All posts by Kings In Africa



I’m one of “those” people.  I hate puzzles.  I don’t have the patience, and puzzle pieces that fit don’t jump out at me.

That being said, I love it when puzzle pieces come together, and it’s God who has orchestrated the design.

We went through all the emotions of being obligated to stay in the US for a few months instead of immediately returning to Kenya.  Anxiety (what do we do now?), restlessness (what about all the loose ends we left in Loki?), and annoyance (no control over the situation – need I say more?).

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 jumped out at me.

5:16 Be joyful always;

5:17 pray continually;

5:18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

First step was to accept God’s Word as truth when I didn’t feel like it.  Deep breath, release frustration to Jesus, and choose to trust His heart towards me/us.

                Once again, when I released trust to God, He showed up. 

The scene: a Seahawk’s game.  Friends catching up and sharing life.  Laughing, cheering (they won!), talking about the mundane things that make up life.

It turns out that my friend coaches youth basketball for a Christian private school in Duvall.  When I mentioned that Renee and Ian would love to play for the time we’re here, my friend encouraged me to check with the Director (also a friend), but was sure it would be fine.

                Puzzle pieces started fitting together.

We love our life in Loki, but to be coached by actual coaches, (not Mom) seemed impossible unless they went to boarding school.  It seems God loves to work within impossible.  Renee and Ian are playing for Hillside Wildcats for as long as we’re in Duvall.  They know their coaches (ahh, the blessings of having lived in a small community), and Ian knows most of his team-mates.   For two kids who are used to living in the remote desert of Kenya, to be surrounded by encouraging, Christian coaches and friends as they play on a competitive team for the first time is truly a blessing.

               Pieces that could only be put together by God.

It’s easy to be joyful, pray and give thanks when circumstances are going our way; but Jesus has deeper plans than what is in plain view.  His plan involves trusting Him in all circumstances.  Are we delayed so that Renee and Ian can play basketball?  Probably not.  However, God sees the deepest desires of our hearts, and His vision goes farther and deeper than mine.

            Another puzzle piece is in place in the Master Puzzle.  A beautiful one for sure.

Love Changes Everything

love-changes-everythingThey say that when you have a child, you don’t love less because your heart is divided; you love more because your heart grows.

Funny how that works.

Being born and raised in Canada, I’ve always loved the quiet beauty of the land and people.  National pride for those qualities that are … Canadian.  They’re hard to write on paper, but are written in our hearts and how we see/live life.  So when I left Canada to work in the U.S. (totally thinking it would be temporary), I was sure I would never love Americans the way I love my native homeland.  I was wrong.  23 years later, tears roll down my face when I hear the American national anthem, and I pray with all my heart for this nation.  This not only is the homeland of my husband and two children, but in my heart is my home as well.  My heart has swelled to adopt this nation as home.  So much for thinking it was temporary.

Enter Kenya and the Turkana people.  I saw pictures on Facebook of the ladies I teach Monday morning devotions to, and my heart wept.  Two years in Loki, two months being back in the U.S.*, and my heart yearns to be with them again.  I want to see their smiling faces as they greet me, hear more of their stories, and see our prayers being answered.  Sorrow began to descend; then I smiled.  My heart has grown again.

The thing I’m learning is the more I choose to love, choose to let people into my heart; the easier it is to love strangers.  Strangers don’t stay strangers for long.  They become friends.

I love how God works – binding hearts together in the most unlikely places through perfectly orchestrated encounters.  Of all the things I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving, a growing heart to love the people God puts in my path is top of my list.  Thank you, God.  You knew.

*For those who are out of the loop, we emergently returned to the U.S. for a family emergency (Joel’s mom) and found out my Green Card status does not allow me to live out of the U.S. for more than 6 months a year.  I’ve applied for a re-entry permit which allows me to return to Kenya and be allowed back into the U.S. with my Green Card status intact; and also applied for American citizenship.  All paperwork has been filed, so I’m waiting for approval of the re-entry permit and an appointment for citizenship fingerprinting and photographs.  Lord willing, we hope to return to Kenya within a few months.

