I'm so glad you found us! We love to share our story of what the Lord is doing in and through our ministry in Kenya. If you are a reader, please click the link on the right-hand side and "Follow Along!" And stop back by anytime! Karibu sana!

Monday, December 31, 2007

Kenyan Election Results - PLEASE PRAY FOR KENYA!!!!

Delays in announcing a winner in the presidential election in Kenya led to many uprisings. The actual announcement has led to even more. Incumbent Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner, although his opponent, Raila Odinga, had been ahead in the polls and the preliminary vote tallies. There are many allegations that the votes have been rigged. Raila has called for a recount, but it has not been granted. As a result of all combined, riots continue and there is widespread violence, particularly among tribal lines.

The announcement of the election result was read by Mr. Kivuitu on a single local station, while all other media were expelled from the voting headquarters. All live broadcasts have been banned, as ordered by the current government.

The riots that you are seeing on the internet, tv, etc are from heavily populated areas, mostly slums. So, for my parents, grandparents, and any other people who may worry about my going...I don't live there. But, at this point, all people are advised to just stay at home and wait for things to die down.

Please be praying for the people of Kenya. Pray that the Spirit of God would be over the entire country and that all would be resolved quickly and peacefully. As He is the ultimate Shield and Protector, may the people of Kenya call on Him now. May He work in the hearts of all those involved and lead the county into a fair, safe and peaceful new year.

Here are some more links to details that explain it all better than I can!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Urgent Prayer for Kenya!

Please pray for peace in the country of Kenya! Pray also for fair election results. Elections took place this past Thursday. Results are still not final and allegations of unfair reporting of votes is causing major disruption around the country. The people are very anxious and tentions are rising. Riots have begun and violence is breaking out. The majority of the clashes are between the Luo and Kikuyu tribes. Please pray for all the people of Kenya, people of all tribes who, for years, have lived together in peace...until this week.

I have heard from quite a few friends there now. All are safe. Only one I know of is trapped in a tense situation. He is currently in the room where results are scheduled to be announced and is in a lock-down situation, unable to leave the room.

Continue to pray for Mr. Kivuitu. (I wrote about him on Fri. Dec. 21st.) He is under a great deal of stress, but is safe at this time. Pray also for his family (my Kenyan family). They are all safe at home right now.

You can read about the current situation at...

Tag loves Christmas, too!

Where's Tag???

Dot... she doesn't like the excitement so much.

Christmas in West Texas...Shotguns, Baby Goats & Funky Pajamas

I love Christmas! Don't you?

Yeah...guns. I didn't get one. I guess my dad figured I would appreciate James Avery earrings a little more. (Good guess, Dad!) But, Kris and Carrot (my best friend & sister-in-law) LOVE their new guns Dad gave them for Christmas! A Texas thing...girls and guns. And, of course we had to go out to Kenan & Carrot's place to try them out Christmas morning!

...a few little tips

Kris hit every clay pigeon she shot at...when Kenan put them in a mesquite bush!

More fun at Kenan & Carrot's place...

And what Christmas is complete without new pj's at Grandma's house??

Friday, December 21, 2007

Politics in Kenya

Politics in Kenya is serious business. People in America may "talk politics," but it's a whole different thing in Kenya. They take it seriously! But, sadly, politics is very corrupt. Corruption is rampant anytime, but elections bring it all out. If you think election news dominates our headlines when election time draws near, it is nothing compared to Kenya! That's all people talk about!

Kenyan presidential elections are Thursday, December 27th. This is a dangerous time in Kenya. There are many riots, beatings, killings, etc. Please pray for the safety of all, particularly those in any form of government.

If you've read my blog much at all, you've read about my "Kenyan family." That's what I call them. They are family! (Little Timmy is the sweet one in thr picture on the top left.) This is who I live with when I am there, the Mayoli/Kivuitu family. It's a huge family, but I live with Mutua & Tina, Sammy & Timmy, and Musila the househelp. (You can see Tina & Mutua in the October Archives - Mzungu or Kenyan?) Mutua's dad, Samuel Kivuitu, is a Senior Member of Parliament, in charge of the entire electoral commission in Kenya. He is one of the few true, honest politicians in Kenya. He is well-known for that. He is the exception, but is greatly respected in the country. Elections are his "baby." So, you can imagine the intense pressure he is under at this time. He is surrounded by body guards at all times. He is a man of God, trying passionately to do what is best for his country. At this crazy time, please pray for his safety.

