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!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

It's a Roller-Coaster Ride!

I made a decision, but couldn't stick to it.

Things have greatly intensified in Kenya in the last week. What began as political has turned tribal. Fightings are deliberate, intentional, and not likely to settle easily. Deep-rooted and harbored hatred is fueling the fires of violence.

After talking to a number of people on the ground in Kenya and here in the States, and spending hours each day reading and watching things on the internet, I realize that it is not safe to go now. How frustrating and disappointing!! Although much of Nairobi is relatively calm at this time, the entire area is still too volitile. I would hate to get there and be housebound, unable to do anything to help.

So, I am postponing my departure a few more weeks. :-(

I trust that the Lord has a plan in all of this. I know He is Sovererign over all. Through the turmoil that Kenya is experiencing right now, God has a purpose and plan. Please continue to pray with me that He will heal this land, show Himself to its people, and reign as Lord over all. I pray that the people of Kenya who are in such dispair will see Him as their Ultimate Provider and Healer.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Decision Made

I changed my flight. I am leaving on Wednesday, February 6th.

Please continue to pray for the peace of Kenya. There are still pockets of violence and unrest, but overall, the situation is much better. Peace talks are currently going on between the president and the opposition, mediated by former UN Chairman, Kofi Annan. Pray for a positive, peaceful outcome.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Plans as of now...

I will either leave next Monday, Jan. 28th or the following week on Wednesday, Feb. 6th. At this point, I'm leaning towards the latter so that I can travel with my friend, Jen, and so that I can have a little more time to chill without being rushed before leaving.

I have talked with my friends who I will be living with, and they tell me that things are calm enough to come. Granted, there are still pockets of rioting and unrest, so it's not completely back to normal. I will have to be careful about where I go and what times.

There will be plenty for me to do if I go back now! I actually thank God for His timing in all of this. Working with those who are truly in need is exactly what I want to do! The same God who provides for my needs is their Jehova Jireh as well! Look at some of these precious faces...children who have no home or whose home is now unsafe. How can I not want to be a part of the work the Lord is doing in Kenya?

A boy eats corn inside a shelter for displaced people in Nairobi, January, 2008.
A child eats at the camp for displaced people at Nakuru's Show ground, in the Rift Valley area, January 22, 2008.
(Photos from Yahoo Photos)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Trena the Blog-Stalker

Yes, I guess I am a blog-stalker.
Allison in Africa.
The Omondi's.
The Omondi's in Africa.

Last fall, before I went to Virginia as part of the IMB process, I was googling IMB and Kenya to find blogs of people who had gone through the process, trying to get as much info as I could. I found Allison. I became captivated by her story. Before I knew it I was reading all about her time in Kenya, her work with the IMB, her ministry, how she met Dennis... I was even looking at her pictures.

Kris thought I was crazy! Crazy to instantly be so interested in these people I had never met. She started calling me a blog-stalker.

I guess I am. I even emailed Allison. Craziness. I am so glad I did, though. It was like we had known each other forever. After some phone calls and a lot of emails, I finally met them in person this weekend! What a blessing!

Allison and Dennis are now married, living in Texas while they work towards going back to Kenya as the Kenya Field Directors for Serve International in Mombasa. Serve International is the mission organization of Denton Bible Church.

They have an amazing ministry going on in Mombasa, Kenya. I absolutely love all that I have learned about their ministry and what they are doing. They are a fabulous couple. Kris and I went to their house to meet them on Saturday and had wonderful time spending the afternoon with them!

So, these people that I "stalked" are now my friends. I can't wait for them to get back to Kenya so I can see them again in Mombasa. I'm looking forward to seeing their ministry in person. And, I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store in the future!

Please pray for Dennis and Allison Omondi as they prepare to return home to Kenya. They are working hard to raise the rest of their support needed before they leave. Read about their ministry on their blog... http://www.theomondisinafrica.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Over the past few weeks, an estimated 600 people have been killed in Kenya and over 250,000 Kenyans have been displaced. Many have been forced from their homes and have no place to go. People who once considered themselves "friends" instantly became "enemies," fighting, torching homes, and ransacking belonging. This is the scene in parts of Kenya.

Now, these people need help. I want to help them, and am grateful that God is allowing me to do so. But, it is a little scary.

Is it safe? Is it smart? That's obviously debatable.
Is it needed? Is it part of caring for God's children? Undeniably, yes.

