Yesterday, as I drove out of Shimba Hills to catch my plane for Tanzania, God reminded me of Habakuk 3:17-19, “Though the fig tree should not blossom, and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive should fail, and the fields produce no food, though the flock should be cut off from the fold, and there be no cattle in the stalls, yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength and He has made my feet like hind’s feet and makes me walk on my high places.” This verse has come to mean a lot to me over the past two months here. God has truly been my strength through various trials big and small from safari ants to stonings, from brush fires to Black mambas. He is faithful through it all. On days when I’ve wanted to pack up and go home, I’ve found that He is still there and His strength enough to carry me.
There isn’t time or space enough to write about everything that’s happened the last few weeks. I spent Thanksgiving Eve in the hospital getting treated for a reaction to the sun. It was painful, but not serious. The doctors were able to treat it and I recovered quickly. For Thanksgiving day, Sarah and I baked pumpkin pies from real pumpkins over the open fire (which is how we cook everything here). They actually tasted pretty good, and out of four pies, we only burnt one. We got to have chicken for dinner, which was a real treat since we don’t often get meat, with rice and tangerines and pumpkin pie for dessert. It was a really good meal. And Sarah and I put on the Kenny G Christmas music to get in the festive mood until the children complained that it was putting them to sleep, haha.
On the Saturday before I left, I got to teach at the youth camp on the topic of holiness. It went really well. On Thursday, I walked the hour and a half to school with the kids for their last day of school. I sat in on their morning devotions and wandered around between the classes. Then I helped the teachers roast a goat and cook chapates for the teacher party afterwards. At the end of the day, the whole school gathered outside under the mango tree for the closing of the school. The headmaster awarded the top three students in each of their grades. Six of our kids were in the top three of their classes! The teacher sitting next to me during the awards, kept nudging me and saying, “That’s one of your kids.” I was so proud! Afterwards, the teachers insisted that I stay and eat with them. Except for the goat hair still floating in the soup, it was a really good meal.
On Monday, I left to come to Tanzania. It was a tearful goodbye and I miss the kids already. There was a lot going through my mind as I was gazing out at the snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro from my airplane window. I am staying at the YWAM base here in Arusha. My first question to the man who picked me up at the airport was, “Is there running water at the base?” Yes, there is running water, and a rug on the floor and a ceiling in my room and power 24-7 – it feels so luxurious! Last night, I lay awake in my mansion-of-a-room unable to sleep without all the usual noise of the bush bush and very much missing my home in Shimba.
As much as I am missing it, I am so thankful for God’s timing in having me leave Kenya now just as the elections are approaching. Things are getting heated in the country especially between the Muslims and Christians. Please pray for the elections on December 27 and that a Godly man would be elected.
I will be here at the base for 10 days, getting acquainted with the staff here and getting some much needed rest, and then…I’ll be home for Christmas!