This photo was on the Internet on today's Kenyan newspaper online, The Standard. (http://www.eastandard.net/) Pray for Mr. Kivuitu. Pray also that the Lord would bring the right man into the presidency, someone who is right and true and who cares for the well-being of the Kenyan people.
The caption reads: ECK chairman, Mr Samuel Kivuitu, who was meeting representatives of political parties at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre in Nairobi, ponders the great task ahead of him.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

On the road again...

and, oh, how I CAN wait to get on the road again!! I'm driving back to Midland again today! :-( Not sad to be going back, but dreading the drive. But Dot and Tag are worth it. I couldn't bear to leave them at home that long. And Kris is flying when she comes on Christmas Eve, so....another drive. Please pray for safe travels.

And while you're praying...my new computer is having issues. I lost files. (I know...the flash drive was IN the USB port and I still hadn't saved to it. Yes, my mistake. Very irresponsible. I know.) But, pray that I can take it in and can fix and find everything. And that it won't be costly!!!!!

And while you're still praying...continue to pray for vision as God lays out His plans for me. I am VERY excited about several ministries I can be a part of! My passion for young women is definitely a God-given passion. It has given me new meaning of God giving us the desires of our hearts. I have never been drawn to women's ministry here in the States, but it is captivating my heart and mind for going back to Kenya! Check out these sites if you have a chance. They are ministries through the church I attend in Nairobi. I have been talking with their directors about mentoring and discipleship groups.

Beacon of Hope - www.beaconafrica.org
TULIP - www.tulipnairobi.org

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Shed

I'm so glad to be a part of the Shed! Over the years, it has grown (in many ways), changed, multiplied, split (yes, I know we're not supposed to use that word, but I like it...that's what happens when things grow so big...they expand then split!), and many lives have been touched through the Shed.

At different times over the past six years - YES, I've been in the Shed for 6 years! - I have contemplated changing classes, just for the sake of change. For some reason, I'm always drawn to stay. It's home. It's mine.

I've been reminded over the past few weeks why I love it so and why I'm proud to be a part of the Shed. The Shed touches lives. Many. Unfortunately, we don't always realize how many - and how deeply. I've been touched by the Shed as I have seen how it has touched others. In Rachel Parker's wedding program, she testified of how the Shed, and relationships made through it, have impacted her life. Wendel Short's family voiced the same. What a blessing to see how the class came together in such a difficult time. Not just the fun, easy times - the times it needs to, regardless of circumstances. It pulls together to meet needs, to pray, to encourage, to love, to remind of God's grace and faithfulness. That's what family does. The Shed is a family. And I'm happy to be a part of it.

(FYI...for those of you who don't know...the Shed is my Sunday school class at Houston's First Baptist.)

Proof of a changing Shed...the only group picture I have, from Spring Retreat '04, I think. Wow...now Real Deal,
The Life, married, gone...

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Too Early to Pack???

I hope not...I've already started! It is beginning to feel real. I packed my first Action Packer (thank you, Aimee Wilson!) last week in Midland. It's full of all the stuff I don't want to buy in Kenya. Things like medicine, hygiene, office supplies. Most everything like that can be found there, but is VERY expensive and not very good. So, I'm going prepared....with things from my favorite toothpaste to favorite pens! :-)

Here's some of what is packed so far...

Bibles-gifts for new Christian friends, notepads, Post-Its, Band-Aids, coughdrops, straws (what a luxury!), make-up, toothpaste, contact solution, Bert's Bees, baby powder, shampoo, sewing kit, sharp scissors, Scotch tape...
...and all under 50 lbs!!!!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!!

It was in the 80's two days ago! Today is SNOW!!! That's in Midland, of course...not Houston.

These are my cousins, Brady, Kaitlyn, and Lauren. We had a blast playing in the snow at Gran's house today!

I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful Thanksgiving. Know that I am so very thankful for all the wonderful friends and family I have been blessed with! May each of you experience the fulness of God's blessings in your life during this amazing season.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Flight Confirmed!

It's real! I'm really going to Kenya!

I'm trying a different itenerary this time. I've done both of the other iteneraries that are generally the options from Houston. Going British Airways, the Houston-Nairobi options are usually:
(a) a 8+ hour layover at London Heathrow (which was fine with a group, but no so fine trying to stay awake and alert in an airport alone for that long), or
(b) a 3 hour layover INCLUDING airport transfer from London Gatwick to London Heathrow (which is possible, but may be pushing it to get through customs and onto a transfer bus alone with a carryon, a big suitcase and three shipping containers...all of which will be packed to the max weight limit!

So, I am opting for trying a connection in Chicago. The time spend doing that will get me to London later, and I will not have to wait at the airport for so long. I would much rather be moving and trying to make an extra connection in Chicago than just sitting in London! And, this connection will not be in another country, so I won't have to go through customs. Yea!

I leave on Janurary 28th.

