Thursday, September 27, 2007

Seven Weeks

Seven weeks from today I will move to Kenya. My life is about to change in so many ways. I woke up around six this morning and decided to get up and take a walk. As I walked around my neighborhood, I took it all in. The birds chirping, the smell of the grass, the pink and gold of the clouds before the sun came up. My heart was full.

Many of the dreams I have dreamt since my high school years are about to be fulfilled. But at the same time it is only the beginning of a new and different journey. I'm about to move to Africa, to marry the man I love, to begin a new life. Even though I know there are so many transitions ahead of me, I realize that there is no way for me to know now just what it will be like. I will simply have to experience and learn as I go. All the preparation in the world won't change the fact that I will be experiencing new and different things for the first time. And I am excited! Overwhelmed! Overjoyed! Terrified! It's an interesting blend of emotions.

As I am spending my last weeks here in the states there are things I am appreciating and enjoying like never before. Last night as I was driving home from Pasadena I enjoyed the simple pleasure of being able to drive my automatic transmission car on a paved road, and on the right side of the road no less! I think this is something I will be missing very soon. So I am enjoying it now. I had a Starbucks pumpkin spice frapuccino yesterday. It was great! I will miss Starbucks. I will miss going to my home church with my family and singing praise songs in English. I will miss being able to talk on the phone for hours with my best friends. Coming home and flopping on my mom's bed to tell her all about my day. Getting that occasional luxury of a pedicure. Curling up on the couch to watch a movie with my family. I will miss being surrounded by English. Language acquisition is really hard for me. I will miss being able to call my sister and say "I'm in the neighborhood, lets do lunch!". I will miss my fancy hospital equipment as I transition into third-world medicine.

Lest you read this wrong, let me clarify. I am not grieving my soon departure. But I'm taking time to enjoy and live my fullest in the moments. To pet my dog and hold my cat. To have dinner with old friends. To enjoy the conveniences that I so often take for granted.

Soon I will be back in my second home. I will be drinking in the African sunrises and sunsets. I will be visiting with friends (old and new) in mud houses. I will be walking muddy roads. I will drink chai with my fiance (soon to be husband!). I will be picking out my wedding cake and roses. I'll join my Kenyan brothers and sisters in heartfelt songs and dances of worship to our father. I'll be brushing up on the treatment of malaria. I will be learning from excellent teachers in the local clinic. Instead of relying on instruments I will finely hone my assessment and diagnostic skills. I will probably have the opportunity to help deliver several babies, to experience afresh the miracle of life. My heart and mind will be opened to many new things as I begin the journey of learning Swahili. I think it will open up many new doors for me. I'll be able to hold William's hand and watch the river flow by our home. I will learn to bake in a charcoal oven and cook over a fire.

Yes, my life is about to change drastically. It is my prayer that no matter where I live or what I do, that God would always be the center. That he would continue to guide and direct my every step. That he would remind me of his presence on the days that I grow frustrated. That he would remind me of his greatness when I am so filled with joy I don't even know how to express it. You know, the biggest common denominator between the two cultures is that God is alive and well in both. What a comfort and peace it brings to know that my Jesus will be with me every step of the way.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Lookout Kenya!!!

I am officially moving to Kenya! Yes, that has been the plan for some time. But details are really starting to come together. Last night I purchased my ticket to Kenya. I'll be leaving on November 14th, less than two months from now. After many months of uncertainty about our future, the details are all beginning to fall into place. I know that God's timing is always perfect and that he has been with us through every step of this journey.

William and I will be married in Kipkaren on December 14th. We will both be working with Empowering Lives International. Our first year of marriage will be spent doing ministry in Kipkaren. Actually, we are planning a visit to the US for part of that time. So please keep praying for his visa to come through!

In Kipkaren I will be working mostly in the medical arena. Some of my time will be spent providing primary care in the local clinic. I'll be spending some time with the children in the Children's Home as well. I guess I better brush up on my pediatrics! William and I may both take part in assisting to host some of the short-term teams coming to Kipkaren.

Lots of changes ahead! Please keep me in your prayers as I navigate my last few months of living here in the USA. I'm still working two jobs. I need to start raising support ASAP. That is always a really hard one for me. I'm also studying for my board exam. I'll be taking the exam sometime in October. I'm officially a licensed nurse practitioner now, but I want to take the certification exam while the material is still fresh. Please pray for peace, wisdom, provision, and energy during these coming months.