Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: ZEST (10/01/15)
- TITLE: Football and Flip-Flops
By Trudy Newell
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
Watching our daughter, Katie, grow up as a third-culture kid in the city of Mombasa filled me with joy. She played football (soccer) with the best of them, and ran the streets in flip-flops. Kaley spoke Swahili and a bit of Arabic because we worked with Swahili Muslims in Old Town.
She seemed to enjoyed life, and did well in her studies. Although she outshone her older brother in English, he did circles around her in math. They thrived living in our third-story apartment, just outside of ‘Old Town.’ Home was their favorite place to be. They enjoy laying on the blue carpet in our living room, or plopping on one of the posh red pillows that lined the walls.
David, my husband, taught at Pwani Bible Institute and worked with the Arab men. We trust God that the weekly meetings we had started in our home would become a house church.
When Kaley turned thirteen she experience various problems. We were concerned, but felt much of it was related to puberty. She frowned every time we discussed Rift Valley Academy (RVA). When we asked her who she would like to room with, she would change the subject or freeze up. All her friends would be there. We didn’t know why going to Kijabe was a problem for her. Most missionary kids attended the American school until Middle School, then transferred up to RVA.
Kaley had bouts of malaria. The heat and humidity did not agree with her. But because of the fun things she enjoy, Kaley rarely complained. She would grab a piece of fruit on the run, and tended to pick at her supper. I was glad that she would be up in Kajabe, where the weather would be much more pleasant. I was sure she would feel better.
But before she ever left for Kijabe, she woke up one morning complaining about nausea and a horrific headache. “Oh, another case of malaria.” I told myself. Every day Kaley found it harder and harder to get out of bed, and was not eating. She couldn’t go to school, lost interest in reading, and dragged herself around the house. After a week, we took her to the doctor, a Sikh man from India, who had treated hundreds of Americans.
He examined Kaley. “What have you been doing with yourself, young lady?”
Kaley looked at him with a mournful grin, “What do you mean?”
“You are a very sick young lady. You do not have malaria. Dengue fever is causing you to feel so miserable.”
He talked to us, and suggested that we return to the States until Kaley fully recovered. He suspected that there was a bigger problem than Dengue fever.
We prayed, and determined that this was the right thing to do. With very little preparation, we transplanted our family back to the States. As the plane landed in Atlanta, we looked worn out and miserable. I could tell by the slump of the shoulder how hard this was for David, Readjusting to life in the States would be tough.
The doctor was right. It took three years for Kaley to get well. I was so relieved to see her smile again. Reluctantly, but with a sense of God’s leading, David took a pastorate in Birmingham, Alabama. We learned to trust God, even when we couldn’t understand.
Fifteen years later, David and I smiled as our plane landed in Nairobi. Our church had sent us on a missions trip to Kenya. The sun broke into a glorious burst of orange to greet the day. We had left Kenya with pain in our hearts, but we were returning with joy.
After customs, we spotted Kaley, Brad, and their new son Caleb. We had never seen our first grandson. He smiled at me, and said, “Grandma?” Kaley and Brad had done a good job of preparing Caleb for our arrival.
We stayed at Mayfield Guesthouse overnight, and then headed down to Mombasa. Memories flooded our hearts. The Mombasa Road had not changed a bit – still the same potholes with a few additions. We noticed the bounce in Kaley’s steps. We entered their living room and stared. The blue carpet was accented with posh red pillows. The Swahili Arabs we had worked with now had a flourishing house church which met in Brad and Kaley’s home. Kaley still plays soccer. We saw her run on the beach in flip- flops, just like she did as a kid
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be right now. CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.