Monday, May 6, 2013

Karibu to Kenya

This past three weeks have been a blur.

Packing suitcases, throwing everything out & re-organizing suitcases, finding out they are too heavy, throwing everything out & re-organizing again.... then off to Denver... then London... and finally Nairobi. The trip was a bit rough on me (I rolled my ankle two days before our flight from Denver! What luck) but in some ways it was exhilarating. It was fun landing in London, looking like a couple of tourists, asking silly questions and not laughing at any jokes because we are in *serious mode*. My heart fluttered when we boarded the plane to Nairobi, this is it!

We rode a 777, those big planes with screens in the back of the seats. I got to finish Les Mis, and had a little too much fun imagining my own script to the cartoons playing on a certain channel (you listen in by plugging in your headphones to your armrest - I didn't do that for these cartoons. Hence, they were silent). Nairobi landing was smooth, although my heart was racing the whole time! What if something was wrong with our visas? What if we forgot some pertinent information or document? What if we looked too suspicious with our American scowls and messy hair? I felt like a secret agent about to get caught.

We stayed with our team leaders for about 10 days. They are a great family. Internet was limited, so we sent a short email to parents letting us know we arrived and then pulled out our books. It's amazing how much free time you have when you cut internet out of your life. Try it for a week, if you dare! ;)

Yesterday we moved into a guest house on the north end of the city. Our team has taken it easy on us in order to let my ankle heal. This has been a blessing but I am also SO anxious to start. So many years of my life have led up to this trip... I am learning the art of "African timing"... throw away the clock and the calendar, it happens when it happens!

Even though I am excited to begin, I am ready to explore the city, I am nervous but determined to be immersed into the rich culture and life of my surroundings I am also happy to rest. This morning I woke up thinking how our rest is a form of worship

So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. ~ Genesis 2:3

We honor God when we acknowledge our need to rest and embrace it. Sometimes it's easy to do so, sometimes it's not. Obligations, responsibilities, duties, errands... they pile up. We admire people who can get "so much done" in a day. We pursue accomplishments like trophies. That work ethic can be good, but it all depends on where you place it amongst your priorities. Whether you value it above God, yourself, your family, your friends, or the very people you are working for.

All that to say... I am grateful for accomplishments, and I am grateful for rest. I am in awe that God, knowing our need for rest (but our desire to keep accomplishing), made it a command to rest among the Israelites. I can't wait to see how this period of rest fleshes out... and how it catapults me into the next chapter when that time comes.

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