Swahili Time

The best friend in the whole world got me the best Christmas present...early! Kris bought me the Rosetta Stone Swahili program and it came in the mail. I've already installed it and started practicing! It is a very cool program. I feel like my PPCD and speech students when I use it! It teaches exactly the way we teach our children with communication delays.

The little Swahili that I did learn while in Kenya were basic communication phrases. Learning language through this program is very different. It uses pictures and vocabulary to build communication, rather than direct translation for specific phrases. It's very fun! There's even a voice recorder. It records your voice, then shows the sound wave-lengths for you recording and the native speaker's recording to see how closely they match. Very cool stuff.

So, what am I doing while I am home in Midland? Learning Swahili! Oh, I will so much more to learn, but this will be a great head-start. My friend, Shem, will help me get the language tutor when I get to Kenya. Exciting times!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Goodbye First Steps!

Today was my last day teaching 4 yr olds at First Steps in Katy. Although I'm not leaving for another two months, I need to be using this time working hard to raise support, and the drive back and forth from Midland is getting old. I've heard people talk about how hard it is, and I'm beginning to understand! I still have so far to go!

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time there. It has been so fun to just teach....no mounds of paperwork, no benchmark testing, no formal assessments, no leveled inventories....just teaching! And guess what...I still knew my kids! I knew where they were, what they knew, their strengths, their weaknesses, and how to guide teaching to best meet their needs! What an amazing concept! Just teach. Of course, the highlight was getting to know and love these kids. It was a pleasure to spend time with them. They have some awesome parents, too!

So, Miss Trena's Class (now Mrs. Lisa's Class)....I will miss you! I'll be back to visit and speak in chapel on December 11th!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What a great way to start the day!

I went to the Georlich's house for the first time as part of the Quad Squad this morning. I was on the 6am team! What a great start to the day...holding the tiny babies! They are two months old now. Noah came home from the hospital on Friday. So, their family is now complete at home, and the Quad Squad is staffed for feeding rotations. This morning, I had Cohen...the big guy, coming in at a whopping 10lbs! He is significantly bigger than all the rest. Before I left, I did get a little time with the other boys. I went from there to Wal-Mart to get my oil changed and tires rotated, and I could still smell baby on me! :-) What a sweet start to the day!!
Check out their blog at http://www.texasquadruplets.blogspot.com/


Kris and I met my parents in Kerrville last weekend. We went "camping." Is it really camping when you have a fifth-wheel with a shower, microwave, full kitchen, and larger TVs and more sitting space than I had in my first apartment? But, Kris, in all her Kris-ness insisted on staying in a tent! She and Dad put it up in the dark. And, Dad did do all the cooking over the fire in his dutch ovens! It was GOOD! Kenan and Carrot even came to meet us on Sunday! Fun times!

The dogs went, too! They did GREAT! They didn't bark or disturb neighbors. They even got used to deer walking around! Yes, I'm a proud dog parent. :-)

Friday, November 2, 2007


I was blessed tremendously by the incredible response of wonderful friends who came to support me and my family in a time of sharing and prayer in Midland last week. I also had the privilage of sharing my God-story with several classes at First Baptist Church of Midland. There are so many wonderful people there who are amazing prayer warriors! I love getting to meet people and put faces with those my parents talk about! Not only do they support me in prayer, but they are a HUGE support for my parents!

I was also blessed to have the opportunity to return to First Baptist Church of Jal, NM. What a welcoming place! I was able to update them on some the great works the Lord has been doing in my life, how He blessed my time in Kenya this summer, and my plans for the future. This group has also been a great support to me in the past few months, as well...prayers, contribution, and a bake sale!! Thank you, First Baptist of Jal!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tag Goes to School

(and Dot does too) It's been a long time, but he remembered the fun he used to have with the kids! Tag was a Pet Therapy dog in Abilene, so he enjoyed it very much. Dot, on the other hand, needed to keep her distance.

Since I was leaving for Midland right after teaching at my two-day-a-week preschool job in Katy, I took them with me. But that meant the poor babies had to be in the car all day. Praise God for the cold front!! It just so happened that the toddler class was doing a "Family and Pets" unit! What fun! Some of those little guys were so cute...not at all afraid of an 80 lb lab! Of course, I took my class out to play, too. It was a fun day....before the eight hour drive to Midland!!

