“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you.” Job 12:7
… Oh yes, the animals will teach you and the birds will tell you… What have I learned from the animals and been told by the birds of the air in Kenya??… “GET UP EARLY!!!
You don’t need to wait for the sun… WE don’t!!!”
This is one thing I love 99.9% of the time when I’m in Kenya. And one of the things I miss with fondness when I am back in Canada… the sounds… first, there are beautiful song birds that I hear even before the sun rises. Then it’s a toss up for what will be heard next… I lay in bed and ask myself… OK will it be the rooster or the donkey that gets up first today?? Then slowly as the earth here wakes up… all the other animals begin to chime in… the sheep, the goats, chickens, cows, dogs, even I hear Judah, Pace and Roland… PACE’s horses that live nearby. And the birds… the songs of all the lovely birds begin to fill in all the “blanks” in the air… by the time the sun is rising… I’m sure everyone is awake and ready to start the day.
And later, I can hear pots banging,, my neighbors are cooking… then I start to hear the children going off to school. Talking, laughing… then later in the day, often times I can hear singing… if not in their classrooms at PACE during school hours, then later in the evening. There is a group of girls at PACE who just love to sit together and sing. Kenyan, Kikuyu, Rwandese, even some English worship songs I hear… makes my heart sing to!
Sometimes I just stop whatever I’m doing… just to listen… so different from home… yet I feel so at home at the same time. This is certainly “God’s country” to be sure.
It’s been a good week with many blessings to celebrate! First of all, this past Sunday, after attending the English service at AIC Nyahururu, many of us walked over to the AIC church in the neighboring town of Maina, to attend a special service they were having that day. The church was packed, there were a couple of guest choirs and lots of speakers… after the main sermon on the whole of 1st Samuel 17… the story of David and Goliath, which lasted about an hour… mostly spoken in Kikuyu (I think the Pastor threw a few English phrases in for the benefit of the only muzungu in the place, sitting in the front row and the kind lady next to me would point out the verse we were on in my Bible if she noticed I was looking in the wrong place!)… I was privileged to be there for an extra special celebration! One of our good friends and one of the drivers at PACE (And the instructor at PACE’s “Sweet Times Driving School.” I love that name!!) also named Maina, came up to say some words and then the Pastor laid hands on him and prayed for him. I had a feeling I knew what was happening, but since again it was all in the “mother tongue” I wasn’t 100% sure. Dorrice and I left the service after a little while yet so when I saw him a couple of days later, I asked him what had happened and he shared that he went up to tell the church that he was making a decision to become a Christian! Oh, what good news!! I was so happy! I gave him a big hug and welcomed him to the family!! Please keep him in your prayers as he begins his journey as a Christ follower!
That was the best news of the week to be sure!!
We have also finalized plans for the Come Away Day, Silent Retreat for all of the PACE staff that will happen on Saturday, September 19th. Those who are planning for the day are very excited, yet we realize the depth of responsibility in praying that God prepares everyone’s hearts to be willing and open to transformation and that we do our best to help in that preparation. As God lays it on your heart, please keep the staff at PACE and those who are facilitating this day, in your prayers.
God has also been continuing to provide and protect me as I have spent this week alone in the house. The water situation is under control, I’m happy to say. Though today I was a little late in getting really started in my day so by the time I got into the shower, the power was off… so it was a cold… very fast shower for me today!! Whoa… and I was well awake and ready to face the day after that!! : D
I have to tell you one funny thing that happened this week. There are a couple of outlets (Or switches… something?) and bulbs in the house that aren’t working. So Irungu came over one day this week to see which rooms needed looking at. We walked back to PACE together and he told me that he would ask the electrical class instructor (An electrician, obviously!) to come over when he had a few minutes to have a look and see if he could fix the issues or a least see what he would need. Not 20 min. later, Irungu came and asked for my house keys as this gentleman had time to come and look now. Great, I handed over the keys and thought nothing of it.
