All Work and No Play?

Aside


workhammerroadNobody said it was easy!

“Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering.” 
― Theodore Roosevelt

I used to think life was all-play and so easy-peezey. Then I ran into my first thick brick wall called public school. It didn’t help that my English was so poor, having immigrated from the Netherlands and being lost in an onslaught of English words. On top of that I just found it unappealing to stay seated for so long on such a hard chair. I began to understand that perhaps life, mine, might have some uphill battles ahead. Work!

Our family moved a lot, because Dad was in the army and because he wanted to have more space for gardens and hobbies! It was my dear Dad who introduced me to the wheelbarrow and taught me how the vegetables would thrive, by spreading manure and picking weeds of course! My upbringing taught me the value of hours doing good ol’ hard work! Thanks Dad!

That’s not the end, then my army dad had this need to have animals. Not just a dog or cat variety, but farm animals. We always had rabbits around, but gradually we graduated to having rabbits and pigs. Then finally Dad thought 100 acres was needed to accommodate some cows too! Rabbits, pigs, cows and my very own goat! I must admit all these animals taught me a lot about life, death, birth and responsibility. Yes, my dad was no slacker, ever! And since dad still had free time on his hands, he decided to take up butchering as a hobby and opened up his own butcher shop at home. So I learned how to grind hamburger and trim steaks. Yes, I became dad’s favorite slave, woops I meant to write ‘helper!

Sometimes life is work. I’ve heard it said no one ever died of too much work. I’m not sure of that! I have never been afraid of it, whether it was splitting wood for the wood stove, baling hay for the cow’s winter food or digging out potatoes. There are rewards for working hard and none-the-least is a sense of accomplishment. Of course my favorite reward was eating great steaks from the butcher shop. The best reward is that I’ve taken that work ethic and applied it to all areas of my life even till this day.

Yet as I write these words I also need to remind myself how easy it is to be overworked and overwhelmed by a too-much to-do list. Truthfully humans can only handle so much. I don’t want some teenager to read this and believe working your head off is the answer to everything. No! But no one said it would be easy. We all need a little help along the way, some luck and a lot of hard work. School, marriage, transitions, relationships all require a strong stick-to-it-tiveness (commitment) and ongoing work. As the idiom goes, “Anything that comes too easy is probably insignificant.”

Keep at the work you have been tasked with! Dont allow the nay-sayers and eye-rollers to cause you to back away. Work hard and don’t forget to play too! Push through even when you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. And when you are feeling a little weak in the knees, remember, there is strength available from above and it begins by stopping the work for a time.

“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength!”

Work!

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After the Brain Surgery: You Learn As You Go!

Aside


Today marks day seven since my skull gave way to a five inch incision to retrieve a brain tumor capable of so much damage including shortening my life. I’ve been living with this knowledge for about six months in an elongated search for a best solution. Because of my young age it was recommended that surgery would best suit the situation. Yes 50 is not old! Yet the risks were still high. So much could happen; one proverbial “false move” by the surgical team and…

I am a public speaker of sorts. I stand in front of audiences of all ages and encourage them to live with hope and make a difference to someone somewhere somehow. I live in a foreign country and I usually speak in a cross-cultural setting. I love this life! Would this all now end with the bedeviled tumor stealing my loved life away? Would I soon limp out my faith-walk with facial paralysis, deafness and a host of other risks that I cannot even pronounce? Yes, the dreaded ‘risk talk’ and signatures, well mine … on the dotted line, from a doctor reminding us this was not a risk-free surgery. 

My wife and I had been having these conversations for awhile already. Surprisingly to me the one risk that I hadn’t even contemplated, but she did, was, “Would my hisband experience heart arrest under anesthesia?” She was struggling with the death question. These were real questions taking turns taunting us over the six months. At times I wanted to just pretend that nothing would happen if we just did nothing, leave the thing alone. You know, just pray! Pray pray it away.

Pray. That I did as best as I could. Most times I felt so distanced by the unfairness of the situation that I could barely pray a prayer for myself. It was a humbling lesson in being human like you and everyone else, or as one leader casually put it, this was a reminder of my mortality, but it really was more than that, it was a lesson about faith. I was face to face with a never before experienced situation that carried huge risks. Never had I spent a night in a hospital room. Never was I faced with something so drastic that could change the way I interfaced with the world. I had to step out in faith. I had to believe. I had to feel the fear and then walk into the admission room in some faraway hospital in a country I knew not and by an aged surgeon from Iranian ancestry that I had never heard of before. Oh my God!

