Sunday, January 22, 2017

Challenges and Sweet Experiences

We've had a stressful few weeks with some issues going on that needed to be dealt with.  A mission is not for the fainthearted!  Glad we are here while we still have our health (such as it is!)  We are still enjoying it though, as we look for the good.  Kenyans are warm, friendly people and we love sharing our testimonies of Jesus Christ with them.  We haven't had any baptisms due to our efforts yet but we've perhaps planted seeds.

Our main responsibility is to support our young missionaries.  We get calls at all hours from missionaries who are out of power, out of water, or who have lost their keys.  Glad we can help!  But on the other hand, we're also trying to teach them to take responsibility:  check your power meter, check your water, hang on to your keys!!

I had a sweet experience lately.  I check through all missionaries' documents to make sure things are right.  I noticed that for one missionary, Elder Gimeyi (you can see his picture in my previous post), his name was different on his passport and his mission call than on all his other documents.  On his application, it was Gimeyi, but on his passport it was Gimenyi.  I realized that he goes by Gimeyi not by Gimenyi.  I also realized that according to the church, he would be called Gimenyi.  So I phoned the MTC (Missionary Training Center) in Johannesburg, South Africa and suggested that his name tag be Elder Gimeyi, NOT Elder Gimenyi.  The secretary said she would make the change.

When Elder Gimeyi arrived, his name tag was correct and I was pleased.  I talked to him about it and he said that he had been praying that his name tag would be correct and he was so happy to find that it was.  He and I were both happy that I had listened to the inspiration I received to make the change.  We get inspiration from God for even the smallest things.

I'm always astounded at the things the housekeepers in the apartments near us wash around here.  Everything is washed in big tubs of cold water with lots of soap.  (By the way, this is the way most missionaries also do their laundry and they don't have housekeepers to do it for them).  The housekeepers wash backpacks and of course bedding and clothes.  But they also wash shoes.  Obviously they're not made of leather!  The girls scrub the shoes and lay them out to dry.  I'm glad I have an electric washer and dryer!  Maybe I ought to be washing my shoes!
Kids having fun on the Bungee Jump at The Hub.  Not something I enjoy but the little child was happy.  One on the other side was not.  And her mother kept clicking away taking pictures of the very frightened child!

I wish you could see this long train of shopping carts better.  It was SO long and pushed by three young men.  I should have gotten their attention so they would have turned and looked at me.  This was in the underground parking at The Hub, an upscale shopping mall here in Karen.

Hair is a big deal for Kenyan women and girls, and even very young girls.  Their normal, short, wiry hair is hard for them to do anything with so they are constantly changing hair styles by going to the hair dresser and having braids woven in.  Anytime you see color you know it's some kind of fiber woven in.  And any time it is long and smooth, you know it's a wig.  Very interesting.
Here's a close-up of different hair styles. 

Even the overpasses have advertisements for hair styles.  They tell me that they wish they had soft hair like Westerners.  I tell them that we have just as much trouble "doing" our hair as they do.  Today at church, one young girl came up and lightly rubbed my arm.  I asked if she wanted to feel my hair, and yes, that's exactly what she wanted to do.  She was amazed.

We see lots of mosques as there are lots of Muslims here.  But I took this picture because this is the first time we have heard the call to prayer coming from one of the mosques.  We were so excited.  We love the call to prayer here in Nairobi.  Some muezzins have very melodic voices and some definitely do not!

Interesting billboard.  A peaceful night's sleep here in Kenya means one in which you are not attacked by mosquitoes.  Actually here in the Karen area of Nairobi, there are less mosquitoes because it's higher in altitude.  But we keep our doors shut after dark and if we have to open them, we do it quickly so the mosquitoes won't come in.  And we had a carpenter build us screens for our windows so we can keep them open at night for the fresh air.  We also use this plug-in repellent, Mortein, that is advertised on this billboard.  We don't use mosquito nets although most people do here.  No one has told them about screens on windows I guess.  The mosquitoes here are bigger than at home and they fly slower so they're easier to swat with our electric swatter.  But they definitely bite.  For some strange reason, they go after LeRon here more than me.  At home, they attack me with a vengeance (I thought because of my sweeter blood due to diabetes) but they hardly get me here.

Their billboards are huge and so interesting.

Almost caught the logo on this bus:  "If God is for us, who can be against us?"

Stuck in traffic again.  We had to go downtown so LeRon could go to the dentist.  We don't have much traffic here in the Karen area where we live and where our mission office is.

Stopped on the street to shake hands with Elder Barnard and Elder Limu.  They were both sweating buckets.  When the sun is not behind a cloud, the rays are very intense even though the temperature is only in the mid-80's (26-30 C).  But the mornings and evenings are still cool which is very nice.  For being on the equator, I can take these temperatures!

So on this same hot day as the picture above, we saw this man in a heavy coat and black gloves!  He even had a hat on.  I don't know how he could stand it in the heat!

Sacred Ibises (smaller birds) and the Maribou Storks.  Those storks are huge.

The Maribou Storks are so ugly they're cute!  These pictures were taken just around the corner from where we live.  You don't want to walk in their droppings!


  1. Thanks for writing, Colleen! Always interesting and inspirational!