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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.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Kaabong, Karamoja

 For the first time last week, I was able to travel deep into Karamoja for 3 nights, to lead a two day training for OneHope.... in children's ministry.  I had an old connection with a Pentecostal pastor in the north and he wanted me to come and train his church leaders... so we made that happen.
 I was amazed at the beauty of the land and the farming methods of the Karamojong people.
 Thankfully we brought rains with us... it was the first time in weeks that in rained again, so the people were happy when we arrived.
 After living in a flat savanna, I just kept praising God for the glory He reveals in His creation.
 The people are stunning, tall, and still tradition.
 Here is one young man who wanted his photo taken... but sadly he was a drunkard, like many others that I met walking the streets of Kaabong.
The training went well.  There were 39 participants and I pray that they will put the new curriculum to good use in their schools and churches.
This group particularly loved games and puzzles and even stayed extra long in the evenings to learn new games and crowd pleasing activities.
 Four of us were going to camp, but because of so much rain, we ended up pitching our tents inside the church.  Which might have been safer too... but there were still thieves.  One pastor had his bicycle stolen, and my training Bible was taken during the night (possibly for trainees who were also sleeping in the church).
 "Have you ever seen a Penguin in the sea?!"
 Setting the program with Teddy.
 Since the man whose bicycle was stolen lives 80km away, we decided to drive him home on the fourth day and do a morning game drive in Kidepo.  A bucket list item!!
 Praising God for the hills, roads, and people!
 We drove through this national park for 3 hours... and were so close to South Sudan.
 Cape Buffalo
 My favourite African animal
 In love!
 I think God was smiling a lot on the day when he made the creatures that walk along the earth.