Travels and Adjustment
We ended our sweet visit home, and left Tennessee ground on Wednesday, January 13th and arrived in Nairobi Kenya on the 14th. We had a wonderful time visiting family and friends and celebrating the holidays in Tennessee! We spent a couple of days in Nairobi to check paperwork at immigration for Keelyn’s dependency card, and to visit my host family from my very first trip to Kenya. We later made it back home to Kisumu late Friday night. So we’ve been back in Kisumu for about 11 days now! I was (and am) really excited to be back on the field, back in my little Kenyan apartment, and back with the precious 41 kids of United Hope, playing, loving and ministering. But in between then and now, I admit, the first couple of days back were actually tough for me, and unexpectedly. I think I had a hard time adjusting to the change in time zone and jet lag, the change from freezing weather to very hot heat at 7 month pregnant, and the change in culture and conveniences! Friday night was fine. But starting Saturday, the power was out (off and on the next 3 days) and the water smelled like sewage. And apparently it was time for the annual tank cleaning. The apartment land lords had all tenants water tanks drained (Our water here is stored rain water and river water), cleaned and refilled (which was supposed to take 2 days, but took 5 days). And I briefly wanted to have a pity party for not only not having any water in the house, but also not having a dish washer, washing machine, microwave and other house hold convenience items that I got too used to during our visit to America. But I’m fine now! The Lord has graciously loved me and shook me out of my silly state, I’ve regrouped, and Tim was awesome and tackled a lot of stuff that I was going to do, but he lovingly took care of (like cleaning up the dirty apartment, unpacking a ton of stuff, and taking care of a wild little two year old!)
The best part was Sunday, pulling into the orphanage and seeing all the really excited smiling faces rushing to the gate to greet us! It was such a joyful moment, my heart melted, oh how I missed these sweet kids, and it was a precious moment to see how much they missed us too! Keelyn squealed with excitement to see all the kids as we pulled down into the compound. I have no idea what is underdeveloped two year old language was saying, but he was really excited saying it! Several minutes were spent sharing hugs and tickles and jumping and catching up on how school was going, about the new dorms coming along, and other small talk. We had a great church service, beautiful worship and Tim taught a great lesson. It was such an awesome day catching up with the kids, with Willis and Geophery, and getting back into life in Kenya. Our first week being back was spent taking care of house hold things, getting groceries, car maintenance, paperwork etc. And, by the way, we put together our Christmas money, and we bought a washing machine! This is a really big deal! No more hand washing laundry, which would normally be an all-day thing, raw hands, and aching back process. With my growing large belly and a second baby on the way, this is such a blessing, and it frees up so much time and relieves a lot of stress! We are so excited about it. Anyways, we didn’t have hook ups in our apartment for a washer so we had to get a mechanic and electrician to come in and get stuff going for us, took several days to get it down, (Welcome back to Kenya) but it’s done, and all the laundry is caught up! YAY! Doesn’t it just make you feel good to get stuff accomplished!
Now we are in our second week back, and getting back into ministry. Tim, Willis and Geophery are meeting (at this moment, actually) in town to discuss ministry, what’s next, and to set plans. Please pray that the Lord guide all our hearts and plans and conversations as this is a transition time and as things will change up a bit! It’s exciting but scary at the same time. We feel that a couple of the groups that Tim and the guys were teaching and discipling are now ready to be on their own and teach and lead their churches, and begin training up other leaders in their own communities! Praise the Lord! While there is still a group that they will continue to work with (and of course still check in on the others time to time), it’s time to start new somewhere else. Please pray for us and I will keep you posted as to what is to come!
On another note, this week construction will resume on the kids dorms to finish up the downstairs two units!! Thank you so much for those that have contributed!! It will be getting doors and windows, wall and floor finishing, and some remaining electrical stuff! I am really excited to paint sometime in the near future and make it look cheerful and welcoming for the kids! Any artsy people want to come help? I have some fun ideas!
Thank you New Hope and other individuals that contributed to Christmas gifts for the kids last month. They received new clothes, new shoes (both tennis shoes and flip flops!), new back packs, hygiene items and toiletries, the older kids (6th grade and up) received some quality watches that we brought back from the states, and some fun coloring books, crayons and a few new movies… Oh and filled their bellies with a yummy Christmas feast.
We love you all and appreciate your prayers and encouragement and support so much!