My heart is in Kenya! I love these people! I cannot wait to get there and do whatever I can to help them, to bring them hope in Christ, to love them, to serve them. Many are living in refugee type camps, in parks, on the streets, anywhere they can find a place. Few are with extended families.

Thousands have lost jobs, an obvious result of businesses that are unable to stay open. Because Kenya's economy is largely dependent on the tourism industry, thousands have lost jobs due to the current situation...hotel personnel, taxi/van drivers, vendors of all types.

People who have been providing for their own needs and the needs of their family, are now unable to do so. In many cases, there are simply no options for them at this time. No jobs for them to do. There WILL be, but for now, they do need help. THAT is why I want to go back!

I know that the Lord has called me to Kenya. I'm grateful for that. I pray that I continue to hear His voice as He leads me. John 10:14 says, "When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice." May I continue to listen to my shepherd and follow His voice.

From "Streams in the Desert," January 14th..."It would not be in our best interest to always remain in one happy and comfortable location. Therefore He moves us forward...
But take heart! It could never be better to stay once He determines otherwise; if the loving hand of our Lord moves us forward, it must be best. Forward, in His name, to green pastures, quiet waters, and mountain heights!"
(Read the rest of it...it's good!)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Houston Marathon

GO KRIS!!! She did it! I've watched her work hard to train for the past months, and it paid off! Good job, friend!

She said it wasn't a good run for her; she didn't enjoy it. As strange as it sounds to me, she sometimes really enjoys her long runs! How strange is that?!?! How can anyone actually enjoy running...for hours?? Insane. But, I am proud of Kris. She worked hard, and she finished in better time than she did in San Francisco...even if it was a bad run day.

My mom & dad came for the marathon, too. Aren't they great? Kris and I both enjoyed them being here. A fun, memory-making weekend!

And...Kris vows to never run a marathon again. (I don't believe her.)

Good pics, Stan! :-)

Friday, January 11, 2008

"Many are the plans in a man's heart...

but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." (Proverbs 19:21)

That totally explains what I feel right now. His sovereignty amazes me! Oh, how many times I've wanted to go to Kenya before now! If I were planning "my" trip, "my" departure date, etc. I would have been gone a long time ago! I could have gone right after college, I could have stayed there after I went in Nov 06, I could have gone last summer and stayed. But, I didn't. Now, I see God's hand in that so clearly!

For some reason, He put this time on my heart. And He did so, knowing exactly what would happen in Kenya the weeks prior to my going! His timing is perfect. I may not understand it, but it is perfect.

God didn't call me to go to Kenya - if it is calm, if it is fun, if it is easy. He called me to GO. And He knows what He has called me to, even when I don't know.

I don't want to be foolish and go ahead of God. I want to be in His will. At this point, I still feel I am to go. In line with using the common sense He has given me, I will not go against government warning, though. The US Govt Travel Warning is currently set to expire on Jan 31st. So, I will most likely delay my departure to a week or so after that. I am still talking to people there and people here who are advising and counseling me.

One important factor in my decision to go or delay will be the fact of what I will be able to do if I am there. Obviously, it would be senseless to go if I would be house-bound. I would like to go as soon as it is safe to take part is ministry, such as a feeding program through the church, etc. God has a purpose in calling me there. I only want to be there if I am in His will.

So, please pray for wisdom and discernment for me as I wait to hear from the Lord. May I not over-step the purpose of the Lord - may THAT prevail above all else! I cling to the verses God so clearly gave me when I first felt the confirmation that I was to go...

"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.'" (Isaiah 20:24)

"O Lord, you are m God; I will exalt You and praise Your name, for in perfect faithfulness You have done marvelous things, things planned long ago." (Isaiah 25:1)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A Very Blessed Weekend

I'm so grateful to the Lord for such amazing friends. I am blessed to have such a group of people who will go to the Lord on my behalf and also pray for the things that are dear to my heart.

On Friday, at First Things First, ladies gathered and prayed for me and for Kenya. How it blessed my heart to hear these ladies' heartfelt prayers for the country I love so much!

Saturday, the Shed hosted a "Dispersing as a Tool" night where I was able to share what the Lord is doing and where I feel He is leading me. It was great to spend time with some old Shed Friends, too. I was truly honored and humbled by the presence of so many people who came to take part and to pray for me, for the future of Kenya and for direction from this point.

