Every trip to the grocery store is a bit

Every trip to the grocery store is a bit of an adventure here. The cuisine is much different than that which we were accustomed to in the United States, so you expect to see different things on the shelves.

Keith did some shopping for our family this past Saturday while I attended a women’s event.. He sent this picture and asked me if the free spaghetti would convince me to buy the box of cereal. Would it convince you? When you see corn flakes do think of spaghetti? We love that Kenya keeps us on our toes! http://ow.ly/i/znOxs

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A common English phrase is that…

A common English phrase is that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” This summer we had a lady visit one of the medical camps we were hosting. She had cancer. The sweet lady that came to the medical camp had pretty severe cancer. The prognosis was not good for her. Still, Bob de Groot, one of our co-workers stopped what he was doing and prayed for her. He touched her and spent time with her. He comforted her. This picture of love is definitely worth a thousand words. http://ow.ly/i/znNB7

We journeyed home in late July for our y

We journeyed home in late July for our yearly rest while the presidential election took place in Kenya. A few weeks ago the Supreme Court of Kenya, nullified the results. A new election is set to take place on October 26th. Please be in prayer as the entire international community prepares for this election. Please pray for wisdom, peace, and justice across the nation of Kenya. http://ow.ly/uFNt30fljaO http://ow.ly/i/yRGyb

We are safely home in Kenya and settled

We are safely home in Kenya and settled back into the daily routine. A spirit of thankfulness overwhelmed us as we walked back into our home. Our time in the United States was beyond wonderful! Our journey home went as best as it can with a 2 year old. Cooper’s face says it all! Now, we are about to welcome our fall medical team and head out to the rural for 4 clinics. Life is good! http://ow.ly/i/yRGcf

Giraffes and Lions…

IMG_0628It has been such a fun season watching Cooper grow these last few months. The exploration, imagination, and learning has accelerated at an exponential level. He is an explorer at heart and desires to touch anything and everything! He has a sweet Little People Noah’s ark set that has caught his attention for now. He loves playing with the animals, learning their names, sorting them by type, setting Noah up, and looking at their unique features.

 

As we were playing, I was caught off guard at how much I enjoyed this as well. Even as an adult, there is something special about each animal and its uniqueness. The same is true about us as human beings. God has created all of us unique. Literally, no one is alike. Psalms tells us that “we are beautifully and uniquely made” (139:14).  Yet, at the core we all have the same desires. We all have the same basic needs. We need to feel love. We need to be loved.

 

What does that mean as an adult to be “loved“? Maybe that love is found in a family, a spouse, or friends. Maybe we try to find this love in things, goals, a career. But where is love found? Can we search it out? Can we truly know it? The answer is yes. We find this love in the Father. We find this love in forgiveness we do not deserve. We find this love in the sacrifice of the man Jesus Christ on the cross. Is this powerful love for you? Do you know this love? Do you find and see the uniqueness in all around you because of the Father’s love? My prayer for you today is that the Lord would open your heart to feel the fullness of his love, that the Lord would open your eyes to love others with this love. They may look like a Giraffe and you appear more like a Lion, but at the core we are all the same. At the core we yearn for the unconditional, unending love of the Father. May you know love and be love to someone today!

 

Flowers

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Cooper came streaming into the kitchen the other day so excited for the gift he had to present. He brought me fresh flowers, just picked from the yard. These beautiful yellow flowers, may be considered a weed to some, but to me they were as opulent as the most luxurious of flowers. I placed them in a glass cup with water and placed them on the counter. Cooper beamed from ear to ear. His excitement in his success was contagious. I radiated because he radiated. Then, a few days passed. The flowers were still out for everyone to see, but eventually the flowers began to wilt, and even stink in the water so they were thrown out.

In this moment, I was reminded of the Lord’s promises to us in Isaiah.

“The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.”  Isaiah 40:8

Did you read that right? “The WORD of our God stands forever” That is a long time friends!! The Holy word of the Almighty God stands forever. That means his promises of provision, love, forgiveness, and relationship are forever. This is not because we are deserving of the promises. He gives them freely to us. His desire for mankind from the beginning was blessing and relationship. Unfortunately, our sin gets in the way. We doubt the promises of God. We doubt that he is truly good. We doubt that he knows what is best for us. Yet, His word still stands. In the midst of trials and suffering, when we have nowhere to look but up, His Word stands.  The same peace that Jesus left his disciples is ours to take part in now; His Word stands. We can be confident in His Word when we believe it. When it becomes a part of who we are in our being. When we enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ, we are heirs to the kingdom; his Word stands forever. His mercies are new every morning to those whose faith is found in Him. The Word is alive, real, and relevant to us even today.

This flower bundle that Cooper brought me was the very first of many flower bundles I hope to receive.  I hope to have the same attitude that Cooper had presenting the flowers to me in my relationship with the Lord. I want to run to him, longing to be in relationship, in his presence, in his Word, because it stands. I encourage you, take five minutes today to spend in the Word reading the promises of God. Google “promises of God” on your break at work or before you go to bed tonight. Run to Him and rest in the fact that the Word of God stands forever.

 

What have we been up to lately?

The first part of the year has come and gone. It is hard to believe we are in the month of May! Schools will be letting out soon in the United States, where a new term is underway in Kenya. We wanted to use the blog this week in a newsletter format to tell of all the wonderful things that have occurred so far this year!

 

January – Our first team arrived in January, and they hosted a pastor’s conference and a women’s conference simultaneously in Bumala, Kenya.

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February – Items were purchased and distributed for the 14 pastor training schools we help oversee through Church Missions Network. These schools are located throughout Kenya and Tanzania. For each church planted through CMN medical camps, the pastor receives seminary training. This training helps to break the cycle of mysticism, animism, and cultic practices in Kenya.  The items provided included blankets, cups/plates/spoons, mattresses, and tables for each school based on their need. The benefit of these supplies goes far beyond the classroom, pastors will be provided desks and a bed during their week long studies each month. Many of the centers had students sleeping on the floor!

 

March – 48 CMN pastors attended a first ever joint pastor training conference in Jinja, Uganda this March. It was a time of soul-refreshment and respite for the men. Many of them had never travelled outside of Kenya. They saw the Nile River for the first time, and were blessed by excellent theological teaching from some pastors from Eleven22, a church in Jacksonville, FL!

 

April and May

At the end of March/beginning of April we were able to travel to the coast to see some wonderful friends that used to live in Kisumu. They are currently serving among the coastal people. Their ministry is incredible, and it was such a heartwarming time serving with them! We ate traditional Swahili food, which included sitting on the floor on a beautiful rug and eating without utensils.

Malindi

 

Keith has been busy completing the approval process for the summer teams. This involves a considerable amount of paperwork and meetings. We will help host 130+ visitors from the United States in the months of June and July. They will participate in 32 medical camps across Kenya this summer. We are expectant for the Lord to do amazing things during this time. We would ask for prayer concerning the summer, as this is a busy time for our family.

Summer teams

 

We are so thankful for the blessings we have seen in the first five months this year. To be honest, it has been our hardest five months yet, but the Lord has been so faithful even in the trials. Our purpose here still remains. We want to love on the Kenyan people so that the gospel might be proclaimed to all. What a privilege and a blessing it is to serve here!