Dear Family and Friends,
Before I forget, Pastor Todd Peperkorn, in his attempt to bring me into the technological age, has set up a website where my emails and eventually photos may be seen. Here is the address in case you want to be a part of the hip and cool crowd (I am not of that crowd, so no worries!).
Well, getting to Africa was quite the adventure. After a drive in the wee hours of the morning, Dennis and I crossed the Bay Bridge with a stunning view the lights of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. I arrived in Chicago, finished writing a few notes and met up with Dr. Arthur Just. As we got to the ticket counter of Etihad Airways, we were checking our bags and talking about "what to do once in Dubai with a 14 hour layover." The ticket agent looked at me a little strangely and said, "You are not going to Dubai, but to Abu Dhabi". Having no clue what that meant, I soon discovered there were two airports and I was not going to the luxurious one, but the "other one", with not enough stuff there to keep me entertained for 14 hours. With the help of a gracious staff person, I got a hotel room and instructions on how to navigate the taxi system and get safely there.
Arriving in Nairobi was, like always, coming home. And yet, there are changes. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Kenya (ELCK) no longer has the guesthouse where we usually stay, but through the help of others, we found lodging at the Scripture Mission House, right next to the LCMS World Mission office. It is in the are of Karen (where Out of Africa was set). The setting is lovely and the people are so kind.
We met up with a young couple, Megan and Tim Dumes, who have been working in Kisumu with Rev. David ChuChu. Megan has been helping with the micro loan project for the deaconesses. Tim has been teaching in an informal school there. They accompanied us on visits on Monday to the slums of Kibera. The joy of being united with Deaconess Mary Kianga, Deaconess Caren, and friend Sally was like seeing old friends. We made our way to the homes of several people in need of care–of both body and soul. It is amazing how many people can squeeze into a little 6X10 foot shack.
Now, truth be told, I am still processing what it means to be here once again. My hope is to spend some time writing down my observations and thoughts, offline, then send them out. The tears flow easy this trip. I am trying to simply let them come and not shove them down.
For prayers, I would ask these people to be included:
Deaconess Caren, Mary and Sally.
Missionaries Shauen and his wife Krista (and their children Josiah and Elijah)
Tim and Megan Dumes as they finish their year here.
For the Kenyans we visited yesterday: