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Saturday, January 24, 2009

A few more moments to write

I'm sorry my last blog was written a little hasty...I was in the Internet room at Scott College and it was getting late and I didn't want to have to walk back here is a more detailed update!

I hope this post finds you all doing well! I think of you all often and pray for you. I can feel all your prayers, truly! Just the way the Lord has provided in little or big ways helps me to know that I have a huge support system back home...and that is priceless! Each little comment or email from any of you helps me to remember my roots and how you have all played a key roll into me being in Kenya today. The first few days of orientation were jam packed with all 40 of us sharing our stories of how we all ended up in Africa with AIM. We were told to take 6 minutes but as the stories began, the 6 minute rule went out the window. Each story was unique and had its own individual pains and triumphs but the one common thread running throughout all the stories was Jesus Christ. It was amazing to hear all these stories and to see how God had called each individual to Africa at this time. It renewed my knowledge of knowing that God is God and has a perfect plan for each of us to glorify his work here on earth. One of the girls (Kim who I mentioned earlier) said a quote that has stuck with me ever since..."God did not call the qualified...He qualifies the called." No one here came too late or too early-they were meant for the July '09 ABO. I have been blessed to share in the lives of all these missionaries whether they are single woman or families. I've only known them since Tuesday but it feels like I've known them for years. My roommate here has also been a huge blessing. Knowing that we would be sharing the same small room for the next 3.5 weeks, I began to pray that God would place me with whoever he felt I needed and He gave me Amber! She is a sweet spirited, energetic, and fun woman from California. We stayed up till 1:30 the other night just talking about our own journeys (in more detail then 6 mins). It was great. She is on a TIMO team with AIM that sends young missionaries out to an unreached people group for 2.5 years. Right now she is serving in Southern Sudan with the Dadinga (spelling?) people. They have had many trials with this people group but have had some encouraging moments as well! I'm excited to keep up with her during my time in Africa.

Like I said in my last post, we are working on learning about the Africa culture and how Africans think and live. Of course we will never fully understand everything, but I've learned tons through my time here already. One of the biggest things that I learned was the "class system" here. Well more so just the hierarchy or individuals. Here is how its broken down...

1. Men
2. Live stock (cows) and property
3. Son(s)
4. Daughter(s)
5. Wife/Wives

How crazy is that? Totally backwards thinking from what we are used to (well I guess it depends on who you may ask in America) But for the most part, this is how it is. The woman do all the work around here while most of the men just sit around. I heard once that one woman has to walk over 40 minutes to retrieve water and then has to carry those gallons of water all the way back... on her head. No wonder they have so much pain and often have miscarriages :( . The women are given an even lower status if she is not able to bare children or sons. I found out that as a single white missionary that my status is different. They give me an honorary status that lays between #2 and #3. Because I'm independent and white, I get a much greater status in society. It is uncomfortable to walk around and see the woman do all the work and to be regarded as higher then them yet I did not come here to tell them how to live, nor did I come here to tell them what is right and wrong. I came to love them and to serve them and to share with them about Jesus Christ.

We are about to hike up a mountain. I wish I had the capability to upload pictures while in Manchakos, but right now I don't...but I wish you could see my view. Its beautiful. As I step out of my dorm and look to the left, there is this huge green mountain with little villages and huts scattered throughout. At night It looks just like the sky because all the little campfires look like glowing stars flickering in the night. Today, that mountain will be conquered by 30 AIM missionaries...whooo hoo! I'm definitely bringing my camera for this trip! We have to hike in our skirts though, since it is not proper up here for woman to wear "trousers." This may be the first and last time I will ever hike a mountain in 90 degrees and in a skirt! Life is an adventure! :) I'm excited to see what kind of people we will meet on this climb...I have a feeling we will pick up a few curious children during the duration of the hike!

Tomorrow I have another hike ahead of me! We had to volunteer to visit other churches around the area. There was one church that was labeled as the more "challenging" church because of the transportation needed to get there. I of course was feeling ambitious and took on the challenge. I later found out exactly what that challenge was...HA! So tomorrow morning me and a few other ABO-ers are meeting up with some Kenyans where we then will try to catch a ride with a Taxi-Bus into town, if not we will walk there (a few miles). Then once we get there we hop onto another taxi-bus. Then after a 30 min drive, we have a 45 min hike! WOWZA! The church service was described to us, by a Kenyan, as "long." Come to find out, "long"= we probably won't get back to our compound till 5pm. Pray for strength tomorrow...and a tough stomach-apparently the church is providing us lunch.

I hope this will last as a good update till I get a chance to catch another spot of Internet!
Love and miss you all!


Deshua said...

Great post, Pumpkin! We will be praying for you. Can't wait to hear how it went.
Love- Dad

a tribe called PINK said...

Wow Kate, it sounds challenging, beautiful, exciting and I too wish you could upload pictures but my imagination is working and you painted a great picture with your words. I'll be thinking about you tomorrow as I drive 15 mins to IBC and praying for your safety for the long day ahead.

Famiglia Grande said...

Your adventure to church sounds a bit like the American version of Trains, Planes and Automobiles! But a great bonus for your travels is lots of reflection and prayer time. Thanks for such great descriptions of your view - I felt like I could see it! Can't wait to read more. Buffy

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