We are moving….
Technically, we have now moved. I am so very delayed in posting this! Bear with us as this should have been posted in April. We felt like it was still worth posting, even late. Read on to hear about our moving experience.
We are moving this month! Unfortunately (for our family) and fortunately (for the short distance), we are just moving down the street. We have been blessed, truly blessed with a new, bigger place to live for exactly the same amount of rent we were paying in our current place. Moving can be an exciting and daunting task. For the Holloway family it is usually a very stressful experience with some communication breakdowns and possibly some tears. (These come from Keith, of course). For us, this marked the 43rd time between the two of us that we had moved since graduating high school. This is what my (Erin) share of the moving entailed: move into a college dorm as a freshman, move back home, move to college sophomore year, move mid-semester to a new dorm, move back home, move to a new dorm junior year, move back home. Move to a house off campus my senior year, graduate, move back home. One month later – marry the man of my dreams. Move into an apartment with Keith (into which he had already moved his belongings). Move back out after terminating the lease too early to my parents home for three months while we renovate our newly purchased house. Move into new house. Called to go to Africa, move remainder of possessions that we did not sell, guess where…back to my parent’s house. Move to Kenya, stay with a family for two weeks. Move into a new house perfect for us at the time. Have a baby. Begin looking for a new house with a little bit bigger space. Move to amazing new house. Whew… I wince a little when I think about all of those moves.
Sometimes, I think that the nomads had something going for them. Just pack it all up and move on to the next beautiful place. Live with few things… free up your life. When I come out of that delusion, I am so thankful for the home in which we have lived for the past two years and the new house that has been given to us. The new house only recently became available because a sweet missionary couple decided to retire. They had been on the field for 24+ years. What incredible service! It was amazing to see how God wove together all the details that brought the house to us. We are so blessed to continue our time in Kenya living in the new house.
However, the process of moving has not come easy for us. We have met road block upon road block. The house needed some work to make it suitable for our family. The wallpaper needed to be taken down. (Yes, there is wallpaper up in houses in Kenya. Crazy, right?!). Some of the floors needed to be redone. The entire house needed a new coat of paint. The kitchen also needed some work to make it functional for us. The bathrooms needed an overhaul. The paint we originally chose was supposed to be grey. The color out of the can was baby blue. This is the curse of paint in Kenya. It is never like the swatch. Dark grey needed to be added little by little to make the color closer to the one we chose. The list seemed to go on and on concerning the projects to be completed. We are currently mid -process and the task list seems like it only grows.
The first fundi, or worker, we chose was a painter. We wanted to begin the painting as soon as possible. This painter we chose came well recommended. He had completed several projects for another couple we know in Kisumu. On the first day, he prepared a quote. His price was good, and we gave him with the money to purchase supplies. He was to purchase supplies that very day. Sadly, he did not. Keith received a text stating that he had been robbed and all the money stolen. Keith responded and offered to work something out with him despite the fact that the money had been lost or stolen. There was no response. There has still been no response many days later. The money is gone and so is the painter. This is a bit hard to admit in a blog post that our friends and supporters will read. We feel a bit “green” or naive for trusting him. After a few days of reflection, however, we have learned so many things about ourselves. It is in our nature to trust people. We want to trust people. We want to believe in the good. If we become jaded here, we can no longer serve the people well. If you begin to live with a mindset of distrust, you view people differently. It does not come out of a place of love. This can happen anywhere, not just in Kenya. Since that time, we have hired another painter. We have faith in the other people (mafundi) working for us now. We are being more intentional to help guide them as they repair our house. We have also learned that this is a journey. It is not all done in one day, but little by little. We can see progress. The painter has painted a majority of the rooms. The flooring is almost complete. The cupboards (what we call closets) had a nice face lift. The kitchen is on its way to being sorted out. Little by little progress is continuing.
I feel like the struggles and victories with this house mirror those in our ministry over the past two years. When we moved to Kenya, we struggled a bit to find a house. We had to face many bumps in adapting to and learning a culture completely different from that in which we were accustomed. We have had other “painters” who have not been honest and trustworthy, even within our ministry. But we can see progress. The Lord continues to allow us to serve Him and to serve his people. Our goal of being a part of caring for widows and orphans is being realized. The gospel is advancing. Lives are being changed. We are so thankful for the journey. Our first house has brought so many wonderful memories. It has housed so many of our family and friends on short and long trips. We are so excited to see how God will use the new house for his glory.
Proverbs 24:3 “By wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established.”