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Entries from February 2010

Fahrschule (Guest Posting)

Fahrzeuge"Fahrshule" literally means "travel school" but is understood here (in Germany) to mean driver's education. My sons love the fact that since "Fahrt" means here to travel by vehicle, they can yell out this word in public without the usual reactions they'd get in America. I named this post "travel school," though, because that's where I've been.

When I first arrived in Germany, I had big hopes of getting a little car that I could use for work. Instead, I ended up using the public transportation here for several reasons. The Lord said to :), saves a lot of money, gets me just about anywhere, better for the environment, etc. Germany has an elaborate system of buses, trolleys, and trains. At varying times and in intervals of usually about 20 minutes apart (like labor contractions - not that I've been in labor), there's some form of transportation that will make a stop at nearly just about anywhere. What's so cool is that for one, flat rate, you can use them all and mix or match your way to a destination.

At first, I kept trying to "manipulate" or "play" the system with different combinations of travel modes and locations in order to try and get home faster. But no matter which way I chose to go, I'd either arrive at the same time anyway or end up being late because of unfamiliarity with new surroundings, etc. It reminded me of how I used to switch lanes while driving in a traffic jam (stawberry ones are my favorite, Grape ones I cannot stand), only to find that the lane I moved to ended up being the slower lane later on.  Grrr! (Yes, I just said "Grr.")

I was thinking about how that all ties into walking with God (not the labor contractions and strawberry jam part). He also has a plan for our lives that plays out each day through an elaborate and well-orchastrated series of circumstances. It's so tempting, and I think we all try (at least sometimes) to find a way to get what we want (stawberry jam, for example) our way (by going into labor, perhaps) or to speed things up (hurry with that bagel, this next contraction could be "the one!")  or change the outcome, but in the end, we just make things worse when we do that. (Honey, I can't believe you just ralphed stawberry bagels all over the delivery room people!) We have to trust what God is doing, how He works, and how He has things unfold and realize it's okay. We'll get to where He wants us to go and no need to try and control the situation and bend it to our advantage.  That's what I learned at Fahrschule today, mama.  -James D of Germany

Picture of the Week


Ah, how cute. Too bad she’s not acting cute nowadays. Emma that is, the bigger one. She has been the most demanding, forceful, and all around intrusive child we have had. Still she is cute, and pretty funny.

A letter from a friend...

Today, I got the most beautiful note in the mail concerning our 11 year old son Andrew from a compassionate lady who visited us last year. It reads:

Dear Kate & Johnny,

God touched my heart when I visited regarding Andrew's humility. Most people would assume that a child his age would have many "wants" and not have a desire to be helping serve in Kenya. That is our American culture. Even when I quizzed him about his need for shoes (at that time he had 1 pair of Crocs) he shrugged it off and said his Kenyan sisters needed several pairs due to school-- not him.

In the fall when I saw his photo on the website I asked for it "to add to my scrapbook." Well, I really wanted to paint it for you. I'm a new artist and love doing graphite portraits and oils. So, this is my gift to you-- a painting of your son acting much like The Son!

It was a privilege to visit and get to know your entire, wonderful family!

Mungu akubariki!


 edith, andrew, beatrice


Diversity. What is it? Why do we need it?

Diversity is, according to " target=_blank>, variety. That is not the same thing, but different things. But different things in the same space.

Why do we need it? Cause life would be pretty boring otherwise.

A plurality of opinions. A plurality of cultures. A plurality of lifestyles. A plurality of faiths.

I need that to thrive.

So all you people who keep throwing crazy and orthodox views at me, keep it up.

Don’t Drop the Soap

Shower Five years of showering in a room with a giant hole in the floor, and today I dropped the soap in the hole(toilet) for the first time. Fortunately I was on my bottom half, so I still managed to get pretty clean. Cause, there’s no way my hand was going fishing in that hole. No sir.

I have had the thought that maybe we should put a lid on this hole, but then living with 15 children means that someone will move that lid. I will then spend an hour looking for it. I can’t stop looking for something till I find it, and of course my frustration and anger would be mounting by the minute. Sometimes it’s just best to avoid those situations.

Still the soap did go in the toilet. Unfortunately that particular shower is the best one in the house. The instant water heater works by pressure. You need a good amount of water pressure to turn it on, and keep it from being too hot. There is a shower in the master bedroom’s bath, well actually the pressure is so low it’s more of a mist than a shower.

I suppose I could have retrieved that soap. I mean it is soap, it should be self cleaning, right? Shudder. Nope that’s just nasty.

Wayne and Kent

This past Friday I drove up to Kitale. Ben and Ali tagged along to keep me company. The drive was pleasant enough, at least to Eldoret. The road to Kitale from Eldoret was essentially one giant pothole. What should have been about a 30 to 45 minute drive, took 2 hours. We made it in one piece, barely.

I drove up to Kitale in order to meet Wayne Jacobsen and Kent Burgess in person. Up till this past Friday I had only known them “virtually.”

Wayne through his podcasts, books, and other materials (which can be found at his website here) really helped me out during a dark time in my life and ministry.

So I wanted to say hi and thanks, and see if he was really who he seemed to be. Which is what I did. I said hi, and found both Wayne and Kent to be genuine followers of Jesus. Neither seemed eager to build his own kingdom, which I found refreshing. Just some fellow travelers on this road we call life.

I pray that the rest of their trip is smooth and as successful as possible.

Well, He's off!

Johnny, Ali, and Ben have headed off to Kitale, Kenya.

I am holding the fort down and get the joy of being the 'boss' for a few days. <mischievous grin>

I am hoping that the guys have a great time on their trip. Their purpose is to meet Wayne Jacobson, a fellow believer who was very influential in Johnny's life.

I pray that they get quality time together and have a refreshing, fun, safe journey!!