter goes to university there. Good roads, customer service, resources, infrastructure, convenience, Lou Malnatti’s, etc. It’s all there. 

Ann's Side of the Family

Rick's Side of the Family
It’s also hard to be in America.  It’s overwhelming and consumeristic and expensive and complicated. Time is over us. We feel obligated to be punctual, even in the middle of a good conversation. It’s over efficient at the expense of relationship.

Katie's Graduation from RVA

We love Kenya.  It’s the second greatest country on earth.  Our friends and family and church are here.  Our way of life is here.  People deliver milk, flowers, meat, and other helpful things to our door who stop to chat.  Time is under us. Friends pop in unannounced and stay for chai and work gets pushed aside for relationship. 

It’s also hard to be in Kenya.  It’s impoverished and slow.  The customer is never right. Excellence is hard to find. Everything is done by hand – road construction, excavation, foundation work, etc. Corruption in leadership and government impacts everyone. It’s under efficient at the expense of progression.

With that said, we feel like we came home and then we went home!  And though there are blessings and challenges no matter where we go, we feel we are right where we are supposed to be.  We are excited about pressing in to the vision to restore more children.  We are humbled by the magnitude of what lies before us but are confident that God has a plan and know that our daily reliance on Him for direction is the critical piece to moving forward.

Thank you for being a part of our lives we loved seeing you and love seeing you!