So a church in Ohio sent money to pay for Bibles for a church they have been in contact with about 2 hrs from here...
In the highlands...
In rainy season...
Into the interior...
In a van full of children, SAW (support a widow) parcels and 80 Bibles...
|Isn't that the cutest baby EVER???|
Our van was FULL but we still found space for vital things like snacks and clothes. After dropping off the Bibles, we were planning on heading to some other Anabaptist missionaries about an hr from there (2 1/2 hrs from Kisumu) to give them the SAW parcels to hand out to the widows in their village. Everybody was happy except for the mama of the family who really wanted to skip the Bible handing out in the interior because she is selfish and the thot of driving into the interior on mud roads in rainy season made her feel weary and ornery. Marlin was warned that it might not be a good idea to drive that far into the interior with a van and i was delighted that God felt like me on the matter and was on my side. Turns out that God was on my side but not the way i had planned. Marlin called the pastor as we were driving and asked him his thots on how the roads would be. He assured Marlin that the roads will be fine, while i muttered in Marlin's left ear that i would certainly NOT trust THAT man's advice. Marlin got off the phone and told me since this man used to drive that he trusts his opinion. I shut my mouth and asked God to please keep it that way.
We arrived at the pastor's house and altho we warned them that we can not stay because by then it was already around 10, there is no leaving a Kenyan's house without a bit of tea which will be served in only two minutes. I sighed and resolved to be pleasant and cheerful and drink the chai as fast as possible. Besides, i discovered that the pastor's wife was actually very nice and very friendly and knew English quite well. I also discovered that we were this pastor's very, very good friend and by the way, would we be willing to start a farm in his area, supply the funds and he would be our manager. Marlin assured the man that it would not be a good idea as he is very busy with AGAPE and when Marlin went out for a bit and the pastor suggested the plan to me i took the opportunity to tell him that we serve where God puts us and we have no idea of our future, altho we're pretty positive it doesn't involve having him as manager. I kept the last opinion to myself.Such is Kenya...
So after drinking chai, handing out a few Bibles and gently reminding them that we NEED TO GET GOING BEFORE THE RAINS HIT, we all piled in our excruciatingly full van, and with 4 more people added, we headed off into the interior to his second church. Only an hr or so of being packed like sardines with them assuring us that there is no rain coming we finally got off the main roads and continued 14 km farther and onto red mud, slipping and sliding and gunning our way through mud holes 2 feet deep. Marlin kept telling Joseph, the pastor, that we can not have any kind of extended service because in spite of what they were assuring us, the rain clouds were building up and Marlin knew if we get caught in the rain, we would have a real problem. Finally, finally, we pulled up in front of a stick and feed bag structure with people lined up clapping and singing. The mazungas had arrived!!!! We were greeted with hugging and hand shaking and were ushered inside where chairs were lined up in front facing the rest of the congregation. More singing, and then the introductions started with all the elders, complete with formal attire, standing and their wives and then us, and on. And on. And on. Marlin was asked to give a sermon, as long as he pleased, 2 or 3 hours would be great. I glared great holes in Pastor Joseph's back for even suggesting that, for any simpleton could tell the air was cooling and the rains were coming. I began praying deeply that God would hold the rains back and i assured Him that He is amazing and could easily accomplish that and since He loves us so much........
