About cairesonmission

Serving the Lord through medical missions and education.

Swahili

I have been studying Swahili intensely for the past several months. It is an interesting language with hard consonants combined with a floating lyrical song of vowels. Imagine a combination of German consonants against Hawaiian vowels. The structure is not too difficult, but the language has noun families that change every word associated with the noun in the sentence which can then make things confusing, especially for a beginner. I have enjoyed my teachers who have taught me a lot about culture as they have taught me about the language. Gideon is my primary teacher, and Kelvin is in training with him. Gideon being from Tanzania is quite proud of his Swahili, and he will state that Swahili was born in Tanzania, got sick in Kenya, and died in Uganda. I hope that knowing some Swahili will help me as I try and serve my patients in the hospital. Gideon is also a musician, and he states that he has to express himself in his clothing as he expresses himself in song. You may see what he means in the picture below.

My Swahili teacher holding our pet turtle Todd.

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Short Update

The seeds of good deeds become a tree of life.

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I think when there are times of stress and possibly discouragement, the blog updates become less frequent. This month has been a challenge as Allison has started working full-time at the school, Will has been taking Swahili classes (getting his mind blown daily), and the kids have started adjusting to new classes. In the mix of that is trying to make some changes to the house, learning to how to keep the family fed in a new environment, and going a little stir crazy without a car. It is during these times when we remind ourselves that these challenges will pass, that it will all become somewhat comfortable, and we will know who we are here as we know who we are in Peru and in the USA. And I am thankful that we are able to be here to do good work that is not always easy, not always fulfilling, but always helpful and good. Please pray for our family that we will each make a good friend, especially the kids, but also Will and Allison. And please pray that we can learn to live in our new place with joy. Also pray that we will learn what it is and how it is to serve God in this new mission.

Caring Community

"Just Dance"Ing with students. #notreallydancing #videogame

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One Friday night each month we have a bunch of high school freshman into our home to try and give them a chance for a smaller community of friendship. It is a really low key affair as all the high school students are divided into groups of 6 or 7 throughout the Rift Valley Academy community. We have had dessert pizzas, video game and board game parties so far. It is fun to see these kids together, and to watch them as they adjust to life in a boarding school. I am glad we have the chance to serve them in this manner of friendship, and I hope that it is a blessing for them as well.

Romans 12:6-8

“In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.”

Field Day

You will remember that a big part of what we are doing in Kenya is working with a boarding school called Rift Valley Academy. Allison is a teacher at the school and our kids attend classes in its hallowed halls. The school serves missionary kids from all over Africa. We love these kids, and we want the best for them as they spend so many years away from their parents who serve God in some of the hardest places to work in the world. Last weekend was field day, and I was glad to be able to go and watch the kids have a load of fun with their classmates and teachers! Click on the pictures below for more details. I especially like the last two pictures of the tug of war between the students and teachers.

This is us.

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Go, begonias, go!

We have a super friendly garden guy named Isaac. As soon as he met us, he asked for permission to tear out a lot of the old growth on our property and plant some “contrast,” as he calls it, plants instead of bushes. He brought cuttings from different people’s yards and planted the most scraggly bits of plant all over. It looks pathetic. He has been faithfully watering, though, and some are starting to take root.

Friday morning I was walking to school and mildly shaking my head at the puny struggling plants when I realized, “This is us.” We just need time and we are going to be beautiful, flourishing, joy-giving. Right now we’ve been transplanted. God, like Isaac, has given us manure—not literally, but challenges, joys, new friends, His Holy Spirit, trials—in order to help us grow. He has faith that we will be lovely one day. Isaac says, “Just wait and see.”

But right now we feel a bit pathetic. We look like we are on our way through death to life. A passerby might see something a bit wilty.

 

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When your stem is dead, grow out of the side

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Some are thriving, some not so much, but they live in the same garden/ house.

 

Some of us are growing fine right alongside someone who needs a bit more time in order to flourish.

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Your family is beautiful!

We meet people who have been here several years and they have lovely flowers, their family looks like it was meant to be planted right here, growing together. What is their secret? Mostly just more time. They are not as new a transplant as we are.

Please pray for quick-growing roots, for just the right fertilizer for each Caire, for God’s pruning and for patience until we sprout some new leaves.