Monday, March 22, 2010

"I Never Made a Sacrifice..."

[from John Piper's blog on March 19th]

Today is David Livingstone’s birthday. He was born March 19, 1813. He gave his life to serve Christ in the exploration of Africa for the sake of the access of the gospel.

On December 4, 1857, he spoke the sentence that has made the greatest impact on me. It is one of the clearest applications I have seen of Jesus’ words in Mark 10:29-30. Jesus said, "Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life."

Here is what Livingstone said to the Cambridge students about his “leaving” the benefits of England:

"For my own part, I have never ceased to rejoice that God has appointed me to such an office. People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa. . . . Is that a sacrifice which brings its own blest reward in healthful activity, the consciousness of doing good, peace of mind, and a bright hope of a glorious destiny hereafter? Away with the word in such a view, and with such a thought! It is emphatically no sacrifice. Say rather it is a privilege. Anxiety, sickness, suffering, or danger, now and then, with a foregoing of the common conveniences and charities of this life, may make us pause, and cause the spirit to waver, and the soul to sink; but let this only be for a moment. All these are nothing when compared with the glory which shall be revealed in and for us. I never made a sacrifice."

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Why are titles "required?" I never know what to write...

The bathroom finally has curtains! I was disappointed I didn't get to make them, but I'm glad we finally have them. We went to a fabric store in Nakuru and found some fabric that we liked:

...and they made the curtains right then and there. The only thing they did was hem the bottom and put a strip of 'tape'/fabric on the top [and we use key rings on a wire to hang it]. 800 shillings later [~$10], our curtains were finished. I like them! :] They let in enough light when they are closed, so it's nice.

Yesterday was another 9+ mile bike ride into town and back. It was a little easier this time! Minus the killer hill on the way into town, it's not as bad as it was the first time. We also played volleyball for a few hours... until the ball got a puncture from a thorn. Again. The people here are so smart and creative... they deflated the ball, removed the stitching from one section, pulled the 'balloon' out, repaired it, and sewed it back up. I would have just bought a new volleyball :]

So... we thought that we had it easy this year because it was raining so much. Last year, there was a drought and everything was dry. That obviously brought problems. Well, with so much rain, it brings other problems. Like these things:

Army worms. Disgusting.

They are eating absolutely everything. The green, lush grass... the garden... everything. And there's really not much we can do about it; we can't spray any pesticides, because our cows eat the grass. They aren't as many as there were last week, but they won't 'move on' until there is nothing left here to eat. 

[snap-crackle-pop as you walk]

Want to know how you can pray for us? Here are a few requests!

  • we're still adjusting to the lifestyle and culture. It's difficult because we don't have the fellowship that we had back home, and loneliness sets in easily.
  • for our marriage; that we would learn how to serve one another better and communicate more efficiently.
  • that the army worms would go away and stop destroying all of the student's and our hard work!
  • for Eric and Juli, as they start preparing for a little one to join the family.
  • for the students, that they would be diligent in their studies and have good work ethic.

In closing, here are a few photos I took this week... enjoy! Jake and I would love to know how to pray for you... please let us know how we can be lifting you up before the Lord.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Wonderfulness of the Weekend...

I think the weekends are my favorite part of camp... and not necessarily because it's less structured than the busyness of the week, but because I get to spend a lot of time with the students. Now that relationships have been developed, and it's not awkward to just hang out, I really enjoy doing that. I'm really relational... I love building relationships and getting to know people. 

On Fridays, we split the guys and girls and do a separate class. It was my turn to teach this week's girl session. Teaching isn't my favorite thing to do... in fact, I dread it. I get very nervous, sometimes almost to the point of panicking. But I made it through... I'm reminded of a verse in Jeremiah that a friend shared with me a few weeks ago:
Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations." Then I said, "Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth." But the LORD said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a youth,' for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the LORD."

[thanks, Sarah!]

