Category Archives: Kenya

Some days are harder than others <3

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Hey all! 

So I missed posting yesterday. We had too much that happened Monday and I moved slow on Tuesday and missed my window. 

On Monday afternoon we made the decision to make a two and half hour drive up to the edge of Lake Michigan to attend the visitation for a friend and former colleague of Russ’s from our early days with ADM. 

Dave and Peg were dear friends and we have a collection of stories that make us double over with laughter from the short years we shared with them before they packed their young family up and moved back closer to their hometown. 

Lives get busy and we visited them once after they moved but as happens, we eventually lost the connection and just would hear glimpses of their adventures and I suppose they heard of ours through that wierd way that we know about people but don’t communicate ourselves anymore. 

Nothing bad. 

Just drifted apart and didn’t make the effort to stay in touch. 

Until we heard that Dave had developed lung cancer six months ago and the cancer took his life way before we feel like it was time. We didn’t know about the cancer, but we heard about the result.

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We got to the visitation near the start of it.

Many were already seated to show love and support, but the line was short and it was no time until we standing before Peg and the two grown sons we had known from the early stages of life.

Since we hadn’t seen them in years and we were wearing masks, Russ told the oldest boy who he was. 

Our names must have been held in good standing with this family, despite our lack of communication over the years, because he burst into tears and hugged Russ like we just saw them yesterday. 

We all hugged and cried and then hugged and cried some more. There were others in line and we had done what we came to do – show our respect for the great guy we had the pleasure of calling a friend in this journey and let this family know that the years had not diminished our love for them.

We were blessed to know the same in return as they thanked us for coming and we left. 

The whole thing probably took 15 minutes, but was worth every mile of the drive and then we got a sucker punch as we barely started the long ride home. 

I was driving my turn and Russ was looking at his phone when he gasped in a way that was uncharacteristically emotional for my husband. 

An email was letting us know another dear friend had died. This one even younger than Dave. 

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This one was someone we see regularly. This one was one who had stayed in our home on furloughs from Kenya. This one has daughters who are our kids’ friends from youth group years. 

This one has a wife who is a friend and who has taught me much about spiritual warfare and prayer. 

This one sat in our Sunday School class and stood in our door way many a time, leaning against the door frame and talking endlessly. This one has sat at our table and eaten meals with us and with friends.

This one drove me and other friends all over Maasai land in a truck that was held together with rust, mud and prayer and introduced us to the Church in the bush country. 

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This one brewed coffee in the bunkhouse in Ngatatake, Kajiado, Kenya for those who need a cup quickly upon waking and delivered it to the door of the women’s quarters and yes, that would be me. 

This one was one who lived large and loud and passionately and in his passing he has left us with a large, too-quiet, too-sad emptiness. 

Both of these men held a special place in Russ and my hearts.

Both of these men left us too soon in our understanding, but both of these men were held in the love of Jesus and are with Him and we trust in His goodness and His timing in what we cannot understand. 

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Hug your people. 

Stay in touch. 

As much as possible, say good bye like it may the last time, every time. 

Blessings my friends <3

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Perfect love casts out all fear <3

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One of the downsides of having an active imagination is the inevitability of over thinking in the midst of any kind of possible threat and carrying all the plot lines out as if they were actually happening. 

Add to that imagination an ability to embellish with vivid details and you have before you the battle of my mind these days. 

I listen to all the mix of reports on the virus, the economy and the uncertainty of decision being made and I find I am fighting the urge to work through all the potential scenarios as if they were actually happening. I am purposefully focusing my thoughts on what is real and present right at this moment.

Throughout the day I have to pray for a sound mind and readjust that helmet of salvation over this scattered and over-thinking brain of mine. 

As I have prayed, I was reminded of an experience with fear and health from my first visit to Kenya so I am sharing today. 

When our church decided to send a vision team to explore ministry opportunities in the region where our home missionaries were set up, I felt a tug in my heart to go to this area we had supported financially and with our prayers for so many years. 

