My new friend Ali.

Mar 30 |

In order to get around in a new place it requires new friends. Obviously the Thompsons (a missionary family here which is part of the team) have been a tremendous blessing. They have 3 kids that ours get along with really well. They hang out and have spent the night with them a couple of times. It is a tremendous answer to prayer for Erika and I. Ralph and Sandra too are great people who we are growing close to and learning a lot from.

Sabita Introduces US to The Hindu Ladies

Mar 30 |

I have often heard it said that people do not go because they are afraid, they are not knowledgeable enough, or they are not “holy” enough to do the very thing that God is asksing them to do.  I am often afraid, often lack knowledge, and am definitely not “holy” enough for anything that God places in front of me!  Yet that is the point.  Through my/our weakness,  inabilities,  sinfullness, God himself is made great and can be seen beyond my/our humaness.

Has It Really Been Two Weeks Already?!

Mar 30 |

As we were heading across the bridge that connects Mombasa Island from the mainland and the rest of Mombasa, I marveled at the fact that two weeks have passed rather quickly.  Even the kids commented on the fact that in many ways it seemed as though we had been here far longer than two weeks.  God has been good to give of sense of comfort in our surroundings, while at the same time keeping us curious.

Our new digs…

Mar 27 |

We just realized we haven’t talked about where we live. To some this is going to be shocking, to others it won’t be that big of a deal. For us we praise God for what He has provided and are praying about where we should live in the near future. Our building was built in the 30’s and has 4 stories. We live on the ground floor in a two bedroom flat (apartment), Syd shares a room with us and the boys have their own room. There is a small galley kitchen with a fridge, microwave and stove that requires you to light it and runs on gas (propane?) coming from a tank attached to it. We have a small family room and dining room and it seems to work for us pretty well.

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Our new neighbors

Mar 25 |

In North Bend we had elk, deer, rabbits, racoons and the occassional bear. Here in Mombasa, actually right where we live we have a new set of critters we call our neighbors. Some are small and crawl around like the 6 inch milipedes, various sizes of ants, cockroaches or the mosquitos constantly that drive us to Benadryl. Others are a bit larger, like the Vervet monkey family of 25ish that lives in the large 100 year old mango tree right outside our door. They get a bit territorial when you hit one of their babies with a soccer ball, so Brennen and the neighbor kid found out the other day. None of us really care for rodents, so we were unpleasantly surprised to see a rat that stretched a little over a foot from nose to tail scurry across the yard (dirt) as we drove in one day. Inside, like Hawaii we have some gecko friends that share our apartment. The funny (depending on your idea of funny) thing was that the other day I discovered one just inside the door to our freezer, frozen solid.

Getting around town

Mar 24 |

Life in Mombasa is pretty easy going, except when you want to get around. Like any place where there are Matatus or Tuk Tuks you find a chaotic mess of people vying for position on the street and forcing their way to where they want to go. We don’t have a vehicle here yet, so we have our choice of these modes of transportation to get around town, go shopping, and do just about anything that is too far to walk to. Matatus are essentially minivans rigged to sit 14 people, driven by an overly agressive, but amzingly calm, Nascar wannabe accompanied by the guy who handles the money. This guy hangs out the window yelling the destination of where they are headed. It is almost like he is trying to convince you that you need to take his matatu, even if you don’t even need a ride; it is pretty interesting. The last matatu we rode in had a loud sound systems as do most, heavy on the bass,  blaring music videos which were being shown on a small TV (BET, with rappers and all of the ‘wonderful’ messages we have exported to the world that gives us such a great imgage. Half dressed ‘dancers’ gyrating to the ‘music’ had us telling the kids to avert their eyes.) It is so nice to see our influence on the rest of the world.

Walking to the street kids

Mar 22 |

Yesterday Steven walked Ethan (Intern) and myself around the island. We walked for almost 2.5 hours, tiring hours, partly to know how the street boys get around. First we went to a place where some of the street boys stay, renting a couple of rooms to try to get on their feet. They wash cars for money. Some of them still do drugs, but at least they are not living outside. They are on their way to making a life for themselves.

Becoming A Minority Again

Mar 18 |

DSC_0493When you are a blend of several nationalities but appear on the outside to be white, it is unimagineable to think that you will ever be in the minority anywhere! I quickly learned when I arrived at my home church, Lighthouse Christian Church, that I couldn’t be more wrong. 🙂 I was soon surrounded by asians, where I was the one to stick out and be picked out of the crowd as the one who didn’t belong(though their welcoming attitude made me feel right at home).

Worlds Apart…that all belong to Him.

Mar 12 |

Thinking about moving to another culture is a far cry from actually doing it. Not much can prepare you for what it is really like…and we are still in our first week. Mombasa is just about as opposite as you could get to our lives back in the states. First, the temperature. A balmy 92 degrees with 80% humidity. No air condition. At least there are ceiling fans (when there is electricity). Second, our apartment. Two bedrooms, one that Erika and I are sharing with Sydney and another that the boys are sharing. Water is delivered on a cart and poured into a large cistern via jerry cans weekly. We don’t have heated water, but as it turns out you don’t really want or need it. The coolish shower is a refreshing reprieve from the heat. Third, our transportation. At present we are getting rides from some of the team. Today Erika and I rode a Tuk Tuk, a three wheel public transportation vehicle. Between that and the Matatus (vans used as taxis) we will use them for getting around. We won’t be able to get a car until our work visas get approved most likely. It makes getting groceries a planned event. Mombasa has a population of about 925,000 with over a third of them Muslim. 5 times a day the horn blares calling the faithful to prayer. Sufficed to say it is very different from the northwest of the United States. Need is everywhere, high unemployment, street kids, spiritual darkness: it is hard to know where to start or what to do.