Sunday, December 12, 2010

10,000 Miles (on the road) in Four Months

Here it is, where we'll be and when we'll be there on our four month furlough back to America to share with you what our first two years in Kenya have been! Contact us if you'd like a visit while we're in your area. If we're not visiting your area, we're very sorry, we are concentrating our travel where we have the most folks for this short visit.

January 24, 2011: Fly out of Nairobi to Dallas, TX. via London.
January 25: Arrive in Dallas
January 26-Feb.4: In DFW area
February 5-6 in Wichita, Kansas area.
Feb. 6,  Sunday at Eastside Community Church
February 8-18 in Anderson/ Indianapolis, Indiana area.
Wednesday, February 9 at Chesterfield Church of God
February 19-20 in Wichita, Kansas.
February 20, Sunday West Evangelical Free Church
February 26-March 6 Sun City, Arizona at Grace Bible Church's Mission Conference
March 7-11: In California, with stops in Idyllwild, Riverside, LA & San Jose
March 12-15: In Oregon, with stops in Ashland, and Portland
March 16-20: In Washington (the state :), 17th & 18th in Sunnyside, WA.
March 24-27: In Worthington, Minnesota
March 27, Sunday at Journey
March 29-April 6: in Indiana
April 3, Sunday, at Park Place Church of God in Connersville, IN
April 7: Grace's 8th Birthday!
April 17, Sunday,  at Pawnee Avenue Church of GodWichita, KS
April 22-24: west Kansas for Pleasant Prairie Church of God's mission conference
April 26-29 Dallas area
April 30-May 1 Wichita, Kansas at Grace Presbyterian Church on Sunday, May 1
May 4-9 Indiana
May 11 Fly back to Kenya!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Same room, 22.5 months later, I stare at a tiny Touchscreen, pushing fake buttons. Last time we were in this room, Isaiah pulled open the bay window curtains and yelled out his enthusiasm for the new African world before him: "Grace, they have a playground!" I wrote e-mails, snapped pictures, then sent them half way around the world. We are here!
The camera died, and the replacement is temporarily out of service... We have to shoot blind :) The MacBook motherboard died last December, and the hard disk last week, with our newsletter hours from completion.
I didn't think I would be here, having to rely on an iPhone to update the blog and send email. But the months in between the stays at Mayfield guest house were the best of my life. We became part of the tight knit family here in Kenya, we made friends, learned the crazy rules of the road, and strange rules of the air. We struggled with new languages, hosted family here for a visit, and moved to a border town.
So, even if the iPhone goes the way of the camera or laptop, I will still say, "These have been our best days. God is still our hope and
provision, and we are honored to serve him with airplanes, school books... And with or without little 3" touchscreens."
staying in touch somehow,
Jerry and Bre

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Coming to America

We can hardly believe January will mark the second anniversary of our arrival in Kenya!! That means it's time to visit YOU to share what God's been doing in and through us these past two years. It will be a whirlwind 4 month trip around the U.S., January 25-May 10, 2011 but we will try to see as many folks as possible! Comment or contact us if you want to meet and we will make every effort to do so!
Year One: March, 2009, Kurungu Kenya

Year Two: August, 2010, Torit, Sudan

We will be bringing necklaces made by a local Christian Turkana women's cooperative, ANA (their name is an acronym for "Stong Women" in the Turkana language.)

If you desire specific colors or designs, you may order through us before January 1. They will run about $5-$17 each and directly benefit the women. Many come with matching bracelets and earrings.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Once Bitten

Okay, I wasn't bitten, but stung (Breanna, writing...shocker, I know!). One of the occupational hazards of living here in the desert of northern Kenya is the need to beware of these guys. He was on a towel I had used to dry off Isaiah from his shower 15 minutes before,  and Grace was IN the towel the scorpion was ON when he found my right hand ring finger.

this one, though not very big, managed to incapacitate me for about 6 hours one Monday afternoon, of course, a Monday Jerry  had left for a week-long safari flight. These things have a way of happening as soon as my man leaves town!!! When Jerry was in Tanzania, I found myself on a busy stretch of highway in Nairobi with a dead car. His trip two weeks ago was the scorpion sting. This week he had a pilot from Nairobi bring me roses!...but the week wasn't without adventure, of course...we had a malaria scare, was sure Olivia had it, but her test was negative, just the flu.

So, I thank God for all those prayer warriors that cover me and the kids while he's away, and for his safety while he flies. I thank God for our co-workers and friends, Jon and Ginny Hildebrandt, that came to my aid when the scorpion stung, medicated me, and killed the scorpion, that I had left locked in the bathroom, in such a way I could still take its picture for this blog :) Ginny even made our supper! We are truly blessed!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Advanced timing

Not regarding magnetos or ignition coils, but God's weaving of events. I was on a three night safari flight a while ago. This one left me with a lot of time on the ground, but still miles from a home. I had torn apart Olivia's bedroom wall, promising to replace it when I return. Then a scorpion stung Breanna my first day away from home.

However, day two held the unexpected for me.... Jon, the other pilot based in Loki, called and asked if I could go fly to Duk Payuel. It sounded a lot better than sitting around, and since they just needed a short flight to Bor instead of Loki, the schedule worked perfectly. The airplane was already in Sudan, and they would not have to pay for the miles to come from Loki.

