From the moment Ian and I committed to coming to Kenya we knew that we’d be short-term missionary-type folk, staying until summer 2010, which is now upon us.
There were SOOO many pieces that were brought together in this crazy adventure puzzle that it was IMPOSSIBLE for me and Ian to deny that coming to Kenya was something we were supposed to do. We’d toyed with the idea of overseas missions when we were first married, but then grad school, and work, and kids came along and that was that. And when the inklings of Kenya started to come up, believe you me, I worked pretty hard to find EVERY excuse on why it wouldn’t work for our family:
We had a great house & house payment. 🙂
I loved my job.
Ian loved his job & it provided well for our family & he wanted to advance.
We had kids aged 2 & 3 years.
I was pregnant.
We had dogs.
We liked seeing our family.
We were “settled”.
I got diagnosed with CANCER a week before we we’re scheduled to fly out.
I didn’t want to be a “missionary” and “preach it” to people in the traditional sense.
We loved our amazing group of friends.
It was too much work to figure out how to pack everything up to move to a foreign county.
But, you know what? God has some amazing ways of working through the excuses, if you stop for a moment and let him. Why do we think decisions or changes like this in our lives will be easy? Imagine the disciples as Jesus called them to follow him. They had jobs. They had families. They were going into the unknown & uncomfortable. I can’t imagine that the prospect of leaving the comfortable seemed appealing and lucrative to any of them.
Our society has done us a great disservice in convincing us that we deserve to be comfortable and secure all of the time. In being so, we miss out on the amazing adventure and blessings that can await us. I wish that I could relay to all of you what an incredible experience this has been…..to convince each and every one of you that you too could do this. Do you really have any excuses better than the ones listed above? Do you know that we have experienced death, disease, sabotage, physical attack, hatred, fear and all of the other weapons that Satan uses to discourage…..and in the face of those things we have had the wonder to experience birth, joy, mercy, compassion, protection, awareness, beauty, friendship, and stewardship?
In August 2008, on Ian’s birthday & the day that we found out we would miscarry what would have been our 3rd baby, Orphans Overseas unknowingly called to talk about this position with us. Remember how I had come up with every excuse of why we couldn’t come here? Being pregnant was my ticket to not “having” to listen to our calling. And God, in his wisdom, knowing that I need blows to the head to listen, timed that loss with an open door….all on the same day.
So, we committed then to coming here to Thika until summer 2010 (NOW!) with the goal of getting Karibu Centre and it’s programs up and running. And, today I can say that we have been more than successful despite huge obstacles here. I can also say that if God had given me another “blow to the head” saying that we needed to stay longer, that we would have listened to that too. But, he hasn’t, and we feel confident in our original plan to return home and make way for the next phase of Karibu Centre. I can not wait to watch how things progress here and to see the ways this amazing program will continue to impact everyone involved. I am also excited for those who will follow us and how they will be forever changed simply by being willing to leave the comfortable and come here to partner with the staff, residents, children and community. I am also so grateful we took the chance, followed our hearts, and now will carry this experience deep within us for the rest of our lives.
We’re on our countdown to comin’ home & I can’t wait to share with you over the next 2 weeks some of our favorite things about this experience.
17 Days until we hop on that plane! Please pray for this transition for our family and for Karibu Centre, we have grown to love the people we live among and leaving will be tough!