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, February 28, 2008

"We have a deal"

...says Kofi Annan. PRAISE GOD!!!

"Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga signed an agreement on Thursday after talks on power-sharing to end a post-election crisis.
In a televised ceremony, the two political rivals inked an deal hammered out under the mediation of former U.N. chief Kofi Annan, who had earlier said the two sides had reached agreement on the terms of a coalition government." (Reuters)

Finally....great news!!! Raila Odinga will now be the Executive Prime Minister of Kenya. Power sharing. There is still obvious work to be done and lots of clean up to tend to. But with the leaders striking a deal, things look much better!

And just in time! When the opposition threatened new protests to begin this week if a deal was not met, I was a little nervous about leaving on Friday. This was a much better solution than more protests and a restart of rioting!

Thank you all for your prayers. Please continue to pray for the country of Kenya. I also appreciate your prayers for me as I travel to Kenya and begin ministry there. Exciting times!!

FYI...I leave tomorrow (Friday) afternoon and will arrive in Nairobi on Sunday, 8:20am Kenyan time, Saturday 11:20pm CST.

**on a side-note...I'm watching/listening to KTN (Kenyan news station) as I write this. Each of the leaders have spoken, and now the press conference is ending in prayer!! Yes, prayer. Televised! And, yes, a prayer to "Jesus, our Lord."

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

For REAL this time!

I'm leaving in TWO DAYS!!! Woo hoo!!

The Joys of West Texas

Dust...Wind...Orange skies...Dirt...Dirt...Dirt...West Texas. Oh, the memories! But, I love Midland. It's home.

This is what it looked like on my way to the airport on Monday.

This is what it looked like as the plane took off from the Midland airport. Those are not clouds below. It's dust! (Well, the very top are clouds, but not the haze on the bottom.) From the ground, it was not a cloudy day. Just dusty. I had forgotten what it was like! And they said it wasn't really even an "orange sky" kind of day!

Then, on the Houston news yesterday, they kept talking about the horrible winds and the wind advisories. That was nothing! I was in WIND on Monday! What we had here yesterday was just a breezy day. The Houston stations were saying we had wind gusts up to 30 mph. They were gusting to 80 mph in Midland!

And all of that creates huge fire hazzards. Indeed there were (and still are) grass fires all over West Texas. Here is one we saw on the way to the airport. Not an exciting picture, I know. But I took it, so I've gotta post it!

Pray for protection for my brother's place and his animals. They've already had close scares. And so have some of my mom's friends, Kailynn and Wes. It can't be fun to stay up all night long, standing ready to load horse trailers. But, I guess it's one of the joys of living in dusty, dry, windy West Texas!

Monday, February 18, 2008

11 DAYS!!!

Yep, 11 days til departure! I am leaving on Friday, Feb 29th. My friend Jen is not yet returning, so I decided to go ahead and leave and travel by myself. I am SO ready and very excited! This has been a roller-coaster!

I will be going to Midland one more time before I leave. I think I've had about a hundred "last" times - last trip home, last time to see the family, last day at church, last episode of Lost (but now, I still have two more!!!), last dinner with the girls, last visit to PPCD... Even a going-away party - almost two months ago!!

But, Lord willing, I will leave on Feb 29th!

Thursday, February 14, 2008


On this Valentine's Day, I am blessed to be loved by the Love of my life! The One I love, loves me back!

Isn't that a great feeling? How wonderful to be loved so unconditionally and sacrificially by the One who gave His life for me. You know that "love you so much my heart could burst" feeling? And to think that my Lord and Savior could love me even more that that. Simply amazing.

I hope you can take a few minutes today to sit and rest and bask in the truly amazing, overwhelming and completely fulfilling love of God; that love that He longs to lavish on you!!

He tells me - ME (and you)..."I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with lovingkindness." (Jeremaiah 31:3)

"The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing." (Zephaniah 3:17)

"God demonstrates His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) ...the biggest blessing of all!! The most sacrificial love of all.

