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Patt's Perspective

April 23, 2013


 

“Declare His glory among the nations,
His marvelous deeds among all peoples.
For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise…”
Psalm 96:3-4a

Dear Friends,

   There was a wide range of emotions for me as the Kenya trip came closer to reality. I was really looking forward to seeing Stakwell and Francesca, and their daughters: Wendy and Meribell again. Here’s a great picture of them on Easter Sunday morning and one of me with Francesca, her mother and the girls. Such a wonderful family!

 

   I had a lot of my normal anxieties about the conference, the relevancy and cohesiveness of the teaching sessions and how our women would relate to each other and the Samburu women. For those of you who know me, you’re not surprised! But I was also anticipating how exciting it was going to be to see the Lord work out every detail and how the donated money from various people (and the money that had been given in honor of my 70th birthday) was going to be used to help the tribal Samburu women and those at the Sports’ Camp.

   In the end it was so like God to weave Himself throughout everything and bring glory to His name – certainly no surprise on that account! But, here were some of my anxieties and how they were resolved.

  1. Would the 100 women show up and arrive in a timely manner for each of the 4 days? Exactly 100 showed up – on time – every day – in their Sunday best! And this from a group of women who had to get up before dawn, milk the goats/camels and walk to the venue. It was a 3-hour walk one way for some of them!
  2. What if they brought their babies with them...would that disrupt things? About 2-dozen nursing babies came swaddled on their mothers’ backs. And yes, they did tune-up some part of each day. But none of the women seemed to notice or be distracted. Especially fussy babies were taken outside, settled down and brought back in. In an area where diapers are unknown, everything was taken care of without any awareness that it was being done. Quite fascinating.
  3. Since this was a first-time women's conference, would the topics that were chosen relate to the women, and would the translators be effective and the women understand the scriptural truths we four white women were trying to convey?! Wow, who could have asked for better translators than Monicah and Natalina! They did a great job with Janet Jenkins, Marilyn Franck, Tierney Farrell and me! After each teaching, our gifted translators led the group in a summary of what had been said and let the women ask questions or make comments. That worked so well I wondered why we don’t do that in our churches here. It was evident that the Holy Spirit was/is able to transcend cultural differences, and it was a privilege to see it happen in person!
  4. Some money had been sent ahead, but would the purchase of other things and the implementation of the items run smoothly once we got there? Another wow on that part. Everything went very smoothly, from distributing the solar digital players, to providing tea each day during the morning break, to giving each one a mirror and a new cloth, to helping with self-support projects for 2 needy women (animals) and 2 sewing machines to others. I think the joy on the faces of the women who received these gifts is contagious!

 

   Please watch the slide show because it gives visual expression as to how God worked abundantly above all I had imagined. 

   There were two more (of many) spiritual highlights that I want to report on. First, Marilyn’s husband, Jack, used an EvangeCube to present the Gospel message to the women during tea time. There was a palpable presence of the Holy Spirit as almost 40 women responded.

 

   And second, on Easter Sunday morning we had the added surprise of seeing Chairlady. She was the first woman convert in Kurungu and we hadn’t seen each other in years. She looked at J.L. and me and said, “I’m old now. And you look old too!”

 

   Next to the Lord and my dear J.L. (who both so lovingly yet firmly guide my steps), I want to thank the ladies who helped make such a difference in the success of the conference. Marilyn, Janet and Tierney quickly bonded with the women. It was a pleasure to have women along who were naturally friendly and out-going, who didn’t shy away from the language or cultural differences, who eagerly engaged the women and children, were good teachers, singers and sharers (and Tierney Farrell the awesome photographer!), who didn’t complain about the “adjustments” of living at the center, who ate what was put before them…well, the list could go on. We give God all the praise for orchestrating such a great team of women to work with!

   Another well-deserved thank you goes to Stakwell and Francesca and their camp staff (12 in all) who worked so tirelessly to see that we were taken care of! Such sweet and thoughtful people devoted to doing all things well for the Lord, whether in the kitchen, garden, housekeeping, building or maintenance – they were great!

   A final thank you to those of you who stood with us in prayer and with your financial gifts. It really was a group effort, as each contributed his or her part of the puzzle that made it possible for the whole picture to become…well…whole. We needed each other – and we must have each other – to accomplish the work God had called us to do. So, my heartfelt appreciation for your partnership with us, doing together what we never could have done separately.

   Please be watching for future reports on the trip that will include camp projects by the men, the Easter Sunday service and time with the warriors (morans). There is still so much to share!

   Gratefully in Christ,
   Patt
   


Patt and Meribell enjoy a swing together!

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