People who know me well would say I am generally smiling, passionate. They may add that maybe I try too young to stay young, that I am witty and like to use humour, even corny humous, and  most agree that I am transparent and outgoing. I tried not to change a thing about me during the six months of tumor awareness. But the thing, yes this thing, was starting to maybe change me, ever so slightly.

Every week at Newsong the team, led by Daniel, vowed to pray. Every week I would humbly update about not knowing the next step and let my friends lay hands in fervent prayer. People around the globe who knew me were getting concerned. I was concerned! When approval was made for surgery in Germany a series of miracles took place to provide for all our needs to go there. A date was scheduled, air-tickets booked, hotel booked and warm winter clothes to boot! The Newsong gang called me up one more time and I spoke out loud, “No please, let me be the one to pray! And the words flowed from a depth of peace that I had yet to experience up until that moment. Something changed in me. Had I started to become more fearless?

Early in the morning of December 11, 2012 I was rolled out of my hospital room and taken to the Surgery room. I remember nothing but the rolling sensation. I saw no faces I recognized. I heard no noises. No one was holding my hand. I remember no conversations. The lights were out quickly.

The next thing I remember was me sitting up and vomiting on the floor. In fact the next morning was all about vomiting viciously whatever there was or wasn’t in my stomach. Unbeknownst to me Patricia, my wife, had spent the night vigil with her friend, Tina, catching the wretch in a bucket. Yet when i began to be aware of my surroundings all I knew was that I was a alive, some sort of human being that was violently reacting to some invasion and I could not remember what!

And then the news. The good news. The surgery was a success! I could move everything. I felt the tickles on my feet. I could smile wide. Yes, I saw double, but my right eye was wide open and I could shut it at will. The tumor was gone and I was going to be alright. Tough I was groggy, in head pain and uncomfortable with all the catheters and machines connected to keep progress, inside my heart there was relief, incredible relief. I was so happy and I couldn’t wait to tell Patricia!

Stay tuned

Reflections on Living Life Forward… (part 2)

Aside


Kierkegaard said “Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.”

I have a slight accent when I speak English. I have come to peace with that. It used to get under my skin when asked, “Where are you from, Ireland?” While the Irish do have their own winsome musical lilt, I would quickly correct that I was Canadian, the country touted for its pleasant English accent. And furthermore did you not know most newscasters in America come from Canada because of our easy-to-understand accent?” “Oh, so are you from Newfoundland or something, eh?” Sigh. The fact is, my first language was Dutch, which I am proud of, I just don’t want there to be a hint of it in my speaking.

I think back to when I was  I was old enough to start school. My English was so poor that the grade-one teacher had to remonstrate with my parents to switch languages used in the home from Dutch to English. I still have this tiny memory of being lost in my new dream world called primary school. It all makes sense now.

The Little Dutch boy (right)

Kierkegaard encourages us to look backwards to the past in order to come to a place in the now where our life makes sense. I guess looking back is like having this recall…we arrange the pieces of our lives like a photo album and we give meaning and captions to each photo. Most of the mental picture memories are good, but there are some we may not want to take out and handle. Those pictures conjure up in us feelings of regret or hurt or maybe even anger.

To take what Kierkegaard said logically a step further, simply looking back to the past and understanding it may not be enough; we need to find a way to make peace with our past as well. If I am to live fully in the here and now,  I need to first be able to look back to the past, understand it, see how it shaped me or misshaped me, and then look forward to the future with confident eyes.

The other day I laughed out loud when I read a tweeted quote attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt, “I think somehow we learn who we really are and then we live with that decision.” I could have used that quote when I was twenty something! We need to learn who we are and then live out that discovery without shame. Not always easy. For not only have I been told that I have an accent, but that I am also endowed with a quirky personality. That too pricked against my pride of being a cool cat.  I’ve never wanted to explore the truth of my ‘quirky me.’ But as I look back at how a shy dutch-born kid grew up in an army family moving about from place to place in Canada, perhaps that was enough to make me a little quirky. And I am at peace with what is true of me and so many other strange things left unmentioned!

I’ve given you a glimpse of my own personal ‘looking backwards’ to try and illustrate that Kierkegaard was really onto something. The ability to make peace and find meaning with our past, both  the positive and the negative, enables us to function as, and forgive this religious word, a blessing to others.