So I say to Him...
"How priceless is Your unfailing love." (Psalm 36:7)

"Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You." (Psalm 63:3)

"For great is your love towards me." (Psalm 86:13)

Happy Valentine's Day! May you be blessed by the greatest Love of all today.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Eeew, Gross!

This is Kenan. He's my brother. He's a cowboy. He's tough.

This is Carrot (with Kenan). She's my sister-in-law. She's tough, too, by the way.

Carrot called my mom today and told her Kenan was in the emergency room.

Kenan's finger got ripped off. He got it caught in a rope. His finger stuck in his glove when he pulled his hand out. Had to put it back on to get it back. Gross!! Needless to say, his finger is broken, too. My mom tried to send me pictures of it all, but I didn't get them on my phone.

Please pray for him. His work kind of depends on his ability to ride, rope, work with his hands in a ga-jillion ways. But, he's tough. :-)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Today's Streams in the Desert hit home. Last week, Jen and I set our return date: March 3rd. Lord willing, we will finally return to Kenya!

Things are not perfect there. They are not completely back to normal. Friends and family wonder why I would still go, why I would not wait for a certainty of calmness and for all strife and fighting in Kenya to cease before I leave. I can't. I feel compelled to go. (By the way, I have been talking to friends there. I'm not going blindly into harm's way. I feel comfortable with the safety of my decision, based on the specific place I am going and what I will most likely be doing.) But, it is a step of faith. There are no guarantees. But there are no guarantees here, either.

Anyway...taken from today's Streams in the Desert:

When God was speaking to the Isrealites, He told them to "...set foot in the Jordan, its waters...will be cut off." (Joshua 3:13) They were to "walk by faith" and step into the waters, not stand and wait for the waters to be cut off before moving.

"We must learn to take God at His word and walk straight ahead in obedience, even when we can see no way to go forward. The reason we are so sidetracked by difficulties is that we expect to see barriers removed before we even try to step through them.
If we would only move straight ahead in faith, the path would be opened for us. But we stand still, waiting for the obstacle to be removed, when we ought to go forward as if there were no obstacles at all." (February 11, Streams in the Desert)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Precious Picture

Praise God! Isn't this beautiful? This is an Evange-cube. Have you seen them? I've taken them on missions trips; many people have taken them. It's a picture-story way of presenting the Gospel in block form.

An internally displaced child is shown a religious image on a puzzle cube during a singing and praying session at the Nairobi show ground, where some 1,000 people are seeking shelter, in Nairobi, Kenya, Saturday, Feb. 2, 2008.

With 300,000 Kenyans now displaced, thousands are living in temporary refugee-type camps. With nothing to do, nowhere to go, they are hungry for anything. Their hunger for hope is as real as their hunger for food. I pray that pictures like these are being lived out all over Kenya. May God use this opportunity to show Himself to His children.

A Beautiful Murriage

Congratulations, Steven and Amanda Murray!

One of the most beautiful weddings I have ever seen. And I have no doubt that it will be a beautiful marriage (or Murriage, as he calls it) as well. What an amazing testament to God's love and faithfulness!

And the reception - awesome! The ever-loving Astros fans had their reception at Minute Maid Park. I'll never walk through Union Station and see it the same again! And, how fun to see people so dressed up at Minute Maid Park!

And keeping with "Murray Christmas" tradition...another cup to add to the collection!

Mark & Rebecca came in for the occasion! So great to see them!

Karen, Rebecca (& baby), Trena, Kim, Kathy

And let me just say that it is HARD to include pictures and make them space correctly! My laptop is wide-screen and it looks different (distorted) on a regular screen. I just can't get it balanced. :-(

Friday, February 1, 2008

Kenya in Pictures

Here are a few pictures that tell a little bit of what is going on in Kenya right now. It is just a glimpse of what this formerly peaceful nation has become. The internet is flooded with pictures that absolutely break my heart. I have included the captions written with them.

