Monthly Archives: February 2009

of hyena attacks and love letters to…?

title today is catchy, is it not? did it lure you in?

now you’re reading my posting and that’s really awesome.

ive been documenting the snot out of these centers. my brain is ready to explode because of sheer information residing in it.

i’ve also done odd jobs like answering emails from a reporter who wants to do an article on the capstone.

i had been run walking the guard trail. its like an oval on the side of a mountain. no matter what you do its up down up down or down up down up.

i decided the road to the highway (about 5 km?), though uphill, is great for me cause a.) i can keep pushing myself to go farther because home is not around and b.) the way home is all downhill and not up at all!

🙂 then today i was banned from runwalking it cause a hyena attacked and i guess the drought is making all the wildlife really hungry.

so for now i have to go with people or not go at all.

:(.

back to the guard trail.

today i listened to leonard ravenhill while hikin, til kev called. (that was awesome).

he said that books (esp his) are awesome but not a replacement for God’s word. he had other examples of not bad things…it’s all coming back to me as i type.

“Satan wont tempt you to go get plastered (my own word for it) up the street and cause big problems”, he will tempt you to go play cards all night with your church friends. evil is not the enemy of best. good is the enemy of best”.

he said do you want to allow a stranger to write your love letters to God? read books and sing hymns but dont let another write your own love letters to God.

imagine if your husband gave you the best one ever-so romantic————-and you exclaim “HONEY! its perfect!” and he’s like oh i didnt write it.

learning a lot about humility, rest, revival and repentance. and im leaning a lot. nothing to do with v8-just, some things are harder here than they are for me in ROC. i miss home but love my new family…love the work i am now documenting and the adventure. pray for me if you think to, and send requests my way. God hears, right?

let us show extreme persistence.

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He knows how to give good gifts to us.

Today started with a bang, continued with a bang bang and finished with a pow pow pow!

Note: two days before had been really really difficult and I emailed dad a “im a basketcase” email.

We went to the hospital and gave out toys to crippled kids who are getting treated there.

We sang and did balloons (keep it in the air) and had fun. Then church was outside at RVA: baptism. It was amazing. AMAZING. Kids giving testimonies about how they were raised Christian but didn’t even know Jesus until He blew their worldviews apart during the past year or so. Every single one was so encouraging.

THEN WE WENT TO SEE JARS OF CLAY. It was about 6 bucks. Note: JOC is my fav band of all time so far. Contenders but not quite as awesome: ratatat, phil keaggy, Julia marie, Jason mraz?

Isaac saved the day in getting us awesome seats (3 of us to two seats) and we watched probably 9 bands/dance troupes perform. I was getting ready to scream something when this guy started playing piano and I said “lets go up front to the FIRST row (metal crowd-barrish blockade thing in front of the stage) and wait for JOC to come out finally.”

So we did. And the guard let us do it. I pretended to take photos while jars took the stage and started. I could almost touch them if I wanted.

Then the guard asked, “you through taking photos yet?” and I said yes I suppose and he said then come here (and pulled me BACKSTAGE (well, behind the crowd metal thing).

So now im as close as you can get and snapping away happily as they introduce the associate director of BloodWaterMission (you remember they dig wells, and I used to raise money for them a little bit).

I tried and tried to contact her and was def freaking her out a bit until finally I snuck back behind the place I was in, and before the guard grabbed me, I gave her my email and he let me talk to her for a minute.

“do you have internships or any way I can be of service to the ministry? I’ve checked the website faithfully since it started and there are never openings… ” we chatted about her and I and I left. I left the building. Walking on air.

POWPOWPOW.

I hear someone say “rebecca!” and it’s Jena, running out of the convention center. She’s told jars she met me, and they want to meet me too (im not making it up).

I brought all my friends (like 10 people) in and we met every member. Pictures, me telling Charlie his dad was my dentist…..We had to leave before they had to leave. It was fantastic. I said “bye Charlie!” and as I walked away he came over and said, “Ill tell my dad I met one of his patients in Kenya.”

Then we got my favorite food in the world – (comments)?
So.