This is living  our life forward with the clear eyes of hope. What good is it to live a story line that is absorbed in the world of self?  Doesn’t the greatest moment in life begin when you make the shift from self; from focusing on image, success and shifting your life forward toward significance for others? A healthy and oft’ repeated question begs us to imagine the day of our own funeral. As people are standing in the lobby with a coffee in hand, what would they be saying about the life we have lived? If it were my funeral and I could invisibly walk around and listen to the chatter I would hope to hear that I, Peter DeWit, made some positive deposit in their life and made someone feel loved, significant even.” That might give me some proof that I made the shift from self-focused success-based living (getting) to other-focused significance-based (giving) living.

In light of my recent reflections on my health and the word hope, admittedly I’ve had moments where I wondered if this slow growing brain tumor muffling my hearing was really happening. Like the man seeing his image speaking to him from the puddle wondering who the real person is, I wondered if what I was experiencing was a surreal dream of myself and I’ll wake up without any traces of this reality. Then there are times I get upset with this interruption to my regular routine of life. I don’t want to think about anyone drilling a hole into my head whatsoever! Yet, from ‘somewhere else’, maybe from within, I am reminded that all of this is not to diminish my faith, my future, but through it I can learn and will speak this new language. And though I speak it with a slight accent, this language called ‘hope’ keeps helping me live my life forward in the midst of uncertainty with peace.

Hero Shmero Talk

Aside


ImageNo I have not seen Hollywood’s new block buster, “The Avengers.” Though I loved the Hulk as a young boy, quite frankly I took a a pass on this movie. I guess I am tired of the endless supply of formulaic superhero movie plots that display how the super-powered heroes save the beleaguered planet yet again for us weaklings.

Yet, maybe not so surprising, these superheroes are thriving everywhere today. Why are we mortals so drawn to these strange-looking costumed fictional men and women? Could it be we feel less than superhero in real life and need a positive message that we too can overcome the trauma of our past and the boredom of our present to make a difference in this world? “Oh to escape the mundane and become one of those legendary individuals that perform heroic sacrificial acts that will save the world from injustice and destruction (or at least someone’s life)!”

It gets me thinking about the whole world of heroes. What do you think defines a hero? Is there a lack of real-life heroes in our world today? Is there, as Bette Midler belted in her hit song, a hero inside of you?  My guess is that there is.

Now let me quote a verse that seems to lack in Hollywood-heroism. But I think there is a hero inside of this verse! Check it out.  Proverbs 20:22 says, “The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the grey head.” You say, “Really? What part of this proverb sounds heroic to you? Certainly not the grey head!” Well, presently I have three strapping sons in their twenties, which means my thinning hair is becoming somewhat whiter by the day! But white, grey or silver hair doesn’t qualify anyone for a hero. I am attempting to reveal what makes young men glorious and old men beautiful (heroic). If I dig deeper into this verse I see the encouragement to young men and older guys to live a heroic life. It begins as a process. There is a process for all boys to grow into the strength of a young man and then hopefully into the maturity of a wise man. A young man is slowly discovering new strength to care for himself and watch out for the good of others. The older sage has non-wasted life-experience giving him his stage to offer moral, spiritual and relational strength to others.

This is beginning to read like an old guy and young guy coming of age story. (Sorry women and girls). It doesn’t take much for a young man to gain muscle, a little exercise suffices.  Too many young guys spend every spare minute at the gym trying to sculpt the Superman pose. A young man needs guidance to show them that developing strength in all areas of his life will ensure that they don’t remain boys in a man’s body. A sage will help him discover this wisdom.

How does a young man discover the strength to make heroic decisions and finally make the transition to becoming an influential sage that others can respect and emulate? Here are some of my thoughts:

Be ready to struggle for what is right and true. ‎Heroes usually travel the path of adversity, they willingly face hardship or conflict. The path of least resistance will keep you in the cocoon of immaturity far too long. Like the butterfly, it is the struggle of escape that will cause the moral fibers of your wings to twitch with excitement and take flight into adulthood! As you encounter evil face-to-face and defeat it, the transformation into a true hero emerges. As you fight against aimlessness and the dark impulses in yourself, truth and strength then emerge in your character.

One young man that asked me for friendship desperately needed modeling more than friendship. Together we talked about his responsibility and growth. The first area that I challenged him in was with his girlfriend. It seemed to me he would forever be a boy with a girlfriend, enjoying the fruits without taking the word ‘commitment‘ seriously. If he was to be spared from repeating his teenage years of using his physical strength, making out with as many young women as possible, there needed to be a moral decision taken on his part. “Do you truly love her?” I asked. He assured me that he did. “Then now is the time you need to covenant with her in marriage,” I added. He took my advice to heart and I am observing from close up the strong responsible caring wings of two lives sharing married love and friendship. I simply challenged him to struggle for what was right and true.

