As Abby and I made our final preparations to return to Kenya, we planned on a nice easy transition back into our life in Nanyuki and the ministry. We would use the first week catching up with people and move our things into our new house. Then I would have time to see how different ministries are going and have some leisurely meetings with our leaders about vision moving forward along with a lot of prayer. I would also have plenty of time to shop for a new vehicle and get it ready to tackle the rough roads on the way to our northern church plants.
That all sounds so nice, but we were greeted in Kenya by reality. 2 weeks after arriving in Nanyuki our move-in status is probably best rated as “livable.” Suitcases are 90% unpacked, the big items have been moved over from the old house (still leaving lots of little things), our clothes are settled in the guest bedroom (because the master does not have any hanging space built yet), piles of items without a place are organized neatly in corners in each room, and Adalyn at least has a small space for her crib at night. Most of this is thanks to Abby.
On my end, the tools are thrown in the shed to be sorted later and most of the things still in the old house are probably mine. The status of setting up my office, well let’s just say Abby is happy that she can close the door and not have to look at the mess. Then there are the mice which have moved in while people were away. I think we almost have that issue sorted, but I think the next team coming from the States will have better traps in their suitcase. Abby doesn’t find it as entertaining as I do to watch them scurry across the living room in the evening.
So what have I been doing if not following my nice plan of gradually settling in? Mostly giving all my money away…. I arrived to find a lot had been neglected regarding our 2 orphanages while I was away. When word of my arrival spread problems started coming from everywhere. Kids out of school for unpaid fees, others going without shoes on their feet, broken eyeglasses, missing calculators, unattended medical concerns, and the list could go on. Before major alarms start going off, let me note that all these issues are common with families in Kenya, but they should not have happened to the kids in the childrens homes.
Fortunately, the church and especially our youth director, Moses, have stepped in to help. Because of the urgency of the situation I have dipped into my savings and the church has also contributed so things can be handled quickly. Moses and I have spent the last couple weeks in emergency mode buying school supplies, paying missing fees, running kids back to school, communicating with principles, and tackling any other problems that pop up.
Now I am starting to meet with those left in charge to go over accounts and figure out what went wrong. Then I’ll have to sort out where we can find money in the ministry to reimburse the church and also Abby and I if possible. Then I will have to reorganize the administration of the homes, again. I have learned a lot, and unlike last time I do not see intentional wrongdoing so far, just someone who got in over their head and failed to reach out for help.
I did take one day away to travel up to the northern town of Laisamis to do a survey for a friend who wants to put a borehole there. I plan on writing another post on that.
So life has been crazy and I have hit the ground running. Not a surprise really, but it is really in line with how my life as a missionary has been the last few years. God has been teaching me to know when to end my workday and leave the rest for tomorrow (if you have written me an email in the last couple weeks know that I am working on them slowly). I am so thankful for a supportive wife and beautiful baby girl to come home to. I am also strengthened knowing that this is exactly why God has me in Kenya. I will run my race.