I started to get an inkling that something was wrong when the line didn’t move for 15 minutes. Our team of eight had assembled, Donny Mayo had driven to the airport to pray for our trip (Thanks Donny!), and we were ready to go. That’s when I found out our first flight had been cancelled. Bad weather in Newark they said. For the next three hours I sat on the phone on hold to United talking to two different agents, and then worked with the agent at the counter to try to find new flights. Summer is a busy time to travel east, especially when you’re trying to get 8 people to the same destination on the same day. We must have tried dozens of combinations. Lashondra Williams, the United counter agent worked tirelessly to help us. Several times she had phones in both ears. Finally, they found a way to get us all on the same flights, but we can’t leave until tomorrow. I can just hear Phil Newberry in my ear – flexadaptability!
I know that God has a reason for everything that happens. This is no different. We’ll just wait and see how God uses this delay in our plans. Keep praying. It’s what sustains us! Here was our original itinerary. Obviously we’ll be modifying it somewhat, but you get the gist of it…
In Country Kenya Itinerary
Friday night 6/28 – Arrive Nairobi – Stay at Mennonite Guest house
Saturday 6/29 AM – Fly to Kitale – arrive early – Visit Kipsongo School
Saturday PM – Rest
Sunday 6/30 AM – two teams – one to Mt. Elgon, one to Tent church
Sunday PM – Seeds Orphanage
Monday 7/1 AM – Kipsongo Feeding Station
Monday noon – Noon service in Tent church
Monday PM – Teaching sessions at Tent church
Tuesday 7/2 AM – travel to Eldoret – stop and visit Beatrice and Samson’s farm and Tentmaker project
Tuesday PM – Eldoret orphanage
Wednesday 7/3 AM – Kamkunji slum – supply a meal
Wednesday PM – travel to Kissi
Thursday – 7/4 Kissi feeding station and other ministry
Friday 7/5 AM – Kissi
Friday PM – depart for Masai Mara
Saturday 7/6 AM – Masai Mara
Saturday PM – depart for Nairobi
Saturday night – Stay at Desmund Tutu AACC Center
Sunday 7/7 – Nairobi churches (Harrison & Christine, etc.)
Depart Sunday night.
The bags are packed and the tickets are in hand. We’re ready as one can be to board three planes, fly across two oceans and three continents all seated in a too-small seat. Pray for us as we travel. I’ll keep you all updated as we travel!
When you start writing a blog you have grand intentions. You’re going to have profound things to say on a regular basis. Boy, it’s gonna be good! Then life happens: over and over again. While this blog is primarily to chronicle our trips to Kenya, I had hoped to update it from time to time with observations and profound thoughts. Yeah, right… I’m about as profound as a rock. (Which can be profound if you think about it… OK, I’m reaching!) The 18 months since our last trip to Kenya have been a whirlwind. First, my mother passed away unexpectedly last summer. She went to the hospital for gall bladder surgery and passed away in her sleep at the hospital. Mom barreled her way through life humming a song, always just a little out of tune but always humming. She only knew two speeds, flat-out and stop. She really didn’t like the whole getting old thing and all the aches and pains associated with it. She had a bad back, bad hearing, Fibromyalgia and intermittent nausea, but she never quit serving others. She did so much at the assisted living center that they made her an ‘ambassador’. She even had her own nametag and business cards! Her death was bittersweet. I’m sorry she’s not here anymore, but joyful that she’s in heaven with no pain! She’s probably humming and passing out punch right now!
The second blow came this year. My 81 year old aunt suffered from Alzheimer’s the last 5 years. Three years ago she stopped knowing who I was. Alzheimer’s is an insipid disease. It robs people of their memories. ‘Aunt El’ was always my champion. She believed in me and encouraged me. It was hard to see her deteriorate, but she continued to teach me all the way to the day she died just a few weeks ago. She broke her hip in early April. I’ve heard that for many elderly people, breaking a hip can be the start of the slide. It was for her. A hip surgery, three hospital stays, two rehab facilities, several ambulance rides and the move to hospice was what made up the last three months of her life. Yet through all that I could still see some of the glimpses of the old Aunt El. …the twinkle in her eye, the joke, the smile, the strength and determination. Again the end was bittersweet, but I am a much better man today because of Evelyn Jefferson.
In April it was announced that my company will be acquired by Georgia Pacific. I don’t know for sure what that means for my job, but suffice it to say that all the GP Information Technology jobs today are in Atlanta. The prospect of moving to Atlanta is less than thrilling…
So add all these things up and you know why blogging hasn’t been high on my to-do list. But now we are about to embark on another Kenyan adventure. Susan and I will be leading an eight-person team to Western Kenya starting Thursday. I’ll update all of you on our progress and hopefully let you see and hear about the great work being done there. Pray for us as we leave. We have a tight connection in Zurich. We have a lot to accomplish in a little time. As my friend Steve from Best Adventure Safaris says; ‘Karibu Kenya, Hakuna matata’ – ‘Welcome to Kenya, no worries’!