Here’s the deal when working for and with our God. He is hilarious. There is nothing that would’ve made me more excited than what happened today. It was a mix of ministry, encouragement and total insanity. Now-there are bad days, but at the end of a bad day I can say, “Man. Today was bad! But God knows about it”. And there’s treats, and I can say, “he knew! And he threw a becca-specific treat my way”!…

If I did not know God, bad days would still be there. And at the end, there would be little comfort.

And treats would be there. “oh sweet!” but there wouldn’t be the EXTRA warmish huggy feeling of “man, God knew exactly how to spoil me today”. knowing he knows and plans things perfectly is actually cooler than seeing the whole thing.

Downsides: ditching Isaac because we had to leave and not saying bye to him at all. Having to listen to a man in a gold suit do a set where he kept yelling, “im gonna take your ear like mike Tyson” again and again and neverstopping..

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he’s got the whole world

Africa is not a mess.  It’s a home to many people and a place God closely watches and participates in daily.  It’s a place He loves, not only because it is his nature to love, but because people are so broken that they pray a lot more than in other areas.

 

Africa isn’t a problem we need to fix—it’s a people we need to love and learn about and recognize as fellow brothers and sisters.  Some people recognize this already but others seem to think the entire continent is some other world that deserves our prayers and funds at Christmas.

 

By all means, send funds to the right programs.  But Africa doesn’t just need money.  It needs capable leaders who can shine a little bit of light in and change the parts that are bad, while keeping the parts that are beautiful and endangered but worthy to be protected.

 

Westerners and Africans here are making enormous strides in reducing the pain and anguish of poverty.  They are equipping local pastors, educating students, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and healing people in hospitals.  As much as I hope to see African leaders rise up in honesty and truth to change the corruption, pray for their people and establish peace, there is a really long way to go before the world can check out entirely.

 

I said something really really dismissive and cutting today.  It probably injured two people I said it to.  I was still pondering things about my future and what it looks like in regards to jobs, location, service…and you know how I can be…saying things before I think.

 

I talked about my new conviction to sponsor native missionaries.  I left out the part where I appreciate everything the international missionaries here are doing for Christ  I skipped the part about the significance of educated Westerners implementing programs, feeding students, preaching and planting.  I didn’t recognize the sacrifice of those who have been here and stayed here and drained every amount of energy loving people and changing things.

 

My recent experience reading about the need for nationals to step up and change their own countries has been a topic of conversation, a train of thought that never really gets to the station, and a source of confusion and interest.

 

The statement I made about wanting to sponsor native missionaries should’ve been followed up by a comment about how I currently support and love international missionaries too. As much as we’d like to see Africa stand strong in the near future without outside aid, the plan is currently to continue helping the helpless until we hear other instructions.

 

I’ve had trouble recently explaining to my own soul that God has promised things to me and he never breaks his promises.  And I’ve had a tricky go at understanding the Great Commission in 2009.

Current questions: Supporting foreign missionaries vs. national missionaries vs. kids and education?  Salary vs. raising support? Fulltime ministry vs. business/corporate world?  Ph.D vs. marriage and parenting?  Wait.  Why choose?

 

Here’s what I am finally seeing: the Holy Spirit isn’t some “ooh-wee-ooh-wee-ooh-wee” thing who shows up at youth conferences and emotional weekend retreats.  He is GOD himself.  And he lives in us.

 

He makes the decisions.  He makes the way.  He provides rest, funds, safety, ideas, knowledge, patience, success, smiles, food, water, sun, rain, vacations, sunrises, joy, communication and stability.  I’m thankful he’s letting me and my friends here help out.  I’m more thankful than I’ve expressed for the fruit I’ve seen and the love they show—because instead of talking about how sad it is, something actually was started and actually saved lives.  Sure, there are some things only an African person can do to reach their community.  But there are other things only Westerners can do.  And then, to blow up the whole idea, God can do anything he wants with anyone he decides to use.  So Africa is in His hands and I’m not worried. 

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heartbroken

quick posting about something that happened today.  College students especially, listen and be unoffended.

I was invited to the house of our watchman, (one of the 10 or so) Johnson, to meet his family.