But as the time drew closer for the actual trip, I realized that there was a fear in me regarding the inevitable exposure we would have to both HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis.

While I am not a germaphobe, I can easily become panicky about serious illnesses and conditions in a way that can border on irrational. 

I know me well enough to know that the fear of contracting any of those could cause me to completely withdraw in such a way that I would be crippled and ineffective in engaging socially with these people I had come to love already through prayer and photos from the teams serving them. 

So I asked some people to pray that I would not get weird and miss the whole experience because of my fears. 

Well, they prayed and I was able to meet and greet and talk with not a shadow of the grip of the fear I had feared; and then very near the end of our time there, God just had to look down on this child of His and decide to make one more good, faithful and strong answer of His power at work in me to be visible so I wouldn’t forget. 

The Maasai, I learned, have no concept of our social hula hoop/bubble. 

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I had been crammed into vehicles with far too many people, held hands or walked arm and arm with many young women and older women as is their charming custom to do with friends. 

I had sat in the close quarters of dormitories with the women’s ministry team from the area as they shared their desire to learn more and teach others about Jesus. 

And then we were hosted for a meal at the boma (home) of one of the Maasai families we were visiting. 

I was approached at one point by a very tall and very thin Kenyan man, who coughed consistently and had the haggard eyes that were a telltale sign of the disease that would eventually take his life. 

He told me his name and that he was dying of AIDS. His wife had died from same just recently and he was asking for prayer for their three young daughters who would be orphaned. He wanted me to pray over them and not forget them.  

Knowing the culture, I called for one of my friends to come and stand with us in prayer and she bowed her blonde head next to mine as we put our hands on these three young girls. 

Immediately their father stepped up to the tight circle and bowed his head over all of us. 

So there we were. 

Praying over these young lives as their father stood like an umbrella over our heads as we prayed.

And I had no fear. 

Because over the top of it all, I felt the Father of all mercies smiling the way He does when He answers my prayers in ways I could not have imagined. 

Instead of protecting me by keeping me clear of all my fears, He led me right into the thick of them and made His sweet Presence known. He showed me His heart and made mine a teeny bit more like His.

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I wrote their names down and carried them in my prayers for many years. 

Those girls are grown now and recently friends were able to snap a picture and send to me from their trip to Kenya. 

We have many real things that could produce fear in us right now. But we have been told to not be afraid.

It is easier said than done, but we know…

Love casts out all fear. Perfect love, that is.

And the only Perfect Love is from the Father <3 

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Oh my goodness…what in the world…

Well….happy Friday to you and wow…thank you for those of you who donated because of yesterday’s post <3

…blew me away and made me cry. Many thanks  – so sweet you are <3

So here I posted about human trafficking yesterday and then I read the headline on the “Your Money” section of the newspaper and I about get sick.

The lead article is about how “Wealth Shock” can be fatal.

Wealth Shock.

The new malady of our culture.

To lose our investments can prove highly contributive to an early death.

What in the world?

You all know me.

I never read the paper.

But this one caught my eye.

They have documented statistics about this.

And how women are more likely to have wealth shock than men.

And then there is this quote about how we need to be doing everything we can to prevent people from experiencing loss of … wealth…

Seriously.

This is in the newspaper.

They are researching how to implement policies to prevent this from happening.

I am not sure who “they” are.

But I am thinking….

People are dying of starvation…

and abuse…

of thirst…

AIDS and Tuberculosis….

all over this world.

We need to get a grip America.

We are dying but it is a poverty of spirit not of wealth.

Sorry my dears…not a fun Friday post…but it’s my heart.

Be blessed.

Be the change agents in the name of Jesus.

Here’s the program and policy we truly need.

Don’t die because you were trying to hang on to your life and your lifestyle….

lose your life for My sake, and you will find it ….Matthew 16:25  <3

 

 

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