“Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good. They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone. Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. But— When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.”
Titus 3:1-7 NLT
We are praying for a peaceful election today in Kenya. It will be several days until we have the results from the vote, and in the meantime we will pray for peace. Thank you for remembering us and Kenya.
Tomorrow will be the second attempt at presidential elections in Kenya. There are great concerns among the people here that there will be violence after the election, because many are convinced that the election has been tampered with in the past and will be tampered with again this week. Please pray for peace for Kenya. We are prepared if we have to leave the country in a hurry with our passports ready, an emergency bag packed, and extra food in the kitchen. God bless Kenya and Africa!
The following quote comes from a good article called “Risk Your Kids for the Kingdom?” from the “Desiring God” website that encouraged me, because sometimes I doubt our decision to be in Africa in light of the considerations we have for our children. They quote Abigail Adams in a letter she wrote to her son John Quincy Adams before he was sent off to Europe with his father for many years. It contains much truth, and I wish I had the ability to express myself so well to my own children.
These are the times in which a genius would wish to live. It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues. When a mind is raised, and animated by scenes that engage the heart, then those qualities which would otherwise lay dormant, wake into life and form the character of the hero and the statesman.
We are glad to have some musical opportunities for our kids at Rift Valley Academy. Yesterday was the first term piano recital. We are thankful for the volunteer instructors (we actually pay a little bit) who are made up of students and teachers at RVA. They give some of their free time to teach these young students about music. They share their gifts with their younger classmates. That is a blessing!
. . . what you may find on a walk. Below is an African Spurred Tortoise. It is not native to our area of Kenya, but is found in a sub-Saharan region of Africa. It arrived here as a pet and escaped into our local jungle. What I think is so cool about these tortoises is that they burrow extensively to escape the desert heat. I read that they can have burrows as deep as 20 feet that can extend horizontally up to 30 feet. It is hard for me to imagine this turtle, which can reach up to 200 pounds in weight and 36 inches in diameter, is able to dig like that. Pretty cool! We kept him for a few days in our yard, but he escaped from us too. Todd the Turtle has moved on.
Yesterday was Mashujaa Day (Heroes’ Day in Swahili) in Kenya. It is the day when the country celebrates all the men and women who have contributed to the independence of Kenya. It is a big national holiday, and Rift Valley Academy celebrates the day by celebrating Kenya and also by acknowledging all the cultures that are represented in the school. There are 37 countries represented at RVA. I thought initially that could not be possible unless they were counting kids whose parents were serving as missionaries in different countries. But in fact, to be included as a representative of a country, you had to have a passport from that country. That means there are 37 passport represented countries at RVA. That is pretty cool for our humble Kenyan school! The day was spent with the kids playing games, dressing in the traditional clothing or the patriotic clothing of their countries, eating big meals at the cafeteria, while ending the evening with caramel apples and hot chocolate . . . in the rain. Rainy season is in full swing! It was a great Friday, and it was a fun time to celebrate all the cultures coming together in peace united in Christ. (Click on the pictures below to view the slide show with some short descriptions.)