Monday, October 15, 2007


Thanks to all of you who have been asking about my trip to Richmond, VA. It was an incredible experience! I had a wonderful time, overwhelming, but wonderful!
In the end, I chose to leave with no IMB position. My prayer was for God to open up a job for me in Kenya, or change my heart and give me a passion for another place or people group. I could have prayed that prayer while sitting at home, but it was something entirely different to have such an opportunity to actively explore other options. I spent hours and hours praying, researching and learning about jobs all over the world. I was able to talk to field personnel on the ground about specific jobs. There were so many jobs that sounded just wonderful! There were jobs all over the world…in amazing places, doing amazing things! Again, it was an incredible experience.
Through all of that, my heart was still pulled toward Kenya. Nothing else gave me the peace in my heart that I felt when considering options in Kenya.
One morning while there I was looking for a scripture I had written in my journal. I came across something I had written/prayed in early September. I remember having two very distinct feelings at one point: peace and disappointment. I knew that God would reveal His plan for me and provide for my needs. Yet, I felt a tinge of disappointment. I kept reliving the feeling of disappointment I had felt when I realized the MK Consultant job I had wanted was not a possibility. I asked God to give me discernment: was this coming from Him, preparing for disappointment that I would feel, or was this a distraction from Satan as he tried to cast doubt?
My prayer was this…
“May I leave Virginia in Your peace, knowing that whatever You have shown me is in accordance with Your good, pleasing, and perfect will. Whether it be going with the IMB or not, may it all be to Your glory and praise. May Your peace be what guards my heart and mind in Christ Jesus. As I pray and submit my requests and concerns to You, let me not be anxious or allow Satan to create worry or doubt. Let Your peace rule in my heart. Disappointment is different than doubt. I can leave Richmond disappointed that You have not given me a job, but I will not leave in doubt. I will not doubt Your Sovereignty, Supremacy, or call on my life.”
Prayer answered!! I am more certain than ever of God’s call on my life. I will most likely not be serving with the IMB, but I am still certain that God has called me to serve. I have started working on that whole process and will update later on where I am headed from here.
Thanks so much for all your prayers and support!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Why Kenya? (a long one, but worth reading)

As I was praying during my quiet time this morning, I was once again overwhelmed with love for Kenya and the desire to serve Kenyans. I have said that before, and anyone I talk to knows that I do love that place and those people, but I don't know that I have said exactly why I do. And, that is my prayer for this week, going into IMB Matching Conference...that my passion would be evident and I would be able to express that clearly.

Kenya is considered a "reached" nation, meaning that the IMB presence is established there, the Word of Jesus has been preached, and many churches have been established in many, many villages across the country. At this point, the ministry of the church is largely being handed over to Kenyan nationals. Praise God! That's the point, exactly what should happen! Let the Word of God be brought to the peoples and let the work of the Lord be instilled into the believers of that land!

Up to 80% of Kenyans profess to be Christians, but only about 6% attend church. As I talked to many, I found that the concept of a personal relationship with Jesus was almost a foreign concept to them! They have heard the name of Jesus, they come from homes that have heard the Gospel, yet few truly know the Lord.

It is my passion and desire to build relationships with these people and help them to realize that the same God they have heard of is the same God who knows and loves them intimately and individually! I want them to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ! They are in such desperate need of a Saviour. My prayer is that this country of "reached" people would be enlightened to the Truth of Jesus and be drawn into a relationship with the LOVING, LIVING GOD who knows them and desires to be their daily HOPE in the midst of the great trials, suffering, and pain of their daily lives!

Nairobi is a sort of hub city...very Westernized. It is not the "real Kenya," but is full of real Kenyans. It is a great place to meet people from every tribe, from all over the county...from all of Africa, in fact. Many, many people who live and work in the city, travel home to their village on a regular basis, many doing so every weekend. Wouldn't it be awesome to be a part of reaching people in a new way that stretches into villages around the whole country, or even the continent of Africa?!!!

All that being said, my point was to share the reason behind my passion for Kenya. (And, much of this is so true of America, as well!) God has given me this love for a reason. I don't yet know what that is.

In the same manner, my prayer is still that I be open to wherever the Lord leads me! As much as I love Kenya, I know that He can give me a love for another people group if He calls me elsewhere. Please pray with me this week that I would be open to His leading. I pray that my heart for Kenya would be evident to those I talk with, but that my desire to serve the Lord and love others would be evident above all! I do not want to take a job just to take it. And I don't want to reject a job God has created for me just because it is not where I want to be. May I unmistakably experience the words of Isaiah 30:21: "Whether you turn to the right or to the left, you hear will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; Walk in it.'"

And, I pray the same for each of you. May we ALWAYS have a passion for all people around us to know our Living God. I become so focussed on people elsewhere that I do not see that same need in those all around me...and it is there!! May our eyes be opened to those in our paths all day long that need to know Jesus as their Hope and Saviour, as well!

Mzungu or Kenyan?

