Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Furlough 2017

                     "The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even forever more." Psalm 121:8                                                                                                                                                                                                             I had to think of this verse in relation to our furlough. I praise the Lord for His protection in all our travels.        Four countries, six children, 6 airplanes, 6 states, 6 weeks. Approximately 21,800 miles and 90 hours of travel time. (More if you add up all the running here n there, shopping, visiting, etc.)  All I can say is that God is sooo good. It was an absolute answer to prayer that the children traveled so well and didn't get sick on the whole trip. Yes, we all had our turns being grumpy, short-off and  I admit; being tired of being with people (almost) all the time. Yes, a couple of the children were very clingy some of the time and made it very clear who were the biggest home-bodies. (My 4 yr. old and 7 yr. old).  Joshua, who turned three while in Ohio, is our amiable, easy-going one and the one who probably did the best.
 We were in PA visiting family and friends for 6 days before traveling to spend a night and day at Mark Beachy's in Dundee, Ohio. We learned to know them in Kenya and they are like family. From there we went up to Lisbon, OH to my sister, Dorcas' place. Most of my family got together there from Thursday - Sunday. Monday we traveled to Indiana where we spent a very enjoyable evening and night with Linford and Kay Bontrager (more Kenya connections). Then it was a long haul, which seemed shorter because of our excitement... traveling home to Wisconsin. We spent most of the rest of our time staying at Jake's parents, John and Christina's place.
 While there most of Jake's family got together, there was a 60th anniversary drop-in for his Grandparents, Jake and Mary Coblentzs, lots of good visits with church families, etc. We also borrowed a motorhome and traveled with his parents to a cousin's wedding in Kentucky. The day after we returned from there we headed for Minnesota to F.O.C.I.S. Camp. (Familys Of Christ In Service ??) where we spent an enjoyable but tiring week. Then it was back to Wisconsin for one last enjoyable week at home.
   

3:00 AM Jet Lag 
Jediah loved pulling the smallest backpack thru the airport.

Fun riding in Grandpa's coach
Spent a lovely morning picking 
luscious blueberries with Grandma Weaver and cousins 

                                                       Cousin fun. Mahlon and Jacob
Games with the Weaver cousins
SHOPPING !!

Boating !!!

Endless gator rides with Grandpa John and the Gingerich cousins

What a blessing our children have with not only grandparents but 2 sets of Great-grandparents to enjoy yet !
Family time at Focus camp

An army for the Lord

Beautiful view looking from our house down to Grandpa Johns where Jacob grew up.
Getting 18 pieces of luggage checked in @ Duluth Airport


At one point in the Paris Airport Jediah disappeared. I started walking around calling him and heard a little voice. He'd decided that he liked the seating in the next area better. Just chillin' mom!
 And then... HOME Again! and We came to realize how much Kenya truly has become home.
Heidi

Hannah
Enjoying all but one of the compound preschoolers at our place the other morning.

plowing a Shamba
Sunday we were served a delicious meal at Willis and Sarah's place
Joseph, a young boy from church, made some "hats" from leaves and sticks( to hold the leaves together)

Mahlon  
 
Today we were to attend a special seminar but it was cancelled due to some "demonstrations" planned in town. Continue to pray for peace in Kenya, especially as the re-elections are coming up next month.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Excitement is running high! Next Tuesday afternoon we plan to fly out of Kisumu, after a short flight and layover in Nairobi, we head about 4 1/2 hours to Doha. If you are like me and not sure where that is, it's the capital city of Qatar and located on the coast of the Persian Gulf. (does that help at all?). we are to have a 2 1/2 hour layover and then from there we have a 13 (?) hour flight into Philly, PA. With all the time changes it gets pretty confusing. It seems we should be arriving Wednesday evening but instead we are to land 8:40AM.
 I've been enjoying getting into the natives homes and visiting more with Jacob and the children again lately. We've gone out three times in the last  week n half. With that and bible studies on Wednesdays and all the normal home duties it's made for a busy but enjoyable schedule.
 Today most of the women are cleaning at Joseph Hostetler's place in preparation for their return. So instead of Stacy helping with my cleaning, I'm doing my own and not helping down there, as we are on to host prayer meeting here tonight.  Stephen, one of the youth boys from church spent the  night here last night and is helping with hedge trimming or whatever all outside work Jacob has for him. Jake is busy running James' to the immigration office and taking care of other business in town. Wayne's returned last Wednesday. It's great to have them back again.  Our fill-ins, some Kuephers from Kansas, arrive today. Marlin Stolzfus' left last week. Like someone said recently, on the mission field, you have to learn to deal with lots of changes! So much coming and going!
 Stephen (age 17?) normally would be in school but his boarding school had a problem the other week. A teacher beat a student and a bunch of students retaliated and started breaking windows and other things and went on strike. There was no school for a week or two and now before they come back, every student is to pay 3000 shillings ($30).. a huge sum! I think there are somewhere around 800 students. I was asking Stephen about their school schedule. Their rising time is 4AM. They are to study on their own till breakfast at 6:00. If they fall asleep there is a punishment. They have approx. 11 classes with breaks ever 2 hours or so. Bedtime can be as late as 11:00 ! I'm like "that's not enough sleep!!!" 
"I know" he says, "but you get used to it!" Wow.