Meanwhile the service continued with them asking us to sing as a family, and Marlin thankfully sharing a very short meditation and assuring the people that we would love to stay but the rain is coming and we needed to get going. They promised that they understood altho they also said we have to have chai first, but only for a "little bit." Yeah, right. By then thunder was rumbling and i casually leaned over to Eric and Emily and told them to start some serious praying. If Marlin said we needed to get going NOW, then i was quite sure we should have left 20 minutes before. Finally we were ready to hand Bibles out but to my complete dismay, they had certain names to be read off and, NO, NO, NO, i was hearing rain drops. "Please dear God, please, please, please don't let it rain. Seriously, we don't want to stay out here overnight." Long story short, til they were finished handing the Bibles out (no one paid any attention to my suggestion of leaving them pass out their own Bibles while we skedaddled) it was pouring rain, my nerves and stomach were in a mess and i was quite put out with God. We scrambled into the van and for the life of me i couldn't figure out why the pastor from that church was in our van while pastor Joseph was walking down a path towards a mud hut. Yup, they weren't joking about us staying for chai. By that time the rain was coming sideways and as Marlin pulled into the "dala" i felt like throwing myself into the maize and kicking and screaming. There was nothing we could do without horribly offending these people but stay, for if we would have left it would have been like spitting in their face. I could tell Marlin was on edge and when they came out with piles of mandazis and vats of chai, i wanted to puke. But i smiled and gulped my chai and choked down a mandazi while Pastor Joseph and his wife Helen drank cup after cup and contentedly chewed multiple mounds of fried dough. The hut was dark, the rain was pouring and people kept filing in until there were people standing outside. This was a major event in their lives with the white people in their home, even if we couldn't hear a word that anyone was saying thanks to a tin roof.
By this time i was downright struggling and realized that something was seriously wrong with my spirit. I had prayed for the rain to hold off. That prayer certainly wasn't answered and usually, when i have no control over a situation i'm able to let it go. But having Marlin nervous made me downright mental hospital material. So while the rain poured and the people slurped and chewed, i did what i should have done from the beginning. I told God that i can't begin to manufacture faith on my own, so would He please do that for me. I prayed for strength to surrender. If it was His will for us to stay in the middle of no-where in who knows what, i was going to trust Him. After a few minutes i realized my fear was leaving, my nerves were calming, and a gentle peace settled over me. The rain was still pouring and i did a happy inside dance when we finally ran to our van, but my fear and frustration had left. Pastor Joseph assured his dear, dear friend Marlin that we would get out because they had prayed in Jesus name and it would be ok. I looked at the rivers of red water pouring over the road and wondered but decided it wasn't for me to worry about.
Want to know what happened? Well, on the way into the interior before it was raining, the mud was slick and slippery and Marlin had to fight to keep the van where it belonged, but on the way out? In spite of water gushing over the road and in many places not even able to see the road, the roadbed was solid as rock. Not once did we slip and slide but the van plowed happily through vast amounts of water with Pastor Joseph promising after each one that the worst was over.
After a bit we drove ahead of the storm, dropped Pastor Joseph, his wife and their two children off, and headed for our friends on blacktop roads with the rain behind us.
I'm crying as i write this because God's plan was so much better, so much bigger. He chose to show His power to some very undeserving people, in particular the mazungu's wife. How pathetic i am and yet how He loves me. I repented of my selfish and faithless heart and our hearts echoed what Pastor Joseph had said...
In the Name of Jesus!
|Our missionary friends from Kitale.|
We did make it to our friends house and had a sweet visit. We saw what it's like to live with the natives as your neighbor and how to manage without electricity or an inside toilet. We reveled in the beautiful maize(corn) covered countryside and delighted in hanging onto Big Daddy while riding on a piki piki (motorcycle). Took me right back to being a newlywed and i loved it. Something about wrapping my arms around my man while waving to little, chocolate children as the piki piki rumbles past made me feel very happy. Esp the wrapping part. Ok, and the piki piki. Some things never change. :)
|That's my man!! And the two little men in the left hand corner are mine also. Never have i seen Levi's eyes shine as they did after his piki piki ride.|
|The Marc and Cindy Carrier family who were the first ones at this mission. Cindy is a sweet woman who inspires me with her selfless serving.|
We headed back home Friday morning.
Back to dirt and dust, bar music and truck horns.
Back to a huge laundry pile and working instead of visiting.
But also back to dear friends and our inside toilet.
After this week, i am content to let Him worry about our future and the next time my faith fails,
i want to remember 5 words...
|Charlton's mother, Wanda, is the nurse who runs the little clinic for the locals. I am blessed by her willingness to move across the world and leave her other children and grandchildren behind. Indefinitely.|
IN THE NAME OF JESUS!
|Clinic in session. The Kenyan to her right is a retired nurse and helps Wanda with translation.|