Allison is away, so we went on a hike. These hikes can take my kids through many emotions ranging from joy on seeing a giraffe looking at us over the trees while zebras and gazelles graze in the open, to extreme anger on why Dad took us on this stupid hike. We did Mt. Longonot, and it was a joy. Five hours up and down with great views, wildlife, a huge crater, and the development of character. Here are some pictures on which you can click for some narration.
Our family arrived in Kenya nearly three months ago now. David started high school, Peter started junior high, Allison started full-time work, Will started a new language and work in a new hospital, Annie started playing soccer, and Sarah started ballet classes. We have a new house, new pets, new walks, new friends, new challenges, and new victories.
Will has entered hospital life. The administrators are happy to schedule him in the OB Departments, Family Medicine Clinic, and the ER Department; I know he is much needed and hopefully much appreciated.
Every day, we are grateful for those of you who are praying for us, who are standing with us in this new place. We have very much needed the prayers! Thank you for being part of our team. The Lord is doing many amazing things here and we are excited to be witnesses.
Here’s another part of the truth: it is more expensive in Kijabe than we anticipated. Food costs, schooling costs, and household expenses are higher than in Peru but we are receiving less money per month. We are doing a few things to our house, like installing curtain rods, making space for a dryer, buying a dryer, and buying a few pieces of furniture from leaving missionaries. We are hoping to buy a car when we have our work visas, although the cost of cars is surprisingly high.
This summer as we were preparing to leave, many of you asked us “How are you financially? Do you have what you need?” We knew our budget might have been a bit tight, but we thought we’d see how things looked once we got here. Three months in, it’s time to pass this prayer request along to you, our friends and supporters.
We are asking the Lord to provide one thousand dollars more per month. Would you pray with us? If you know someone who might like to join our team, would you pass this along to them? Mostly, would you ask the Father to work in us to will and to act according to His good pleasure? Thank you.
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!
We live by the Great Rift Valley. On Saturday mornings it is a pleasure to get Allison, leave the kids behind, and walk 30 minutes out to the cliffs to look over one of the longest inhabited areas of the world. It is changing rapidly. Just 30 years ago there were zebras and other wildlife roaming through the valley behind us. They are still there, and you will see them sometimes when driving through it. But I do not think it is like it was. But I am glad we still have all the birds, monkeys, and baboons roaming through our neighborhood. On the very hike when this picture was taken, Allison and I found ourselves in the forest surrounded by a troop of 10-20 baboons. Luckily we had Chardonnay our dog going crazy barking at them to keep them at a distance. They can be aggressive, and it is wise to keep your distance. But they are so interesting, you cannot help but stop and look for awhile.
Moving is stressful. Moving to your third home in less than a year is hard. Moving to your third country in a year might be crazy. And we are a little stir crazy in the small house in which we find ourselves without a car and without much knowledge of the world outside of Kijabe. But we were pleased to discover that just 30 minutes from us is a recreational area called The Forest which has fun adventure-type activities. It has East Africa's longest zip line, mountain biking, hiking, archery, and most importantly for our family . . . paintball. Best of all, it is paintball without any age limits, so even Sarah could play. On the kid's mid-term break we found a driver and we took a day to go out there and shoot each other up. It was a good break for all of us, and I am still carrying the bruises of my family's wrath!