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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Africa (03/05/09)

TITLE: Kenya, Here We Come!
By Vicki Riggins


They were in Kenya. The realization had not sunk in at first, but now that one word, Kenya hit rock bottom. My husband and I had developed an attachment to this family of five. They had boarded a plane only a month ago to cross the Atlantic to that far away land.
When George and Kara had come alongside to help me and my husband with the youth, the quantity and quality seemed to double. We loved this family and had spent many hours together. We had known when they started working with us that they could leave at any time though.
Five years earlier George and Kara had felt the call to Africa for missions. After taking a survey trip to Uganda, George returned with a heavy heart for the orphans and people of this country. George and Kara began to prepare for the mission field. After a year of training and discipleship the two were given permission to start their pre-field ministry. A year after struggling to raise support they got a call to come in and meet with their advisors. Nervous as to the reason, George and Kara readied themselves for the worst. After a long meeting the couple walked away confused.
Uganda was no longer safe for missionaries. All missionaries had been pulled out due to turmoil within its borders. George’s soul cried for the children of Uganda. So many children would be robbed of a salvation decision and the love that was offered through the orphan homes. Kara knelt beside her bed that night, pulling her husband down by her side, she begged the Lord to send harvesters to the land of Uganda. After seeking advice from advisors and praying fervently for God’s direction, George and Kara decided on Kenya.
Kara, at this time was pregnant with their second child and would be due in just a month, which meant their support need would grow. Kara knew it would take them longer now to get to Kenya, but she also knew that her Savior was the ultimate supplier! A year later their support was only at 30%. George had become beyond frustrated and raged in night discussions with the Lord. “God, we are needed in Kenya. Why aren’t you sending the funds? What is your purpose in all this?” Soon George would get his answer.
George and Kara came to us asking to be a part of the youth leadership team. We were overjoyed and told them at once any help would be warranted. Almost immediately Matt and George began meeting together to pray and talk about the direction of the youth. I began visiting Kara to help with her kids. Over time a unique bond was developed between us. We loved the kids we were ministering to and were working together towards the same purpose, to win souls to Christ and develop disciples.
Two more years went by and their support went up to 85%. Kara had just given birth to another beautiful girl and decisions needed to be made. George came to Matt one day and told him.
“We are leaving next April.”
“What about your support?” My husband immediately asked.
“With or without it, but God will supply.”
Sure enough God did supply over and abundantly. In fact to this day they are still receiving new supporters! George and Kara had told us how surreal it was to buy their plane tickets. They were really going. George no longer questioned why it had taken so long for God to allow his family to walk through this open door.
Here is the letter we received from George just two days ago, marking their one month anniversary of leaving the U.S.

Dear Matt,
I must tell you that I am so thankful for that year I was able to spend helping you with the youth. I miss it so much. In fact, so much that I have to force myself not to think about them so I won’t send myself into a fit of tears. You and Vicki are very precious to us and we thank you for your relationship. We know now why it had to take us so long to get here and we wouldn’t change it for anything! Now that we are here though there is much work to be done.

P.S. With our focus on children and adults the teens have little spiritual influence. We need a youth director with your many talents here. Come to Kenya!

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This article has been read 440 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Christina Banks 03/12/09
I always find it amazing how we can learn so much in the waiting time of life, just like George did. One question...will Matt go to Kenya? :)
Sharon Kane03/12/09
Change the names and places and this is our story!
I like the way you told the tale with all the frustrations and problems entailed in following a missionary call. These are too often glossed over, and missisonaries made to look like super-saints untouched by real life. Thanks for writing this.
Lynn Jacky 03/12/09
Hi - One suggestion - make your paragraphs smaller with a space between - Makes for easier reading. You wrote well on Missionary life.
Rachel Rudd 03/13/09
Thank you for sharing this story. It shows what a process waiting is...and how God has a plan with it all. You wrote well of the questioning and the faith required to wait. May God bless!
Karlene Jacobsen03/14/09
A good reminder to "give thanks in all things" eh?

Good writing.
Laura Pattillo03/17/09
Good job of showing how hard it is for missionaries to break into certain parts of the world. Some people do not realize that it is this hard.
Deborah Porter 03/25/09
Hi Vicki. Just wanted to leave a quick note to let you know your entry, "Kenya, Here We Come!" actually did very well in the Africa Challenge. Although you didn't receive an award, you made it into the Highest Rankings for Level 1, placing 10th in that Level. Competition in Level 1 is always very intense, so well done.

If you'd like to check the highest rankings for yourself, you can find them here:

The highest rankings are posted every Thursday evening on the Message Boards.

Again, well done. With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)