Monday, July 5, 2010

Celebration in Africa

Greetings from wintry Nairobi! The rooster that cheerily wakes us up every morning seems to be the only one not affected by the chilly air that we’ve experienced while here. The Kenyans have been walking around in scarves, hats, and jackets in this chilling, frigid, 50 degree weather. *smile* In spite of the rather brisk evening outside, however, we still enjoyed ice cream sundaes provided by our gracious hosts (the Morads) in honor of our last evening in Kenya.

This past Lord’s Day, we were reminded of some of the universal truths that transcend the thousands of miles between us and the places we call home as we celebrated a few special things along with the people back home.

WORSHIP: I have never ceased to be amazed at how beautifully and uniquely people can worship our God from the heart, regardless of the country. Today was no exception as we worshipped at a local Kenyan Presbyterian Church and were warmly welcomed by new brothers and sisters. In the afternoon, while our small team (Laurie, Beth, and the Wards) spent time in prayer and worship, I was thinking about how my family and friends would be heading to their own houses of worship in a few hour--and how beautiful it must be for God to look down and see people from every tribe and nation lifting their voices to Him. What a GLORIOUS thing heaven will be, when we are ALL together in one place, finally able to worship purely and completely!

FREEDOM: While many of you back home were enjoying picnics and fireworks for the 4th of July, we were having our own celebration—not just for Independence Day but also for Canada Day (July 1st) that the Wards had not celebrated yet! Samuel and Zakari made country flags, and we celebrated by singing our respective national anthems, enjoying a smorgasbord dinner, and sharing things that we are grateful for in our countries. Despite the good-natured Canadian and American rivalry here (lol), we are truly grateful for the way God has blessed our countries and the freedoms that we have. And we admit that despite our American blood, Laurie and I have caught ourselves saying “eh?” several times already.


Today (Monday) has been a packing day, as we all gear up to fly to the Sudan early tomorrow morning. The kids have been telling us about all the fun things they do back at “home” and we are excited to be joining and learning from them. We are also looking forward to meeting Daniel, Natalie, and little Samuel Faris – the family who is already on the field. As we have anticipated our departure date, we have been spending much time in prayer together, and we are so grateful for you all joining us in lifting this before our Savior’s throne. Please pray that:

Our 8 hr charter flight (with 2 stops included) will go without incident—and that no one will get plane sick!

God will grant us the flexibility, grace, and joy needed for the interesting changes ahead as we adjust to a new culture and ministry

God will continue to grant wisdom and strength to Vince and Julie as they lead the team and settle back into their ministry responsibilities

Good health for each of us daily

Thank you for the encouraging emails and prayers that we have already received. May God continue to bless each of you with His strength and grace for the ministry set before you, knowing that we are all co-laborers in His Kingdom! We love you all and look forward to sharing more of God’s grace with you in the future.

Beth & Laurie

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