You know how things happen to us that we can normally just blow off and its not big deal and we don’t think another thing about it? And then sometimes, its like it just keeps happening and things keep piling up so much that you just have to break. Well last night was one of those days.
Yesterday morning’s church service was really good, I could feel the Holy Spirit moving and speaking through Tim as he shared about what it means to be the body of Christ. The church singing in harmony and clapping and raising hands in worship was so beautiful. Its so neat to see people on the other side of the world worshiping the same God!
We then went to town to run errands, pick up supplies, and check on prices for a propane tank and burner to cook with. And even found a cheap place that sells yummy pizza! Yay! Familiar food!
Before coming back to Kenya, I already knew what to expect somewhat culturally. People here think that most white people that they see in town are here for safari or as tourist and are loaded with money, so when they see us, they usually double up on prices. Everywhere we go, everyone says MZUNGU (White person!!!)!!! And a lot of people demand money from us or some specific items. In the fresh market, people pull you to their stand because that want you to buy their product (of course for the doubled price.). I often hear chatters everywhere we go, and only can pick up a few words, but we hear mzungu and know they are talking about us. People don’t hesitate to ask you for something or to tell you what to do.
Sometimes it just gets frustrating when we know we can get items for a certain price, and we are trying to help, and all they want to do is take advantage of us. It doesn’t matter if we tell them that we are not rich, or that we are trying to help an orphanage, they don’t care, all they see us for is money. It almost make us feel invisible. If they could give us the normal price, or even better, the discounted price, the little money we have could go much farther to help these kids, so it just gets frustrating. Willis tries his very hardest to negotiate for us, but once they see the whites, it makes it hard. So unless we have made friends with the people, or Willis is close friends with the people, then we end up hiding until Willis agrees on a price with the people.
I’ve heard from Missionary friends and starting to learn for myself that we just have to learn who we can really trust and who also wants to serve the Lord and to help others, and connect with those people. Many piki piki (motorcycle) drivers try to upcharge us, but we explain to them that we aren’t so dumb and this is what we pay, take it or leave it. It works about half the time. Haha. But I have made one piki piki friend, Walter, that I was able to witness to and answer some of his questions on a long ride home, and so when I need a piki, I call him! He only charges the regular price and he drives carefully, slowly, and on the smooth path because he “knows we are not used to these type of roads and he likes to be known for making his customers happy!” YAY! I feel like a real person with him and not the white rich man. He told me if I ever needed a ride, or got stranded without money, he would come rescue us. Why can’t more people be like that here! We just gotta find them!
So what caused my breakdown last night? The long negotiating in town, hearing people talk and laugh at us all day, people trying to make us buy their items and upcharging, people flat out lying to our faces thinking we are clueless about prices, a drunk man hitting on me and refused to get out of my face, and a piki piki that rode the road like a mad man, hitting every bump and pot hole, flying on a rocky dirt road, while I tried to hold on for my dear life, praying for God to protect me and especially the baby. I was so worried about all the shaking for the baby. We got home and the tears finally broke loose and I lost it.
I felt so bad for Willis, I tried so hard to hold it back, but they just came, and he felt so bad and kept apologizing. I love Willis and his wife Maureen. They have always been so kind and welcoming and have really helped with making the adjustment of being here long term. And of course the kids. I had to give them medicine last night (I think I’m treating 8 at the time), so I called them into the house, and all I can do around them is smile. I just love them to the moon and back. So with the peace of God raining down through United Hope and into my heart, it made everything better, and it makes it worth it somehow.
Its worth the sweat, tears, hard work, rough living, hurtful comments, and unfair negotiating.
We love these kids and Willis’ family. And we know this is where God wants us to be.
Thank you God for your presence, comfort, peace, and encouragement to stick with it.
Romans 12: 1-3, 9-21
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will….Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.