Week 8 – Kenya

Wednesday, August 22nd
Well, we are in the midst of a hair-raising experience!  We left the Mission at 9:20 this morning; it is now 7:35 p.m.  While we were out there we had many problems with one of the rear tires.  Not surprising, because of the incredibly awful condition of the Kenyan roads.  We were never able to get the slow leak fixed, so Nixon just left the spare tire on the car for the trip back.  One additional complication is that the jack broke this morning in his last attempt at changing tires, so we were going to have to replace the jack for the car owner when we got back to Nairobi.
Well, after driving for 10 hours, with Nairobi almost in our sights, pitch dark outside with trucks and matatus (vans over-filled with passengers driven by crazy drivers) whizzing past us, and with headlights that aren’t really pointed in the right directions, we have had a flat on the spare tire.  Thank goodness John was driving and realized what had happened.  We were blessed to have a small place to pull over right after it happened, so he did.  Our host, however, was saying, “Don’t stop here!  This isn’t a safe area.”  John said we really didn’t have a choice unless he wanted us to break completely down in the middle of the speeding traffic.
There were several guys just standing where we pulled over.  After much discussion, our host walked off down the highway with them to find a jack, and John and the other two women in the car unloaded the back of this station wagon type vehicle to get to the other tire, hoping it has enough air left in it to get us to a place where we can air it up and limp into Nairobi.
So, here I sit in the car, which is now jacked up (just since I started writing), and everyone else is standing out beside the busy highway, looking on while the super nice guys who “just happened” to be standing here are changing the tire for us.  The jack that our host was able to borrow is too tall for the little donut spare tire, so all the guys ‘lifted’ the car onto the jack.  (Did I mention that I’m sitting in the car?)
There is no way I can adequately describe this scene.  It has not occurred to me to be scared, although I did immediately pray for angels to surround us.  Maybe they were already here waiting for us.  (When God sends angels, He sends those mighty in strength!)  Who knows. Whatever the case, please pray for us as we attempt to make the last 20 miles or so of this trip.
What a blessing it is to have a modem on this laptop!  The first thing John unloaded from the back was the computer bag, so I decided to take advantage of a better internet connection than we have had in Western Kenya.
This past week has been a turning point in our lives and a blessing I could never describe.  I find this ending to be quite humorous.  The trip has been long, and harrowing at moments, but filled with fun.  The wazungu (white people) are in the front seat and the Kenyans in the back.  I told them about the founding of America, the quest for religious freedom, the writing of the Constitution, based on Christian principles, but where the separation of church and state has led us.
Then I asked John to tell them about Texas’ history.  Wow!  What an amazing story, even for me!!!  It was awe-inspiring.  No wonder Texans brag so much.  We are awesome!!!!!
I think I can feel the car being lowered off the jack, so pray that we have enough air to make it a ways down the road.
Love you all!  Can’t wait to fill you in on what’s been happening here.  We have a former member of the Parliament here in Kenya working on obtaining work permits and Kenyan ID’s for us so we don’t have to go through the hassle in the future of obtaining visas.  (Can you tell we’re planning to come back???)
Blessings!  We’re off!
Sunday, August 26th
This is Hassan, another precious new friend we have made since we arrived in this awesome country.  He is the young Muslim man who lives on the third floor of The Pink House.  We didn’t even know there was a third floor until we arrived.  It was built as a caretaker’s apartment, and Hassan was already living there in December when our school’s Director found The Pink House, under construction but almost complete.
Hassan is getting married on September 29th.  How I wish we were going to be here to celebrate with his friends and family!
I so wish that I had captured a picture of his smile.  I told him he had a ‘Hollywood Smile.’  Having a dentist as a daughter-in-law, especially one who specializes in Hollywood Smiles, I am keenly aware of perfect teeth.  This guy has the most beautiful smile in the world.  What a joy to have met him!
This is Jacob, an endearing young Christian man.  He is a tailor.  On this day, he brought fabric samples and sketches so that we could select something suitable in the way of African shirts for Matt, Carl, and Robert.  This is what our host wanted to send home with us, as gifts for his ‘brothers.’
It was almost 10:00 p.m. by the time Jacob arrived, having walked from a great distance.  He returned the next day by 7:00 p.m. with the completed order.  He was leaving town for a Crusade in Western Kenya.  Some day, I hope to have Jacob make uniforms for the children at our school!

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