Back up and Running

Ok, so this is pretty embarrassing.  It has been almost exactly a year since we last added a post to this blog.  Partly due to us being locked out of our admin page, but mostly to just being too busy to keep up with it.  I know neither are great excuses.  How ’bout this.  I hate writing and LaReina has been too busy.  That’s more like it.  Oh, and we were locked out of our admin page.

Anyhow all that aside, we are now back up and running and have updated a lot of info and links on the blog.  Mainly the Newsletters Archive.  If you have been wondering what we have been up to and have not received our newsletters, click on the Newsletter link above and you will find an up-to-date list.  We will try to at least keep the blog current with those.

Where are we now.  As most of you know, we came back to the US in September to be with Joel’s mom before she passed October 4.  We spent some time in Alaska to be with Joel’s dad as he transitioned through this time.  We were also working on LaReina’s Green Card and citizenship issue.  See Next Steps for more information on that.

We are now in Duvall, WA awaiting the results of the request for the Reentry Permit and the initial steps for the Citizenship process for LaReina.  All the paperwork has been submitted and now we wait.  The Reentry Permit is what will allow her to leave the US and return without any issues.  Without it, she cannot leave the US and retain her Permanent Resident Green Card status.  It will probably only be good for one year.  For a long term solution, we are also working on her American Citizenship.  Because we were out of the US for so long, we encountered complications for the routine process.  We have retained an immigration attorney who specializes in missionary citizenship to guide us through this part.  Again, everything has been turned in and we are awaiting the results or appointments for the next steps in the process.

We are praying we will have the Reentry permit and Bio-metrics for the Citizenship done by January 5th so we can use our current tickets to get back to Kenya.  At this point we have received no indication how long this could take.  Please be praying for this.


Inside Out

There’s a movie that I watched on the 18 hours of air-time flying back to Nairobi from Edmonton, Alberta called “Inside Out”.  It personifies the different emotions that make up our personality.  It was great timing to watch, because I think we’ve hit all those emotions in our transition back … joy, anger, fear, disgust, and sadness.

We landed into Jomo Kenyatta at 9:00PM Friday, an hour earlier than scheduled.  Great, right?  Joy!  Then we entered the immigration line and waited… and waited … and waited …and the realization that we’ve departed not just from America, but also from the quick pace we had become accustomed to, seeped in.  As sheer exhaustion set in, joy faded.  We just wanted to get home.

A new day brought new energy – JOY with lying horizontal for a full night’s sleep, or at least 5 hours, and reconnecting with old friends and meeting new team members that arrived while we were in America.

It’s an interesting conundrum to re-engage in a third world country again.  Nairobi hasn’t changed much, except I really think the potholes have gotten worse.  Traffic is as crazy as ever, and to try to increase efficiency, some round-abouts and turns have been closed (and really confused our GPS that is doing its best to direct us where we need to go).

The fumes of exhaust and wood smoke burn our throats again.  Monkeys walk tight-rope over power lines and slide down the slide (true story!).  Our mornings start with hearing Muslim chanting from the mosque down the road.  As I was walking to see a friend in another neighborhood, a man who was inebriated (I think) and staggering past me suddenly realized he had passed a muzungu (white person) and quickly turned to try to get my attention.  I smiled and continued on … my white skin stands out again.

Many times in this last week, I smiled and continued on, refusing to let disgust, anger, or fear catch hold. I reflect on two years ago when we were seeing this all for the first time, and feel comfort that it’s not shocking this time.

Also this week, we received news that some of our dearest friends have experienced some trials since we’ve been gone and will be heading back to the States earlier than originally scheduled.  Our hearts cried with them.  We weren’t here.  I think that might be one of the things about being a missionary that you can’t prepare yourself for … the desire to be with all the people you love at the same time.  We’re thankful for the rich time we had with friends and family in North America, but a hole was left in our life here.  Sadness.