As an aside: When I approached Duk, I saw an older man grazing his cows by the runway. I kept an eye on them, since nothing seperated them from the runway. While about 50 feet above the ground, one of the bulls bolted onto the runway. I came up with the power, but kept the airplane near the ground, and passed around ten feet over the wayward animal. That seemed to work, and the cows gave me lots of room. On the ground, the herdsman had words with the clinic, but I don't think it was anything new.

Tom, one of the administrators for the clinic, told me there were two mothers who needed to go the hospital, and their foundation had a fund that would pay for emergency medical flights, much like our Wings of the Dawn. I told him the timing could not have been better. Here is an e-mail they sent back to the US, and then forwarded to me....

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: *************************
Date: Tue, Oct 12, 2010 at 5:25 AM
Subject: flight took off safely
To: ****************************
Cc: ****************************

Dear ___________,
On behalf of the mothers, Elizabeth and Martha and the clinic staff, we thank you and the Eastern Hills Bible Church for your support of this new initiative.
As most of the members of your church were still sleeping or just waking up this morning, in the small village of Duk Payuel in Southern Sudan, a plane from AIM AIR was landing on the dirt airstrip there. This plane landing in Duk was made possible through their support, and as they were asleep, these mothers and caretakers got on the plane headed for the nearest surgical center, more than 100 miles away. Even during the dry season, the trip on the dirt takes 6 hours, and now, during the rainy season, the trip is only possible by plane. AIM stands for African Inland Mission, a non-profit aviation organization. With a team of volunteer pilots, they serve missionary and church-based groups throughout the region, providing air travel in places many commercial flights either won't go or for which charge a high fee.
As these things tend to just happen by Divine intervention, Jered, the pilot today, said that the plane happened to be available and sitting in Rumbek, just a hundred or so miles from Duk.
One mother had come walking through knee-deep standing water for more than 25 miles to come to the clinic. She had already six deliveries, four of whom died, miscarried. She was now pregnant again, and came to the clinic hoping for something, trusting in the clinic staff and services provided here--the best for more 100 miles around. She was having pro-longed labor and needed an emergency c-section, a function for which the clinic is still unable to provide. The other had come from just a few miles away, and unfortunately, the child had already died in the womb. Still, without surgical capabilities, the mother's life was in serious jeopardy.
They'll go to Bor Town, the state capital, where there's a hospital that can perform the simple operation (a C-section) they need to save their lives, and, hopefully, the life of the child in the womb. All made possible by the dedicate act of generousity made possible by generous people 5,000 miles away who they'll never meet.
The members of church should also know the effectiveness of the mosquito nets for which they donated--since the rainy season began in May, the clinic has only received a few cases each month of malaria, amazing considering the thousands of mosquitos which plague the area. The nets can also provide protection against kalazar, another potentially endemic disease that is affecting the areas surrounding the Duk.
We do ask the members of the church one more thing--for their prayers for these two mothers. We'll try to check in on the status of them, though communication here can take a little while for messages to get through.
Again, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for this. No mother or child should die from childbirth, and by the will of God and the help of some generous people, we're working to ensure that.

John Dau Foundation
Transforming Health Care in Southern Sudan

"Impossible is what you won't do" - John Dau

Friday, October 29, 2010

We are here, we are here, we are here!

It took Jerry, and 4 brave volunteers three bumpty, dusty hot days by road to arrive here with vehicle, dog, birds, a water tank and other household items.

Breanna, the kids and cat, made it in about 2 1/2 hours by air!

Where is here, you ask? Lokichoggio, in the desert of northern Kenya, about 30kms from the Sudan border.

 We've come to support the AIM AIR "Loki" base, which operates two small aircraft, a Cessna 206 and a Cessna Caravan, usually into southern Sudan in support of mission work there. Before our arrival, one overworked pilot and his amazing family, Jon & Ginny H, were the only AIM AIR family here.

We're happy to share a bit of the load, but Jon & Ginny are amazing generous servant leaders and take excellent care of the missionaries in Sudan: buying their supplies, delivering their mail, hosting and feeding them incredible meals when they come through Loki.

We've lived here two months now and have adapted well. We are finally getting used to the constant heat, sweat and dust. We're enjoying the slower pace of life here "in the bush" among the Turkana tribe, a nomadic herding people group that are still largely unreached.

Loki is peculiar town, it was once a tiny village with only a mission airstrip and church, but its proximity to Sudan made it a staging area for aid work and hence the town grew. Now that its relatively calm in Sudan, the town is slow again and the establishments catering to foreigners are largely deserted.

Jerry stays busy flying virtually all the 206 flights into southern Sudan, but being so close to Sudan means we, the family, get to see him more than we did in Nairobi!

 Living in Loki means more opportunities for the family
 to join Jerry on flights with room!
This airstrip is on a mountaintop in Nagishot, Sudan

Breanna fills her days home schooling the three kids, and trying to come up with meals with the limited grocery options in Loki, but need not complain since there are way more choices than the places Jerry flies missionaries to in Sudan!!!

There is still work to do on the house we live in, though it's comfortably livable now. :) Once most of the house work is done, we look forward to becoming more involved in our community and are praying about opportunities.

Jerry would love to reach out to the local Turkana men, who are a rare sight in church, he's toying with the idea of meeting them on their turf, under the shade of trees through out town,  where they generally play a game called Ajua, all day long,  while their children look after their herds of sheep, goats and camels, and their wives haul wood and water for cooking.

Breanna's recognizes her primary ministry is the education and spiritual development of our three children, but would love to minister to local Turkana children through their schools or church outreach!

To see more photos of our life in Loki, check out Breanna's facebook album