After a much needed Christmas break with Ann’s parents in Dublin,
we are delighted to be back in Kijabe. As we were packing up in Ireland, the kids were beside themselves with excitement. As much as they adore their grandparents, they couldn’t wait to see their friends, run around barefoot, and ride on the roof of the car. It’s amazing how well and quickly Kenya has become home for them.
I think Ann and I feel the same way. Coming back to our little house, getting back into our routines, really felt like a homecoming. I was a little apprehensive before going back into work, remembering the overwhelming workload
Kijabe can be a challenging place to work, on a number of different levels. I think I really underestimated the difficulties inherent in working in a different language and culture. And it’s difficult seeing so much need everyday
and not having the resources to provide. The two boys from Samburu really touched us. It’s been difficult to get updates on their condition, as they live in a very remote area. Laura, the dedicated missionary in that area, has had enough contact to tell us that Jonah is doing “reasonably well”, and Saidimo is thriving and just finished at the top of his class. We continue to pray for these two little boys.
I’ve returned with, I hope, much more realistic expectations. I can only imagine how many cultural faux pas I’ve committed here, and I’m thankful for the graciousness of my Kenyan colleagues.
We’re blessed to have Bob and Sally Zirschky visiting Kijabe for three weeks. The Zirschky’s lived only a couple of hours drive from us in Oregon, but we never met until they came to serve at Kijabe last year. Bob is an orthopaedic surgeon, and Sally can do everything else! She comes loaded for bear, an entire household of goods in Rubbermate tubs, and immediately sets up a home! How many volunteers come equipped with their own sewing machine?!? Unbelievably, the Zirschky’s ministry includes donating all the goods they travel with to the ministry site they visit. So the apartment they leave will be fully stocked with sheets, towels, and small appliances. One of the great blessings of this path we’re on is meeting pleasantly crazy people like the Zirschky’s!
So we’re off on the journey of 2014. We’ve learned some lessons about boundaries, about biting off more than we can chew, and about the importance of sabbath. We were warned about all these things in our training, but were confident we wouldn’t make the silly mistakes that our predecessors fell into. So instead, we invented new ones. I’m turning 50 tomorrow, but I feel like a freshman in college, so much to learn. As we look forward to 2014, we are thankful beyond words for the hundreds of people praying for us and supporting us in so many ways. God Bless You and may you have a joyous and blessed new year.