Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Yay bloggin!

Well I haven't taken the time to write on here in MONTHS, but I'm gonna try to start writing again as much as possible!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Today I took a break from working in the office; this was a very good thing for me. I stayed home (well after running in to work on the call and ward schedule just for a bit lol) to work with Sarah, our house help, to learn a few things in the kitchen. She has worked for families for 26 years and definately knows a thing or two about cooking- real cooking. We (she mostly) made bread and tortillas today, so that I could learn. I took about 3 pages of notes on everything we did today, plus like another 2 out of a cookbook today; Wayne definately made fun of me for this! We did a lot of other simplier tasks throughout the day, but going through the process of the bread and the tortillas was something I had never done before. Hopefully I will eventually get this down and be able to make the same delicious bread that she does! Yummy.
disclaimer, to briefly explain the culture: it is very common to have house help here. They will cook and clean for the going rate of 399 Ksh per day, this is somewhere in the range of $5. Many Kenyan families will hire like their younger relatives to be househelp.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

An afternoon at an orphanage

Some playing outside :)

We played outside for a while. Most of the time I played a volleyball of sorts with a kickball.

Group picture, right before they performed a song for us! So amazing; they sang and danced, and we were told the main point of the song was, all things praise the Lord. I have a video I would love to show you when I get home. It was really awesome!


View of the landscape from the orphanage

Some of the village children, watching as we were making crafts with the other children.
(don't worry, we had them come in to make something also)

One thing I have wanted to do while I am here is visit an orphanage; up until now, I have not been able to go along based on my working schedule or a vehile being too full, ect. This afternoon we went to a children's home that had about 40 children, I believe 38 is the exact number. (25 boys, 13 girls) We were able to greet all of the children when we arrived; they were lined up and waiting for our arrival. We were able to get a tour and see the dormitories, kitchen, library/schoolroom, and multi-purpose dining area. Any of you who have heard from Thomas and OAFA; I thought a lot about that ministry while visiting this orphanage today. There is just soo much need! The boy's dormitory has 13 beds for 25 boys, and the girl's room is very small with 8 beds crammed in for 13 girls. They have light bulbs in the rooms, but they do not have electricity, the boys' room had a kerosene lamp hung on the back wall, which a large smoke/burn mark which made it appear quite dangerous. The drought in Kenya has made it difficult to have water, and as the people at the church are hurting with crops and financially, they really feel that at the orphanage. They do not have so many essential things, and I know that there is nothing I am doing to help (in the large scheme of things at least). I wish I could raise support for their buildings, beds, electricity, more workers, and just dedicate my life to pour into them. There are so many needs and makes me wonder, how do you determine which ministry in which to pour your life into? The awesome thing is to know that these children, despite their unfortunate life events, is having Christ as part of their life. I hope they will all come to know Christ through the church and ministry of the home. Even if I spent all my time and dedicated my whole life to these children, making their physical and emotional lives better, I could not provide the purpose or hope that Christ ever could. He truly is the Hope and Life in a world of need-hope for today, life eternal. I guess that is my only consolation to avoid discouragement when thinking about all of the injustices in this world.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Friday night, Wayne & Anna's family were at Safari, and Peter & Lisa were also gone, so I went down to Lisa's house and spent the night with Carol and Maria. It worked out well so that none of us had to be alone. We didn't do anything particularly exciting, but sometimes I enjoy those times the most, just living life together. Eating, talking, watching the news...
Yesterday Carol had to work in the kitchen with Livingstone up at the guesthouse (here), so Maria hung out with me in the apartment; she is 5 and doesn't speak much English. This made for a bit of an interesting morning. My main hope is that she had fun and didn't just do things because she is obedient and options were set before her. I could really tell that she enjoyed a Where's Waldo book that we had though; she spent a lot of time doing this over and over until she had memorized where he was on each page. We colored and drew pictures, did searching books, and also watched a little Brady Bunch and Gilligan's Island on the portable DVD player. I really enjoyed spending some more time with Maria the past two days, because the other couple times I had been around her, she was very stand offish, but last night, she actually wanted to share my bed. I just have like a sense of victory and excitement when a child begins to warm up to me that has formerly been very reserved.
I have really enjoyed getting to know Carol the past two weeks as well. She has invited me to a Bible study that has allowed for some good connections, and I am actually learning some things as well. For example, the study is on the Names of God; this week the little thing I took away was mainly that in the Bible when it says "Lord" that = Adonai (My Lord and My God). If it says "LORD", that means Jehovah. This was a quiet question from Bible reading that I had never had answered, so it was cool to be like- that's why they are different. But yeah, Carol has been a great friend to talk to, pray with, and enjoy learning from one another.
[I had previously written this post but it failed, so this is the shorter and water-downed version, sorry]

