About TheChangeOfSeasons

A woman who loves her family, loves her man and loves her God!

God at Work

This morning I woke up at – what is becoming normal – around 4:45 to the first crows of the rooster. I’m usually up for good – this might have to do with the “lights out” when the sun goes down. I’m okay with this – I’ve always been an early to bed, early to rise – albeit this is even early for me!


I have been using my early mornings to pray and intercede – usually for my family during this time. Then I get up just before dawn, and by candle light, I prepare some breakfast, usually a hard boiled egg and a banana.

Then I have my quiet time and I begin with a devotional given to me by a very sweet lady in our church, just before we left to come to Africa. Voices of the Faithful, a daily devotional written by missionaries from across the world. I even ordered a box and passed them out before I left. I will confess I’ve had to read a couple at a time recently but it is definitely the FIRST daily devotional I have actually STILL been reading in July!


So – today – the devotion was about a young girl in this missionary’s village who had brought a neighbor to church. After the service they were given time to introduce any guests and as this young girl was introducing hers, the neighbor leaned over to whisper in her ear. With a huge grin, the young girl announced that her neighbor wanted to receive Jesus. The church went silent as she walked to a prayer partner who led her in prayer. When he was finished he said “AMEN” just a bit louder. The church broke into spontaneous cheering, song, praise and celebration. The missionary pondered the celebration and rejoicing happening that very moment in heaven.

This devotional made me desire that celebration. I even posted the devotion this morning on FB, as I was praying for opportunity. As I read through Colossians again this morning, I continued thinking, God, reveal Yourself today!!!

So – we loaded up and took the 80 minute drive to Suneka, a village on the other side of Kisii Town. I was starting another class with the women there today! I was excited to have this chance again.

For three hours, 15 women crammed into this little room, with each wall covered in mismatched lace, flowers hanging from the rafters and the two tables covered with cloths that remind me of something my grandmother would have had.

We had a remarkable time in the WORD. We introduced Paul’s letter to the Colossians, listened to it read in Kiswahili by a great program I found and then, we began to look at the book inductively. I spent a good amount of time today, introducing and sharing about myself, my love for God’s Word and why I love this book. I shared about my family and my church back home. All this I can do in Kiswahili and the women love to hear me fumble through that. Then, we looked at how being IN CHRIST is all we need. We look at how the FULLNESS OF GOD is available to those who believe. We skirted over the book and God stirred in each of us an excitement of what He has in store for us over the next couple months.

As we were finishing, Randy came to the door. He peeked his head in and excused himself for interrupting and ushered two women in. “These ladies would like some prayer.” We welcomed them in. Karibu sana!

One of these women wanted prayer for a husband. She wants to be married. The other wanted prayer for her husband, stating he needed to know Jesus. Through my interpreter I shared a few things, and then my interpreter turns to them and asks – “are you saved? Have you ever repented of your sins and asked Jesus to be your Savior?” To my surprise both of them said no.

Without thinking, I asked, “why then do you want your husband to be saved? Why would you come here asking for prayer to a God you don’t know? You know your husband needs salvation, do you not realize you too need to be saved?” She began to cry.

What happened next is hard to explain, but the Holy Spirit filled that room as these two women literally fell to their knees. The prayers were in Kiswahili, the questions and answers were as well, but what I witnessed was salvation… salvation and celebration and rejoicing and singing.



Just this morning, I asked God to reveal HIMSELF, to let me see Him at work… and… in HIS A-MA-ZING faithfulness – He totally answered my prayer! What’s more, I watched the women I had just sat with for 3 hours, sharing the very scriptures from their notes that we had gone over in our study. Telling these ladies they were new creations in Christ. Then, they were given a piece of paper, with references to my favorite prayers in all of scripture – the four of Paul’s in Ephesians, Philippians and in Colossians. The women were telling these two they needed to pray for their husbands… both the one that had one and the one that wanted one. THEN — they assigned the ladies a partner that will tend to them and make certain they are in church on Sunday and will be sure they join us next week!!!!!

This was my day today… a witness to the miracle of salvation… a part of the celebration with the angels… allowed to be a part of God at Work!!!!

He knows my name

So I’ve met many many people as we make a point to walk thru the village as often as we can. That’s life here, greeting, visiting and greeting some more. And Africans don’t just give you a nod and ask how you are, all while walking past so quickly that the question isn’t finished before you are headed in opposite directions… Let alone an answer. OH No, greetings are very important in African culture.

