Since arriving in Kenya, there have been numerous new doors to walk through and experiences placed on the roads before us as a group and myself individually. One which has led to the recent discovery is that I am not a fan of bargaining. Shopping here is not my specialty nor do I enjoy it with passion. A good number of the small business owners met the past few weeks have been eager to have us see their shops and buy all we can. After all when you are a 'mazungu', I suppose many assume you have tons of luggage space to hall items back as well as the money to do so. Rightly so, most Americas did start this often accurate assumption. But that is another topic of what has been introduced and influenced for many many years here by visitors, primarily Americans. Unfortunately this time I was not the gal to make everyone's day, since I was the missionary staying with little luggage space. Moreover, I have discovered that fruit is perfect in Kenya. The food here is fresh and REAL. Pineapples, mangos and bananas will never taste the same again. I am also continuing to get use to the mosquitoes with each day, along with the almost cute room geckos, the not so cute sounding nocturnal birds that like to sing and many often yell at night and the large spiders which always seem to make home and family behind my bed, as well as the lovely shower slugs. These room "safari" animals have inspired the new way of sleeping- scarf over head and face to keep all these critters out. Squashing them and sleeping with their company is becoming 2nd 'nature' (no pun intended.) On the bright side, no bites! The scarf is paying off, or possibility the layers of repellant and essential oils working on my side. Whichever the case, I am thankful!
As the first weeks come to a close and with a great deal gathered and not nearly enough space or time to share each story, every smile, stop and stay, I would like to leave a word of encouragement and reflection. 3 key words that has been reoccurring the past two weeks which are- listen, learn and surrender. This is a key to God's sustaining and providing grace, faithfulness and promise, which brings forth beyond all we could ask or imagine; in any and every situation we face especially when in a new land and when arriving as a visitor, I have been pressed anew to embrace this. If there is one thing we can do and cling to no matter where we are, it's the staff and anchor of promises and hope found in Christ and can do just that in acts of surrender and humility. A choice, it is for myself and all who I met and have met thus far. God is able and will provide according to his perfect will. Various families I have met too live off of this foundational understanding, despite their loss, pain and living conditions. Where what is essential is lacking, grace abounds. I have always loved and rested in this, probably because everywhere you go, something will be lacking and as we all need grace, just as consistent is the grace we are offered. We have this guarantee. It's up to us to taste and see the Lord is good and live from that place of peace rather than pressure and negivivity!
With that, I present now a challenge, one I too am daily presented and now here in Kenya, in new ways. Ways that are opening me up to grow and be stretched farther; to step out of comfort zones into a place of need and utter dependency away from oneself where then hand of God can be reached, move as He pleases and here Jesus seen and known. Here there is too then room for a touch from heaven and miracles to take place in both us and others, such as those I have spent the past few weeks with. This same moment by moment invite is the very one we each have in Africa, Kenya or not - to accept or reject. Designed as the bible and word of God directs; for God's glory and our good.
Lastly I want to share a reminder, one I find priority to keep at the forefront as also one which I am even more reminded of and tested on each day, is an ongoing attitude and open heart of learning and understanding in the growing one day at a time. It was on Mt. Moriah that is brought to mind where we have a God presented who sees. The God who sees. And we are told and have found that where He sees, He too provides. We have seen and we believe. I, just 3 weeks in at this time and a way to go while in Africa but I am focusing on the task at hand and remaining open, receptive and hungry to learning and loving each step of the way. It is God who is able. 'Mungu anaweza.' Yes, God is enough and there is a hope when hope seems to be no more. Blessed are the hungry ones.
Thank you for all of your prayers and interest in following my stay and ministry in Africa. I welcome continued prayer as I continue time at the next location where I have arrived last week in Kipkaren, spending most time partnering and serving at the Living Room Kimbilio Hospice where I will be for almost 3 weeks. My first week has come to and end and I have had a full, filled and blessed week at my new residence I have been sweetly welcomed into. Kipkaren and the kingdom work that is filling these roads between ELI and the Living Room is most received in person and it's so good to be here now, feet on ground and all. My next blog will share these stories and experiences of that which is taking place here.