Sunday, April 8, 2012

So, what's the next adventure?

I wrote this blog almost exactly 4 weeks ago as I was flying out of Kenya.  Now I can post it :)

Greater things are get to come...

While this blog will not be posted for a little while (I want to share with my family first), I am currently I'm writing this from somewhere over the Gulf of Sidra and approximately 36,000 feet in the air, traveling at 495 ground MPH.  Oh, and the outside temperature is about -65 degrees.  Maybe I spend too much of my flights monitoring the display showing where we are.  It can almost be depressing at times...I still have another 3 hours or so before my first flight lands!  Somehow it seems fitting to be writing this blog now as, according to the display screen, I am officially no longer over African soil.  

I left Kitale yesterday and traveled by shuttle to Nairobi for the night.  It was a very long shuttle ride.  One that saw several tears and many more memories flashing by with the scenery outside the window.  This afternoon my flight departed from Nairobi.  I leaned against the window and just stared out as we were taking off.  One thought has been racing through my head:  I'm leaving my home now.  I've lived in Kenya now for 6 months.  I've come to call this beautiful land my home.  I'm far more comfortable in Kenya than I am in the US.  The other week I was talking to my dad on the phone as he asked me a rather tough question.  He asked if I was excited to be coming home.  I had to be honest with him.  I told him I'm excited to see my friends and family - I really am.  But, I'm not sure that I quite "fit in" back in the States anymore.  Life seems to make so much more sense to me in Kenya.  My heart officially belongs to Kenya.  That's not to say that I am turning my back on America or my family and friends there.  That's not that case at all.  But it is to say that I think that, for the time being at least, I belong in Kenya.  So what does that look like?

Last month I found out that the job I thought I had at camp was taken away.  Honestly, I was crushed by that.  All of a sudden so much of what I was planning for when I got home was gone.  I was talking to my friend Adam that was also living on the TI compound in Kenya one night.  I told him that I just want to find a job that matters - I want to be passionate about it.  As we talked more I said that I want to work with youth in ministry.  And I want to be able to practice an inner healing ministry that I took a class for a couple of years ago.  My passion is to see the youth's past wounds healed.  Then something wild happened...

I was helping my friend Carla out with a few computer things about 2 days later.  Carla and her husband Jeff run a children's home called In Step.  Currently they are home to 108 kids!  In Step takes in kids 4 years old and under that have been abandoned.  Some have been simply let by parents while others the parents have tried to kill the child.  While they take in kids 4 and younger, they commit to these kids for life.  That means that right now there are several older kids.  As I was working on Carla's computer she brought up the emotional needs of the older boys.  She started to share with me how she wants to find a man to work specifically with the oder boys and focus on their pasts.  So, everything that I told Adam I wanted was right in front of me.  Carla offered me a position at In Step to do this very thing.  

After taking some time to think and pray about it as well as seeking counsel of others, I accepted the offer.  I will be living in the dorms that are being built this summer.  My role will be to mentor these older boys into young men.  I already have several ideas and lessons I desire to teach them such as how to be a Godly man and how to treat women with the respect that they deserve (this is not a common belief for many in Kenya).  I will be meeting each one of the boys to begin talking about their past.  Many of them still have memories of the abandonment of their biological families.  I've seen first hand how the particular style of ministry that I will be doing can change a life.  I'm looking forward to what this opportunity brings.  

So, right now I am on my way back to the US for a little while.  Personally, I am hoping to be back home in Kenya by August.  I have a lot to do between now and then.  Mainly, I need to raise full time support (about $1000  month).  I also need to find some health insurance before booking a ticket back.  The course on this style of ministry has a 2nd level that I am also beginning the week after I get back as another way to prepare myself.  

I have much to do but the first priority is to rest when I am back in the US!  It's been a great 6 months and I've loved the adventure.  But now I need to rest a bit and process everything as I try to get over the culture shock that is waiting for me in the US.  Along with this is some much needed time with family and catching up with friends.  

"Greater things have yet to come.  Greater things are still to be done in this city." 

PS - we're now over the Mediterranean Sea

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