Sunday, May 16, 2010

Wrapping Up...


We spent our last Sunday in Nairobi at one of the local mega churches. There was actual teaching of choreographed dances to a few of the worship songs. Most of our fellow parishioners had significantly more rhythm than we did (shocking, huh?!) which illuminated our foreignness as our attempts at dancing kind of resembled the half-hearted moves of the waitresses as Johnny Rockets (you know what I’m talking about, right?)

Anyway, the kids loved the liveliness of the worship and then thoroughly enjoyed the Sunday school class they attended (which I also attended since they have been pretty clingy with all that is new.) I am so glad that I got to watch the class though. They were into the songs, motions, and hand holding, and they were quick to volunteer answers. The other 25 Kenyan 3 year-olds were quite fascinated with B’s hair and skin. One older little girl said it was soft and wanted to know if we dye it in the back. ☺ B didn’t seem phased at all by the attention or her uniqueness. Skin color doesn’t seem to be very noteworthy to B or T yet, which is a pretty beautiful thing in my book. So, we had a good experience overall.

And, so our journey is coming to a close. We will be in Nairobi for just 2 more days then we will go to Limuru for a board retreat until Friday evening when we fly out. It is hard to believe we are leaving in less than a week. It is much more bittersweet than I would have expected. I am beyond excited to get home to our family and friends. I can’t begin to explain how much I have missed everyone. Deep relationships are so important to me, and having a difficult time building many relationships here has been really hard for me. Surprisingly the “comforts” of home haven’t left as much of a void as I expected. Don’t get me wrong…I will appreciate my car, dryer, dust buster, dishwasher, consistent internet, and disposal (just to name a few!) However, there are many things that I will miss, too.

*The ways God has challenged us by putting us in such unfamiliar and uncomfortable situations. I feel like we have grown in our faith and our hearts have been reawakened to the struggles of people around the world. Our love for God, others, and each other has grown deeply through this trip, and we can’t ask for more than that!

*I will also miss our family being so unified in purpose. We have so many more shared experiences and have grown closer through the unknown of this adventure. I wouldn’t trade that for anything!

*Another thing I will miss terribly is going to the orphanage with B and T. It has been amazing to watch them love and nurture these kids. I have adored having at least two days of our week involve the kids being able to be a part of caring for others. (How sweet are the above pics of T feeding a little guy?)

*Walking the dirt streets here as my children happily yell “Jambo!” It is hard to believe that some things that were so foreign two months ago feel so familiar now.

*Hearing and seeing the ways God is moving in the hardest of places. From firsthand trips to the slums to firsthand accounts shared with us by LIA staff about countries dealing with great trials, we have been truly changed.

So now we are left with the challenge of how to translate what we have learned to our life back home. We definitely don’t want to forget what we have learned or the people here and how we can be involved in loving them. We are excited about the LIA work that is coming and how we can be a part of it, and we also want to be more intentional about loving the people in our direct vicinity. And lastly, we definitely want our kids to remember what they have seen and experienced here, too. We will probably need your help to remind us.

I recently came upon this quote by G.K. Chesterton, “In everything on this earth that is worth doing, there is a stage when no one would do it except for necessity or honor.” There have definitely been moments on this trip where necessity and/or honor have kept us going. But I am so thankful we have been through them!

In leaving, we are going with the hopes of coming back again. It would be too sad to leave any other way. So, we will assume that God will give our entire family another chance at another time to come to this amazing continent. In fact, B has already decided she will be returning for her fifth birthday (yes, in two years) ☺ Maybe she knows something that we don’t! ☺ We’ll see you soon!!!

4 comments:

  1. Erin (and B&T)I love what you've done with the living room - but WHERE are the doilies!!!? :-)

    I have no doubt that God has more plans for you in Kenya or Ethiopia or....??? Great that you have been willing to go along with the crazy flexing of work with LIA - even if it has meant some hard times along the way. I really enjoyed crossing paths with you in Nairobi and look forward to more ops as we continue seeing where the Lord leads each of us in His work! Will be curious to hear how the retreat goes, too! Blessings, Cathy

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  2. Those pics of T feeding the little boy are ridiculously cute!

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  3. We love you friends! Can't wait to see you. We are praying for "safe journey"!

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