Return to Oz-derland (Kenya)
A letter to my family & prayer partners.
My Dear Friends,
Alice has returned to Wonderland, Dorothy to OZ at least I can imagine this is how they must have felt on each of their returns to those rather unorthodox homes. It is surreal to think that 10 days ago I was driving on the right side of a carpeted road (a lovely Kenyan term for paved), and today I am in a left hand drive vehicle sliding in the mud. 10 days ago I was in bumper-to-bumper traffic watching vehicles spin and slide on the ice, and today I am in an ambulance dodging cows and goats. 10 days ago it was snowing and today the temperature in Kenya is 92.
My return to Kenya “Oz-derland” was long expected. News of my imminent arrival was transmitted throughout the community without the use of computers, radio, or TV. On the ten hour bus ride from Nairobi, I received continuous text messages welcoming me “home” to Ng’iya. Finally, I arrived in the university town of Maseno, road weary and, in desperate need of a bath. There I spied my dear friends Elizabeth and Okoth standing next to a 1993 Toyota truck that we loving call our ambulance. My first thought was OH! thank-you, thank-you, My Heavenly Father! This beautiful sight meant I was one hour away from bed, one hour away bath one hour away home.
Upon my arrival in my home village of Ng'iya, Okoth, Elizabeth, countless children, a mangy dog and several chickens escorted me up the red dusty hill and quite literally into the house. To my delight, I found that the locals, in anticipation of my arrival had moved all my “stuff” out of storage and brought it up to the house. Supper was cooking on the jiko, bath water was heated, and several packages from the post office had been deposited in the middle of the sitting room floor.
After dumping 3 heavy bags in the kitchen, we stood in the sitting room while Elizabeth, offered a prayer of thanksgiving for God’s gentle journey mercies. Then, exhausted I sank into a chair and I began the story of “My Time in the States”. After a 3 month furlough, Two 15 hour flights and a ten hour bus ride I was home, at last, at last, I was home.
A stirring on the veranda caught my attention, “Oh look all of your children have come,” announced Elizabeth. A tiny, beaming, brown face peeked around the corner of the opened door and one after another neighborhood children poured in greeting me with a hand shake and a request for sweets (one word understood in all languages and cultures. Just as the sweets were running out, the staff members from the health center where I serve began streaming into the sitting room. “Here we are to greet you home, our mother!” Once again we all joined hands prayed together and raised our voices in song.
All in all, my home coming to Ng'iya “Oz-erland” was pretty heady stuff for this schoolteacher from Virginia. At this moment, the plan is to sleep, regroup, organize, and ask my awesome God what He has next for me. I can’t wait; my cup runneth over