About a half hour later, I realized there was something at the house that I needed to get, and ran up, trusting that Irungu and the electrical teacher was there as he’d not returned my keys. Sure enough, the door was open and all was quiet (Speaking of sounds… it was eerily quiet, come to think of it!) I called out and went in the direction of where my bedroom is and as I walked in there stood 4 or 5 Kenyan young men looking at me! Whoa… “hello??” … but of course… the fuse box is in the bedroom, I look in that direction and there is the instructor standing on one of the beds (Not mine thankfully… I picked the right bed!) poking around in the fuse box. Of course… this was a great practical outing for the electrical class…O-K!! I’m all for practical, higher education!!
After the shock wore off and being the detail oriented woman I am, of course the first thing I did was scan the room to see if there were anything of a, you know, kinda personal nature out in plain view… (Like… Val… “undies” drying in the window!!!) Thankfully it hadn’t been a laundry day and the only thing amiss was that I’d not made my bed. Hey… I AM all by myself! So I politely apologized for the mess as I collected what I’d come for and Irungu was so cute… he says, so seriously, “Your room is not messy.”… Well, I said it was not as tidy as I’d usually have it (Haha… especially if I’d known I was having the whole class in!).
It was one of those days… you just never know!! : D
I’ve been busy at many different things this week. Everything from serving in the kitchen, mostly prep work… “cleaning” rice, beans and maize. Which is laying 5 or more Kg’s of whichever and sifting through it picking out little pebble, sticks… stuff you don’t want in your rice or beans! Also cleaning greens, doing dishes… anything to help out! I’ve also helped out Mr. Kago, the PAST Bible school librarian in finishing the task that the team had almost finished when they were there. As well, I’ve been in different meetings in regards to the retreat and as we begin to get prepared for the team to head to Rwanda in October. I trust that as the days and weeks go on, I will get busier and busier in that role as I’ve been unofficially designated the “leader” of the American/Canadian Team. So far we are a team of 23 and counting… including us three Canadian and 5 Americans. The rest are all Kenyan Pastors and leaders in the church… including, I’m happy to say… our good friend and driver/mechanic Irungu! He went on the last trip to Rwanda and is very happy and grateful to God to have the opportunity to be returning!
Please keep this mission in your prayers as well. In the next couple of weeks I should have more information in regards to the purposes in which we are serving and what kinds of things we’ll be doing!
This Sunday I will be accompanying Pastor Peter Njihia and the choir of AIC Nyahururu to travel to Naiavasha to the church of the Pastor who stayed in the house with me here last week. We are going to let the church know about the trip and to ask for prayer and support. We are praying that God gives this Pastor the opportunity to join us.
Please pray to for Wachira, the director at PACE (my “boss”) and Lead Pastor at AIC Nyahururu. Since his mother passed away at the end of August, he has had 5 more funerals to support as the local pastor, in the last 2 1/2 weeks. As one can imagine… this has been very taxing on him physically, spiritually and emotionally… he is very tired as a few of these funeral and burial services have required him to travel. As well, in many cases, the funeral and burial are on two different days… which requires that much more of a Pastor and his family. God is good and had continued to provide Wachira with all of the grace, energy and perseverance needed to be a wonderful support to all of these families in their time of mourning and need. As well, God has blessed Wachira with a great group of leaders and staff at PACE who have kept things running like clockwork in his absence. A testament to his leadership as well and the Lord’s continued blessing on this ministry.
Thank you for your continuing prayers and support. Please pray for Blair and the August team who will be doing a (short, I’m imagining) presentation to Harbour this Sunday morning about the PACE camp and their time in Kenya and all God did throughout those two weeks in August. Of course all are welcome!
Please also pray for Blair and Roger as they are less than 12 days from arriving to join me in Nyahururu! Yes, I’m still counting!!!!!! J
Have a blessed weekend all and I pray that you will know the peace, joy and love of God!
In His service,