So the greeting… I love! I’ve always enjoyed that but I’ve always been bad with names. I confess I rarely get my kids’ names right. But I usually remember faces and details of conversations and of our lives we share. Back home, I get around the name thing… And as one of the youth wrote in a “going away” book, I know LOTS of people named “sweetie”.

When I got here, everyone looks the same to me. And before that tilts someone with gasps, ah, these beautiful black people say the same thing about mazungas (white people). And they say Asians are even harder to tell a difference. Hmmm, not sure on that, “my Asians” are easily distinguishable. ;))

Anyways, I was praying and asking God to help me to know the faces of my neighbors. Help me to remember the tidbits of their lives that they share. And Lord, help me remember my new friends’ names!!

As I prayed for this, I was reminded of a song…

I have a Maker
He formed my heart
Before even time began
My life was in his hands

I have a Father
He calls me His own
He’ll never leave me
No matter where I go

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
And He hears me when I call

Does it bowl you over? It does me! I mean, the Creator of the Universe… He KNOWS me!!

Not only does He know me…

But He has forgiven my sins… Setting it as far as the East is from the West…. I want to forgive like that.

When I pray… He leans in, bends His ear… to hear me…. I want to listen like that!

He loves me with a Love unconditional! I want to love like that!

And then I thought about the faces… Then I thought about HIS FACE!!!! Then I thought about one day soon seeing HIM – face to face!!

This is my hope, not obscured hope but secured hope!! And I want that hope for my new friends I enjoy greeting so much… LORD JESUS… Reveal Yourself to me, in me, through me… May I be a Light that takes the hand of my new friend, Sweetie, and with haste, may I usher her to YOU!!!!!

Today is my wedding anniversary… 32 years!!!

imageAs I sit on this little porch in a lovely house in a village tucked up in the highlands of western Kenya, as I look over the tea fields, cluster of banana trees, crops of maize… all seemingly choreographed to the sounds of a perfect African morning…  Cows mooing, roosters crowing and that loud distinct African bird… I sit here among the peaceful sounds of Africa and I’m thinking THIRTY TWO YEARS???????

I knew I would marry Randy within days of our first date.  THIS was a good man!  I won’t say I was madly in love, gushing with stars or even feeling I couldn’t live without…  I just knew… he was kind, gentle, and thoughtful, loved his family… and somehow, at the naïve – think you know it all – age of 18…  I knew this was a good man.

Within 6 months of our “I do’s” – we found out I was pregnant!!!!  I can close my eyes and recall every detail of emotion and excitement as I sat at the reception desk of my father’s office and received the call from my doctor’s.

Randy and I were thrilled and the day our first child was born, I felt a love for and from Randy I had not known before.

I wish I could write that I held on to that love and contentment all the way up to this morning.

But –

Let’s talk about “bliss”.  The dictionary defines it as supreme happiness, utter joy and contentment, complete happiness.  The second definition describes bliss as heavenly paradise.  Well, baby, you’re good, but you’re not THAT good!

Let’s see – 32 years, 2 or maybe 3 near divorces, a good amount of silent days and nights, we’ve had money, we’ve had NO money, we’ve experienced serious health issues and we’ve enjoyed being in great shape.  We’ve parented in harmony and we’ve been nose to nose in opposition.  We’ve wondered what we would do without each other and… we’ve daydreamed of ‘freedom’ apart.

I remember looking at each other one time – and both of us were done… ready to walk… and Randy says, “Well, we don’t have any choice”.  What he meant, was we didn’t have that choice – the choice to ‘walk’.  We were followers of Christ and HE had said, that THAT was not an option.  This was likely the wisest thing my husband has ever said. We were young and young in our walk with Christ but he knew that being obedient was the only option.

So – 32 years – wedded bliss????  I think not.  But – what I can say is that for most of that 32 years, the ones we’ve followed Christ, the ones we’ve trusted HIM, the ones we’ve purposed in our hearts to obey HIM, those years have been the foundation of where we are today.

Young marriages, even older marriages need to be reminded that it’s NOT easy.  But – it’s so so worth it!

As I think of this man who plays games with the children in this village, despite language barriers, connecting with them at a heart level that few can do….

