The First Week Back

The first week,

It is much easier to talk, then to live.

Life for us is much the same, the ideal of talking about mission life has come to pass and now the bumpy road (literally) of living has come. Whew, Bekah’s comment, “It is nice to come back to the familiar” was a great comfort. For me the coming back was a mixed bag of emotions. Noticeably absent was the exhilaration of a new adventure, in that it was familiar and I knew how to function and yet the desire for that feeling and energy was there and the passion and desire to help was there, so I guess that is where real life begins when newness wears off and patience and perseverance of living a daily life in Christ begins.

Dakota: It was hard coming back for me, because I miss my grandmas and grandpas and cousins but happy because seeing my friends too. And Rita. And hummm, Miss Trena. I like my new home. In the morning we have gone for walks, try to fetch salt, but instead came back with mandazis (Kenyan Donuts). “Tell them it was so yummy”

Hope: “Purple”!!!!

March 2013

One month from yesterday is departure date for Kenya and everything is ramping up again in us to be back and to say good bye well and to treasure the remaining moments.  Its challenging to want to see everyone we have not yet connected with and know that we really need to rest as well.

As many of you know Bekah had foot surgery and is doing well.  It was extremely painful but with Gods grace and peace and His perfect timing things are working out well.  We are currently stationed in the Bay Area with my parents and will spend the last few days in Bakersfield and head out of LAX.

In Kenya,  the elections are being challenged by the Supreme Court of Kenya but so far it has been a peaceful process and we are not expecting that we will fact any violence in traveling mid April.  

Additionally our new team mates have been on the house hunt and it looking promising that we might have some sort of shelter when we get back.  If not we will stay on the organizational property in a temporary housing unit until we rent a house of our own.

Like I alluded to above we are mixed up with emotions and stress and joy,  so pray that as we are in this time that we again seek refuge in Christ alone.

Blessings,

TroyImageImageImage

Troy’s Blog

Saying good-bye… again.   The good-bye season is always a season of reflection. It seems that a few months pass before the season comes again for us.   This time it’s good-bye for a little while to all those things that you are very comfortable having around, which it’s hard to see in boxes.

Dakota broke a picture frame last night, which had a promise of a picture to be put in the frame but currently the picture was just the advertisement in the frame, yet as a present the frame still meant so much to her tender soul.  As I was logically counseling her through the tears I began to say,  “things here (earth) break and sometimes we have to let them go and sometimes the things we care most about are the things we need to store away well so they have less chance of breaking.”

I know for my Somali friend Muhammed, and the bank teller Wycliff, and many other relationships around town, they are like the picture frame.   I care for them with the same affection of an unfilled picture frame of my daughter, the promise of the relationship and the sentiment to come.   I find myself in the same stage of wanting the relationships close; yet need to pack them with care for a season to come.   This is a hard thing, as well, with the uncertainty of life in a good-bye stage, especially for the well-established friendships that have mutual scars from trials and challenges, along with joyous memories of fun times together.

In a light hearted sense I have been wearing the same pair of trousers for the last three days trying to say good-bye and simultaneously testing the quality of jeans through it all.  It’s the pair of jeans I was wearing in the Christmas card that announced we were going to have a baby.  The pair I bought off the bargain rack that you didn’t expect to last because how often is your size jean the lone pair of jeans on the bargain rack?   The jeans that have been in every family picture since we have been married and every occasion where you didn’t know if it was ok to where jeans so you reached for the nicest pair that you had.

Just like most clothes here, the life span exponentially degenerates in the equatorial sun and dust of Africa.    So now, faded and patched from puppy teeth tears, the right knee worn through to the perfect vintage style, they are getting packed away for some months, only so I don’t really have to say goodbye to yet another sturdy friend.  

I know that you are close to wiping away a tear from your eye for my tattered jeans, and tattered heart, but before you do feel encouraged that as one door closes on the jeans, others are opening up behind what you wouldn’t really call a door. 

Since my whole closet has seen the wear of too much and the fact that vintage is no longer the style of the day, I took the thrifty opportunity to replenish my suitcase from what’s called the “matumbo” market in downtown Nakuru.   Busy streets, bordered in a row of rough-cut plank buildings covering over a make shift drainage canal, with plastic roofing and sides.  Around ten, the façade changes as home made hangars sporting the latest used fashions from around the word re-façade the front of the shops advertising if they specialize in shirts, ladies nightgowns or trousers. 

 After spending much time shopping for boys here, I have spent my fair share of time around the place.   Recently I found that there is a fashion designer in each of these shops but my personal favorite shop specializes in my style.   The great thing about Nakuru is the same guy that you hire as a mechanic one day may be your personal shopper the next and earning more money, this was the case with Kamau, who was first my car electrician and second my wardrobe consultant.  As you push your way through the enticing marketing wall of shirts and trousers you enter the shell of a room with a half dirt floor to find stack of trousers and shirts waiting for you.   You mention your size and an array of clothes starts the stream past you.  Ladies jeans with rhinestone sequence are likely to be suggested, as gender matters little in dress here.   Finally a few that might work; they create a gunnysack dressing room in the corner of the shop.  Nothing like standing in your boxers while a steady stream of trousers with smells from every corner of Europe come your way mixing with exhaust from the passing cars.  If your alone you go through the mental process of judging the sincerity of praise that you receive for each pair that you try, knowing the guy giving the praise is negotiating your response on the price that he is going to put on the trousers.   No matter how much he is over charging you, which now a day is low for me, the experience alone is worth the price in memories. 

 I will truly miss the pampering, and the laughs.   But I now have a few new, relatively that is, pair of trousers that will remind me of my favorite clothiers in Nakuru; Kamau my former mechanic and Njoroge who has a degree in sales courtesy of “GQ”. 

