We haven't talked about this much publicly. Its a big decision. There are the kids to think about. Coming to Nairobi was the first step for us, and we wanted to take this one step at a time. Throughout our time here, even starting at orientation, we have been learning more about AIM, our focus, and the incredible team of committed people that are working to carry out that focus. The reality is, they need help. If we are counting ourselves as part of that team, we wanted to be willing to do whatever we could to support the establishment of Christ-centered churches among all African peoples. Even if it meant doing that from Lokichoggio. This was not an easy decision for us. It is taking, I believe, a lot more trust than coming to Africa in the first place. That might sound crazy, but the different between Nairobi and Loki is quite pronounced! Its a bit of a wild west up there.
At this season of our family's life, we feel like we can contribute to the needs at the Loki base, and thrive as a family at the same time. We know our children's needs will change as they grow up, and we want to not sacrifice them on the altar of "ministry." But right now, we are looking forward to this great adventure as a family! There are two amazing families up there now, and we are excited to join them. Once we made this decision, our next step was to try to go visit. (If you remember from, well, the past few years, I'm a bit of a planner.) I know flexibility is the name of the game here, but it was worth a try. We've tried three times to go up, and it has fallen through. The Lord has seen fit to honor my strong need to know whats ahead of us, though, because we are going tomorrow morning, all together as a family! Patrick will be helping to switch an engine out, and the kids and I will get to meet people and explore our future home. (Which won't take very long, in the town proper ;-)
As you can imagine, this word "home" is not to be taken lightly to us. I know things are not important, but it has been 2.5 years since we have lived in our own home, with our own things. It will still be awhile, we will be living in another family's house while they are on home assignment, which will give us a chance to figure out suitable housing for our family. I don't think we'll be starting from scratch, but whatever we find will require quite a bit of work to make it a long term home. We had no idea even what place we would end up calling home. For years, since we had Pastor Bob over (shout out, FSBC Pratt! ;-) and shared with him the journey we were starting on, we had no idea where we would end up. I was pregnant with Caroline then, and she's about to turn 4. Our hearts are longing for home, wherever that may be. I am grateful to the point of tears that tomorrow we will see a place that has been completely unknown to us so far. I wouldn't say reservations, but we definitely, to be honest, have some fears, some anxiety, about moving our family to a place like this. It will mean the most drastic lifestyle change one can possibly imagine. But we trust that the God who calls us is faithful.
This is just a quick trip, 48 hours. We are still in Nairobi for another 6 weeks or so. Patrick is nearly done with maintenance orientation, and will start studying for his Kenyan pilots license soon. (Yay Patrick!) He'll take that (very challenging) exam beginning of June, and then we'll see about moving to northern Kenya. We would really really appreciate your prayers, on this trip, and over the next little while. Thank you!