Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Last of Life for Which the First Was Made....

 The title of this entry is a quote by a grand man named Calvin Miller.  In the past months, these words have gone through my head every day.  The time has come for us to follow Jesus leading and close down the parts of our lives lived "before".  A friend told me early on in this process, "the same Jesus who led you to Olderkesi will now lead you out."  This comforts me on many levels.

After 25 years in the bush..give or take a few, the Lord has asked us to widen our horizons.  Jon will begin a new position with World Gospel Mission (WGM). Starting in January, he will become the new Africa Regional Director for WGM.  We have huge shoes to fill! The current Regional Field Director and his wife are wonderful leaders and friends.

We will still live in Kenya!!  Don't write us off yet!! We just will not live in our beloved bush.  We are moving to Nairobi, the capital city. Yes- I cringed too, but remember- the SAME Jesus who led us into the bush is leading us out.

Let me add some visuals to our last months in Kenya.  The captions, I hope will explain better.....  

Heading out...for the last time.

Brenden's years at Rift Valley Academy (RVA) included Sundays in the villages doing sunday school and playing.  

Jon and I took one last visit to the game park near our house.  What's that quote from Out of Africa. " The only thing to do when things are sad is to make them sadder." (or something like that...ask Meryl Streep)

There was no resisting this quirky shot.

He needed to tell me something.."remember, not all elephants are cranky, some of us are just CUTE!"

Then after that bliss..we began packing the house..see that trunk? My toe did NOT. In my defence, those are NOT dust bunnies..the carpet padding did not want to move with us, it stuck very tightly to its home.

Sad and lonely front porch.

All our Maasai friends came to help us load.
 After loading all our life's belongings into a moving truck, we drove to Nairobi and unloaded it all into a storage place.  Let me just say, loading solar equipment, batteries, solar panels, freezer, fridge...was NO fun.  These guys made it fun by being very cheerful about it.

We went from Nairobi unloading to Brenden's graduation up at RVA.  Here he is with his fellow graduate, Steven Chupp and some of his great life long friends-Peter, Andrew and Jamie White.

Of course on the way home, we HAD to get this reminder of random signage and dedicated soccer fans.

Two of the local maasai boys (and avid Brenden fans) came to give him his farewell present. NO one should leave home without their milk. No one!

A special farewell.  My group of young girls, who I did some Bible studies with, were allowed to leave the school to come say goodbye.  That was sad!  They gave us gifts and said little speeches. So sweet.

The community gave us a farewell party.  We had given our trampoline to our friend Johnstone.  Brenden demonstrates that maybe maasai aren't the highest jumpers after all!

Some could just not take the late night excitement. Look at how this little girl is sleeping!! She's not even half on the couch!
We got so many gifts of maasai beads and clothing. It was so touching and hard not to cry!

One last goodbye in Narok, our friends since forever-Daniel and Lawrence., this is not Nariobi!! We stopped in Israel on the way to the states.  Words fail me..yes, me!

Another major change!  A new grandson! Toby Wells joined AJ and Bethany soon after we got to the states. Man, he's cute and he's just going to get cuter.

Papa and Toby.

Our son Benjamin had his art show at Asbury University  These sculptures are made of tires.....yes, tires. If you want to see close ups of them, I have them posted on my Facebook page.

From BIG game photography to little avians. 
So, as you can see.  Our lives have changed and are changing.  I love that it gives us daily a venue to see God's grace and mercy.  His care and His concern. We are looking ahead for the rest of what He has for us.  We are on a short furlough in the states..until February, then we head back to Kenya. Stay tuned!!
Let me end with another quote: Soren Kirkegaard: "Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forward."

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