Joel has had a whirlwind week of getting his flight details in order, studying for his Caravan tests (which he took AND PASSED!!! Friday), getting base checks done and back in the flow of AIM AIR.  His endurance amazes me, but I guess that’s part of the reason God called him to be a missionary pilot.  It’s not for the faint of heart.

This is our life, our mission family, our home.  It FEELS like home.  We can’t wait to get to Loki … another couple of weeks.  We have conference next week, and then home to Loki.  As Renee and Ian say, “Home is where the cats are.”  Home means different things to different people, but for me, home is where I slip back into somewhat of a regular schedule.  Home is where I breathe.  Not that I haven’t been breathing, but I’m sure you know what I mean.

Through all the range of emotions in yet another transition, joy is by far the ruling emotion in all of us.  We’re where we’re supposed to be. God has kept our hearts united in Him, to each other, and to this land.

Change always comes

We received some sad news this morning.  Our dear friend, John (the man I mentioned in my last blog post) died in his bed in the village early this morning.

Jasimbo, John, Joel, and Jimmy
Jasimbo, John, Joel, and Jimmy

Joel and I had visited his home last Monday to take him food to nourish his ailing body.  His home was a single room with mud walls, dirt floor, no electricity, a single bed and table.  John mustered all the strength he had to stand and greet us, Mum and Dad.  He was so happy to see us, thankful for the food.  His brother informed us that the local doctors were arranging government transport to take John to the hospital in Lodwar, that the medicines had made him “go crazy” a few nights ago.  John’s split, swollen lip on his sunken face verified that.

My heart heavy, we prayed for John, safe passage to Lodwar, and a blessing upon the food we had brought.  The transport never came.  None of the taxis would take him.  The food that we furnished to nourish him never crossed his lips.  It was cooked, but no one made sure John ate.  In his confused, weakened state, John wasn’t coherent enough to go eat the last four days of his life.  His throat parched, it hurt him to drink and no one tenderly urged him to.

I asked if John had a relationship with Jesus, and the reply with a sad smile was that he used to.  He had accepted Christ when he was in his 20s, but then he started a taxi business, and the money started coming in.  Alcohol also entered in, and it was about that time that he stopped going to church.  His business failed, and available work in Loki was minimal.  He would pick up manual labor jobs here and there, but most of the time he would join the guys who sit outside our gate talking, playing games, and just passing the day away.

This morning, John’s body was wrapped in white cloth, and the village men dressed in white took him away.  They dug a grave for him, and that was the end of his life here on earth.  No funeral service, no ceremony, no funeral homes.

In my sadness, I know God is good and just.  I don’t know where John is right now, but I hope he’s with Jesus.  I hope that the few months he spent with us and our prayers somehow relit his fire and love for Jesus to carry him through those last days.

Jasimbo is another one of our helpers who now also has TB, but in the beginning stages.  He’s faithfully taking the medicines, not drinking alcohol (which inhibits the medicines from working), trying to eat well and isolate his utensils so no one else becomes infected.  He doesn’t blame John for his illness, but I think he’s learned from John’s lack of attention to his care.  We talked about the importance of keeping God in our lives through the good times and the bad, not leaving him behind when finances and life are going well.  Jasimbo smiled, and said probably the most insightful thing I’ve ever heard him say, “Change always comes.”

Change always comes.  From good to bad, bad to good, through the hills and the valleys of life, the one thing we can always count on is change.  The only thing that has ever remained constant is God.

“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.  Isaiah 54:10


There are those who don’t believe miracles happen any more.   I’m not one of them.

Maybe that’s because I see them.  I saw a miracle happen just this morning.  Not a parting of the Red Sea, but watching a man’s eyes go from hopeless despair to bright and shining.  A man who had an encounter with the Living God.

John is a Kenyan who helps us with outdoor projects.  Over the past few months, John’s been getting weaker and weaker, thinner and thinner.  He had been tested for malaria which was negative, but his cough was getting worse and his chest was hurting.  We sat down with him and urged him to go for further testing, that something was terribly wrong with his health.