sorting rice before church in prep for a fellowship meal


Where we stayed
The other week, I was beginning my day and Jake came and told me that we're going to town and Stacy is coming at 8:00 to stay with the children. I was half sick and kind of out of it and didn't ask any questions. Thought maybe we were going out for coffee. Which would have been extremely rare and special but when I noticed the tooth paste and brushes missing and saw some packs on the piki-piki, I was really suspicious that something more was going on. We did go out for coffee and then he told me we're going on out by Rasinga Island. It's the first time since having children that just the two of us did an over-nighter and it was terribly special! And it was a wonderful answer to prayer that I felt well and could enjoy the trip. In two days we spent maybe 6 hours on the piki, 2 on the ferry, and 2+ hours on another boat. We returned home sore, sunburned, and quite happy :)
The Hut on the hill is where we stayed. Very nice, relaxing accommodations.
I loved the adventure of taking a road less traveled and seeing some beautiful scenery on the island even tho we looked a little worse for the wear till we got thru here.
Fishing boats by the ferry landing
eating roasted peanuts at Angeline's house

singing and helping Elizabeth shell maize

Children playing while we visit Silpa...the little fellow is playing with a top
A small duka where I got some sewing done.

Just hanging out in the kitchen
Some times it's smarter to hike than drive !

Rachel has been busy. Beans, sorgum,and other unfamiliar crops lying out to dry.

The pull of the mud was irresistible to a couple little boys.
A visit with Rachel and her grandson Joseph

We were greatly amused by the cat thigh hanging out of the ceiling during Bible study at Silpa's house.

Enjoying lemongrass tea, rice, and friendship after Bible study yesterday.

Friday, June 2, 2017

23,000 Words

They say pictures are worth a thousand words so here you go :)
               All pictures on this post are courtesy of Miss Stacy Byler. Thank you, Stacy!
 After church Jake runs two families home that live a couple kilometers away. Meanwhile the rest of us walk out to the road to await his return. Here Joey is enjoying walking with Joshua Ombam.
                               The younger of the two Sunday school classes gives their presentation.
 Walking out to the road. Joshua was scared of a loud cow on the other side of the fence. Check out the nice maize to the left. We've been blessed with some beautiful rains.
                         A random shot from the school picnic. The games were here at our place.
The last Family Day, we decided to go to Jennifer's Gardens. Most of us had been there more than once except the girls, who'd never been there and had been asking for a chance to go. It was a perfectly lovely day and so relaxing. We enjoyed having Stacy along. And she was kind enough to get some family photos for us.
   
                   So much beauty!!....and cuteness ... (Joey and Joshua...
                                          Jake took charge of lunch. I mixed up some chapatis and he even made mandazis to go with everything else. Jediah oversaw the activities and was our taste tester.
                                                          Sweet Sisters
                                                            Cutest Monkey

clockwise from far left; Joseph-4, Hannah-9, Heidi-7, Mahlon-6, Joshua-2, Jake, Jediah-1, Jan
GINGERICH
 
                                            We hiked up to the tea fields
enjoying my babies

somehow these pictures got mixed up. This was a bad accident we passed on the way to church.
before church

 
bench rides after church