Monday, June 18, 2012

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggedy Jig

Our mission team - Elise, Annelise, David, Zach, Gerald, Angie
The infamous giant, top heavy, super crowded bus.
We arrived home last Thursday afternoon. I'm sad that I didn't get to blog from Kenya near as much as I'd planned to. The trip was a whirlwind, almost like three or four mission trips all rolled into one. We had so many things to do: pastoral training, worldview training, crusades, kids programs, and Hydration 2 Others. The different activities and focuses kept us going non-stop.

We spent about three days in the village where the wells are being drilled. It's extremely unfortunate that I did not get a chance to visit well #1, nor the site for well #3. Time and transportation constraints kept me from being able to do that. We ended up traveling with a group of over 20 people, so the focus was not on my ministry.
Some of the school kids
Music during our time with the children
Games during break time
I did get to spend parts of three afternoons at the school where well #2 is being drilled. We had so much fun playing with and teaching the 350 kids there! They seemed to enjoy having mzungu [white people] in their midst. I learned some new games and got to meet the little girl we sponsor through Connection Ministries!
Beautiful Sophia, the child we sponsor
On Friday, June 8 [my 16th wedding anniversary!], we had a launch party at the school. Tom, Zach, and I spoke. The people and children were excited and enthusiastic to hear about the well. Not even the sudden downpour of rain could dampen their spirits!
Tom speaking at the launch party

Me speaking at the launch party

The drilling rig arrived on Saturday morning, but we were already gone. Tom met them to sign the papers. We have pictures of the well being drilled, but none yet of it complete. It's finished, though, and well #3 should also be done or close to done at this point! 
Another fun part of our trip was when we had our own little water walk right there in Kenya! We grabbed some buckets, walked about ten minutes to a water source, filled the buckets, tried to balance them on our heads [fail!], and returned to the homestead with them. It was really cool to have that experience in Africa, after our water walk fundraisers here in the states!

As soon as I have more details or pictures of the new wells, I shall post them here! Thank you for all the prayers and support!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Village

I haven't been able to post here as much as I had hoped. We haven't had super reliable internet access.

The well launch party was yesterday at the school. Our crazy giant bus could not get to the school. It's way back in what they call the jungle. We couldn't take motorcycle taxis because there were too many of us and too much stuff. So we walked. It was between one and two miles, hauling all of our stuff along.

When we got to the school, four hours late (which I don't really understand the reason for and had no control over), there were a bunch of parents sitting in the shade waiting. Many had been there for hours. I felt so bad when I found out, but again the situation was beyond my control.

The kids were excited to see us again. We worked with them two days this week.

We started the ceremony immediately, because rain was on the way. I spoke, Zach spoke, and it started pouring in the middle of his sermon. So, we re-situated everyone in one of the classrooms. Zach finished talking and then a couple other people.

The people seemed excited about the well. After it was over, we gave them some h2o stuff and then headed out. We had decided to cut our time in the village short, leaving yesterday instead of next Tuesday. We thought we had a matatu (van taxi) waiting. But alas, it was hours later before we actually got a ride.

We made it by matatu to Kisumu last night. We are waiting here for the rest of our team to catch up. We will hopefully be back to Nairobi in time for church tomorrow morning. The bus ride to the village was 17 hours with 22 people in the bus. I would guess we averaged 10-15 mph. Awful, awful, awful. I'm not looking forward to the return trip.

Monday, June 4, 2012


Keep up with our trip at!

Friday, June 1, 2012

This week has been a whirlwind! We left albuquerque early on Monday and landed in Nairobi Tuesday evening. Everything went smoothly and all of our luggage made it! Seems like kind of a big deal when you're traveling with 12 checked 50 lb bags and probably about 10 carry ons.

We hit the ground running on Wednesday morning. The female part of our team - myself, Anneliese and Elise - have been with the kids at the school all week. There are about 180 of them. They've been such a joy, and yet their desperate need for attention and affection is overwhelming at times.

We've taught lessons, made music, done crafts, helped feed them, played with them, and loved all over them. There is one who has especially stolen my heart, little Miss Naomi. She makes a beeline for me every time she sees me and has spent many hours on my hip. Leaving her will be awful. Justin says I am not to cause an international incident by trying to bring her home, but we shall see what happens. :)

The guys have been busy with their pastor and worldview trainings. The response has been tremendous and we're praying for the impact to have a wide ripple effect. Read our mission blog for more info.

Today, the girls and I experienced our first kenyan worship service. Woot woot! It was joyful dancing and singing and of course we joined right in. Loved it!!! If I bust out some new moves at CBC, just follow along.

Kind of last minute, the day before we left, I discovered that Verizon would unlock my phone while I'm out of the country. So I was able to buy a local sim card and minutes. It's been such a joy to talk to Justin and the kids for about six cents a minute! The connection is crystal clear. Yesterday, I figured out how to get a data connection, also reasonably priced. It seems to work pretty reliably. Tonight, though, when we tried to run three devices tethered to my phone as a hot spot, it was really slow. Still, I'm grateful to be in contact with my fam. It makes the time apart much more bearable.

One other big deal... We have hot water at the place we're staying. We didn't expect it, so it's like a little gift from God every day. Of course, I didn't discover the secret little water heater switch until I had already taken one shower so cold that I had to bite my lip to keep from screaming. Thanks Gerald for schooling me on how to work the thing.

Tomorrow we will visit people in the slum in the morning and do a crusade in the slum in the afternoon and evening. The field is ripe for harvest. I fluctuate between feeling so blessed to be here and feeling completely overwhelmed by my surroundings.

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