I know teaching isn't my gift. I've been praying for years that God would give that gift to me. But I also know that:
"But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord." [1st Corinthians 1:27-31]

I might be weak, and teaching might not be my gift... but God can still use me to do it. 
Saturday was a really fun day! Jake and I decided that we would bike to town. Most of the students usually go after "brunch;" it's really their only 'free' day, so they usually take advantage of the opportunity to leave the compound. It's about 4+ miles to town: rocky, hilly and sandy most of the way. First we stopped at "Jaco's Bicycle Repair." Jaco has been repairing our bikes at least every other week... something is always going wrong with them [thanks to China]! He fixed my bike pedal that kept falling off [try pedaling with only one], and Jake's bike seat. Then we stopped at the "Highland Hotel..." not really a hotel, but just a small restaurant. Jake was hungry; I wasn't... Jake won. All he wanted were a couple "chapati." Chapati is a heavy flat bread, and Jake has loved it from the beginning. I don't LOVE it, but it's okay. It's too heavy/greasy for my liking. This is what it looks like:

After our meal of two chapati, a Coke [for Jake], and a Black Currant Fanta for me [my new favorite soda], we headed off on our bike, but not before we were asked by a Kenyan man, "How about we trade bicycles? [talking to Jake] You can take mine, and I'll take yours." Hahaha...

After riding back through town, we found a sidewalk that was somewhat shaded to sit and 'people watch' for a little while. Or rather, let people watch US. It's not rude to stare here; we've definitely had to get used to that!! A few students found and joined us. Jake went into the market area and bought two mangoes, which we cut open and shared with the students who were with us. Then we decided it would be a good idea to head back. We rode back... not really sure why the trek always seems shorter on the way back, but it does!!

After resting for a bit, I grabbed our volleyball and played with the students for about three hours. They are SO competitive! Volleyball is probably my favorite sport, and I really enjoy playing it... I'm glad we we have a net here to use. It's definitely not the best net... but it works.

Unfortunately there are thorns EVERYWHERE here, so the volleyball has a very short lived life compared to most. This ball has a thorn stuck in it that we cut off at the surface and taped over... at least the air isn't coming out!

Today we had our typical church service in the meeting room. After half an hour of clapping and singing in Swahili, one of the student leaders spoke. Now the students are preparing their lunch, and after they eat, they will head over to the orphanage to do some work there. Jake and I are debating on going again... at least this week, I'm not throwing up [unlike last week- and no, I'm not pregnant]! But I'm not sure if I'm up to another 10+ mile bike ride ;]

I think that's all the excitement for this weekend... goodbye!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Necklaces // New Address

For those of you who have our address in Nakuru, we will no longer be receiving mail there. If something was recently sent to that address, don't worry about it; we'll still get it. But from now on, our new address will need to be used. If you would like it, please e-mail me [] or get it from my parents :]


One of my "jobs" here is working with the "bead women." Every Wednesday, a group of local women come to the camp. They bring necklaces that they hand made, with beads made from rolled up magazines. We buy the necklaces from them to give them an income, and then we sell them elsewhere. We don't sell them to make a profit, but just to pay the women for their work. We also do a Bible study with the women to give this project an 'eternal perspective.'

We are currently shipping and selling the bead products to people in the UK, but we've had a few requests from the US; so we are making them available there. For the payment method; we pay the women up front and just ask that you write a check to me to be reimbursed for the amount.

~Shipping is included in the price listed.
~You can request a specific color, but it's not guaranteed. I will do my best, though!!

Single [one strand]: $1.00
Double [two strands, connected]: $1.50
Triple [three strands, connected]: $2.00

 Wire [wraps around wrist several times]: $2.00

Double Necklace: $3.00
 [two short necklaces attached]

Short and Chunky:  $2.50

Big and Chunky: $3.50

 Short: $2.00

Medium: $2.25

Long: $3.25

Extra Long: $3.50

Also available: "Very Long:" $4.25

The Kupenda is similar to the other necklaces; the only difference is that they are more small beads between the paper beads.

