Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Reflecting Him

It's hard to believe we are already back from Kenya Mission Trip 2019. I'm sitting here finally feeling like the jet lag is going away thinking its time to get it all on paper. We did many things on the trip, excuse me, God did all the things on the trip. I've been praying this year with the mind set that He has gone before us and worked everything out in our favor. Yes, we know He does this, but do we actually encounter life that way.... that HE has already been there, that our present is the past to Him. I'm learning daily, if I view my life this way, things go a lot better. God has been calling me for some time to sit at His feet, to spend more time reading HIS word and start my mornings in prayer and in His word. Each day as I read and pray, He is showing me things about His character and attributes that I've always known, but for some reason I've failed to put them into action. It's like He's been saying all this time, I have so much more for you, you don't have to do it all yourself, give it to me. This is so hard for me. I'm a doer by nature, but I want to be, more than anything what God wants me to be. To do this I have to check every day that my identity is in Christ, so I can live my life that way.
When I was a little girl, I remember a missionary coming to GA camp telling us all about the wonders of Kenya, and God telling me I would be a missionary to Kenya. At the time I think I said ok, then I grew up and put all my wants in front of God's plans. As we know His plans are always best, and He worked thru and around me until I am now, for lack of a better word a missionary to Kenya. I'm wondering when I will stop trying to do it all, and just let God do it all since the irony of it is, He does anyway.
So... on to reflecting Him. This trip I really wanted to reflect Him, and I feel like for the most part, expect for that little situation at customs, I was showing His love to others. Yes, we got charged at customs this time for bring things into the country to give away to the poor and needy. It still blows my mind, but I'm going to learn to let that go and let God. Because letting Him take the lead opens doors. (I'm going to have to start tattooing all His attributes and promises on my body so that I will see them every moment of everyday)
This trip 1 of our major goals was to help fix up Nduchi Primary by painting the outside door frames and windows to brighten it up, and to paint a 3 foot wide stripe around the room to help REFLECT the light coming in. They have electricity set up, but no bulbs, and with the cost and dirty electricity the sky lights we added really brought in the light. Then the white stripe we added Reflected the light. Our next major goals were to do VBS at Nduchi and VBS at Munyu-Ini. Do home visits to give much needed food for the poorest of the families and bless them with a blanket and a Bible.

After our 1st night at the Mayfield a group of us got up early to go on Safari at Nairobi National Park. The thousands of acre Park is just  outside of Nairobi and sometimes the animals like to wander oh say over to the airport. I still remember the night a few years ago when Lauren and I flew in and our driver picked us up and he said Zebra's, Zebra's and we are like yes we know there are pretty metal art Zebra's at the airport... but then they started to move.

 They had made their way over from the park, they really need to check the fences bc you could almost reach out and touch these Zebra's from our car windows. We didn't get that close to the Zebra's on this safari, but Mufasa was laying in the grass right outside our matatu window. He looked so relaxed and petable, but our driver told me he was in fact a wild animal and I would become lunch if I got out to pet him. Such a shame really because he was so close. We saw many other animals, but the highlight for me were the Lion and seeing God in all His beautiful creation. We went to a fun little lunch spot in the Karen area with great little shopping stalls full of all the African souvenirs you could possible want. We got back and relaxed for a bit before dinner that night and our 1st official team meeting with everyone except Gina, Lisa, and Elijah who we would meet up with at Haven. All in all a great start to our trip!
So, when you set your mind on reflecting Him, I've noticed things go much better, and you can actually see how HE worked things out. When you spend time in prayer praying and you record your prayers, you will begin to notice a pattern that He answers prayers and you Praise HIM. The more time you spend with HIM the more you see what He is doing, your life becomes more full of JOY and less worry because you prayed about it and gave it to HIM. Seem so simple, but I'm realizing how often we get bogged down that we forget this very simple principle of faith. Faith is more than believing, it's believing with action behind it. Praying and letting God go to work on your behalf.
So, back to the trip and all the things God did.
Short confession, I started writing this post several weeks ago, but got bogged down in life and I haven't had a chance to finish, so here it goes!
Day 2 out to Haven!
The best part of the trip is anticipating arriving at Haven and seeing all my friends. The ladies at Haven who are doing God's work with Joy in their hearts to help their boys who use to be orphans have a family and a hope. They are a joy and their smiles make my day. After our bus packing up, lunch and supply stop and then another hour ride we made it to Haven on the Hill and oh what at joy it was. My tummy as some of you know, doesn't do well with the motion of the bumpy roads in Kenya, but we made it and were greeted by the ladies and Dave's Team from PA who were there. Katie took charge after we unloaded and took all the newbie's around and showed them Haven and all it's beauty. After we got everyone settled I did my best to not start sorting and working. Who am I kidding, I made sure we were ready to go for Friday our big sort day. Each of the kids at Nduchi Primary had a tote with their name and shoe size on it so Friday would go smoothly. I wanted to make sure all those bags were in class order so we could rock out of Friday. On the way in we had stopped at the Tailor in Gatundu and picked up all the uniforms for boys and socks. Then I made a trip over to Rose's who did the girls uniforms to get all the dresses! Check. After that day night was welcomed and so was sleep.
Friday I got up early and a group of us walked to Fedilis's to pick up the girls jumpers/sweaters. We had a nice visit with her and were treated to homegrown watermelon. It was amazing. After our trip we got right to work. While we were gone the group that stayed moved all the shoes to the new dining hall so we could start the stuffing process. They also stared putting the school exercise books and Bibles for grades 6-8 in the totes. Whew they did a lot of work. Then we divided and concurred and started the shoe stuffing. You get some one to call the size and a team of 4 to 5 to stand at all the boxes full of shoe boxes with the sizes on the top. The team that stayed not only brought the shoes over, but they sorted them by box so all the same sizes were together. This made the shoe stuffing go so much faster! Then after the shoes were in the real fun begins. We get to see who is the best at calling out Kenyan names. It makes me laugh every year because we are terrible at it, bc the names are also hand written it gets truly interesting like my sister in law say Tvonne  in instead of Yvonne. I laughed so hard it hurt. After lunch we finished these bags up and made sure we had to totes ready for the kids at Munyi-Ini. All in all it was a long day of packing and sorting, but made a million times better by the nice dining hall area to get it all done in.
Sat was probably my favorite day because I love to paint. We went over to the school to paint and fix it up. Mace and Tommy went over early and quickly discovered that the white bottom coat we needed to put down bc the walls were not smooth was the consistency of marshmallow cream even after the 15% thinning. On to plan B. Instead of rolling the team got really creative and used the paint Brushes to just push it into the cracks. This worked pretty well, you just had to let go of it being able to cover all the spots. We had a bit of frosted mini wheat effect, but as the saw from the picture, wow, the light was still able to reflect from it really well. (We paid or contractor to come in and spray in the white top coat and add nice wood to the top to create a place to tack up posters for each room. When this is complete we will share some pictures) Needless to say this project took all day and the gate keeper to the school had to kick us out around 5. Whew we were tired. That night we all rested to get ready for church the next day.
Sunday morning came and we were able to take the team to a different church experience and an experience it was. We went to Pastor Raphels' church. This was an evangelistic church which I loved and you could feel the presence of God in the place with the testimonies that were shared. We also got to hear what its like if you turn the praise and worship sound system all the way up, but bc we are in Kenya the speakers aren't the best quality. I loved this service too bc Pastor Raphel brought up my drear friend Elizabeth from Haven and had her interpret for us. I went up at the end and was able to present a gift of Bibles to the church and share just a little bit of what God is doing in my life, just like I shared with you at the beginning. With VBS the next day, we went home and had some rest at Haven on the Hill and then met that night at 5 before dinner to make sure everyone knew what they were doing for VBS the next day.
Monday morning VBS at Nduchi and our big give away. Our team wore their PHHY shirts and we were able to share with the children the story of Jesus and Peter walking on the water. Our vs was Psalms 56:3 Whenever I am afraid I will trust in YOU. So simple, but a great lesson to all of us as well. That one sec we feel like we can walk on water, but then we look around and let life drag us down into the wind and waves. Keeping our eyes on Jesus and trusting in Him is the only way to live a full life in Christ. When the VBS finished I lead the kids in prayer to accept Christ. Although many prayed, I explained to them that now they needed to talk to their pastor and start talking to God to start their relationship with HIM.
They color leaders stayed, then the group of us went down the hill to start dragging down the totes to the gate and set up so we could give each kid their tote with school supplies, shoes and new uniform. This was such a great feeling and thanks to Mace for organizing pulling all the totes out of the dinning hall down to the gates. It went faster this year than ever before. Whew, when we were done we had lunch and then prepped again for VBS at Munyi-ini the next day.

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