We were right.  John has TB.  He was set up with the local clinic to start receiving daily shots for 6 weeks, then pills for 6 months.  Not a fun road to travel, but at least a road that should lead to restored health.  John continued to work the best he could in his weakened condition.  His medical treatment is covered by a help agency, but he still needs to put food on the table for himself and his family.

John came to work this morning, and as I served him his eggs and toast for breakfast, he shared that the clinic hasn’t been able to get the medicine that he needs.  The one that they think will best fight the TB needs to come from Nairobi and it didn’t come this week.  More than his words, I heard the dejection in his voice.  There’s such an overbearing presence of darkness that lies over Lokichoggio that perpetuates the lie that most have come to believe, “We are the forgotten people.”

I felt John’s aloneness.  His hopelessness.  His desperation to travel to Lodwar … ANYWHERE where they can treat his condition.  Never mind the logistic fact that he would have no roof over his head, no food, and no one to care for him.

So we stopped to pray to God.  To God who knows exactly what is going on in John’s body and exactly how to fix it.  Whether supernaturally, or through medicines, it is God who heals.  We asked Him to heal John completely, restore his energy, restore his appetite, and relieve his pain.  We asked for the medicines to arrive on Monday … no, today.  Even on Saturday, please send them today.  We claimed the truth that nothing is impossible for God.

Miracle time.  3 hours later as John was finishing his work, he said that the lab tech tracked him down to find him and tell him the medicines arrived this morning.  They will continue treatment Monday morning.

Is the miracle that the medicine arrived?  Maybe in part, but I think the greater miracle is the work that happened in John’s heart today.  We look for miracles in the physical realm and glance over the amazing miracles of restored hope in our hearts.

The love of a lab tech who took it upon himself to find John and let him know the medicines are here because the number they had for John wasn’t working (his phone dropped in an outhouse, but that’s another story).

The perfect timing of the medicine arriving a few hours after we prayed restored John’s faith in prayer.  With glistening eyes, John said, “Mama Ian, your prayers, they change things.  God changes things.”

I replied, “God loves you, John.”

John smiled and repeated, “God loves me.  I will have a few years left.”  He continued to tell me about his children that are in school (I think he was telling me his reason for living, but not in flowery words).

I think the biggest miracle that happened this morning was that John saw and felt first-hand the mighty hand of God.  He saw that just trusting in Him changed things.  He didn’t need to travel to another city for his treatment to be done right and be healed.  He’s not forgotten.  Not only will God bring the medicine to Loki, He’ll send a messenger to find him.  John has hope for more tomorrows with his children.

John thinks it was my prayer.  I don’t.  I think the prayer was a catalyst to stoke his faith, the faith of a mustard seed that will move mountains.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains –

 where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord,

The Maker of heaven and earth.

Ps 121


To Give or Not to Give, that is the question

To Give or Not to Give, that is the question.

It’s one we’re faced with every day.  Young children approach us in town with one outstretched hand and the other rubbing their tummy.  “Ten shilling?” they ask with pleading eyes.

Now is the season of Student Fees.  Students attend school with modest fees through Standard 8 (Grade 8), but the cost skyrockets for Form 1-4 (Grades 9-12).  They need to go away to school for Form 1-4, so each student needs a mattress, bedding, appropriate uniforms and shoes, toiletries, school supplies, etc.  For families that are barely making enough money to eat once or twice a day, these additional fees seem unattainable.  For some they are.  But to not have an education means any hope for a bright future is gone.

This morning, Joel was approached by a young man in town.  This boy spoke English well and explained his situation.  Both of his parents had died and he was being taken care of by his grandmother who is blind.  He’d been accepted into the Mapendo Student Support Scholarship fund (run by our fellow missionary friends Kea and Birgetta) so his tuition was paid, he just needed his essentials to start Form 1.  School started yesterday, but he’s not permitted entry without all his personal essentials.

Now we’ve heard our share of stories that are modified slightly for effect, so Joel inquired of the Mapendo Manager if this student had indeed been accepted.  It turns out she had been trying to locate him, but had been unsuccessful.  God works in mysterious ways.  In the end, he was accepted into the program for the tuition portion, but his living essentials were still due.  Now Joel and I were faced with a decision.  “To give, or not to give.”