Tina and Mutua came to Houston!! (They are the couple I lived with this summer...my "Kenyan family.") They brought me a special shirt. Since they couldn't find a shirt that said, "I'm really Kenyan" or "I'm Kamba" (the name of their tribe), they had to settle for "Mzungu." (White person!)
One day while I was there, Derek (their nephew, Dee's son) said something about me being a mzungu. Noshi, his younger brother, got quite upset! "She's Auntie Trena! She's NOT a mzungu!" Maybe he'll believe it if he sees it in writing. I miss those little guys!

While they were here, Tina taught me how to tie my hair in a Kenyan wrap. Lots of fun! This is Susan, Tina's sister, with us. Their coming was a surprise to her. Great fun and tricky scheduling to pull that surprise off!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

So, what are you doing now?

That’s a question I have heard so many times over the past few weeks! Yes, I did go to Kenya. Yes, I am back. And, yes, I plan to return to Africa (as the Lord wills)!

What I am doing now? I am teaching preschool two days a week in Katy, subbing occasionally, and spending a lot of time studying!

What is next? Glad you asked….because I covet your prayers!! I am going to Richmond, Virginia on TUESDAY (Oct. 2nd) for the IMB Matching Conference. That is the time where I will possibly be matched with a specific job with the IMB (International Mission Board of the Baptist Convention). It is still my prayer that the Lord will provide me with a job in Kenya, although there are no qualifying jobs on the official board at this time. If it is His will for me to be there working with the IMB, He can do amazing things and work out all of the details. Regardless, I pray that I will be open to His will above my own selfish desires!

So here is my prayer request: that the Lord clearly show me His plan for me in this season. I pray that my eyes will be open to where HE is leading, and that if He wants me to serve somewhere other than Kenya, that He will give me a desire and a calling for wherever He is leading. I claim Isaiah 30:21: “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” May I clearly hear His voice above all else.

If it is not the Lord’s will for me to serve with the IMB, I pray that He make that abundantly clear to me, as well. I know that He will guide and protect me in all circumstances, as I submit my will to His.

Thank you to so many of you who have been asking about me, and to those who have been faithful to pray! It has meant more to me than you’ll ever know! I could certainly use your prayers in the next week and a half!!!

In addition to the Philippians 1:6 verse that I posted about earlier this week, these are a few verses I am praying and claiming now… (I may have posted some of them at other times in the past few weeks.)

“The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me me; Your love, O Lord, endures forever – do not abandon the works of your hands.” (Psalm 138:8)

“Many are the plans in man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21)

“With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of His calling, and that by His power He may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (II Thessalonians 1:11-12)

“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you may abound in every good work.” (II Corinthians 9:8)

“May the God of peace…equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.” (Hebrews 13:21)

Monday, September 24, 2007


it may not have the most beautiful beaches, but it's still fun!

and it has beautiful sunsets and sunrises!

Philippians 1:6

Kris and her mom and I spent this weekend in Galveston. I had a wonderful time with the Lord, sitting in His presence and basking in awe of His creation, enjoying His handiwork that He so freely displays! From sunrise to sunset, He shows Himself to us through the beauty of the earth.

I love when God reminds me of a favorite verse and brings it to life with a whole new refreshment of His promising Word! This weekend God reminded me of Philippians 1:6. “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” How wonderful! He is not finished with me, and He will not abandon the works of His hands! (Psalm 138:8) Isn’t it great to know that wherever we are in life, God’s work in us is not complete…but He IS working – working in us, through us, and around us! A verse that we may say so often, but sometimes fail to realize its great and eternal promise!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Another update!! If you read this blog in July, you might remember me naming three people who the Lord had laid on my heart: Daniel, Mwengela, and Tom. Well...

I received a text message from Mwengela today..."HeyTrena. Habari gani? We r fine here in Kenya. At last I am SAVED! Asante for telling. When r you coming back? We miss u. Lala salama. From Baba Sharon. (Brother Musila)"

(Habari gani? - How are things?)
(Asante - thanks)
(Lala salama - sleep well, or goodnight)
(Baba Sharon - Sharon's dad)

Praise the LORD!! Isn't God AMAZING?!? This was a long time in the works; seeds planted and watered by many. I thank God for allowing me to be a part of it, and to see the positive outcome! Mwengela's brother is Musila, my friend who works for Tina & Mutua. Musila has been wanting Mwengela "to come to be a Christian" for so long! It was so sweet and refreshing to hear Musila's passion for his brother! I know he is rejoicing as well.

God continues to work in the lives of Kenyans. As for Daniel, read below. As for Tom, please continue to pray and believe in God's restoration for him.