On Sunday morning, Jerrell Altic led a little commissioning service and prayer of commissioning in The Shed. His words were perfect. He spoke right to the heart of what I feel called and compelled to do. As he prayed, he made reference to the sovereign plan of God as I "moved from this school, to that school, 'hey, I'll work in the Missions Office,' back to school," and on to exactly where the Lord has led. Oh, how true!! And again, how blessed I was by the prayers of those who gathered around me and lifted me before the Lord!

In the midst of uncertainty around me, I know the call God has placed on my heart and I am thankful that He has known exactly what was to happen in Kenya long before I knew I would go there! His timing is perfect. Now, I pray for His wisdom as I discern HIS timing in when I will return to Kenya. I am so grateful for those who are praying on my behalf. Please continue to do so.

AND, please continue to pray for the peace of Kenya!!!! There are still so many who are hurting and have no place to go. May God show Himself as their Provider and meet their every need.

Friday, January 4, 2008

To Go or Not to Go

Going? Yes.
Now? Not sure.

There is a government travel warning against going to Kenya right now. Obviously, I will not go while there is a governement warning. But, I will go as soon as it is safe to do so.

Please continue to pray for peace in Kenya. The leaders have expressed interest in agreeing to talks, but have made no effort to do so as of yet. Continue to pray for the many people (over 100,000) that have been displaced. Food is scarce.

Pray also for me, that I will trust God and wait on Him. Pray for wisdom, and that I do not over-step the Lord in any of "my" plans. May they all be HIS plans!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

At the Threashold of the Unknown...January 1, Streams in the Desert

The HFBC book for the year is LB Cowman's Streams in the Desert. For Christmas, Kris gave the book to my parents, grandparents, aunt & uncles, etc. so that we could all be "on the same page" while I'm gone, which is always good for the family! :-) Although we did realize that those with the Large Print Edition won't be on the same page as the rest of us, but at least we can all be on the same date. :-)

Isn't it great how God gives us exactly what we need, when we need it?! I needed to hear exactly what I read yesterday, January 1st. And, I'm sure that it probably meant something to you if you read it, as well! I LOVE when He speaks to all of us right where we are. We may read the same words, but it has special meaning to each of us.

Read the beginning of yesterday's devotional...

"Today we stand at the threshold of the unknown. Before us lies a new year, and we are going forward to take possession of it. Who knows what we will find? What new experiences or changes will come our way? What new needs will arise? In spite of the uncertainty before us, we have a cheerful and comforting message from our heavenly Father: 'The Lord your God cares for [it]; the eyes of the Lord...are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end.'" (Deuteronomy 11:11-12)

How great to know that He knows and cares about what this year holds for each of us...whether we know or not!

And because of that...Yes, I am still planning to go to Kenya on January 28th. If things are still dangerous at that time, I will consider postponing. But, God didn't just call me to go to Kenya - if everything is good, safe, easy, fun.... He called me to GO. So, until He tells me otherwise, that is what I will plan.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!!!

I hope you are all met with a happy, healthy, safe and BLESSED new year!

I have posted a link to a video that shares my passion and vision for what I will be doing in Kenya. You can click on the link below.


Kenya Update

Overall, the situation in Kenya is a little better today. There are still pockets of violence, especially in the capitol city of Nairobi. I talked to several friends on the phone today, and they were able to travel about town safely. Obviously, they are nowhere near the major slum areas where the majority of violence is taking place.

Raila Odigna (the one who was not declared the winner of the election) has called for a million man march on Thursday. This is where millions of Kenyans will gather and march to the State House to protest what they are calling a "civilian coup." Basically, the majority of Kenyans feel they now have a president whom they did not elect.

With a million people gathering in protest, it will indeed be a tense, dangerous situation. Although Odinga has called for peaceful protest, you can see on the news that they are not all heeding that advise. I do have two friends that intend to be part of the march and protest. One explained to me that he has no choice; it is his duty as a Kenyan. They feel they need to stand up for Kenya, as it is currently being governed by someone they didn't vote for. How is that a "democracy?" The government is corrupt, so going through a corrupt judicial system that is known for that is not going help. The whole thing is hard for us as Westerners to comprehend.

Please be in prayer for the situation on Thursday. Pray that, above all, the Lord's will be done and peace is restored in Kenya. How great to know that He is Sovereign over all! He knows what is going on, and cares deeply.
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