Sunday, December 16, 2007

Safe Arrival

I arrived safely in Nairobi. My flight was late and I was later still meeting Juli as I waited for my luggage to come down the conveyor belt. As I stood there, I realized how ill-prepared I was if anything were to go wrong. I prayed that both my suitcase would arrive and that Juli would be there to meet me. I also prayed that if either of these things didn’t happen, that my attitude and actions would glorify God. I’m so grateful that He didn’t test my faithfulness to that prayer. Both of my concerns were quickly resolved and I was grateful not to have to figure out how to use the Nairobian public phone system or how to file a claim for lost luggage.

We stayed in a guesthouse the first night here. It’s somewhat like a bed and breakfast for missionaries who are travelling through Nairobi. The first thing that struck me was the sturdiness of the gate outside of the house. In California, gates are for privacy. Here, you could tell that the gate was for security. I can’t have recalled ever seeing such a thick gate, atop of which barb wire was strategically placed. We waited until the gate’s sensors admitted us and we were immediately greeted by two of the staff. After a good night sleep underneath a mosquito net, we had breakfast with the other guests. I met an American girl of eleven who had lived in Africa (both Tanzania and Kenya) for the better part of her life. Also in the room were several other missionary families and their guests. Its amazing how the body of Christ has immediate commonality across national borders and language barriers. I know that God will bring these individuals to mind in days ahead and I consider it a privilege to be able to pray for them by name.

Next on the itinerary will be a one-hour flight to Eldoret and then an approximate one-hour drive to Kipkarren where I will be spending the majority of my time here. In the week before I arrived, there was a wedding in the community that was attended by one thousand people. Juli’s house is being used by some guests, so we will be staying at David’s house the first night. David runs the orphanage for ELI and it was his nephew that was married. David has actually adopted this nephew as a son which happens in a culture built upon community. I had the privilege of meeting David this past spring when he came to a visit to the States. He knew me as the girl who calls Juli at dinner time. (Apparently, I’m the only one of Juli’s correspondence who gets up early enough to interrupt her dinner.) David is a man whose heart is bent towards God, a humble man filled with wisdom. I look forward to seeing him again and to experience the place that Juli calls home.



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