Monday, September 10, 2007


An update on Daniel. He is the Maasai guy that Judy and I witnessed to and prayed with in the Maasai Mara. He came up to me while I was reading my Bible and journaling one day. He asked if that was a Bible I was reading and what I was writing about. God totally opened that door wide open! I began to share with him that I was reading about God's amazing creation and how He allows us to worship Him as we enjoy what He has created. I asked if He believed in God, which he did. I asked if he knew Jesus, to which he replied, "I'm not supposed to. I'm Maasai." (Maasai believe in God, but not Jesus.) I could tell that seeds had been planted and he was open. As it turns out, we learned that seeds had been planted by one of his own...a Maasai who also worked at the resort, named Joseph.

Judy and I continued to talk with Daniel. Judy also became good friends with Grace, another Believer who works there. Grace found a Bible for Daniel. (He asked for one!) We shared it with him and prayed with him. Over the next few days, Judy and I met with Daniel, Joseph and Grace. As Daniel continues to grow in his faith, he already has a framework of support in Believers who are there to disciple him!

As we were leaving, we were concerned about Daniel's decision. Did he really know and understand what he had prayed? Well, I believe he wants to know. To the best of his understanding at this point, he did.

Since we left, I have talked to Daniel several times. He calls and/or texts me every couple of days. He last told me that he is meeting with Joseph and Joseph is teaching him "more about Jesus and the new Bible." (New Testament) And, Grace has emailed positive comments to Judy. I am trusting that God is continuing to do a work in Daniel. He is hungry. I do believe that he is truly seeking the Truth.
(This is Daniel listening to Beth Moore on an IPOD!!!)

Many people in Africa tend to grab on to Americans in hopes of getting something out of them...money, a trip to America, whatever. That does not at all seem to be the case with Daniel! Believe me, I do have contacts still communicating with me for other reasons and alterior motives! I ask that you please pray for Daniel....and for all the people all over the world who are introduced to Christ through short-term missionaries. Pray that the Lord will place people in their paths to foster, disciple and encourage them in their new found knowledge of God's saving grace through Christ!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Bread Crumbs

That's what Kris calls them. As I am here, waiting on the Lord, He continues to show Himself to me and remind me that He has a plan for me. Just when I need one, He drops a bread crumb in front of me.

Back in April, when I first felt permission for God to go forward in pursuing full-time missionary service, He spoke to me through Isaiah 30:21, saying, "Whether you turn to the right or to the left, you will hear a voice in your ear saying, 'This is the way, walk in it.'" I have continued to claim that verse at each cross-roads I experience.

I think God continues to speak as that voice in my ear through the "little things," the bread crumbs in my path. Last week, just as I was thanking Him for meeting my personal needs of friendship and social support while in Kenya this summer, and praying that He would continue to bless and cultivate those relationship, I checked my email and had FOUR emails from Kenyan friends, and these were not the regular people that I correspond with.

Then, I sent some pictures to CVS to be developed. When I went to pick them up, I heard the photo guy talking to customer in an African accent. It sounded just like a Kenyan accent!! But, I didn't want to be the stereotypical American and assume it was, so I wasn't going to say anything. But, as I stepped up and told him I needed to pick up pictures, he said, "for Trena." Hmmm. Then, he brought them back and said, "You were in Kenya?" I said, "Yes! Where are you from?" "Nakuru." (a town northwest of Nairobi) What a blessing! I had been considering doing the international student ministry that was introduced in our Sunday school class a few weeks ago, but I think God just gave me one specifically saved for me. He is a student at UofH. He told me about a group of Kenyan friends that get together periodically and said that he would call the next time they do. That was just this weekend, so I will look forward to seeing what kid of doors the Lord opens through this. I have been praying about opportunities to learn more Kiswahili before returning.

On Wednesday, I started the Chronological Bible Storying class at the church. I have heard about the program being used in rural Kenya, Sudan, and Zambia. (It's used all over, but I had heard of it through those places.) Anyway, when I went in, I met (re-met) Peter Swann and another couple (I forgot their names) who all served with the IMB! Peter knew all of the missionaries I knew in Kenya! It was a great encouragement! As we talked about the ISC process and ministry placements, he totally understood my thought processes and desires. Again, another bread crumb of encouragement.

God continues to bless me each and every day. I am now LOVING being at home and enjoying the opportunities He is giving me! I will have to update on that later. This post is too long already! :-)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

As God Works, I continue to be...

frustrated...I could go on forever!

I am so certain of the call He has placed on my life! I am home now. Waiting to go back! Wanting to go back! Wishing I were back! Knowing that I will go back. I am certain that if He has called me, He will make a way and equip me with everything good for doing His will, and will work in me what is pleasing to Him. (Heb. 13:21)

The IMB job at the Education Resource Center was already filled by the time I met with Debbie. She had not been notified until after I left. She wanted me; I wanted to be there. What seemed "perfect" was obviously not the Lord's plan. Disappointment on both parts. Confusion. Yet, He is faithful! He is not going to show me something great and make me settle for less than His best. As perfect as that job seemed, I trust that He has something greater for me. The hard part is waiting and trusting Him for perfect provision. He has a plan, and nothing I can do can cause that to happen, or keep it from happening. He is Sovereign. I must submit to His will and His perfect timing in all things.

