It seems I might just be going back home. Home to the Maasai Mara in Kenya. Waiting on all the logistics to work themselves out, but the letter writing has begun, the needs list started, and the financial total estimated. EEKS! How did this happen!? Let me tell you…
In the Summer of 2004 I, and a group from Southway Community Church, got on a plane and headed to the Mara. It was my first time, and for some it was their second trip. The trip was long, and uncomfortable. Excited. Nervous. Scared. Unsure. Ready…no…you’re never ready. I stepped off the plane in Nairobi and was immediately hit with steam and odor. My heart was RACING! I had never felt more at home. Ever. I didn’t fit in. I couldn’t understand what anyone was saying. I was home.
Fast forward to 2009. Back in Kenya. By myself. No team. No pal. Just me. God continued to engrave Kenya on my heart. I spent time in Kijabe with K & L, and then in the Mara with S & T. I saw devastation. Heartbreak. Desperation. Hunger. Happiness. Love. Joy. Peace. I saw a need. A need for the love of Christ. The Maasai’s…nobody wants to love them. Even in Kenya they are looked down upon. I love them. I can’t help it!
Fast forward to now. The last year has been one of the most difficult years of my life. Not knowing where I was supposed to go; what I was supposed to do. Not knowing… I had plans. I had dreams. I had hopes. To say God crushed them would be a bit dramatic. He certainly said no. I don’t think wait was the answer…I could be wrong, as I often am! He made certain that I would have NO ties to here. To Houston. To the US. He wanted me available. He wanted me to go.
S & T have asked me to return to the Mara to assist them in training a worship team and youth choir. Am I qualified? Nope. Am I adequate for the task? Nope. Is that not how God works? Yep. The only way for this to succeed is if He does it. I’m just the vessel. In many ways a poor one at that, but that’s not for me to determine. I’m excited. Scared out of my mind, but excited. I’m also wanting to do transcriptions of many of the Maasai songs; complete with parts written for future use. Do I even know how to do that? Not really, but I can learn. Will it be a daunting task…teaching guitar, piano, mandolin, and whatever else I know to people I can’t hardly speak to? Yes…but God will take care of the details. Is it coincidence that the last several weeks Pastienro has been teaching from Jonah? Teaching on being obedient? No. Not at all. God is calling me. It took lots of heartbreak to hear His voice. Lots of tears. Lots of broken dreams, but His plans…His plans are what will bring me hope, peace, and joy.
I will be leaving my family. My beloved family. For how long? I have no idea. No departure date yet. No return date yet. I will come home…I just don’t know when. I suppose when S & T or K & L get tired of me. I’m not looking forward to not seeing the kids. Getting sticky hugs and messy kisses. Being bombarded with requests to read “Tootle” to A. I suppose Skype will become our new family member.
I’m blessed, though. They are supportive. N has been asking me about returning to Kenya for quite some time. I’m positive it isn’t just to get rid of me…it’s because she knows it’s been engraved on my heart. She knows it’s the only place I’ve been where I have felt true peace. My friends…they are supportive as well. J…a blessing.
So, where do I stand? Well, I have a list of things I need to take with me. Here they are:
- At least two guitars to leave behind.
- A mandolin to leave behind.
- A good keyboard to leave behind.
- Perhaps a bass guitar to leave behind/an amp?
- A djembe to leave behind..or two.
- An iPod docking station that runs on batteries/lots of batteries.
- An MP3 recorder.
- A laptop that will allow me to do some recording and music transcription/finale or something similar.
- A plane ticket.
- Monthly living expenses.
- Health insurance while I’m there.
I’m sure there are other little things I need, but, for now, that’s my starting point. The big ticket items. I was talking to dad and I said that these were the things I hoped to take…were wants. He said, no…they are needs. It’s a lot. Can God do it? Absolutely. He’s already got it covered.
Pray for me. Pray that it all comes together. Pray that my heart will be fearless. Pray for wisdom. Pray for peace; not just for me, but for those I leave behind. Pray for those who I will serve. Pray.
I will be packing up all my belongings soon. Selling things. Getting rid of things. Pray for me as I leave this all behind. No matter how much I love Kenya, it is still not easy to leave that which is familiar. I’m not going forever…at least not yet. But at the same time, I don’t know how long I’ll be gone.