Blessings,
Troy

 

three weeks and one day….

we will board a plane for the lovely, long flight back to the good ol’ USA. 

So many emotions are wrapped around this it’s kinda hard to explain. I have heard from many, missionaries get this weird, crazy emotional period before departing your host country and we can’t really explain it. I saw my good friend go through it when she was going back to Texas for only two weeks… and she had just returned to Kenya from a 6month visit three months prior. 

Honestly, when I watched my friend go through this I thought to myself I was not going to be “one of those” who had the melt-downs for no apparent reason. I am ready to be home. I am needing a break. I am ready to be in my culture. I am ready to have my mamma spoil me and to see all my family and friends. But as time is approaching, I am “one of those” I am melting… and I don’t even know why.

Yes, I know I am stressed up. Yes, I am packing my whole house and trying to move out in the next few days. Yes, I am unbelievably excited to see everyone at home and to share God fingerprints here and in our lives. Yes, I am going to MISS Trena, Lauren, Shelley and all my other friends here. Yes, I am going crazy with the thought of not seeing Moses for six months…..ext. I guess these are some of the things that can cause me to cry at nothing:-) But then I start to feel like some crazy mamma who can’t go through these changes in stride. But these are the times I need to remind myself God is teaching me so much in the midst of the chaos. 

I know God has called us to this life of never settling into one spot. It’s a very transit life we live. There are always ‘hello’s’ and ‘good-bye’s’. We are never certain of what the next few years will hold… yes, to an extent life in the States is the same. We just never know if God will call us to another town, village or country to serve… or even back home. With the many movements we experience, God reminds me how this is not my permanent home. This is a season. I will one day have a place for eternity. 

Im trying to allow myself to go through life, even in the melt-downs or the joyful times, in God’s presence and remembrance this is for a period. I don’t need to be overwhelmed or stressed. I need to be. Be with God. Be with my girls and hubby. Be with the people I am with in whatever country I live in. Be in the moment. Be Joyful. Be. 

Please remind me of this when you do see me melting for no reason. 

 

The Mango sky of Kinna

From the small bathroom window, the rising sun over the arid dusty land created a mango horizon and started the day with a whisper of beauty amongst the Mosque prayers.

Kinna is a dry and hot land, which sustains its people with cool rivers and wells, creating oasis environments in spots of the gray dry bush.   A similar picture could be used to give a spiritual commentary on the place, as the cultural is as hard and suspicious as the land toward outsiders disrupting the normal way of life.  As a drought and famine prone area, there is a natural tension between needing help from the outside world and wanting to remain homogeneous in and culture.   Since the Borana are pastoralist people with an innate desire to grow and care for their herds, this tension is heighten, desiring veterinary care and products for their animals However, they are suspicious that veterinary care means opening themselves to Christian thought, which meant that our trip was full of small town politics, multiplied by the religious divide of the sides.   

So Monday through to Friday we walked the tight rope of this tension, with grace that only God provided. 

The work was intended to be a foundation of relationship building and practical loving a community with the gifts of veterinary services.   The DVO (district veterinary officer) along with his staff had help us coordinate the three day veterinary camp that we had, giving us the recommendations for vaccines and products that would be assist the community. 

After traveling Monday, we started with “meet and greets” on Tuesday and then moved on to vaccinate and examine the goats and sheep of three target areas.   The work went well, although the numbers were lower than we expected, we still were able to build relationships and set a foundation for future work, either by Vets with a Mission Kenya or SIM the sponsoring and abiding organization in the area, working or physical and spiritual development in the area.   

We really appreciated your prayers, as we had to battle the heat and dust along with a very palpable spiritual war.   Through it all, God was faithful!! He provided each and every relationships and people to share love with, even without words. 

God is Good!

Blessings, 

Troy

Prayer for Troy

Living here as missionaries, it’s funny to think we still do mission trips. I guess I never really imagined it would be apart of our job, but it’s something we love to do.

Troy has connected with a group of Kenyan Vets (Vets with a Mission) who do mission outreaches to different groups around Kenya. He has had the privilege to go along with them on 3-4 different trips. The main goal is to preach the gospel, even before vaccinating livestock. Vets with a Mission feel this is the best way to reach the under reached, knowing many of them would not stay to listen to a sermon after their animals were treated. But this trips is all so different….

Troy left this afternoon for a weeklong trip to Northern Kenya called Kinna. Kinna is a very hot, dry area with very little Christians. Kinna is predominately Muslim in faith, and has a high regard for their livestock. A few years ago when they were going through a very brutal drought, the only thing they were asking for were Vets.
Troy has been to Kinna a few different times with a mission group called SIM. He would help where needed on the vet side, but on a very small scale. He mainly was there to support the missionaries with SIM and, most importantly, to build a relationship amongst the Kenyans in Kinna. Troy has become good friends with a man, who we have come to find out is a new Believer.

A month ago we heard he was getting a lot of persecution from the community because of his new faith. By this time Troy and Vets with a Mission have had plans to do a weeklong mission dedicated to livestock. When we heard of the news of the persecution, Troy and Vets with a Mission (very good friends of his) needed to change how they approached presenting the Gospel so no more harm would come to their friend in Kinna.

The resolution was to go in this week as only vets, not Christian vets spreading the Good News. To build good relationships with the community and slowly work their way in to share. They (5 vets total… one from America) will vaccinate 15,000 sheep, goats and some cows, while silently praying for the communityJ

Would you please join me in prayer for Troy and the team?
Pray God would shine through them.
Pray the Holy Spirit would flow through their mouths during conversations this week.
Pray for their safety while driving there and back, it’s an 8-hour drive from Nairobi…11 hours from Nakuru.

It’s a privilege to be Troy’s wife, to support him, as he is obedient to what God has called him to do.