I've been playing e-mail tag with my travel agent in Nairobi, trying to figure out flight connections so I can make my reservation from Cedar Rapids to LA. The verdict: I'll be heading home to Kenya on Easter weekend. Right now, I'm looking at heading out of Iowa bright and early on Easter Sunday, making a connection at LAX, then on to London and Nairobi. It would be more than 48 hours from start to finish till I'm in Eldoret. Ouch.
Now starts the good-byes. The unpack-and-repack-again. (Much of my stuff is packed already.) And repacking again, trying to fit in more. Weighing bags and taking stuff out. It's the painful journey of sorting and figuring out what has to stay. Of making space for (and purchasing) little gifts for colleagues. Making sure everyone that should get something is on the list...
But the fact is, I'm heading back. And I'm excited to do so. Thrilled, in fact. There's so much lying ahead. Many changes. Good changes. Challenging changes. One thing I know for sure: I won't be able to do all this on my own. I have become more and more aware of my need of God. I know that with him, the changes ahead are manageable.
Things I'm looking forward to in Kenya:
* Reconnecting with colleagues
* Hanging out with the kids - seeing their gardens, hearing their stories, reading to them
* Being in my own house again
* Setting up a second house in Kipkaren
* Taking photos of people and places
* Writing the stories of people's journeys with God
* Spending time with God on prayer rock and by the river in Kipkaren
* Bouncing around the Kenyan roads in the Land Rover
* Learning Swahili (and some Kalinjin)
* Seeing what God has in store...
* Drinking chai
* Taking colleagues to the forest to spend time with God in nature
* Hosting teams
* Seeing how God works in Kenyans' and visitors' lives
* Representing a host of people from around the world in God's work among the poor
But that's in 3 weeks' time. Today, I get to go to a Beth Moore simulcast. It was supposed to be held 2 weeks ago, but due to the ice storm in this area, it was canceled and we get to see a video of the simulcast today. Then, head to Nan's house for an evening of fun (and card making) with friends.
Tomorrow, I get to share at a kids' Sunday school class as well as at a meeting of a bunch of ladies who'll be going to Kenya later this year.
I feel like a squirrel gathering acorns for the winter lying ahead.