ok, so after the first of these pictures, I was like, oh yeah, forgot you don't normally smile in pictures, just laughing about it...so then she said we could take a smiling one, but then we were both laughing so much and still trying to hold smiles, that it turned out like this! Not the most flattering but fun and funny so it's ok haha.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Wherever you are

As I am here, I am more and more convinced that the way you live your life depends very little on your location. This is not to say whether you are hanging out at church or at the bar, don't get the wrong idea... but by location I mean the country and culture in which you are a part. If you are striving to glorify God, your spirituality or the way in which you live out your faith does not depend on whether you live in the city or in the country or in the US or Africa. On one hand, some individuals are called to a very specific purpose in life, or at least for a portion of their life, like you could be called to _________ location, but I believe that for the majority of Christians, we just need to focus on our personal relationship with Christ and also seek to develop real community, wherever we are. The church extends over any distance, as well an any culture.

A few great memories from the past week or so have been with the reality of the body of Christ. Last Sunday, the church service I mentioned with the hundreds of children... there was one girl who I sat with and was able to talk to throughout the service. She was 13 and a Christian, it was such a neat thing to tell her that she was my sister in Christ. In my Bible, I had a wordless book flip chart thing that was purdy cool; she liked it a lot, so I gave it to her. Of course, before I could give it away though, I wanted to make sure she knew what all the colors meant- so that was fun to share, although very very briefly, with the children around me. My ultimate hope is that she may even remember what they mean and use it to tell the story of the Gospel to others-maybe extremely hopeful, but still cool to dream of :)
The other time that the body of Christ was very evident was just a few days ago; one of the women who works in accounting lost her brother-in-law. The departments at Tenwek both mourn and rejoice in the happenings of others lives, so with working in the offices, I was invited to visit her home for a "service" of sorts. Lisa and I walked in a bit late, so chai had already been taken and much had already been said when we arrived. It was really awesome though to see this true form of community so evident; each person shared some thoughts and encouraged the family that he was a believer. Actually, all that was spoken showed such strong faith and such an eternal perspective, it was almost unreal to me that these people had just lost a loved one. I guess I am not really sure how to properly describe that whole experience without typing soo much, but just know that the body of Christ and NT-like church community was very evident in the people here. Just the fact that I was welcome, I believe, is a huge reality of the all-encompassing ties of trusting in the same Savior.

Anyway, back to the main point. The fact that I am living on a missions compound does not make my personal, spiritual life any easier or any harder than any other time in my life. If nothing else, this is a huge lesson that must be learned and truly experienced. Missionaries aren't super heroes; they are regular people and regular families trying to keep up with a million things that need to be done-just like anyone in full time ministry!

[this is a topic for another post, but the similarities of living on a missions compound and at a Christian camp are strikingly similar!]

Men of Zebulun

As I have been reading through the Word, I am now in the middle of I Chronicles. For some reason, one small and rather insignificant verse really stuck out to me.

12:33 says, "men of Zebulun, experienced soldiers prepared for battle with every type of weapon, to help David with undivided loyalty-50,000;"

Our theme this summer at BLBC is STAND based off of Ephesians 6 and the armor of God. Even if this wasn't our theme, I think that this summer we all realized that we were entering into very real spiritual warfare. The description of the men of Zebulun is such the essence of what we should strive for! I want to be an experienced soldier, prepared with every form of weapon (or the full armor of God), and to have completely undivided loyalty-such a beautiful thing.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Wayne's friend Vincent became a daddy today! Vincent worked under Wayne two years ago when the Ellis family came to Tenwek for the first time
I love babies, and I think it is really cool that we got to see little Jesse at just one day old.

Wayne, Damaris, and Vincent just two days ago.

The adorable baby Jesse!