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Entries from June 2011

How to Be a Missionary – Step One

Every week I get at least one email from someone asking about how to be a missionary. “How did you get started?” “How do you fundraise?” “How is it bringing up children on the mission field?” And so on and so on. This new series is dedicated to those emails. (Which I don’t mind answering by the way.")

I’m not sure how useful writing a few articles on this subject will be, but hey then again I’m not altogether convinced that writing on any subject is a meaningful use of my time.

Let’s start with a definition. The word missionary conjures up different pictures in different heads, so we need to define what I mean by missionary. I simply use the word to describe someone who is following Jesus in a culture not their own. Meaning that person has left “home” and moved somewhere else that is not “home.” That’s it. Pretty basic, which is just how I like my definitions.

Exactly how does one become a missionary? Start by packing.

Pack up a bag and go somewhere. Don’t just think about it, plan it, pray about it, or worry about finances. Just pack and go. *

Sounds easy doesn’t it? That’s because it is. I believe we over complicate everything, but especially those things involving our faith. Faith is not rocket science or brain surgery. It’s the kind of subject that a child can easily grasp.

Let’s assume you have the whole “I feel called” thing down, and you are trying to figure out what to do with this feeling that God wants you to go somewhere. We are also assuming that you are following Jesus. If you want to know how to be a missionary for Valhalla or something, well I might not be able to help you out there. (You might consider checking with Marvel though.)

So what’s the first step?

Go.

That’s right. The first step to becoming a missionary is to go. That’s it, just go.

Go.

Stop planning, worrying, and looking for the perfect missions agency or church. Just pack your bag and go somewhere. *

Where? Somewhere that needs the love that Jesus can offer through you. Go to a place where the people are hungry, naked, sick, and imprisoned by this world’s systems.

Really it’s that simple.


menstrual cup update

So far, I’d have to say that the cups are a huge success!

Three of my teens are official ‘cup users’ and LOVING it! In fact, Grace, nagged me to spread the word about them to all her friends. LOL.

Mercy brought her cup to school and showed her teachers. Now they are all interested, too.

I’ve given cups to ladies at the post office as well, and a young Indian teen who now requests I help some ladies she knows….

My house cleaner and my cook stand by the cup as well.

Progress is being made. This blessing will help them enjoy their periods so much more, help the planet, AND save them money.


The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

— Wendell Berry


Trust, Is It Really So Hard?

A few weeks ago we had a friend over for dinner. She’s another missionary here in Nakuru, and we thought it would be enjoyable to hang with a fellow American for an evening. Anyway while she was here she asked to use my computer to send someone an email real fast.

No problem I said, and I called Andrew (our 13 year old son) to come and help. You see I have a password on my account. This password exists not because I have top secret files on my computer, but because I like for my files to stay where they are. If they are to be moved or deleted it should be I who does so, not an eight year old child.

I told my password to Andrew, who is safe around files by the way, and sent him to log into the computer for our friend.

She remarked to me that it would have been safer to tell her the password instead of entrusting it to Andrew. I was stunned. I didn’t say anything, but I did think about it for awhile.

How is it that Andrew is automatically untrustworthy? I mean this person doesn’t really know him, has never had an experience with him that would make her to distrust him, yet he is not worthy of the password?

Too many people automatically distrust nowadays. I think the world could be just a little bit better off, if we just trusted a bit more.

Sure we will get burned, but so what? You pick yourself up and move on. Just because one thirteen year-old out there moved your files, doesn’t mean everyone will.

At least give someone a chance to prove themselves. If they prove to be untrustworthy, than by all means keep all your trust to yourself. Otherwise, I say trust away.


Mukimo

Wrapping up our Bizarre Foods? series today. I hope that you have seen that the foods we eat are not all that bizarre. For sure we did not get to them all; intestines, goat heads, and other such foods. Not to worry, those are not everyday food items.

Tonight for dinner we had mukimo (which is mashed potatoes, plantains, maize (which is hard white corn,) and sometimes pumpkin leaves. The side dish was cabbage. Desert was sweet potato crumble. The night before we had chicken stew.

Actually nowadays with food prices so high we just eat what is affordable. There are far more vegetarian dishes on the menu now, and cheese is fairly scarce. Yet thanks to the generosity of folks we have been able to eat everyday so far.

 

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Bizarre Foods? Omena

 

Sorry for the late upload, but it was a struggle to get this video to upload. Woe is me, I am stuck using Kenyan internet.

Anyway omena are silver cyprinid and would most likely be bait fish back in Texas. I can’t imagine too many folks back home eating these tiny fish.

Trust me when I say be thankful you were not here for the omena. The smell alone was enough to ruin my appetite for days.

As for ugali check out this wikipedia article for a little more detail on that food source:

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ugali&oldid=432524200

Ugali is the most commonly eaten food in Kenya, in fact many people I know will not “feel” full without eating it.

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