This is something we and most missionaries out here struggle with.  What is the Christ-honoring answer?  We’ve seen the effects of the West giving with no follow-up investing in the future of Africans.  Money given is often money gone with nothing to show for it, no long lasting change.  In fact, free money has been shown to impede the very self-motivation that would provide a sustainable future.

So we’re left with this young man standing in front of us, his future hanging in the balance.  Five more days and he loses his spot at the school.  Maybe next year he can attend.  Maybe.

As we’ve been inquiring of the Lord, lately we’ve been hearing more and more to care for His sheep.  I’ve got to tell you, there’s A LOT of sheep.

This morning, Joel and I thought it would be an ordinary day, running errands and preparing for flights, but this tugged at our hearts, changing the course of our day.  Following the Holy Spirit works like that; interrupting our schedules, disrupting our black and white lives and introducing grey.

This morning, this young man was faced with a mountain that he had no idea how or if he would overcome.

“I lift up my eyes up to the mountains –

where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord,

the Maker of heaven and earth.”  Ps 121:1-2

To give or not to give?  How do you take yourself out of the way for the Lord’s will to be done?  Where do you intervene?  Are we part of God’s plan for this young man’s life?  And if we are, how do we make sure God is recognized and glorified through whatever involvement we might have?

Merry Christmas from Lokichoggio


Merry Christmas from Lokichoggio!
Christmas Day is two days away.  Our Christmas turkey is thawing, just like yours.  Renee and Ian eagerly anticipate the opening of presents; the Christmas tree is brightly decorated and stockings are hung.  Christmas cookies are yet to be made, presents are mostly wrapped.  We will enjoy Christmas dinner with our AIM AIR Loki family and a Swedish couple who serves here.Sounds a lot like your Christmas, huh?  We’ve tried to keep Christmas traditions alive and well.

A few differences:
No snow!  This is good and bad.  We are actually starting our summer.  I think we all miss the snow a little.

We are so excited to have a Christmas turkey!  It came from Nairobi and had to travel 5 hours through the heat in a cooler, so we prayed it would not thaw on our trip back to Loki.  We also brought up a turkey for one of the missionary families Joel delivers supplies to – a huge blessing.  There are no turkeys to be found in this region, and very few chickens.  Pork, and therefore ham is hard to come by and extremely expensive (and it just doesn’t taste like home).

To make Christmas cookies, we bring up frozen blocks of butter when we visit Nairobi.  It’s a challenge to buy butter in Loki; sometimes it’s available in small quantities, but most of the time is unavailable.  The temperature outside is topping 100 degrees F (38 degrees C) and getting hotter, so to have the oven on is an early morning endeavor (and LaReina does not necessarily love early morning endeavors, hence it’s two days before Christmas and it’s still not done).

Nairobi is very expensive to buy gifts, so we did the same as last year; we ordered gifts from Amazon and had them brought over by folks who were heading to Nairobi.  Thank you to those who helped facilitate this!  Another huge Blessing!

The Christmas tree lights are run on solar power, so we limit the time they’re on.  We only have so many hours of sunlight to recharge the batteries and a lot of options to USE power, which means we need to consider and choose where the energy goes.  Laundry trumps tree lights some days!  We use city power for air-conditioning, so we want to be mindful of our use of city power beyond that.  So far our balancing act has been working!  Thank you again for those who helped with the solar project and enabled air-conditioning.  Life in Loki would be very difficult without both.

It was a pleasant surprise to be greeted by our brother-in-law, Will when we arrived back in Loki from 3 weeks in Nairobi (we thought our schedules would have us miss each other).  What a delightful gift!  We only had a few minutes before both pilots needed to continue on their way, but the sweet moments with family warmed our hearts.  God is so generous!

