Thursday, October 24, 2013

By Grace

Grace… what a precious gift! It ends the endless struggle to produce good actions out of an evil heart.  It ends the days full of unsuccessfully trying to scrub ourselves clean as we sit in a pit brimming with miry clay.  Salvation isn’t just the turning of a leaf.. it isn’t merely deciding to do better.  Salvation is the dying of an old man it is the raising up of a new life.  Salvation means a life full of new and different desires, a life marked by walking on a wholly different path.  “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 
                I was drawn to think upon this as I rolled over in my mind a statement that was made today.  A young lady appeared at our door today.  Twice she came.  The second time bringing two children with her.  We talked as they enjoyed the hot food that was set before them.  She shared her problems, looking at us with eyes that have seen and known things many of us could not imagine.   Before we sent them on their way she looked at me and in broken English and said “God has made your heart smart.” Here you would use smart to describe someone who is dressed nicely, to describe something that looks pretty.  Somehow I didn’t think “thank-you” was the proper reply.  That is something I could never take credit for.  I tried to explain that Jesus could do the same for her.  He is in the business of taking lives that know no comfort except for the bottle tipped to their lips and radically changing them! Jesus alone can take dull hearts beating only for destruction and breathe life into them.  We ask that you will join us in prayer for this soul and her family.  He is able!!
                We have now been here for nearly 2 months.  Can’t believe it, God is good!  Lately we have had some really great conversations with hearts that are beating with the same passion as we have ...A passion to know our great God and serve Him with our whole lives.  We have been doing some serious dreaming.  Thinking about the future and discussing what it might hold.  We ask that you join us in prayer as we move forward into what the Lord has for us here.  
                Last Saturday was so great! We both fell in bed exhausted but smiling.  We were able to feed around 60 children.  They are saying we can count on at least double this Saturday! We are so excited about the new relationships that God is forming with those sweet kiddos.  The floor in the building where we meet is dirt… let me tell you, the dust can REALLY get to rolling!  A step outside is required every once and awhile for breathing purposes! Haha At first all the response we get is shy smiles but it doesn’t take long before they are laughing and encouraging us in our limited Swahili.  We had great fun talking and playing with them.  They are all ages.. toddlers to teenagers.  We are so excited to see where God is going take this.  It is His.  May His will be done!
                Thank you for all your interest and prayers!  In the words of Jonathon Edwards, “May God stamp eternity on our eyeballs.”  This life is a vapor.. it is quickly passing.  Let’s make it count for the Glory of God.  May His grace not be in vain in our lives!! Onward and Upward!!!!!

Saturday, October 19, 2013


Life is soo good and adventurous with Jesus! J We now officially have our bed put together, a DINING ROOM TABLE WITH CHAIRS, and a working light bulb in each socket(and electricity after a week)! Truly these things bring so much joy… the little things that we took for granted in the US now are seen as great blessings and just make our day(although if we didn’t have them it’s okay too).
Last week, we got to venture out of our box here in Nairobi into interior Kisumu. We left last Thursday morning and arrived home around 6 am Monday morning, after an 8 hour bumpy bus ride through the night. It was quite the adventure and we are soo thankful we had the opportunity to go…it is like another world from Nairobi and especially from the US.  We attended a funeral of a friend’s grandma…our first African funeral. They celebrate the person’s life that was lost one last time all night and day on Friday until the funeral on Saturday. Some people stayed up all night, slept sitting up in plastic chairs under the tent, or crashed in one of the houses. Me and Holly ended up sharing a twin size mattress on the floor with 2 young kiddos(probably ages 2 & 4) who fell asleep on our laps the night before. They, along with a lot of others, were from the village and had come for food. These kids had obviously never known what it was like to be treasured and loved on for a whole day, which made for a difficult parting on both sides. Trusting the Lord to hold and keep those precious little ones under His care.
Another adventure were the matatu’s and piki piki’s. They kept us laughing the whole time…o my..there is nothing quite like it J At one time I counted and there were 29-30 people in a 12 seater van! Only like 6 of them being kids… 4-5 people standing at the door holding on with their heads bent inside. Pieces of wood were placed over the little aisles to add a few more people. Haha When you think there is no space left to occupy, you will be amazed to watch them squeeze in another person. We had to take motorcycles (piki piki) to the house we were staying at and to the funeral because they were in the bush…the 2 of us shared one and it was quite hilarious. The driver was acting like an American since he had two white people on the back and everyone we passed he would wave and shout, “how are you?” haha
One thing we became so thankful for was water! It was sooo hot and we could not drink water without boiling it which we did not have the means of doing so. We had brought 2 water bottles with us which does not last long when your sharing it with others..haha. When we got something to drink we would try to savor it but somehow it seemed in one drink the bottle was gone! Water never tasted so good.
Lord willing, Monday we will be starting Swahili lessons with a REAL Swahili teacher 3 days a week!!! We are cannot wait to learn and be able to communicate better with the kids.
TODAY WE ARE SUPER EXCITED because we are going to spend the day with kids down in the slum where we will be doing a feeding program hopefully every Saturday with some of our friends. We are so excited to see where this will lead!! EEeeeeek! You can be praying for the kids there and guidance in the program.
Our Father has continually been putting us in awe of Him and His goodness.
“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens…When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” Psalms 8:1,3-4
For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the Lord God is a sun and a shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you! Psalms 84:10-12

We truly thank you all for praying! Oh how we need more of Him!! We pray for all of you that you will be strengthened to continually press onward, seeking and knowing Him! We love you all!

The Kitchen

Some of the kiddos that come over after school :)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

the adventure continues...

It feels really good to be sitting here on this Sunday night.  The candle is flickering in the middle of the room casting a warm glow throughout.  Ahh, isn’t life good? We are so thankful He has allowed us to live to see another day… to continue down this path of adventure.  His goodness abounds.  Seriously abounds.  It is all around… just waiting to be noticed. 
Our days have been changing a bit around here.  They seem to be filling up with little people!! Last week our friends from down the road, who we like to play with after school, found out where we live…. And apparently word is spreading.  They walk through the gate of our compound, kick off their shoes at the door and walk into our house with wide eyed wonder. I wonder what pre-conceived ideas they had about what the inside of a muzungus house would look like.  They probably think we are crazy.. still no kitchen table… one boy said “You have a big house, but small things.”  Haha yeah pretty much.  But they don’t seem to mind.  Saturday we had kiddos in and out for most of the day.  The concrete walls don’t absorb much sound, sometimes this place can really get rocking.  Occasionally we look up to see some kids stroll in who we have never seen before.  The first time it happened we just kinda looked at eachother and laughed… But, it’s good, we are enjoying making new friends. They don’t seem to mind either!   The only challenge we have faced so far is getting them to leave.  Today they were leaving and we noticed one pair of shoes that were still laying there without feet filling them.  I tip-toed to the bathroom, swung open the door and there stood the culprit.  Haha, never a dull moment. Here the doors have a small opening that you can reach in from the outside to lock or unlock the padlock.  This morning I got out of bed and walked out to the kitchen to discover a small hand reaching thru to check and see if they could open the door.  I’m not sure who would have been more surprised had the door been opened.. me, or him!  
In the next few weeks it seems we may be starting some new adventures and we would really appreciate prayers.  It is our desire that God would always have the lead in everything we do.  We will try to fill you in as it unfolds.  We are so excited to see what the Lord has in store!!
It is our prayer that you would have a fruitful week in the Lord.  Don’t get so caught up in what you call  “life” to miss out on Jesus who IS LIFE.  He is more important than jobs, and ministry, and friends.  May He have preeminence ALWAYS in ALL things!