Tuesday, January 31, 2006

January Update

Today, I watched as gardeners, electricians and construction workers all dropped what they were doing to help with the installation of the new satellite. Everyone had an opinion as to what should be done for the platform, to the point that the actual technicians from Nairobi (whom we had hired to do the work), sat back and waited for the others to do what they deemed necessary. I guess that's part of living in a collective society.

As I am typing, the installation has been interrupted again due to a very welcome burst of rain. Both north and south of us, the country is very dry-dry to the point of famine. I just read an article in one of the local papers about the effects of the drought around the country. People and animals are starving. But here, in our corner of Kenya, things are better. It's dry, but from what I gather, not much drier than what it usually is at this time of year.

So, in the midst of the satellite installation, I moved today. Again. It's my third move since I've come to Kenya. At first, I moved into a guest hut. Then I moved to Don and Amy Rogers' hut. But they'll be back this weekend, so today I moved back to the original hut. It's right next to my own house-a corner of Kenya to which I have laid claim.

Being closer to my place, I've been able to drop in every so often to look at the progress. In the past two days, the ceiling has been installed. The network wiring was also put in yesterday (so that four offices on our base will all have Internet access). More electric wiring is being done, and by late this afternoon, the electricians might actually install the lights. And two guys are putting in tiles in my bathroom. It's looking more and more like a real house! I am not rushing the builders to finish. I'd rather have them take their time and do things well. They talk about starting to paint tomorrow, and it seems like I should be able to move again-my last move for a while, I believe-by Valentine's Day.

As you may know, I was in Ethiopia most of January. I taught a class for Azusa Pacific University's distance learning program, Operation Impact. “Academic Writing Skills,” the class I taught, isn't part of the core classes of Master's degree in Organizational Leadership, but is very much needed. Many of the 100+ students have a very hard time expressing themselves in English, and it was my job to teach them how to write better academic papers. Their assignments will keep me busy with grading during the evenings in May and June.

The majority of my students were Muslim, while a large percentage were Orthodox Christians. I was able to have meaningful conversations with students across board. Some even asked if they could send me prayer requests as things come up. I am happy to minister to them in this way-especially to the women, since theirs is still a strongly male-dominated society.

Though this detour to Ethiopia certainly was God-ordained, I was delighted to return to Kenya. (To understand better, read my blog entries from Ethiopia!)

My focus in Kenya-as elsewhere-will always be to share God with those around me in whatever ways He directs. I am delighted to work with the children at our orphanage, but am even more excited about ministering to the women at our centers.

I have been praying about ways to specifically get involved with discipleship. The staff have regular prayer meetings, but I have discovered that there is no Bible study, and that this truly is something that they would like to do. I am in the process of discussing possibilities with the key people and hope to start a women's Bible study soon. I would appreciate your prayers, specifically regarding topics as well as sensitivity regarding leading. My goal is to train up the Kenyans to lead studies rather than be the one who is leading.

I have just been informed that one of the key components to getting the satellite system up and running, is faulty. The company will send a new part overnight. I need to head to town to drop the technicians off and will send this newsletter at that time. Hopefully, by tomorrow evening, when some of you may have responded, I will be able to access the Internet from home. And once I have Internet access at home, I will be able to create a blog for the orphanage and post daily bits of news on their page.

But for now, I'll make the journey to town in order to get this news to you. Just imagine, this message will not only have traveled halfway around the world to get to you. To get from my house to yours, its journey would've first taken it over bumpy roads, past farms, past kids waving along the way, some of them barebottomed, many running alongside the car. Once the dirt road connects with the paved road, this message will have had to dodge donkeys and matatus (minibus taxis) and then finally squeezed into a parking spots amidst street vendors.

I trust that the message finds you well, and that life continues to be full of joy amidst challenges. Please remember to let me know how I can pray for you.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the post, I loved the information.
    It is good to hear it has rained. It is very
    upsetting to hear about the famine in the north.
    To think so many people are dying and only a limited
    aid getting to the needy.
    I will pray for your success but I'm sure you know
    in your heart what is right.