A Kenyan man sits in the cab of a destroyed truck used as a makeshift roadblock while a tire burns on the roof, as he and others enforce the roadblock in Kisumu, Kenya, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2008. The town of Kisumu is now almost completely ethnically cleansed of Kikuyus, and mobs armed with makeshift weapons erect burning roadblocks and search for the few Kikuyu targets remaining. 8:51 a.m. ET, 1/30/08

Kenyan police beat up a man in the Kibera slum of Nairobi 18 January 2008. Kenyan police shot dead five protestors Friday on the last day of rallies against President Mwai Kibaki's re-election before the opposition launches a threatened boycott of government-linked companies. The fresh violence came as the United Nations said former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan would fly to Kenya on Tuesday to help mediate in the political crisis.

Opposition supporters burn vehicles and block the road during a protest in Kisumu, western Kenya, after a police officer shot dead an opposition legislator on Thursday.

Members of the Kenyan army patrol a street during ethnic clashes, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2008 in Naivasha, Kenya. Gangs armed with machetes and bows and arrows burned and hacked to death members of a rival tribe in western Kenya Sunday, as the death toll from the latest explosion of violence over disputed presidential elections rose to at least 69. Houses were blazing in the center of Naivasha, a tourist gateway.

Kenyan men from the Luo tribe armed with machetes and rocks enforce a makeshift roadblock, searching passing vehicles for Kikuyus trying to flee the town in order to kill them, on the main road to the Ugandan border near the airport in Kisumu, Kenya, Monday, Jan. 28, 2008. In Kisumu on Monday angry young men blocked roads out of the town, set some houses and buses ablaze, and one driver was burned alive in his minibus, according to a witness.

A Kenyan man holds his son as he and other members of his family flee violence in their neighborhood during ethnic clashes in the central Kenyan town of Nakuru 25 January 2008. Ethnic clashes killed at least 15 people in Kenya's western Rift Valley, police said today, dashing hopes of an end to weeks of unrest sparked by disputed presidential polls.

Kenyan women and children sit in the back of a police truck as they flee during ethnic clashes, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2008, Naivasha, Kenya. Gangs armed with machetes and bows and arrows burned and hacked to death members of a rival tribe in western Kenya Sunday, as the death toll from the latest explosion of violence over disputed presidential elections rose to at least 69. Houses were blazing in the center of Naivasha, a tourist gateway.

A truck transporting displaced Kenyans fleeing the city drives out of the town of Nakuru, Kenya, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2008. Gunfire erupted in the town and young men vowed revenge as the death toll from two days of bloodshed in western Kenya's main town reached at least 25, including 16 charred bodies unloaded at the morgue from the back of a truck.

Kenyan women carrying their furniture, arrive at a church where dozens of families who had their houses burned down, or fled for safety, are now living, in Nakuru, Kenya, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2008. Gunfire erupted in the town and young men vowed revenge as the death toll from two days of bloodshed in western Kenya's main town reached at least 25, including 16 charred bodies unloaded at the morgue from the back of a truck.

NAKURU, KENYA - JANUARY 21: Kenyan Internally Displaced People (IDP's) stay in the show ground stadium on January 21, 2008 in Nakuru, Kenya. International mediators have attempted to unlock political gridlock in the East African nation which has lost 600 people in severe post-election violence amid allegations that the incumbent president manipulated the December elections.

Internally displaced Kenyans from the Luo tribe, receive food from aid organizations as they gather around the Limuru police station, in Limuru, near Nairobi, Kenya, Thursday Jan. 31, 2008. An opposition lawmaker was shot and killed by a police officer in the Rift Valley Thursday, the second opposition lawmaker to be killed this week in a country that has been gripped by ethnic fighting since last month's disputed presidential election.

Internally displaced children from the Luo tribe, displaced by post election violence, line up to receive food from aid organizations at the Limuru police station in Limuru, near Nairobi, Kenya, Thursday Jan. 31, 2008.

Displaced Kenyan children receive food from an aid group inside the International Trade Fair at Jamhuri Park where many displaced Kenyans have been living in Nairobi, Kenya, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008. Some displaced people who had been living in the park have returned to their homes but many others remain, fearing attacks if they return to their neighborhoods.
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