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!
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.
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.
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.
Some of us are growing fine right alongside someone who needs a bit more time in order to flourish.
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.
I did get to experience this!