He had wanted me to talk to one member in particular about sharing Christ and serving God.  so we rode his piki (motorbike) down the valley for about 2o minutes of rocks.

turns out he really wanted me to talk to his entire household about what i can do for them financially or in the way of getting jobs lined up.

i had nothing to say except “pray” and “go check in nairobi”.  all 3 had finished school, (kenya and uganda secondary schools) and one had even taken a course in computers (but that doesnt mean she has actually seen an actual computer. alot of certificate programs do not offer a chance to see a computer.)…

Now what do we do?

“now what do we do?”  kept asking me again and again to help them further their education or to help them get a job and i had nothing to say.  what CAN they do?  seriously?

then on the piki ride home (stalling and bumping up hills) i realized something we’ve heard a hundred times…what i have and what ive accomplished…God put it all in my lap!  you could be the hardest worker on earth but if you were born into a valley with no way out except a motorbike (and that can get you up the mountain where there are more wooden shacks) and no job in the vicinity,  no one would understand how hard you had worked.  no one would want to hire you in the US or in another country, and you’d be fighting all the other educated people for a job in nairobi.

But i was disciplined and studious.

even if you are disciplined and work 10 hours a day or you practiced hard or you studied the hardest, it doenst matter.  other students studied the hardest in their classes and there is now nothing for them to do.

today i rode by dozens of people sitting on the road doing literally nothing.  and i thought “why arent they doing something?”   but there are no jobs and no rain and no crops.  i HATE doing abolsutely nothing.

why did i get to be born someplace where i have everything imagineable…and worse, a disturbingly high amount of opportunities?  sometimes i complain that there are too many available options.  God have mercy on me.

the worst part was when mwangi said,

“well == you say this is a nice house we are residing in.

so let’s switch.  you stay around the place today.

i will go there where you are living.”

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it was bad.

today we hiked up the most unsafe passage on the planet. ill upload photos later if i can.  i got more dirty than ive been in my entire 23 years.

today started great- working from 8-11 on the website.  we left for the waterfalls a few (several?) miles off campus with water bottles, cookies and hopes of seeing monkeys and waterfalls.  we started with about 6 people and ended up with two–myself and miss sarah crockett, queen of the wild frontier–no seriously.

she led us up a cliff and when we tried to use the trail, we realized the entire mountain had been burned up by kenyans who wanted to make and sell fresh charcoal.  also the waterfalls had dried up entirely.

we decided to go on.

dont ask me what we were actually planning on doing about returning.

now, the mountain started to shift.  turns out we really can move the mountains. it was all charcoal.  it was HOT and it was quicksandy.

Crockett sunk into the magma, er…charcoal and…wearing sandels, screamed in pain at her newly burnt ankles.

i screamed too, becuase i was falling in/off the mountain.

we were also quite lost in the wilderness.

honestly it was pretty scary.

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old posting.

Im alive!

This week my phone gave up calling anyone (nothing happened to it, but I can now only receive calls).

Also my internet stopped working with the celttel modem courtesy of Isaac.

I forgave him quickly because I was worried for him (scary story below).

Nairobi
Going to Nairobi with a friend is not what you expect. Timothy and I planned to go to town 10:30-or 11. I talked to the guards at the gate for an hr and timothy showed up around 12 something (I shouldve known). We worked the entire way to Nairobi on the manual.

Henry and Isaac met me in town (got dropped off) and we went to OIL LIBYA gas station (suppodly free wireless!) that’s where, against my will, Isaac changed my settings and destroyed my configuration even though I said DON’T APPLY IT!.

We had a GREAT meeting and I handed money to henry to get chickens and chicken houses. I can post more later on what exactly is going on there. Isaac and I walked around for a minute since my ride said he was winding up (3:45).

Here’s where it gets really interesting.

I had decided to not call jo and ken since I was in town a couple hours only (ken would be at the embassy and jo is in Uganda). While we walked I heard what could only be Ken’s voice, “BECCA?!” . He was driving by. I jumped in his SUV with Isaac and we went to the holiday inn for his meeting.

We killed time, Isaac and i. for EVER and ever and with no idea of when it would be time to go. Around 8 I got nervous since its not safe to be out late and all I knew from timothy = “ it’s not going well, the thing is not running!” CLICK.

He finally called, we got a matatu to UCHUMI and I met timothy for a fun nigihttime trip back to kijabe again.

