As I look around my home here in Mombasa and reflect on the last two years, the things we have learned and seen God do is quite amazing. Since March 11, 2013 we have lived in four homes. We have gone from a homeschooling, football playing, ballet dancing, swimming, youth group band playing, pastor’s family
I’ve been leading a bible study the past few weeks and we have been going through Francis Chan’s “Crazy Love” book. I have to read it in advance to filter out all the American references that Kenyans won’t relate to and summarize large chunks because we only have one copy of the book. But hey,
What’s your worth? An interesting question. It could mean a number of things depending upon who you ask. I’ll ask another question: What/Who decides your value? A certain monitary amount in your bank account? Having a bank account? With money in it? A bunch of letters behind your name with periods in between them? Or
I was unprepared and it was unexpected. From an unlikely source, came that word; he called me mom. He didn’t say it to my face, but in an emotional time of reflection over Christmas celebrations. Sitting in our living room, hunched over in a chair, hiding his teared stained face from his peers, he confessed
I have to admit, it’s been a trying week. So many little things not going quite right. And a few big ones too. Really made me start thinking about making some lemonade, but then I took some time to try and see things from our boys point of view. Since we returned from our time
After all these years and all the amazing things God has done in my life I am still surprised. Surprised at how God can so easily change my heart’s desire, change my focus, change my life by the simple word “yes.” Since getting married in 1997(wow!), Trenton and I have made two major moves
I have a friend who is a Muslim and we had a great conversation the other day. It is like many of the interactions I have had but illustrated something I think is important for us all. After our customary greetings and checking in about family, kids, and life we ventured into the area of religion. We have talked about many issues and how our faiths or worldviews differ in perspective. It has been fascinating to hear how others perceive their purpose, how they are instructed to live and the like. One of the great things about living in this place is that it is full of people with such varied backgrounds. If you study the history of Mombasa you will find indigenous people, Somalis, Asians (Indian, Pakistani, etc), Yemeni, Omani, Arabs in general and more. Religiously, there are Muslims and Hindus of every stripe. As someone who loves interacting with ideas and people who hold differing ones than I do, it is a joy.
Of course one could think of a year in terms of sheer duration, like 365 days, 12 months, or 52 weeks. Or you could think of it as events; packing a house, moving stuff, saying good-bye, driving to CA and saying good-bye again, boarding a plane with your beautiful wife and three kids and heading to another country marked the first one. Ever since it has been a year of firsts, major challenges, and best of all seeing God at work. I wonder what other people think about as time passes by and they mark milestones in life. Next month marks my 38th birthday, this month my 14th year as a Follower of Jesus, and also 1 year as a resident of Mombasa, Kenya. We have come to see this place as our home, heat, mosquitos, instability and all. What does God have for us in the future? We don’t know. What we do know is that to this point in our journey, He has been present and we have been on the front row of seeing Him at work.
What else is worthwhile in this life? I have heard nothing better. ‘Lord, send me!’
– Jim Elliott in a letter to his mother dated August 16, 1948
A year in Kenya. A year in Mombasa. And yet, it’s actually been much, much longer.
Before we began our journey to the other side of the country, I failed to realize that most of the people there would’t speak English or Kiswahili. Ok, maybe that is a bit exaggerated, but at least the young ones and the older ones couldn’t. When we first arrived I was introduced to a few of M’s older relatives, one being his 88 yr old grandma. She sat outside of their mud and wood home, content to allow the commotion go on elsewhere. I thought to myself, I know enough Kiswahili to say hi and introduce myself, let’s see how this goes. After a couple of minutes of trying, I just figured I wasn’t pronouncing something correctly and that she had an odd way of saying things. Usually it goes a little better than this. I just smiled and nodded, the appropriate response to someone when you have no idea what they are saying or an ability to respond intelligently. One of the younger cousins came up and greeted me. It was then that she began speaking to the grandmother in Kiluo, a tribal language which I knew nothing about. So began my time, much like when we first moved to Kenya, when I didn’t understand the bulk of what was being said.