Discover your mission in life. Heroes usually live for something that is worth dying for. I remember as a boy how much I loved shooting my arrows into a target. Many a bullfrog met his demise at my hands. As a boy everything seemed like an adventure, collecting old stuff, catching snakes, fishing in the stream, camping in a tent, raising rabbits with my Dad, and making new friends. I didn’t want to leave boyhood. And yet with time there was something in me wanting to find my place in this world. What could I do to help bring meaningful change and hope to others? In the end heroes find their mission and will stand up and fight because they know that if they don’t others will be hurt, abused and maybe even die.

One of the surest ways to find something that is worth living for is the self discovery of who you are and the uncovering of the amazing abilities you have. Forgive me if this sounds a little bit like self-help gobbledygook. But many of us find this kind of discovery too difficult on our own. We need others to help us to discover what makes us laugh and cry and help us articulate what the life we were created to live looks like. Once we are on the road of understanding, the confidence level to walk in the direction of our purpose goes right up, the willingness to sacrifice for the good of others dramatically increases and so does the level of personal peace and satisfaction.

Lately, as an aging individual, I’ve found myself feeling the need to encourage young men and women to walk like heroes and fight the good fight of righteousness and truth. This past January I walked through one of the saddest slums in all of Liberia, Africa, I asked the people, “What are you doing to help the children?” There was no hope in there answer. They simply shrugged their shoulders and said, “The government is doing nothing and so we are powerless to do anything.” I said, “No, you can do something. You start your own schools. You start your own companies. You must do something!” I am sure they found my message amusing. But I found myself shaking afterwards and saying to myself, “If I had another life, I’d come back here and set up a school for children.” I only hope some young man or women will overcome their poverty mentality and fear to do something heroic to change the future of that sad slum community.

This incident reminds me that the reason why we love our heroes is because they have the very characteristics we want to see on our own lives. A good start in finding the hero in our own life is to identify what those characteristics are. Is it courage, compassion, determination, perseverance or humility? Now that I’ve said all this about being a hero, I almost want to go and watch ‘The Avengers” and see them kick evil’s dirty butt. But no, I won’t because I want to look around me and see if it is you that is becoming a hero. Hey, don’t look so surprised!

I am just back …

Aside


I am just back from an amazing opportunity to minister with my good friend and Evangelist Marie Miller in Liberia. This is the same country where the American people sent back some of the black slaves beginning in 1820. My research says that it was believed ex-slaves would have greater freedom and equality in Africa. In 1847, these colonists founded the Republic of Liberia, establishing a government modeled on that of the United States and naming the capital city Monrovia after James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States and a prominent supporter of the colonization. The colonists, known as Americo-Liberians, monopolized the political and economic sectors of the country despite comprising only a small percentage of the largely indigenous population. (Wikepedia)

 

 

In the 1980’s there were two successive civil wars killing over 250,000 people. Just recently really has there been peace and 2005 saw the first democratic elections. Marie Miller has had a burden for this country for years and this trip was her fourth. She asked me to come along this time in order to speak something to the Youth Leaders. Her ministry invested a lot into this trip that targeted young leaders and a crusade called, “Dream Again!” Of course she preached with great passion and eloquence and many hundreds of people responded to the Word of God. On two of the evenings more than 400 people responded to the call to salvation.

 

 

My role was to help in anyway possible and take on some of the teaching sessions during the mornings for Youth Leaders. This trip was an eye-opener and left me remembering why I was born! My heart was stretched and tears come to me when I think of the great needs of Africa. I am so grateful for this opportunity and truly feel it has made me a better missionary! I know that God has something more for me in all of this.

 

 

For this report I thought I would highlight each day with some of my thoughts that were Facebook satuses and express some of the feelings and happenings. It is not m,eant to be super-spiritual, but more ‘real’ and I do hope you enjoy reading this:

 

 

Jan 6th

Goodbye Bangkok its hard to leave you! (I really struggled saying goodbye to Patricia and the girls. We call them ‘second thoughts.’)

 

Hello Nairobi: Ah the first of two all-night legs finally accomplished. Hello Africa for the very first time in my life and hello Nairobi International Airport… (What, no air-conditioning???) Oh and sorry to say but those Kenya Air seats were the smallest I’ve ever flown on in my life. Interesting conversation with a Rwandan man beside me…He says that his country is a wonderful example of ‘Reconciliation’…. love that!