As I think of this man whose gentle strength will grip the hand of a man walking down the dusty road in a village on a hill in east Africa and somehow communicate that he cares and he loves through a simple greeting….

As I think of this man who will sit in the other room and talk with his mom on the phone, miles and miles away, sharing with her all that God is doing, asking her about her days, loving her from so so far….

As I think of this man that loves his family, his children and grandchildren, Love that stirs a joy that literally flows out as he speaks of them.  This man who beams as he talks of and tells of this gift of family he has… who prays for and thanks God for them every day!  This man that, despite his never ending, deeper than deep, unmatched love for our children and grandchildren, would be willing to pursue a call so very far away….

As I think of this man who loves his God… As I recall looking out the kitchen window last night and listening to my husband share about Jesus with our little friend Derrick, this man that despite disappointments and frustrations has repeatedly stood on the fact God sent him here to share the Truth of God and disciple and that is what he will do.  When I think of this man who has a depth of understanding, wisdom and knowledge that only is God given…

When I think of this man I’ve been married to for 32 years and see who God has made him, when I remember where God has brought him, and me, from, when I think about the countless what ifs, what if we had.. if I had… given up any one of the many times I thought that was what I wanted… what if I had missed seeing the man I love today?  What if I had forfeited the blessing of seeing God’s faithfulness and workmanship in our lives?  What if???

So – this morning – 32 years after I said “I do”…  I thank God with all my heart for somehow impressing on a couple of young 20, 30 something’s – that pushing through, pressing on, obeying God, trusting God was worth it.  This morning, I can not imagine my life without this man I love and respect so very much.  This morning, as I sit on this porch over looking the beautiful African morning…  I’m thinking…

Happy Anniversary Baby – I’m so glad you are my man!

When God says “GO”

Its been a journey for sure!  A journey that really began in 2009 with my first visit to Africa.  Less than 4 years later…  I am living in Kenya and preparing to move out to a village west of Kisii Town & Ogembo.  Up a 30 minute drive on a red dirt road, deep mud in the rains, hard rough terrain in the dry weather – neither of which can be maneuvered easily without 4 wheel drive.

No electricity, no running water, no Saturday morning breakfasts with all my kids, no sleep overs with the most amazing grandkids EVER!  No visits with my parents. No home fellowship with the best HF leaders and mentors God has ever blessed anyone with.  No early Sunday morning prayer with a pastor the Spirit of God simply pours out of. No breakfast dates with God’s sweet blessing of friendship. No hugs and blessings with the most precious church family I have ever known.  And yet….

I find myself filled with anticipation, wonder, expectation, deep intercession and a faith in the God of the Universe – that HE – Who’s thoughts for me outnumber the grains of sand – that HE, Who inclines His ear, Who bends down to hear my prayers, that HE, Who directs my steps with His eye, that HE has a plan that He has chosen me — to be a part!

It’s taken me a bit to get here…  but just as God promises… He rewards those who seek HIM!!!  I don’t doubt I will need reminding – but today – this is where He’s brought me.

June 4th!  Exactly 5 months ago today we landed in Kenya.  I was exhausted from the flight on which I cried from a depth I had never known… sobbed at times uncontrollably as we traveled across the ocean.  I had hugged my mom 24 hours earlier and felt her restraining her heart.  I had turned then to hug my daughter, fighting to restrain my own.  I inhaled deeply the fragrance of sweet love as I held my grandkids and silently prayed with all I had that God would hold them tight.  I prayed with my best friends as we cried together saying so very little.  And with such pride, mixed with an indescribable pain, I looked at all 5 of my kids, my Johnny, Ruth & Levi, I glanced at the belly holding the grandbaby that would be born in a short six weeks, I looked around at my friends and family…  and I knew, I knew that God would remain faithful and that while I could hardly imagine how – that God would sustain, strengthen and equip me to do what He had asked me to do.

Ndiyo! – YES! – it has been harder than hard.  Kabisa! – Absolutely! – I have wanted to quit more than a few times.  Kweli!  –  Indeed! – I have clung to the One thing I KNOW to be certain.  Hapana, no, not my faith – lakini afadhali, but rather, the ONE in Whom my faith rests!

