Kenya Day 1

Day 1

Well it was an early morning today meeting the team at 4am but that’s alright, I was awake anyways. We arrived, loaded the van, hugged and kissed goodbye as family stood by crying to see us go. This has been an emotional last few days to say the least. And not only the goodbyes, but also the frantic last minute details, worrying if we have it all, coordinating with each other, multiple prayer opportunities and a few parties to see family and friends before we left.  The support has been amazing though and I am very grateful for it.  We know that we are loved and prayed for. I know how lucky that I am to be loved and prayed for.  We made it to the airport in plenty of time to check-in and security was a breeze.  So the trip is going smooth and so far nobody has discovered that they forgot anything…well mostly.

My trip did begin with one hang-up that I am not very happy about. It has to do with my cell phone. Our contract upgrades came due just days before departure and we where very excited. Out of five phones on my family plan, Sandy, Cameron, Jessica and I, we were all having some kind of trouble with our phones and some of the trouble was making phones unusable. So when we came due, we jumped at the chance to upgrade and we were very excited to have good communication. We set up international travel and even found that out of our whole team, our Sprint phones might be the only ones that work while in the final destination home base, Kitale, Kenya. So we are very excited and I spent hours setting up new phones and getting them ordered, activated and programmed.

At 10pm, the night before we leave, I drop my brand new phone and it fried the touchscreen. Suddenly it was paperweight. I would say “Just my luck I suppose” but I dare not since I am traveling to a country where the indigenous creatures can eat you.

However, I made a change in communication plans and I can still borrow a phone from Cameron or Jess. It will be fine but you know, it is really strange walking around without a cell phone in your pocket.

So things are looking up again as we began the journey. The short trip from Spokane to Sea-Tac went as expected but our flight from Sea-Tac to Dubai is amazing.

It is long.

It is very Long.

Ok – it is very, very, very long.

But we are flying with Emirates and they do an amazing job. On the down side it is a 14 hours and we are packed in tight. Every seat in the plane is taken. You practically need a shoehorn to get out of your seat and you get to know your neighbors REALLY well.

But on the upside, they provided some unexpected amenities. For one thing they provided wonderful food. I had herb and chicken breast with mashed potatoes and a black bean salad. It was a gourmet meal and tasted delicious. Then they come by every hour or so with refreshments. We got a pizza snack that was good. And we still have breakfast coming in a little while.

The staff is wonderful and some of the other services they offer are amazing. Every seat has a good size video screen in the headrest for all manner of entertainment and information with a grand selection of unlimited free tv shows, movies, games, music, trivia, and shopping too. Yes, they have come up and down the aisle with a cart and you look over some of the gift items they offer.
But another really cool feature is the in-flight information. As we are flying there is constant information available about our altitude, speed and the outside temperature but there is also a camera out the nose of the plane and another one looking out bottom. You can actually see the ground zipping by. That is all in conjunction with satellite positioning of the aircraft so we can watch on a geographic map exactly where we are, how far we have to go, the time to destination and the cities we are flying over.
It is a rather impressive system.
Another plus is that everything has been in English so far and that is a big help too. Flying Emirates, all the announcements we get are in Arabic and English but everyone speaks English so it has been easy.
Our team has talked a little. Then we watched a movie. Walked around some, eaten meals and snacks then nodded off for a nap. so the time is passing pretty well. Still I will be pretty thankful when this leg of the journey is over. I have a new appreciation for Michael Bushebi who makes this trip a few times a year. Travel is not as glamorous as one might think.

Now that the stress of the organizational preparations is over, this part of the journey gives me some more time to think about our purpose of the trip and what we hope to accomplish. I know I was asked that question a lot over the last year and my answer stayed pretty much the same; “Kenya is a relational culture and we our primary goal is to just go and visit and meet our brothers and sisters in Christ half way around the world.” Our visit is very important to Pastor Rogers Basara and the people in the church as well.  We imagine the children in the orphanage will be excited too so just showing up means hope and the blessings of God.

But to be honest, in my mind, a gnawing thought wonders if that makes a difference. Does it leave an impact? Will we be able to be a blessing and encouragement? Will they be blessed in the spiritual as ones who comes representing the Lord Jesus? I hope they know that we walk with the Lord and they can spiritually sense His presence with us. That it is God who is their provider and protector.

We still need and seek God’s presence. But I am not worried about the travel anymore, I just pray that ‘in the going’ God will use it for His glory and our new friends will be blessed.

Posted by Cary Peden

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