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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Army worms, eyes, and little children

The other day I helped carry cabbage to my neighbour's piggery (it helps to learn to do these projects together) and we checked out the maize field.
 My heart broke as the whole field is devastated - like so many other corn crops that have been planted this season. Not only was there drought, but now the staple food is being attacked by a crazy, uncontrollable pest.  
 Look at that thing... it even looks alien!!
 Lord, please rescue our people and save our crops.
 On Friday I took my name sake - Karen Joy to the St. Benedictine Eye Hospital in Tororo.  I was very impressed by the gardens and the service at the hospital.  And joy was such a trooper.
 Joy was happy the whole day!  And she was able to see trains, Mt. Elgon, the Kenyan border, and try Indian food too.
I loved it when the trays of eyes came out, what a fun way to pick out a new prosthetic eye.
On Monday I led Africa Child Day at a nursery school.  I have never worked with such a young group for so long before, but we had a great time together!!  I told many stories and acted out dramas.  We sang songs, coloured, played games, and had a blast.  Thank you Lord for the African Child!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Medical works

This cow swallowed a plastic bag.  I helped the vet by pouring 1/2 litre of cooking oil into the bull's mouth, to help the plastic digest or disolve.  A new method for me.
 Mzee's bones have come together, but he finds the rebuilding of his muscles too painful, so he crawls around at home a lot.  So sad to see.  I wish there was a massage therapist and a few motivational people around him.
 My good friend Tereza was in a motorcycle accident yesterday.  I have been taking her for late evening and early morning injections, and having her face re-bandaged after needing stitches.  I praise God she is alive.  

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Just another day...

I had fun today.
 I bought a kitten from the street boys for 500 shillings (20 cents).  They were hungry and wanted me to buy them a chapati to eat, or I could buy a kitten.  They had three healthy kittens in a box and I ended up buying two of them.  One for me and one for another lady who thought they were adorable too.  So, now the boys can still go and get some food to eat.  :)  But what do I name this little treasure?
 I delivered some food to friends in need.  Together we lamented over the caterpillars that are destroying the maize crops here.
 Teaching Religious Education to a bunch of P1 students is always an adventure.  I had to compete with the noise from the next classroom, but I think the kids got it!  We need to give our offerings to God with joy and thanksgiving in our hearts.
 We can worship God in song...
 We can offer Him our gifts and talents...
 Or the fruits of our labour / garden / farm.
 I am so grateful for this OneHope curriculum.
I spent the evening with Joy... do you remember the little girl who I was with in 2012 while she went through chemotherapy for retinal blastoma.  Well, she is healthy now and having fun playing with the toys in my house.  Except, she needs a new eye - a bigger one - so I may be traveling with her next week to see what fits.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Ladies Fellowship and a Malaria test

Sundays are becoming a full day for ladies fellowship and discipleship Bible study.  In the morning I went to be with Tereza as she led worship in her church, then a few came over to begin cooking.
 We wanted to have a day to appreciate one another, but the girls also wanted to welcome me back from Kenya.
 We shared a delicious meal together
 Lots of laughter and conversation
 And a good time in His Word.  We finished a series on the Sermon on the Mount... this week's theme was Matthew 7 "Do not Judge".  Very insightful and meaningful sharing.
 We also celebrated Jesca's birthday!!  I always love to bake a cake for someone!
 In the evening a friend came over for a malaria test.  He was scared of a tiny poke. :)
After testing positive for 3+ malaria, it was off to the pharmacy for treatment.  He is now doing much better!!
All in a day's work.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Finding Delight in Dukana

I really felt that the Lord was leading me to go and spend a few weeks in Northern Kenya - to rest, pray, fellowship, serve, and encourage friends.  I am so glad that I came to be with great peeps - Rachel and Eddie Andersen.
 We spent many hours driving in their new Land Rover... a gift from God really, for them to do ministry in such a remote place.  This vehicle was fully loaded for the trip north - mechanical parts, supplies for the house, a month's supply of food, homeschooling materials, and more.
 It took us two days to drive to Dukana - on paved roads
 Desert roads... and crazy rocky roads.  Thankfully we had smooth travels.  (Well, maybe not smooth - I was quite itchy from the rocky roads... but smooth as in we had no car problems!!)
 Day after day, the local people would knock on the door and request food or work for food because the drought has been so severe in the north.  Often rice or flour or beans were gifted to neighbours.
 The local nomadic people live in these round stick huts.
 Sunday attire!
 I could often see left over carcasses from the drought and it broke my heart.  The people tried for a long time to burn as many piles as possible in order to save the ground water supply.
 I helped Eddie with writing out 71 Baptism certificates and Communion cards.  I desired to serve in any way possible.
 After checking on the town and home wells, Eddie let me drive home.
A '73 Series 3 Land Rover 
 Every day I was amazed at how God revealed His glory in the sunsets and sunrises.
 Here is moving day for one family.
 Water is low, the wells are dry, so Eddie had to become very creative in providing water for the family and community.
 His promises are new every day!
 One day we butchered 3 goats to put some meat in the solar power freezer... we made a lot of sausage and a little liver pate. 
 Friday's was distribution day - Around 35 families a week were assisted sugar, beans, rice, flour, oil, and milk powder.
 Rachel was such an encouragement to me as well.  Her incredible giving spirit, her yummy food, her ability to speak in Gabbra or Swahili, her home-schooling capabilities, and her love for the Lord were just a refreshment for me.  I am so glad that I could reunite with my college roomie and see how God is using her family in Dukana. 
 Crowds came to watch the radio station container arrive in Dukana.
 Children always bring joy... but my prayer is that the new radio station will bring God's Good News to the Gabbra, Rendille, Samburu, and many other tribes.  May the people find true joy in God's Word, song, and grace.
 I wished I knew the local language - I would have tried to do more with the kids.
 Thank you Lord!
 A radio crew came to set up the new station, and a few of the guys slept just outside my spare room. :)
 "Bringing in the Sheaves" 
 After recovering from what was most likely a bout of cholera, I tried to paint a few closets and rooms in the Andersen's newly built home.
 After 10 days of delays the "hangman" arrived from Nairobi so that the crew could put up the transmitter tower.
 6 pieces went up
 Excitement for everyone!
 Lifting the hangman to insert another tower element.
I loved getting to know the Andersen kids better... living in such a remote place, I was glad to offer a hug, story, game, or two.
 We were 20 km south of the Ethiopian border.
 An hour from Dukana, we were invited for camel milk chai and "sour yogurt" at a private village. 
 A true cultural blessing
While traveling down country yesterday, we decided to stop at the Ethiopian border for a pic.  And now I am back to wearing sweaters and socks and seeing what the Lord has next.