23 January, 2014

Mud, Mud and more Mud

     Sometimes you just need to get muddy. You need to get your hands way down deep in that goo and take a big handful of the sloppy mess. And then? You build a house! A real house that someone is actually going to live in. A house with two rooms and a tin roof. A tiny room for sleeping and a bigger one for a sitting room. You don't need a kitchen because your kitchen is in another little mud house or maybe just outside under a few shade trees.
                                                       Welcome to a house mudding.

Ready for mud! 
    A young couple from our church needed to build a house so yesterday we had the honor of helping. They live in a really cute "dala" meaning home, with about 10 mud houses/cooking huts etc in an area with other family members, trees, chickens and........MUD.
Dumping off a load of mud.

    The men and boys left early from the mission to pick up people, and the women and babies left at a lazy 10:00. Perfect timing as we got there in time to help but it wasn't such a long and exhausting day. The mud was mixed behind the house in a mud hole with the men mixing mud and water with their feet. Some of the native women carried water (on their heads of course) while others started mudding and several began the long ordeal of making lunch.

The house will get another layer of mud, this time mixed with cow manure, in about two weeks. It will be smoothed by hand and left to dry, looking like this one. 

The mud goes in-between the "sticks".

     I wrapped my "lesso" around my waist, watched for a few minutes, took a deep breath and got muddy. I grabbed huge hunks of mud and stuffed it in, while the ladies chortled with delight to see the white missionary getting involved and dirty. Even the little ones helped. It's truly a village affair and i had to think of amish barn raisings. Wouldn't the amish be amazed to see how many similarities there are between Africans and Amish. Altho i do believe the amish would rather be tortured than live in mud huts.

Could this be anymore fun?!?!?!?

It went fast because of all the help. I enjoyed it but was glad when it was finished. It felt SO GOOD to get involved in their lives besides shaking their hands on sunday morning. I did have one friend of mine threaten to get my face good and dirty. She's the native pastor's wife, Lillian, and shy and reserved. Yesterday was a good day for our relationship.

Marlin was behind the camera egging her on. Stinker!

   She was only 15 when she got married (!!!) and is now 26. She has lost 7 babies, the last one being full term. She almost died through the process and you can tell her heart just longs for more. Pray for her that God willing, they would be blessed with more children. They have one living son who's 7. His name's Emmanuel and a real cutie. 

The eternal goof offs.

     Lunch was the traditional Luo meal of ugali, (that's the piles of whitish stuff consisting of cornmeal and water cooked into a very, very thick goop) fried cabbage, sukuma wiki, (a type of greens kind of like collards), two kinds of chicken, one fried and one soupy, and beef. But first we had an appetizer of sweet potatoes, cooked and eaten by our hands with no accompaniment other than salt. They served chai with the sweet potatoes and while the main meal was being cooked we had a small meditation with Tommy sharing and Marlin taking prayer requests and praying. 

     I don't have a picture of it but tradition dictates that the chicken head is cooked along with the other parts of the chicken and is served to honored guests. In this case Josh chose to be the honored guest and slurped and sucked away on the chicken head while his brothers and the other pale faces shuddered and trembled in horror. He then deemed it tough and threw it to some lucky animal and told the others to try it before they say it's gross. He's also the one that dreams of living in a traditional dala, surrounded by mud huts and many animals. I am very curious to see what God has in mind for this son of mine in his future.

The not so traditional Luo couple

      Where were the rest of the hooligans? Off playing Masai warriors until the non resistant missionary fathers realized their sons were throwing homemade spears at each other and taking various prisoners. The game came to an immediate halt as the not so tough Masai warriors were properly chastened. 

All the ladies. Aren't we looking fine? The lady on the right wearing an orange dress and holding a plant is the housewife of the new home.

    And then it was time to pack up and head for home. We had an hour's drive after dropping off a whole bunch of people so it was time to head for the city. I'm telling you tho, it is beautiful up there where this house was mudded, and the weather is gorgeous. Warm but not humid, with lots of cool breezes and plenty of rain. The scenery is lovely and the grass soft. As i sat there i thought that i could live here. And with Jesus i could even live in a mud house without electricity. But only if He would go with us. 

A weekly occurrence of boys standing in the back of the van while the rest of the vehicle is full of Kenyans.

Levi and Christian-Team Orange Fanta

    In the evening we headed out to a restaurant by Lake Victoria for a light supper with Tommy and Marj and their family. We sat and watched the sun slowly sink while the little children played in the play area and the older ones ran about on the dock. We watched hippos snorting and yawning, and boats meandering over the water. A perfect ending to a perfect day.

Lake Victoria


  1. Oh! How lovely! You definitely got your hands dirty... which seems to happen when you decide to love others at any cost. But it sure is a GOOD dirty!
    Oh, my heart yearns to be with you! Not here; THERE. In a mud hut. Maybe I'm romanticizing it all in my mind. All in His timing, though! Just like you, I don't want anyplace unless Jesus is with us! Thanks for sharing - it is wonderful to see what y'all are doing with Him!!

    Love you!

  2. That spot by the lake?Oh yeah,you are so taking us there when we come to visit....
    As to that couple that was featured in your blog,I'd say they're fitting in quite well :)
    & the team Fanta?Too cute.
    Love 'seeing' Africa,& the climate looks amazing,esp.w/a high of 18*today....consider yourselves fortunate.

  3. I so enjoy reading your blogs and keeping after what you all get involved with over there!! God bless your days ..even when there is mud involved!!!

  4. Darla, I don't know why this post brings tears to my eyes...perhaps because I know that soon we will go to visit your church in America and I will not get to hug you and visit with you...or perhaps that look of serenity on your face, that comes when one is where they belong and is surrendered to that...or just perhaps because your writing is so "you"...and I miss you.
    Thank you for sharing and for letting us into your life in Kenya. It is a blessing to see you diving in with your zest for life. Hello to your family from ours.
    Love and blessings,

  5. Hi Marcia, give everyone a hug from me at our church when you visit. I miss them! Thanks for your encouraging comment. It means so much.
    Kathryn, you will love the restaurant by the river. Its asian food and inexpensive but delicious. And the view is stunning.

  6. Tell Marlin that if that's all the stubby beard he can grow, its no good :)

    Love all your black sisters and the relationships that you are building. Have a great day and be blessed!

  7. Fun,fun fun! What a blast your boys must be having. I almost wish I was one of your kids and could live there with you! =)
    It will be awesome to see what God has for all your childrens future especially Josh and his mud hut. It is with delight we view all the moments you have captured with your life there in Kenya. Keep the pictures coming!
    Just a word for the Amish...there is an Amish family not far from us who sold all their belongings so they can spend their time an energy in reaching the lost and bring them the hope of the gospel. There are quite a few amish in Perry County who are on fire for the Lord. It is amazing ti see God working in their lives.


Please leave your name (if it is not in your Google ID) so we know who you are. Thanks.