 

Off to Monrovia in three more hours. Another nine hour trip!!!

 

 

Jan 7th

Arrived in Monrovia at 3pm: Already in a short time can see that this place is war torn and impoverished. Strangely enough the hotels and food are pricier than Thailand by far. We had a late supper with Marie Miller, Mother Merle, Colin Gittens and Patrick Kuchio from Kenya. Marie says things have improved a lot since the first time she came in 2007. For one thing there are paved roads now! One comment that stood out to me was the comment about the absence of flowers and laughter in Liberia.

 

 

Jan 8th

AM: Sunday Morning has arrived early and now to seek the Lord for some Word to share in the churches. Our little team will break up into four to each share individually a message to a different Liberian congregation.

 

 

PM: First Liberian Church Experience for me: Noticed the poverty, whoah, most people have little. (85% unemployment I was told.) The community I was in was rough and poor and dusty. Many churches though there. Kids are a delight and love getting in pictures. The best part was watching the dance as they worshipped. They really can dance a storm… In and out of the block church building twice. That was grace and freedom for a moment! I ate with the Pastor and family, curry fish.

 

 

Afternoon: Liberia is the product of years of neglect. It is the least educated English country in Africa. And then there was war. So little motivation and hope. Most rural areas have no schooling. Children have to migrate to get schooling. Those kids often get exploited and don’t end up in schools.

 

 

So awesome to see Marie Miller’s face posted up in the middle of the city of Monrovia to invite people to the nightly event to the stadium. The theme is ‘Dream Again!’

 

 

Evening: How is this for unplanned… Going to go on live television with Marie Miller right now…

 

 Jan 9th

Good Morning Liberia! The real reason why we are here begins this now:. Teaching Youth Leaders in the morning and City Wide Youth Crusade in the evening. Calling out for people of prayer to pray today all day all sorts of prayers.

 

 

Someone just gave me malaria pills.. Took first one today. Should kick in three days. That means no bites for three days or I am at risk! And tonight the outdoor stadium crusade will begin!

 

 

Evening: First Night went terrific. We started two hours late. The music was brilliant and short. The crowd was smaller than anticipated. It concerned us. Yet the place buzzed with energy. The Rev. Marie was at her anointed best! The response time was powerful. The sense is Tommorow will be even better. Keep praying for this!

 

 Jan 10th

A new day has been given to us. I am so glad that’ this day is given as a gift and whatsoever we do we can do it with all our heart as a thanks offering back to the gift giver …

 

 

After preaching today for one hour my shirt felt like I had just jumped into the pool! It was intense. It was fun! It was passionate. Now a television has asked us to share ten minutes each on the subject of Reconcilliation! I have no time to ready myself… So it’s gonna be Jazz… Ad lib the heart of God!

 

 

Walking the markets in Monrovia was a unique experience… The only white person. . . I was real glad to have my Kenyan Bro with me! Thanks Patrick kuchio!

 

 

Now in a few minutes: Crusade Night in Monrovia.

 

 

Tonight’s crusade is building up in numbers. Many responded to the call for salvation and in a place where there is one doctor to every 70000 people, many responded to the need of healing.

 

 

 

Jan 11th

A real need for intercessory prayer today. Coming from the ‘Land of Smiles’ and being in a land of ‘few smiles’ , brokenness and loss I realize that so so much grace and healing is needed. Our driver is an example… Rebels came killed his family…raising his voice he said “for no good reason!” and today the emotional scars remain. One story… Repeated in a million ways in this land.

 

 

I have my own after-service time. The first night ere were about 5 kids aged 4 to 14. First night we did push-ups. They came for more the second night, but they had a rubber ball so we payed throw…and tonight my congregation has grown to 25! As I left the stadium they they chanted Peecher Peecher!

 

 

I made the great mistake to walk into the high school and asking to see the classrooms in session. I ended speaking ‘hope’ to six classes from grade 9 to 12. Serendipitous moments are sometimes the best!

 

 

Can someone tell me a good simple game that involves a circle and some running to do with young kids?

 

 

Heading out for the ATS Stadium Liberia for night 4. Hope to see some of the kids like Esther, Fanta, Rory, and Issa among the people. Going to play Duck, duck, goose! You know last night about1,000 plus people present. But there was tons of technical difficulty. Tonight we need some smooth technicians! Going to be a good night….