IPAD 579
Our brother-in-law was waiting on the ramp in Loki when we returned from our trip to Nairobi.  It was fun to see him half way around the world.  And in Loki of all places.  He was just passing through.
Christmas Birthday Party:
Every time we go into Loki for groceries (we live about ¼ mile out of town), the local children wave and come running to greet us.  Most of the time it’s with outstretched hands hoping they will receive something.  The Lord impressed on LaReina’s heart that the only way to change the perception of these self-named “Forgotten People” is to invite Him into their lives.  Though many have looked past the Turkana people to assist the refugees of South Sudan, God has seen their need and never forgotten them.  We will be joining with the Hurds and a Turkana friend to bring Jesus’ birthday party to the streets of Loki.  The local women’s group (Akimorikin Agaberu Anatenoyek or ANA – meaning “A strong women” in Turkana) is making 100 Jesus bead bracelets that we will give out after sharing the Good News of Jesus’ birth.  We will share carrot cake and pray that the seeds that are planted in their hearts will grow long after the cake no longer satisfies their hunger.
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The ANA group ladies gather every morning to make necklaces and bracelets to be sold. They were thankful for this project and guaranteed income at this time of year! Eunice (blue/white striped shirt) is also our afternoon house-help, an amazing woman of God, and single mother of 4.
The Guys:
Joel has developed a wonderful relationship with our Saturday gardening crew and general help (Jasimbo, John and Jimmy).  Jimmy (far right) has adopted us as Mother and Father, bringing 2 of his daughters to meet us, extending an invitation  to his home, and offering 2 goats (Yes, we now have goats).  Joel has been working with them developing work ethics, listening to life problems, offering guidance, and praising wise decisions.  All the things that OUR Father provides for us.  The trust and respect is opening the doors to deeper conversations.   It’s amazing what God can do with fertile hearts…
Joel’s buddies; These three help around the yard and some experimental gardening.
Status of South Sudan:
Last year at this time, Joel (and AIM AIR) was busy evacuating missionaries from South Sudan as tensions were high.  We were on alert this year, but so far all is peaceful.  Praise God!  We continue to pray that Jesus will heal tensions between the Nuer and Dinka people groups.
Year in Review:
This has been another year of transition for our family.  We feel the move to Lokichoggio has been a successful one.  We recently spent 3 weeks in Nairobi packing up the last of our stuff that was there and attending our annual mission conference.  We were also able to squeeze in a short family get-away to Lake Naivasha.  But in the end we couldn’t wait to get back home to Loki.  The kids and LaReina are adjusting well and enjoy the quiet pace of rural living.  Joel on the other hand has been kept quite busy, which seems to suit him well.  We all are looking forward to new opportunities to get involved more with the community in this coming year.
Hey, I’m trying to golf here! (Actually we were just taking a walk on the golf course at Naivasha.)
THANK YOUWe really want to thank you all for your prayers and support this past year.  We have felt your continued prayers and truly couldn’t function as seamlessly as we have without it!  Please join us as we pray for the Lord’s guidance in 2015.  We feel He has great things in store for this community and the communities we serve … thank you for joining us as His stories unfold.  It’s an honor to serve our Lord, and thank you for serving alongside us.

In Christ,
Joel, LaReina, Renee and Ian

Thrive, not just survive

We’re coming up on our 6th week in Loki.  Wow.  We’re pretty settled at this point, and Joel’s “To do” list is getting considerably shorter.

This was a week of sweet comforts:

1.   Our water issue was rectified – there was a nearly occlusive root in the pipe leading to our water tank which was removed and we now have consistently full tanks!  Praise God for leading the local workers to the problem!

2.  We all enjoyed HOT showers yesterday!  The solar water system that has been occupying most of Joel’s free time for the past few weeks is fully operational.  He’s my hero.  Seriously.  The tank was missing the installation mounting that the website showed as being part of the kit.  The company that we purchased the solar system from (back in Nairobi) stated they never purchase that part of the kit, they just make their own in Kenya to save cost.  Hmmmm.  Information that might have been nice to know before we left Nairobi, where a variety of hardware can be easily purchased.  Joel figured it out though, and the plumbing as well.  Out in the little town of Loki where supplies are limited and suboptimal.  Yep.  My hero.


