Today marks my 95th day in Kenya & also the one month count down for my departure from Kenya. I am speechless & feel weird thinking about this place not being my home anymore… But I am excited to go back to Texas, see friends, go back to work, and get ready to head out to London for Bible school in a year.
God has amazed, frustrated, confused, blessed, and grown me beyond anything I’ve ever imagined in my entire life within the past 3 months. To think that I only have 30 days left here is astonishing & strange… I can remember sitting in my room the first week I was here and thinking “what in the world am I doing here…over 120 days left, ARE YOU KIDDIN’ ME?!”. Questioning why I moved to Africa without my family, at age 18, with no ‘away from home living’ experience. I didn’t grow up spending time at church camps during the summer, going on mission trips alone, and I was home schooled. The Lord was faithful to grant me many opportunities at home to grow in my independence before I came over here, but nothing that prepared me for this distance from the familiar.
With all that said, looking back now, I have never been so grateful for those times of trial & tribulation. I have never felt so confident and strong in the Lord – because when I was WEAK, HE was STRONG. When I was lonely, He was near. In those times of confusion, He was showing me His purpose. When I was small, He was big. When I cried myself to sleep for countless nights, He showed me compassion. When I was sad, He was my joy. I am human, He is God. (PRAISE HIM!)
I am in awe of how diverse and cool God is. To think that not everywhere in the world has to look like Dallas is refreshing. I am continually humbled by the fact that we as Americans think that our way is the only right way; but God didn’t create the whole world to operate like the suburbs of Dallas. Especially a place like Kenya which is nearly 50 years old. There is definitely a time to work & do, but there is also a time to rest & be. That, I would say, is the main thing the Lord has taught me thus far. Just to watch other cultures live out the way they perceive to be right and not jump on em and say ” THAT’S NOT THE AMERICAN WAY SO IT’S NOT RIGHT!” is not an easy thing to do by any means. But no one ever said entering into a foreign place with different perspectives on how things should run would be easy.
In fact, it’s projected to be quite a difficult situation. Because I come from a much older and experienced country/people, there are things that I could definitely share with the people of Kenya to help improve their lifestyle. But there are also things that they have shown & taught me! One of the greatest ways to see God use His disciples to sharpen one another is through mission work. I love my home church and can’t wait to sit in service again. I love the family type friends I’ve made and accountability I’ve gained; but I so love getting to see iron sharpening iron cross-culturally. It’s truly an amazing thing! Like my pastor says, “the family of Christ is like a powder keg.” There are so many different backgrounds, lifestyles, beliefs, cultures… but the one thing that we all have in common is that our foundation is in Christ and Christ alone. I’ve made some amazing Kenyan friends who will ALWAYS have a special place in my heart.
I never imagined in my entire life that I would be living in Kenya for over 4 months, seeing the things I’ve seen, and experiencing the things I’ve experienced. I couldn’t be more grateful for every situation God has placed me in. All those awkward times of misunderstanding or miscommunication have grown me more than I could’ve ever thought they would.
Please keep my family & myself in your prayers over the next couple months. We’re pleading with God to give us guidance, direction, and peace about the unknown. He has faithfully provided for us in the past 8 months and I’m sure He will unfold His plan for us in no time.
As we say at NV, “God is good all the time, and all the time God is good. And that’s His nature, WOW!” and I am grateful for the ability to be confident in that truth!
2 Corinthians 13:9 – “For we are glad when we are weak and You are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for.”