Monday, January 26, 2009

Sunday at School

Today we went to our ministry assignment. We signed up for a school not far from where we are staying in the college dorms. Four students from the theological college went with us. They were from Kenya and Tanzania.

Our family went to a service for the catholic students. They went through their service in a very methodical way, and had a 15 minute window for me to share.
I spoke about Joseph finally confronting his brothers, telling them who he really was. And that because of his forgiveness, God's chosen people were saved.

I don't know if it was understood or how it was taken. All the students sat very rigidly and were quite formal.

Towards the end of the service, they evidently had some more time. They wanted the guests to offer some words of encouragement. I nudged Breanna that it was HER turn! :)

Actually, the students really wanted to hear from Olivia, Grace, and Isaiah. Grace was the only one who wanted to say anything. She said a few things very quietly, but everyone came alive, almost like the ice was momentarily broken. They laughed and giggled when she spoke.

When I asked Isaiah to say "Jambo" to them, he shook his head and ran to me, burying his head in my lap. The students laughed again.

After our service, we had tea and bread with the other missionary family and the college students who came with us.

On the matatu (bus) ride home to our dorm, the conductor banged the side panel loudly to tell the driver to stop. One of the passengers exclaimed something, and all the passengers (except for us Americans) laughed.

When the matatu started up again, I asked what had happened.

The lady from the college told me, quietly, that the man had gone past his intended stop. She said he was looking at us and was distracted. She paused, then clarified, gracefully, because of how your skin looks different. Poor guy!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

We are in Kenya!

We made it! Early Sunday morning Kenya time we arrived after an unexpected stop in Cairo, Egypt to try and fix a water problem on the plane. An AIM AIR pilot met us in customs to help us through and welcome us! The airline misplaced one of our 15 checked bags, but they already knew about it, so we should have it in a day or so.

We are tired! We crossed eight time zones, so our bodies will need time to adjust to Kenya time. They say the best cure for jet lag is sleep, so benadryl helped us last night when the kids were was only 6pm in Indiana where we had left from, but 2 in the morning in Kenya!!
We are at a guest house for two days before we head off to orientation(henceforth to be referred to ABO, which stands for Africa Based Orientation in AIM circles) in Machakos, a couple hours southeast of here.

Grace is busy making friends already. Isaiah is a little overwhelmed with eyes easily tearing up when mom and dad are out of eyesight. Olivia's doing well so far(She did not faint or "freak out" in the plane or the airport as she predicted. Thank you for your prayers!), eager to explore the area, enjoying the flowers, weather and a surprise dvd copy of Prince Caspian I just produced to help pass the time while I slept this morning.
We are excited to finally be here! We thank God for His provision for preparing us to come and for safe travels!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Today's the Day!

Tonight, about 6:30 EST, we (and three other families & two singles) fly out of Newark to London and then...-woo hoo!!- Nairobi, Kenya -arriving 9:30pm Saturday night, Kenya time (See Nairobi clock in lower right sidebar)!! I am so excited! (Breanna writing) Here's an awesome Bible verse I am claiming for my family today and in the next months of orientation (3 weeks); and then living with a Kenyan family (4 weeks); and then finally getting into our own rented home in Nairobi!

"He is your constant source of stability. He abundantly provides safety and great wisdom. He gives all this to those who fear Him."
Isaiah 33:6 (NAT)

I am praying this verse will especially be a comfort to Olivia, who is 10. We have been praying that she will be able to give her anxiety to God and make friends fast. Fortunately, we are traveling with other kids close to our kids' ages and so they have been running and playing constantly while we finished up final paperwork and packing yesterday. God has been extremely faitthful to her in our intermediate moves to Minnesota and North Carolina, providing wonderful close friends. We trust He will do the same in Kenya!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

We're now all in New York at Africa Inland Mission's headquarters to be briefed and make sure everything's in order. We've met the other missionaries we'll be traveling with - a great group! Can't believe it's already here...we leave THIS FRIDAY!!

Thursday, January 08, 2009


Yeah, Jerry's completing the sale of our Land Cruiser now! Yeah! Thank You, God!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The best of being a Dad

Grace is immersed in Heaven. Questions pour out of her constantly about what it will be like. Since I have all the answers, it is easy ... ;) She is hyper-emotional, hyper-imaginative, and I think very spiritually acute. So... it was only a matter of time before we talked about actually getting to Heaven. We had that chance at breakfast in the little cottage we were in for our Hurd family reunion.
"You have to die" she said with a giggly laugh.
"OK, but there is something else you need besides that," I replied, choosing words carefully.
She said a joke that was funny, but unfortunately forgotten.
I followed up: "You have to be perfect. That means never doing anything bad."
"What do you think, can you do that?"
With her trademark puppy dog eyes, she slowly shook her head - no.
"There is another way," I continued, still cautiously. "Remember that Jesus came to Earth and died for us? That was so He could pay the price and we could become perfect!"
"First we need to believe that He died for us, and we need to ask for Him to save us from the bad things we have done and will do."
"Do you want to pray to Him with me and ask Him?"
She turned her huge eyes on me and said "Uh-huh..."
And so we did... and Grace's venture into true freedom has begun.

A week in the USA

So this is how it feels to be almost leaving the country! The kiddos are excited and nervous (last night Grace had concerns about drinking the water and jet lag). Breanna is travelling with her sister these past two days as moral support. Her sister is going for several interviews around the country to apply for a doctorate internship. I am trying to get a handle on the many little items to check off in this last week, and keep Isaiah on his potty training schedule.

We need prayer during all this travelling and prayer that we will be able to sell our land cruiser.
If anyone would like a '92 Land Cruiser with some bruises on it, let me know. It is listed on Craig's List and Vehix for $1000.