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Mid-2015 Already???

Posted by on August 8, 2015

For those of your that check regularly (I’m so sorry Enken!), it’s been a REAAAALY long time since I’ve posted! Some of that is because after 3 years in Kenya, the days start to look the same. Yep, got up, fed the chickens, fed the dog & cat, did laundry, taught Riley science and history, fixed whatever is broken today in the car/house/farm, worked on the computer, went to town with family to [insert ministry activity here], came back at dark, closed the chicken house, fed the dog/cat, fixed dinner, checked Facebook, read a book, and crashed. The truth is, I’m usually so worn out at the end of the day, the last thing I want to do is spend time on the computer composing! (The paucity of FB posts lately really highlight that!)  Dale’s schedule has been even crazier – he also teaches Riley’s other subjects, and heads to town for most of the day leading Bible studies, providing a listening ear and spiritual counsel to people who request it, and coordinating tons of other missions/ministries.

It has indeed been a busy year filled with ups and downs. God blessed us with the resources to finally purchase a 4WD vehicle earlier this year – a 1989 Land Rover Defender 110 – but it was a project! Riley and I spent over a month gutting the inside, cleaning years of caked dust and mud, painting the interior, and troubleshooting/rewiring all the electronics. We were in a hurry to get it back together and working in time for the rainy season in late March, and finished on the very day it started dumping on us! It was so much fun to conquer the giant hill by our house after a day and night of solid rain without the slightest hesitation! Our days dreading the rain are finally over!

Sandi by steering wheel

It took forever to troubleshoot the electronics…it took me a couple of weeks just to find an elusive short circuit! I had to rewire several things, install relays, and repair the whole ignition circuitry.


chickens in the Land Rover

I had the back gate open on the Rover, and the rooster tried to convince one of our hens it was the perfect place for a nest!


Riley and Sandi in the Land Rover

Our first drive in the Rover after we finished a month of electronics work.  The Warthog (“Pumba”) conquered the mud!

But…the engine was in such bad shape, we really couldn’t wait any longer to do an overhaul. Riley and I removed the hood, front bumper, and radiator, as well as any other parts we could remove in preparation for a good friend of ours and his team of two other mechanics that came to strip down the engine, re-machine the cylinders, and rebuild it with new parts. I was underneath the car replacing the exhaust system, installing new seat belts, and fabricating brackets to secure the rear seats better. In only a week, we were back up and running with a good-as-new engine! It took us a few more weeks to work out all the kinks – problems with the carburetor and the distributor, but as of now, everything is finally running great.

gutted Land Rover

What a Rover looks like with the entire front gutted so our mechanics could pull out the motor for the overhaul.


Immediately after the engine overhaul, our whole family was super busy preparing for the mission team coming in June from our home church, Highland Baptist in Moore, Oklahoma. One of the things we planned to do was start building a playground for the Ark Children’s Home. We got an arc welder, and Riley and I taught ourselves how to weld so we could fabricate as much as possible before the team arrived. That was a big job with lots of cutting and welding!  We also had to repair the damaged safari rack that came with the Land Rover so we could use it to carry Operation Christmas Child (OCC) boxes to a remote location for one of our missions.

dirty face

Metalworking is dirty business! I did all the cutting, and Riley did much of the welding.


Riley and playground steps

Riley did an awesome job learning how to weld! Here he is tacking steps to a platform that will have a slide and fire pole.


Our mission team arrived mid-June, and we had two jam-packed weeks with a pastor’s seminar, a worship seminar, an OCC mission, playground-building activities, and school missions.  Since Dale and I were providing all the transportation, we were the first ones up, and the last ones home each day…whew!  Although tiring, it was a great time, and opened even more doors to ministry.

Land Rover with boxes

All the work was worth it! The safari rack and Land Rover both ready for duty on an OCC mission into the interior.


The HBC mission team posing with all the Ark Home and Macecall Children.

The HBC mission team posing with all the Ark Home and Macecall Children.

July was our time to catch up…our living room had resembled a cross between a mad scientist’s lab and a garage, and an inch (almost literally!) of dust had crept onto every exposed flat surface throughout the house.  Our shamba (garden) was completely overgrown, weeds were everywhere, and all the bushes were out of control!  I finally did the major pruning job on the mango trees that I’ve needed to do for a couple of years.  But…in doing so, I officially pushed the tendinitis that’s been plaguing my elbow for a couple of months over the edge.  So I’m in a very frustrating “time out” from hundreds of projects I need to be doing!  (Right now I can barely hold my coffee cup without pain.)  Why do overuse injuries take so stinking long to heal???

But…since I can’t be outside working, I’m finally getting back to writing.  I spent a couple of weeks working on graphics to “rebrand” my blog.  I plan to be writing a lot of devotionals (Reflections category) with life lessons from living over here.  If you want to stay up on the posts, be sure to subscribe using the link in my right sidebar.  Let me know if you’re reading – it’s always encouraging to know posts are not disappearing into cyber-nether, never to be found!

One of the ministry doors that opened through our mission team was a group of young women that realized they wanted “meat” – to really learn the scriptures. They asked me to come teach them – that is exactly the discipleship opportunity I’ve been praying for.  So about four weeks ago, I started going every Tuesday, teaching them in depth, starting with Matthew. You’ll see posts here (categorized under Bible Study) as I duplicate content for those who couldn’t make it. (Ladies, feel free to join our conversation and get updates on our Facebook Group page – Njia Nyembamba, which is Kiswahili for Narrow Way. I could use some active communicators on the group!)

So, I think that pretty much catches everyone up on our activities this year so far!  Stay in touch!

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