"Surely as I have planned, so it will be, and I have purposed, so it will stand." (Isaiah 14:24)
"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." (Prov. 19:21)

Please continue to pray with me that Lord will guide my every step...in His perfect faithfulness.

Now, THAT'S a Relevant Church...from Firstfruits Auctions to Cellphone Charging

Pastor Gregg has been doing a series on the Relevant Church. Obviously, I missed the previous ones, but today's sermon was great. Over the past two months I spent some time in the Mukaa village of Kenya. You know, the one with no power, no electricity, no running water... I was confounded by the fact that these people lived in such dyer circumstances, yet so many of them had cell phones! How?? How do they charge them? Well, during one of my trips to the village, when the HFBC team was visiting, we stayed until Sunday and went to church with them. My question was answered...

The one time of the week when the church generator is powered up provides an opportunity to recharge more than the church-goer's spirit! Now, that's a different perspective of meeting the needs of the Church! I pray that as they come to church (for the three-four hour service) that their spirits are recharged, just as their phones are recharging. If that's what it takes to get them there to hear the Word, bless them! May they continue to be equipped for all communication throughout the week...with other cell phone users, but more importantly, with the Lord!

In Sunday school (the Shed) this morning, we talked about the Treasures of God, returning to Him what is His. Once again, the church in Mukaa gave a new perspective of that. We talk about giving our firstfruits to the Lord, but some of the people there do so much more literally. We saw the fruits, vegetables, plants, etc. on the front altar during the service. We didn't understand the full meaning of them until later. We watched as the faithful Believers brought all they had into the House of the Lord. Their firstfruits. The pastors, then, auctioned off the goods in order for the church to receive the money. That money is then used to help those in need. What a different perspective of returning to the Lord what is His. May they be blessed more than they can ask or imagine!!

"'Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,' says the Lord Almighty, 'and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.'" (Malachi 4:10)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I'm Home

Very mixed feelings there. I was so ready to be home...see people, sleep in my own bed, Chic-fil-a and chips & queso. But, so NOT ready to leave Kenya!

After a great flight to Nairobi, getting bumped up to a seat with a BED, I knew it would be hard to sit in the regular seats without being a spoiled baby. My prayer before I left was that God would put me in the seat He reserved for me, and to be open to His work around me.

On the flight from Nairobi to London, I sat with two young guys. One was a British-Arab medical student who was doing work for his last year course in Kenya. His dad is Kenyan-Arab and he lived there when he was younger. The other guy, Ernest, was on his way to Portland, OR to begin studies as a university student. He had never been out of Kenya, only in his village near Bungoma in Western Kenya and in Nairobi where he had gone to college. He had never flown, never traveled. He was a very sweet guy. As it turned out, he really needed us. It was all new to him....from how to put down the seat-tray, to using the headphones and video system, to knowing what to expect when changing flights. He asked us many questions. I enjoyed watching the other guy, I think his name was Amir, talk to Ernest. Very nice guy. I do believe that God placed me where He needed me. I was even able to pray with him before we landed. It was a great experience. But, I only slept for less than two hours!!! And the flight left at midnight, so I had already been up all day!

Then, another blessing...I was bumped to World Plus on the remaining flights! Not quite as nice as One World with the lay-down bed and nice meals that I had going, but still MUCH more room than coach! Even more, I had the opportunity to talk to Paul, a man flying to Michigan for work. We had some interesting discussions about religion. He believes in all religions...God is the same, just worship Him, but don't worry about all the "rules" of the church. Hmm. Well, that led so easily into discussion about who God is, and that the differences between religions hinges on belief in Jesus and His purpose in our Salvation. He has some "issues" with the legalism of the church, with good reason. But, even hours later as we parted, he said, "Thank you, Trena. You have given me much to think about." Again, I believe God placed me in the exact seat He wanted me! What a faithful God!

The journey did not end there. After clearing customs in Detroit, we reboarded. It was a very empty flight; no new passengers, but many dropped off. We were scheduled to land in Houston, of course, but were diverted to Dallas due to bad weather. Great! So close, yet so far! We were circling from Lufkin to Hunsville over and over, waiting for the skies to clear. They didn't. After de-planing at DFW, claiming baggage, and going back to the ticket counter, we find out that our options are very limited. Not only were many other flights to Houston delayed or cancelled, British Airways is not domestic, and has NO scheduled flights from Dallas to Houston! We would have to get on another airline...along with everyone else trying to get home. And the earliest would be the following day around noon. So, we all decided to rent cars and drive home. There were only about 40 people on the flight. It was crazy! Complete strangers were grouping together to form groups to drive together! And, we had all come from all over the world, gathering at a connecting flight in London! I rode with Laura (coming home from Iraq), Randy (on his way home from working month on-month off in Qatar), Andrea (returning from Moscow where she had been teaching 4 and 5 yr old ESL for two months) and me (from Kenya!!). How random! Who would have imagined such an ending! I can't tell you how glad I was to see Kris and Dot and Tag in Huntsville!! She met us, along with Andrea's parents, so we didn't all have to drive all the way into Houston.

