Summertime in Kenya is not marked by such drastic changes of temperature and activities. Everything stays about the same. Kids are not even freed from the confines of classrooms till August. We continue serving, working, studying and playing in the same chaotic routine as usual. The warm African sun merely moves in a more easterly direction. setting a few minutes later, dropping in glowing splendor beyond the great Lake Victoria's horizon.
The BIGGEST change for us is summertime visitors!!! And we welcome them with anticipation of a child expecting Christmas, especially this year since we won't be traveling back to the States for a few weeks of furlough. We get busy (or should I say busier) around here rearranging space to accommodate extra beds, hanging mosquito nets, scheduling meetings, organizing transportation and purchasing surplus supplies. Short term missions brings benefits for us, the community we serve and those who travel to spend a few weeks of their summer exploring another culture so different from their own.
We get to share our lives with visitors, showing them our favorite places, our favorite people and favorite (and least favorite) foods. We show them how to lock the security gates and run water through filters. We explain the night time noises, assuring them the backfiring tuktuks are not gunshots (smile). These visitors become our stateside information guides and our safe place to vent frustrations. The best part of hosting visitors is watching them observe obvious extremes and then, find the place they fit; their blessings become something given, not owned.
For the community...
Here in Kisumu, scriptures interweaves into the landscape where desperate widows still gather vessels for the miraculous oil. Orphaned children search for belonging and the lonely look for families. The gospel is preached with busy hands and steady feet and sore muscles and sweaty brows. Living it involves everything. Our community welcomes visitors with hugs, smiles and brimming curiosity. Regardless how little they might have, they long for you to partake, enjoy and release yourself like an open tap of clean water.
For our visitors...
As we physically prepare for guests, we also begin praying the influences of Holy Spirit creates radical realities for their pending experiences on this foreign field. Will you join us in prayer?
- May they find that biblical development work is the manifestation of prophetic transformations (Psalm 10:12-18, Psalm 68:4-10).
- May they participate in stories of deliverance, healing, restoration and celebrate the newness Christ brings out of degradation and corruption (Isaiah 58:6-12, Luke 4:18-19, Matthew 25:37-40).
- May they know the rich relationships created from adversity because Jesus' blood carries us together - black and white, Kenyan and American - on this journey of forgiveness and faith; futures merge into divine destinies (Jeremiah 29:11).