Short: $2.25
Medium: $3.25
Long: $3.50

The photos above show that the Kupenda necklace can come in a set of two or three. You can also purchase them individually.

 Short, shown [9-10" at coin]: $3.00
Long [11-12" at coin]: $4.00

The Mukisa necklace has a small East African coin attached to it, and from the coin hang three "dangles."

"Big Beads:" $3.50
[many big paper beads, one small bead between]

Short: $2.00
Long: $3.50
[no small beads, only paper beads. Shown here as two matching necklaces.]

Also available, but not shown:
Earrings: $0.75/pair

Please contact me via e-mail [] if you are interested in purchasing any. Thanks!!

[thanks to Juli and baby girl for being my models!]

Saturday, March 6, 2010

New additions...

We have added a new addition to our family!!

*brief pause to allow for widened eyes, gasps, and open mouths*

Okay, okay, three new additions.  *collective sigh of relief* They are fuzzy... they are small... and they are cute. But some day they will be our dinner. After they make babies, of course.

Meet "The Dominator," "Tornado," and "Turbo" [in that order]. You can thank Juli for the creative names :]




Yep, guinea pigs! Apparently they taste like rabbit. They are definitely cuter than the thing we ate last week, known as a rock hyrax:

Ugly, ugly thing.

Other new additions to the farm this week: two ducks and a pig.

Today I think we're meeting with some people who are involved with Impact Africa Missions for lunch in Nakuru. I'm honestly not 100% sure what's going to be discussed at this meeting! But we'll be finding out today whether or not Jake and some of the guys are leaving on Monday to do ministry with the Samburu tribe in northern Kenya. They would be gone until Friday. It's likely to happen at some point; we just don't know when.

Jake and Eric went into town yesterday to get a few things. Since it has been raining so much, they got stuck in a huge mud pit. Jake was the lucky one who got to push the car out:

Oh, and for those of you who knew about my foot... it's getting better. Thanks for the prayers! Earlier this week, the bottom of my foot swelled up really bad and was extremely painful. At first I thought I had stepped on something to cause it... but then I remembered that this happened to me once before, back home, a few years ago. I've been soaking it on cool water [closest thing I can get to ice] and trying to take it easy [key word: trying...]; the swelling has gone down a lot and the pain is tolerable. Thanks for praying!!

Short and sweet update... :]

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Farewell, my little friend...

*pouts* I find it kind of ironic that the day after I posted about the little bunny that I wanted to keep, it died. Jake went out to the cage this morning and couldn't find it, and then he was informed by one of the students that it was found dead this morning.

Guess I need to find another furry little creature to love on. Wah.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Happy Anniversary... to us!

Today, Jake and I are celebrating two years of marriage. The past two years have brought us through many different challenges and changes... the most obvious is our location. I'm so thankful that we have each other to lean on! Leaving everything else behind is so much 'easier' when your best friend is right beside you, holding your hand. *sigh* I love him!

Here are a few photos... finally some of us!!

[me with my little baby rabbit friend... s/he belongs to the students, along with the others, that they are raising for meat... but I fell in love with this one and I want to keep it!!]

[sorry it's blurry; we couldn't get it to focus while it was on the timer... background sure looks nice, though!!]

 [do I need a caption for this photo? I don't think so...]

 [jake with simba, left, and mama dog, right]

 [check out those thunder clouds!]

[our romantic dinner *wink*]

Well, we're off to enjoy the carrot cake I made earlier... yum! Yay for two years... here's to many, many more!

our vows:

"i promise... hold you accountable in your walk with Christ. seek the truth when tempted by lies. stay present when I want to turn away. choose compassion when anger feels easier. embrace your needs and care about them like my own. turn to you for comfort in all times. love your family like my own. nurture you with love, joy and passion. be a partner in your life, and invite you to be a partner in mine,

until we lay in the arms of Christ."