Isaac asked about a ride but I told him to get a matatu (complete other direction).

He called later telling me robbers had attacked him and told him they were mungiki (remember my posts last year about terror/people who chop heads off, etc.?) He asked “do you have a gun? Cause if you don’t, I’m going to kill you all”. Then Isaac hit one (kicked one?) in the face and the guy screamed.

Isaac walked out of the circle of 4 men and said “if anyone follows me, I’ll kill him.” So he got away computer intact, money and all. Black belts are useful especially here around the ganstas.

He was still rattled when he called me and I was going to yell at him as I had just realized he ruined the internet settings…but who could yell at a freaked out person who was mugged BECAUSE he was out late on the other side of the city to help out a friend?

☺.

Now—ive gotten a TON done the past couple days on the manual. A TON.

Its not JUST because I didn’t have the internet. I also visited a LOT of schools. Took a lot of pictures and saw a lot of smiley well fed little faces.

Today something terrible happened to me.

I found my way as usual around the guards trail (aka morning destruction of my body up killer hill and its little friends). I was hot and showered. Then timothy finally was available so I decided to walk over to bruce’s house where the centers are sitting ready to be deployed.

We did photos, dimensions, etc. it was like we were crazy people. Then I left (rather hungry at almost 2 and ready to get home to drink/consume SOMETHING. I was moving (without my knowledge) into legally blonde mode because of dehydration.

I couldn’t rationalize walking by the hospital and not stopping to see little moses in his new bed.

His new room is sad—he’s at the far end and the three kids before him are the type you see on commercials—really awful physical problems, enlarged skulls, etc. Lots of tears and sadness in there, but theyre working on keeping every single kid comfortable.

Moses was not crying and looks great. I met Grace, who we are paying to stay with him 24/7. Awesome time for a little while together, then I said seeya later and took off for the peifer’s.

I got home feeling like I could die of thirst (though I did drink water) and hunger.

Then I realized I didn’t have my laptop.

:::ive been trying to back it up for a bit and I normally email myself the important things but I didn’t have internet and I’d been thinking about how dangerous it is to carry the macbook around.

Its hard to explain how detailed the manual already is. It’s the coolest thing ive written I my life.

I won’t lie—after I called the hospital and heard “you left a computer? On moses’ bed?” and was told one moment please…and they didn’t return for over 10 minutes and I decided to give up on the phone strategy.. and steve said “no don’t tell them! just go there!” I hung up the telephone and RAN off campus again and into the ward and there it was.

And I shed a tear for my own stupidity. And I asked God why he made me a weird brain but praised him all the way home in my heart.

Cause that doesn’t really end so well for most people who just leave their laptops places.

Uh in other news—ive met a few friends but its been slow going for me. Weird. Tomorrow I am teaching at 9AM (Saturday!) for two hours, hiking from 11 til dinnertime, then who knows whats going on.

Sunday might be town or it might be taking a motorcycle down the valley to a friend’s home (the watchman mentioned previously).

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finishing 2 months of work in 1 week. (jk).

Never gotten so much done in one day before.  It is because I felt a bit ill probably—I usually overcompensate.

Seriously!  And its only 5:30!

Today I:

•    Visted 4 computer centers in the valley.
•    Created 3 contracts:
o    teachers,
o    schools with centers.
o    schools with lunch programs.
•    Created a “time center is in use” spreadsheet. (so theyre never sitting idle and empty or without students).
•    Created a go-live checklist (needs additions).
•    Wrote a  job description for lucy’s new web content position.
•    Mapped our information architecture and what has to appear where.
•    Took photos of teachers and videos of students.
•    Created a volunteer position (plea).
o    We need a video about computers.  See other posts.

I also:

Tried to cheer up ben by showing my morocco movie and making him a get better card with mirror only backwards writing.

Bought peas because we were attacked by vendors.

Talked to the watchman for ½ an hour and promised to go visit his home and talk to his confused child.

Wrote the document I am working on now.s

Made an avocado sandwich.

Shook hands with hundreds of Kenyans. (this is fun).

p.s. after writing this i spent an evening with timothy our engineer with bruce for the computer centers.  we banged out over 20 pages of documentation. then i emailed things to steve and checked woot.com.  the end.

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