Thursday, August 28, 2014

together we are stronger

One of my highlights while in Njuruta was visiting an IGA group (Income Generating Activities). We have done trainings with them on past trips, but this was the first time I had the opportunity to sit down at one of their meetings and hear about everything they have accomplished together. Wow! I was blown away by how much they were able to accomplish together and how well they take care of each other. 

After sharing a meal together, they gave us an update on how their group was doing (their group is one of the most successful in Njuruta). We were thrilled to hear how they had pooled money to make sure that each one of them had 5 goats and chickens to help provide food. Likewise they had pooled enough money to purchase solar panels for everyone so they can have a little electricity. This is among other things very important for the education of their community as it provides light for the students to use as they study. They also shared about their future plans to use their pooled savings to generate income for the group. 

I am so proud of all they have accomplished and how dedicated they are to furthering the development and success of their community. I love how they look out for each other and trust each other. What an incredible reminder that together we can accomplish so much more. Together we are stronger. 

As a parting gift we received a big box of eggs. Wow, what an incredible gift! We are humbled by their generosity.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

wordless wednesday

Monday, August 25, 2014

happy birthday to my brother

Today is my wonderful brother's birthday. I am so thankful for him. He is such a great friend, always there for me if I need him.  

We wish we could help celebrate you, Andreas! We love and miss you!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

i'm so proud and honored to know this boy

I have introduced you before to a very special boy named Antony (and his brother Lawrence) here and here. This boy has a very special place in my heart. I have known him since he was about five years old. He is now about 13 years old and I am so proud of him and so honored to be part of his life. In July I was blessed to see him for the fourth time. One thing that had changed since my last visit was the absence of his spunky grandmother. She is old and has fallen ill and isn't able to live with Antony and Lawrence anymore. For the first time it really really sunk in how difficult their life is and is going to be. I mean, I obviously was aware of it before from past visits, but it hit me hard this time around. This visit was both an incredible highlight, but also incredibly difficult at the same time.

Antony and his brother Lawrence are orphans. They don't really have any reliable caretakers so they take care of everything on their own. They must find and fetch water, cook the meals (assuming there is anything to eat), milk the cow (so thankful they have one even if it doesn't produce much) etc. And they are still going to school. They aren't doing well in school, however, because of everything they are responsible for outside of school. In the past eight years Antony has only made it to the 3rd grade. But I am super proud of him! I am proud of him for still going to school and trying his best. I am proud of him for being as strong as he is and capable of taking care of himself - and still having a smile on his face. I am proud of him for having a roof over his head and being more responsible than he should be at his age in the same culture. I am so thankful that he and his twin brother have each other. I am thankful that they can do this life together. Most likely they have a really hard life ahead of them. That makes my heart ache. My role is not to sweep in and "save" them, but I can pray for them. Seeing  them and where they live helps me know how to pray for them. And that I am committed to doing. When we peeked into their room they share with their calf, I saw his bible as one of his only possessions. I pray that despite of his circumstances he will know the Lord and lean on Him.

Friday, August 22, 2014

starting every morning with singing and dancing

Every day when we arrived in Njuruta we were greeted with song and dance. And the dancing wasn't a performance for us ... it was interactive:) What a joyful way to start the day. The team was great  - everyone jumped right in and danced (even though we couldn't begin to compare to the dancing talent of the community:))

Thursday, August 21, 2014

njuruta 2014

We had the incredible opportunity to return to Kenya again this year. It was wonderful to be back in the community that we love so much and to see friends and meet new people in the community. We also had the privilege of serving along side a new team from Chrio Communities.

As I mentioned in a previous post about Njuruta (the community where we serve), it is drought-ridden and therefore very dry and windy. There is no running water or electricity. Despite these circumstances we were always greeted with BIG smiles and song and dance. These people are truly an encouragement to us and remind us to be joyful even in the midst of trials and hard times. It is truly an honor to know these people. We feel so privileged they would let us be part of their lives while we were there and welcome us into their community. FH (food for the hungry) does amazing work there. We are so thankful for the work they do in Njuruta on our behalf.

 I look forward to sharing more stories from our time there in the days to come. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

wordless wednesday

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


our team

Last month we were incredibly blessed to be able to return to Kenya. On our way there we had a layover in London, which we took full advantage of.

We had some lovely tour guides - Naomi, Paul and little Livvy. It was great to see friends from Kenya (now living in England) and to meet sweet Livvy. I was also grateful Michael had a chance to meet these wonderful friends of mine. We were so thankful for the time we had with them. Miss you guys!

Monday, August 18, 2014

grandma lund

Right before we left for Florida Michael's grandmother passed away:( So as soon as we arrived home from Florida (as in six hours later) we got on a plane and flew to Washington to attend the service and be with family. Michael reflected on his grandmother's final days and how she will be remembered here.  I am so happy I had the chance to get to know her these past six years.

We feel so blessed that we were able to fly back to Washington to be with family. During times of loss family is the best comfort. It was great to see everyone we hadn't seen since Thanksgiving. Here are some snapshots from our days there.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

happy first birthday joshua

happy first birthday, sweet joshua!
we are so thankful we have gotten to see you several times this year even though you live so far away.
we miss you and love you. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

celebrating caleb in person

While we were visiting my parents one last time in Florida it was Michael's nephew Caleb's 7th birthday. Caleb happens to live in Florida as well so on his birthday we took a surprise day trip to see him (and the rest of his family) to help celebrate the day. We don't usually get to celebrate birthdays with family the day of so this was a special treat and to be able to surprise the boys was extra fun. Here are a couple of pictures from the day (unfortunately we didn't take many pictures:(

wrestling and tickling is always part of a good visit:)