Saturday, January 18, 2014

Julie's Welcome

By Julie


As I sit on my lower bunk, blue mosquito net swaying slightly beside
me, listening to the drum beats of an African dance party outside my
window, I am struck by how incredibly thankful I am to be here.

MAF Hangar - Wilson Airport

After our arrival in Nairobi we spent 2 days at a Mission Guest House
just outside of town. It was so beautiful! It was also really helpful to have some time to rest and get adjusted to the time difference. On Monday morning we left the guest house and headed to Wilson airport to take an MAF flight to a town just inside the Kenyan border (Migori). It was so much fun to get to take an MAF flight again (even though it made me a bit queasy)—it brought back a lot of fun memories from growing up with a missionary pilot dad :) particularly because the pilot’s daughter was able to join us for the flight—just for the chance to fly with her dad, which I was able to do a few times growing up.

Departing Wilson Airport for Migori, Kenya

Just before takeoff

The youngest flyer


Ground transport to the village

A ride from City of Hope was waiting for us in Migori to take us
across the border into Tanzania (about 15 min) and then another 45
minutes to City of Hope. Africa is SO beautiful! I loved seeing all
the trees, and the locals going about their days, many of the women
balancing large bags and baskets so perfectly on their heads, all the
dust being kicked up from the dirt roads. There is a side of me that
comes alive in third world cultures that is easily and often lost in
the US. It has been incredibly special to reconnect with that part of
myself. It makes me so happy to watch Wren and True fit so comfortably
into this culture which they have spent part of their very young
lives; I smile knowing they are growing up as Missionary Kids and how
special this time will always be to them.

As we pulled up to City of Hope I could see all the children
in their uniforms standing together, dancing and clapping as they sang
a special welcome song for us. After their song they all rushed toward
us with huge smiles on their faces, eager to ask us our names, hold
our hands and give us hugs. These children are so sweet and welcoming. They offer their love eagerly, without even knowing who you are. They radiate delight and joy, and it makes me eager to learn how to love and experience joy like that; that comes from deep within.

Everything about life is completely different than it was a week ago,
and I am soaking it all in. This morning I enjoyed waking up before
the sun without an alarm – watching the sun bring everything alive,
listening to the birds chirp and the children sing praise songs—it was
the perfect way to start my first full day in the place I will call
home for the next three months. It was fun (and exhausting) to
experience a bit of African life—washing dishes and cleaning out
drawers using large wash bowls outside in the hot African sun (I
forgot sunscreen on the back of my neck—whoops!). I am eager to see
what God has planned for my time here—both the joys and the struggles, the fun things and the hard things.

A friend told me they were praying Ephesians 3:20 for my trip,
and I have adopted that passage as my own prayer for this time as
well: “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you
with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may
dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted
and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints,
to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled
to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to
do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his
power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in
Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

Ephesians 3:16-21 (NIV).

1 comment:

  1. Glad to see pictures of you all safely where you are meant to be. Praying for you as often as we think of you!

    The Woods