A prayer need

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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

La Vista Grande

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.

Come away with me my love.

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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.

 

Pre-school Orientation

img_0691Please pray for the students and families of Rift Valley Academy this weekend. Today was the new student and parent orientation and tomorrow is called “Arrival Day,” which means that the dorms will be filling up with our boarding students for the next school year. It also means lots of goodbyes, as parents drop off their kids and go back to the countries where they serve.

We are part of the new family group, so we’ve been at orientation also, getting tours of the school and learning about all the activities and programs the kids can be involved in. However, we got to walk down the gravel trail to our home with all four kids. Blessedly, at this time, all four kids have said that they are happy that they still live with us—ha!

I stood in my classroom for an hour this afternoon while new parents and students walked through their high school schedule. Ninth grade is a time when many families decide to make a change from homeschooling or local schooling to American schooling. RVA is their best option, even if means boarding their kids. I met so many wonderful parents who fell into three categories—totally chilled because this child is the second, third, or fourth in their family to start at RVA or happy for their kid and relieved not to be homeschooling anymore or nervous but making a peaceful truce with the situation. It was inspirational to hear about where they work and what they do. These people are spreading God’s love in some tough places. Please pray that I can be an excellent teacher to honor the trust they are placing in us. I can tell I’m really going to enjoy spending time with these kids.

Big Trees and Big Views

We will leave for Kenya in 2 weeks. We are enjoying America until then. Actually we enjoyed it already. Now for two weeks of packing. . . . I like the last picture. I imagine Allison is checking the internet to be sure we have everything in the bear box that should go there, but she is probably playing Sudoku.

Largest tree in the world!

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Allison and camping.

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To the Mothers in My Life

First to my mother . . .

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Happy Mother’s Day to a great mother, a good friends, and a woman worthy of honor.

And then to the other, very important and special mother in our family’s life.

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From doing the grocery shopping,

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to teaching Sunday school,

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to her spirit of adventure, you would know she is a great woman.

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But when you see her kids gather so happily around her, most importantly, you know she is a great mother! Happy Mother’s Day to Allison.

The “gym”

While we’ve been home this year, we decided to try to make life more “normal:” we put the kids in school, we travel on the weekends only occasionally, we got a Sam’s card and a library card, we go out to eat, but not in a “let’s eat this because we won’t have it for the next few years” way. One of my concessions to the “normal” US life was to join the local Richardson rec center so that I can exercise out of the weather. It is one of my quiet pleasures to go ride the stationary bike at “the gym” as I call it. I take my Kindle and I read Middlemarch (it’s so insightful) and I enjoy feeling the burn deep in my buns. There is one big room with gigantic ceiling fans, three recumbent bikes, one regular bike, three or four treadmills, and about six elliptical machines, plus a few weight machines and a set of free weights and benches. Soft eighties music floats through the air, or just the shush of the machines in action.

There is a group of mixed ages and ethnicities who get together for a class at about 8:45. They give each other gentle fist bumps and stretch and talk about politics and local news. There are several nice trainers who have advanced-in-years clients. They exude patience and encouragement. There are a couple of fit moms who come and sweat on the machines a bit. I can smell man or two as soon as they enter the room– time to wash those workout clothes! As I pick up my card and sweatshirt on the way out, I can see into the front room, where some elderly Asian men play fierce rounds of table tennis, joking as they bend to pick up the escaping ball.

It is a shame we have so few of these community meeting places any more. I’m pleased to be a part of such a beautiful slice of life, a holdout of days gone by.