 

 

The very best night of all the meetings so far just happened tonight! A great response to the story of the prodigal son … Hundreds responded! (400) And then my children’s ministry increased overnight! We were were over forty! And I played until my teammates could stands it no longer. In fact marie kept saying, “Get in the car Peter!” What can I say?

 

 

Jan 12th

Fever broke out in my body last night. I took my last three Advil pills. Not feeling too good today. Got a cough as well. You know what I am asking for… prayer.

 

 

Going out now to meet up with Liberian Youth and Youth leaders for one last time. Pray for a special touch as we finish this day.

 

Afternoon: Best session yet and wanted to stay longer but we have an appointment with another couple who returned to Liberia as missionaries.

 

 

Evening: I want to be there on the last night. Please Lord… I feel not so good! I want to see Liberians respond to God and my little congregation of kids!

 

 

Still Burning at 8pm. I think I’m bed-ridden tonight. When will this fever go?

 

 

Jan 13th

Felt terrible that I missed the last night of our Liberian Stadium Dream Again event. I missed the kids especially. Looking forward to hearing from the team how it all went. I just wasn’t able to get the fever down in three hours! Right now the Advil has kicked in, but the head is still throbbing. Thanks for the prayers too!

 

 

Jan 14th

Last night I had a soccer ball for the kids. I could not attend because of my fever. I told Rev. Collin to give the ball to Issa. The kids were asking “where is Peecher?” Collin said to them you will play with the ball and Issa will take it home. As soon as Issa got the ball in her hands she made a B-line out of the stadium with twenty boys running after her. The origins of American Football began in Liberia!

 

 

The worry is I am showing malaria-like symptoms!

 

Today is a day off for some looking around and shopping. Was hoping to see a soccer match between Nigeria and liberia…but postponed due to the inauguaration.

 

 

Jan 15th

Anytime you have a loss, play it down & pray it up. Focus on what’s left, not what’s lost. (Rick Warren) Hope I remember this quote today while I preach!

 

 

Oh my..the sound of three hundred African voices in harmony!!! Dude! And I preached and sang and danced my sermon away… It was an experience that I doubt will ever be repeated ever again! Immediately after the last amen my head felt ready to explode…not in a good way. But I am okay! One more night in Liberia, two more nights on a plane!

 

 

Afternoon: Thinking about a good moment in a sermon by Patrick Kuchio “If you leave Liberia as a loser, you will still be a loser in America! If you flee Liberia as a crocodile to America, you will still be one there!” The point was change my heart now….

 

 

The hotel is surrounded by security..heads of state are arriving, guns are all over. sitting with an UN police in the lobby right now. Its the inauguration in a day.

 

 

Evening: Before I go to bed may I interrupt you once more. You see I walked in a community that ripped me up on the inside with hundreds of kids unable to attend a school. No power for years, no running water, a granddad reporting that 27 people lived in a tin shack home, polio victims congregating in wheelchairs, war victims on crutches… The forgotten. … I spoke to many… I spoke only hope… I can only hope that one day…

 

 

Jan 16th

Pancakes! Why no one tell me I could order pancakes till my last day! Leaving Liberia today on an overnighter at 5:30pm. Then in Nairobi for a 19 hour layover. But I have a plan in place… I am going to visit Garry and Brenda Kean who have arranged a taxi driver named Kimani to get me..

 

 

Jan 17th

Arrived in the wee hours at Nairobi, Kenya and am with Garry Kean and his family and thiugh working on two hours of sleep and incoherent conversation it still feels so good to see another African country! The weather is crisp and clean. Looking forward to seeing a few sites before returning home to Bangkok.

 

 

Walked thru the second largest slum in Africa and largest slum in Nairobi (estimated over one million people) with Brenda Kean and what I saw caused me to be shaken and yet the word I got, that I remembered was the word, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” There is an unsung hero who lives there and his name is Pastor Elias! He lives in this slum, he knows the people and shows the people the gospel-way… Brenda too is so passionate about helping the disenfranchised. I also met and saw beauty in the talented seamstress, Sarah and her daughter Sheila… They are two wonderful stories from “Nazareth”.

 

 

Jan 18th

Monrovia-Nairobi-Bangkok (45 hours of travel if you include going to and returning from the airport!)

 

 

Thanks again for those who sponsored this trip including my air fare and allowing me to be a part of a story that intertwines my life story to God’s greater redemption story in Africa. Many hundreds responded to God’s love (recorded over 2000 people who prayed the prayer of faith). But out of all those people, one thing I know, I won’t be the same!