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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sorry its been a while...I wrote this a while ago but just got a chance to post!

Jambo! Well we made it! The mountain was conquered! When told that we had a hike…I was up for the challenge thinking, “I love hiking!” Let me tell you…Great falls is nothing compared to the Kenyan monster we had to climb. The base of the hill was not difficult, but unfortunately the base was not very long. Quite quickly the incline increased and so did the size of the boulders we had to climb. 30 minutes into the hike I was thinking “hmmmm, I should have been working out this entire last week!” Out of breath but determined to continue we pressed on. At a few points in our climb we broke up into groups…those who wanted to head down and those who wanted to make it to the top. Seeing that mountain outside my dorm window everyday, I couldn’t help but want to see the view from the top! Perseverance was what kept me going! As we neared the top we found ourselves in a forest….a pine tree forest. Seriously? I kept laughing as we climbed higher. Here we were in the middle of Kenya and weaving through pine trees. It was so unreal. I had to capture a picture of these African children walking barefoot on pine needles.

Shortly after the pine tree forest, we reached the top. Victory! It was not what I expected at all! In my own small mind I pictured the top of the mountain as a single massive rock. One where you could view Kenya as far as the eye could see. Instead, we found an old village! All the buildings were crumbling and warn down. Even the people looked ancient, but the view and the pictures were incredible!

We had collected quite a massive group of children during our ascent up the mountain. The children brought youth to this deteriorating village. Their laughter and self –invented games were a joy to rest in at the top. After a few moments of relaxation and regrouping, we headed back down the mountain, children and all! The decent we much quicker then the climb. Our lack of water and tired feet urged us on to go faster and faster. Soon we were at a quick pace down the mountain. My quick pace stopped every time I saw a picture that I had to capture. Thankfully there was another one who made it to the top who too enjoyed taking pictures, so we descended at our own leisurely pace making sure that no priceless moment went undetected.

I definitely slept well that night! The next morning I woke up to start my long day at church. Thankfully, the day wasn’t as long as anticipated. We didn’t catch a tuktuk, (small 3 wheeled taxi) so we had to walk the whole way. The morning air was cool and so the walk was more then bearable. When we finally arrived at church, I barely stepped inside the gate before I was whisked off to a children’s Sunday school class where I was asked to teach! Thankfully the teacher first read a verse and then I got to expand on it. “Be Holy because I am Holy.” I got to share with them my testimony and encourage them to live their lives Holy like Christ because he calls us to be so. I also got to share with them my favorite verse, Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you, be strong and courageous.” I talked with them about how it was hard to leave my friends and family and my life back in the US but that God commanded of me to be strong and courageous…and to that I had to be faithful! One of the things I was very impressed about in Sunday school was that they took an offering, and EVERY child gave. Right now there is a food shortage and you would think that this children would be “pinching shillings” every chance they got, but they understand that what is theirs is truly from God, so they all gave with a gracious heart! It was truly humbling!

Shortly after my time in Sunday school, the actual church service began. We got to sing and dance again! Too fun! I wish we praised God back home the way that they do here. Every ounce of their body jumps for joy to their savior. It isn’t a fad or an obligation, its their way of showing our Father that they are joyful and praising God. Thinking of all the worries these people have to face on a day-to-day basis, they still love the Lord and praise him for ALL things.

After church we got to share tea with the Elders of their church and their wives. It was interesting, when the Elders would introduce their wives to us, they never said “This is my wife…..” They would just point to them and say “Alfred’s.” Once again another cultural difference I’m learning about the men and woman rolls in the African society. We were able to catch a ride on a tuktuk on the way home. It broke down a mile away from our compound…better to walk a mile then three!

Thank you again for all your constant prayers and encouragement. I pray you are blessed for the ways the Lord has used you to send me to Africa. One thing to remember: as much as the media wants you to think that Africa is a lost cause and forgotten by God, I’m here as a witness to testify against such claims. He is here! His children, His work and His presence are alive and well. He has not turned His back on Africa. Each day, all over Africa, tribes and tongues are bowing in reverence to our Savior.

3 comments:

Kurt Helfrich said...

Amazing post Kate. I'm so encouraged to hear what God is doing over there through those He has called to the African lands!
You have a knack for telling the story like it is - I'll be praying God continues to use you as His voice to testify to all the amazing works He's accomplishing over there. Keep posting, and we're looking forward to these amazing pictures!

Deshua said...

Hey Kate...glad to see that you were able to get a picture on your site. It's sooooooo good to see you. Loved your last e-mail and hearing about all of your connections. Sounds like you are surrounded with great people. Love it! Love you! Mom

openduringrenovations said...

Kate! This is so great. You remind me of the hope and peace we have! Praying for you!

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