I finally made it home!!! I was not able to sleep on the last flights, either. I dozed off during two Friends episodes, but was awake by the time the 30 minute show ended. So, all total, I think I slept about 3-4 hours!! I had been awake for 50 hours before finally hitting my bed! That was a GREAT night!

All in all, glad to be home, sad to be home. Grateful for the time God gave me to spend in Kenya. Thankful for the opportunities to live and serve. Anticipating what He has for me in the future.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Making Chapati

One of my favorite Kenyan foods! Of course....it's a carb! Kind of like a greasy, thick tortilla. Quite a process to make, though. Fanis (Tina's cook) was so great to teach me. It was fun. And kind of hard to do with four little boys wanting to be in the middle of the action!

I can't wait to get home and try my own hand at making Kenyan food! But, there will be NO ugali making in my house! There are several other things I've learned to make, but chapati is more of an art....one which I have not perfected! Practice makes perfect!

Education Resource Center - Nairobi, Kenya

I visited the Education Resource Center at the Baptist Mission again. But, this time, I got to meet with Debbie, the MK Consultant! Her assistant job sounds amazing!! It is a combination of some wonderful assignments, in some awesome places, based in the place I most want to live!! I am so excited to see what God has planned. I would get to do lots of travel, including Zambia, Malawi, Uganda...! There is some teaching involved, some training and consulting, some administration, some organization. A little of everything. The Baptist Mission compound is beautiful, as well. Debbie showed me around several homes/apartments. Very nice! And it is a very safe compound. All in all, a wonderful visit! I had a great time and look forward to the possibilities!! Please keep this in your prayers. I am scheduled to go to Richmond, VA on Oct 1, where I will find out a lot more.

Sunday, August 5, 2007


A lot has happened in the last week. Wish I had had email access the whole time so I could update more frequently. I'll try not to make this too long. (Yeah, right!)

Mukaa was great! The Lord worked out so many details! The team did great, overall. Of course it is a little difficult to have 19 people living together for three days in such conditions. Everyone handled it very well. Other than the mice in the night (which were really loud!!), we all slept well, too. Some of the college kids slept outside.

Mr. Mayoli was so glad to have us all. When I was apologizing for all the mud we tracked in after the rain and asking for a broom, he said, "No, no, you will not do that. It is not a problem. It is a blessing. There are many wonderful people in my house this weekend. Today, I am not a lonely old man." What a precious man!

The team split up and visited several families and delivered groceries. I went with a group to visit Nduku, the same lady our group visited last year. I was anxious to see her and the girls. What a blessed time! I think we were the only group that really connected with our family. The girls came to meet us and walk with us to their home. They are beautiful! Nduku met us awhile later as we were walking. I did not recognize her! She looked amazing! So much healthier! She told the lady with us that she did not even remember the group coming last time because she was so ill. What a blessing to see how the Lord has worked in her life and begun to restore her health. Continue to pray for her and her girls. The youngest two have been sick. We have left money to have them all tested for TB and HIV, both of which Nduku has been diagnosed with.

I have posted some random pictures. Would love to tell more stories of how God has worked, and is continuing to work, but I am out of time. I am so blessed to have more time here to continue some of the ministry that was begun while our team was here. I will share more about that later. I have brought Musila with me to the cyber to show him how the internet works, and we have been here for two hours! I'm sure he is bored and ready to go!

Right now, you can pray for...

Daniel - a Maasai man whom Judy Holzman and I prayed with as he received Christ!!! He is now facing the challenge of what it means to be Maasai AND a Christian. The Lord has placed a few other Maasai Christians in his life that can disciple and help him as he begins this new venture in life.

Mwengela - Musila's brother, Mwende's father who knows that God is calling him to be a Christian, but he is struggling with relinquishing his own will and submitting to the Lord. He says he will become a Christian one day, but "not now."

Tom - my friend, who we got to know as he drove us last year. He was so much more than "our driver!" I don't know what all is going on with him now, but I am very concerned for him. I have talked to him several times, and just have an overwhelming burden to pray for him. As undirected as it is, please join me in lifting him before the Father.
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