3.  Air conditioning!  In Joel’s OTHER spare time, he had been setting up the A/C unit (drilling holes through the concrete walls and such).  There’s an A/C specialist who came into town to work on several other projects and had time to do the final install on ours.  Two days later we were sitting in a cooled living room (unfortunately NOT run by solar energy).  Ahhhhh.  Feels so good not to be sweating after 11am.  Once again, my hero.  The A/C is on city power so not always available, but nice when it is.


4.  Our own mini shamba (garden)!  Strawberry starts, and seeds of pumpkin, tomato, dill and cilantro are planted in meshed, wooden boxes in the backyard.  We’re trying to revive the 2 lemon trees that were planted by the previous family that left 2 years ago.  Basil starts will be joining this garden family soon…

007                      024

 Thrive, not just survive:

When we made the decision to move to Loki, we prayed about the main issue that has kept many families at bay:  the living conditions.  We felt called to not just do the 6 month trial period that had been recommended to us, but to jump in with both feet and make it work.  Our mindset was, “If this is where God wants us to be, there is no trial period.  Just make it work.  God knows us and He will make a way for us to thrive there.  No one in the Bible ever did trial periods!”  With trust in our hearts and steadfast minds, we entered Loki with excitement for the possibilities of what could be.   A place of restoration for Joel after a long day in the scorching heat.  An inviting place for visiting pilots to relax on their overnight stay in Loki.  A home that we can don’t have to struggle to just keep our emotional and physical tanks slightly above empty.  A launching station that we can step out fully charged to meet our community and what God has for us.

When we left Nairobi, our co-workers sent us with a sign that says “Karibu”, which means “Welcome”.  The sign is being hung today.  All are welcome in this home set aside for the work of the Lord.




I am convinced that there is God’s beauty to be found in every place.  Sometimes you need to look a little harder than others, but God sure outdid Himself at this time, in this place. The scripture that comes to mind is Psalm 37.4 Take delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.

When you ask people about Lokichoggio, the report usually includes the words: hot, dusty, and dry.  In my mind, I pictured brown, dirt, a land desolate and ugly.  In my heart, I prayed for God to meet me in this place.  You see, I love beauty.  I love life.  I love flowers, trees, waterfalls; and quite frankly I wondered how my soul could survive the desert.

I also know the heart of my Savor who loves me.  In our quiet time, He spoke to my soul, saying, “Trust me, my darling.  I’ve gone before you. Just follow me; dance with me.”  I took a deep breath, and in anticipation of what He had for me, jumped into the next phase of our Africa journey.

I smile as I write this, because God ALWAYS goes above and beyond our meager expectations.  In this place, I found beauty.


The hills looking out from our front gate.  The guys on the motorcycle are heading into town, about 1/4 mile to go.



The road up to the gate.



A pale green butterfly drinking some nectar.



Jericho is our driveway, and this gorgeous tree greets me every day.


The beautiful desert rose flower from the tree directly in front of my front door.

I never cease to be amazed at God’s Creation.  My heart blossoms in the beauty around me.

Even more beautiful than these are the souls He’s put in my path.   *sigh*  I could try to describe Eunice to you, but you need to see the light in her eyes, and the shine of her face amidst a trial that would break most of us to truly see her soul.  She is faith in Jesus being lived out.  Beautiful.

The daytime gate guard who checks on me to make sure I have water when Joel is out flying, and takes care of refilling the tanks if they’re running low.  He trusts me with his family concerns, we pray for them, and he stops by every few days to keep me updated.  He teaches the gospel to the local men who congregate outside our gate looking for work.  Beautiful soul.

The Salvation Army officer who leads the church service at the Loki Airport on Sunday mornings.  He made a point to be at the airport the first day to greet and welcome us, and warmly welcomed our family at the Sunday service.  This man loves people, loves children, and loves the Lord.  Beautiful servant.

I asked for beauty, and God has blessed me more abundantly than I could have imagined.

                        Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.