Karibu Kenya


Went to the airport last night to pick up the nurses. Somehow every trip to the airport is like a “rescue mission”. When you come from a world of order, where A comes after B and 2 comes after 3, you come to expect that things like, picking up your baggage and finding your way to the airport door, will be as simple as ABC and 123. But there is a “spirit of confusion and chaos” over everything in Kenya. No one in Kenya follows the rules. People crowd and push, they jump ahead in line and no one, anywhere, knows what to do or where to go. For some reason the way is never properly marked to anywhere or anything. So when you step off the plane you are immediately bewildered by the chaos and confusion. By the time we get to the parking lot with our luggage in hand everyone is already bewildered and shocked. Welcome to Kenya!

Now I am not knocking Kenya! It is a wonderful place! But if you are looking for order and efficiency you have come to the wrong place. It’s the same way in every area of life here; the grocery stores, the highways, the government services, the post offices, the medical services, the market places, the restaurants, you name it. I won’t go on, lest I raise everyone’s anxiety level. One of the things I always say to people who come here for the first time is learn to relax in the midst of chaos or you will lose your joy. “Relax” sounds easy rolling off the lips, but believe me it takes some will power in the real world.

Anywho! The team is safely tucked into the Savelberg Retreat Center trying to get some rest. In a few hours will have them over to our apartment for a time of orientation and fellowship. We will go over the grueling schedule ahead and ready ourselves for service. On Monday the nurses will be introduced the glorious world “Kenya Medical Care” at Kenyatta Hospital (one of the largest hospitals in Nairobi). You talk about culture shock, this is about as shocking as it gets.

We are preparing ourselves for two medical camps with the team next weekend inside the slums. I am expecting that this year’s medical team, like last years, will literally be the fragrance of Christ in one of the most desperate places on earth.

Interesting side note: Shortly after the nurses came through customs, Brandon and Di Beals stepped through the doors. Brandon and Di are dear friends. They pastor Canyon Creek Church in Everett. They are here with a group from Compassion International. Hopefully they will be joining us as we go into the Kibera Slums this week. They enjoyed great fellowship with the nursing team on the trip from Seattle. Do you think all that is a coincidence?

Also Mike Hyodo and his daughter Nikki, were on the same flight. Mike is the dentist who hosted last year’s team of nurses and Nikki is a young woman who has been a wonderful blessing to us. She introduced us to the ministry of Amani Ja Ju (peace from above), a powerful ministry to poor refugee women here in Kenya.

Please pray for the nursing team. Pray especially for their health while here in Kenya.

Blessing to all back home

All our love

Richard and Valerie