When God says, “GO”, no matter what that means, how do you say no?  Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to.  There has been many times He has said, “GO” and I have NOT wanted to…  “GO” tell her you are sorry…. “GO” tell him you were wrong…  “GO” give that man the five dollars in your pocket…  “GO” ask her if she knows me…  “GO” help them move on your day off…  “GO” fix that family a meal….  “GO” visit him at the hospital….  “GO” to the early prayer meeting…  “GO” sit quietly and read this chapter…  “GO”… share this verse with her…  the list goes on and on.  I can’t say I always went… oh… how I wish I could say that.  But what I can say… I’ve never been sorry when I did.  I may not have understood, I may not have seen the reason why, but I have never ever been sorry I obeyed when God has said, “GO”.

Somewhere along the line, God has opened my understanding that there is eternal purpose of which I do not know.  An eternal purpose, an eternal good, an eternal blessing…  and while I do not know the details – I KNOW the One from Whom that purpose, that good and that blessing will come!!!  I trust HIM and HE is worth far far more than I could ever offer up in my meager obedience to “GO”.

So – as we sit between finishing our time at Language School, resting some and preparing to take a few days to “GO” and rest and seek Him more, between this and heading up that dirt road and waiting for HIM to say “GO”…  I find myself scooting to the edge of my seat…  just HOW, Lord Jesus, are You going to show YOURSELF FAITHFUL????

If you are a follower of Christ – you TOO – are a “MISSIONARY” and – you TOO – are being told to “GO”.  Is it next door?  Is it to that table on the other side of the coffee shop?  Is it to that one you argued with last week?  Is it back to fellowship?

My prayer today is that you and I will be quick to respond when our GOD says “GO”!


Reflections on Mother’s Day….

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I am a woman with many many blessings. I have a life filled with women – women who have taught me more of life, more of living, more of love than is possible to be contained in any book, in any library. God has filled my life with sisters, with friends, with “girls”, with mentors and with torch takers. I am surrounded with women who have made forever lasting impressions deep within my heart and soul.

But today – my thoughts gravitate in this direction…..

I was about 22 years old when my Great Grandmother died. GRAMS… homemade chocolate chip cookies, homemade bread, Perry Mason and Saturday 6pm Lawrence Welk come to mind. When I would stay the weekend with her, this was our line up. She was VERY hard of hearing which resulted in lots of VERY loud “talking”. She was strict but she was loving. For as long as I knew – my Grams lived in a home connected to her daughter’s home along the shore in Oldsmar. That always made weekend stays doubly dosed with grandmother love and I was guaranteed one of them would come out and play and look for fiddler crabs in the bay.

Her daughter – my grandmother – GRAMMY, she was a sharply dressed, very smart business woman who loved the Lord and served Him with all her heart. She too was strict, she towed the line and we were all quite certain where it was and not to cross it. And yet, she poured out her love and the legacy – of a woman who walked hard after God – lingers on. I still think her perseverance in serving God – up to the end of her life here – resonates an example in my heart that I pray never gives way to a sense of needing or deserving a “rest”.

My NANNY – my mom’s mom – she was my “fairy-book” grandmother. She is the woman all the children’s books with giving, loving, giving, protecting, giving grandmas was written about. She was by far the kindest woman ever. She was very independent and true to her generation in forever serving her family. She would board a bus 6 days a week to travel to her same job in a small store in downtown Tampa. She worked hard – well past retirement age, and she loved working in her yard – up to the day she died. She was a God fearing woman who loved with a love that was saturated in HIS grace. She had a rougher road, that I only know from stories as they never succeeded in hardening this woman. She had a way of making everyone of us kids feel we were her favorite and it’s funny to now hear the claims of her grandchildren… oh I love her so… and I am certain… it was I who was her favorite!!!

All three of these women lived well into their mid 90s, in their home, providing for themselves and still actively touching my life.

MY MOM – she too has been a woman who loves, serves and pours out into others. I knew, growing up, that she would always be there for me – and – she has! I learned so much from her, as she did from her own mother. I learned that family was in the top of the list. I learned that her children and family would always be her favorite and most desired company. That the bond of “family” reached deep and rooted with strength. While we haven’t dared spoke it – I can tell in her eyes, that she is likely the one who knows best my heart and the difficulty of being away from family. She truly has given to me with a sacrificial heart and no matter how much I tell her – she could never know how very much I love and appreciate her!!!!

MY SISTER – my big sister – everyone should have one! Her patience was tested but her calm and loving smile always prevailed. We have a closeness that is not touched by time or distance and I have loved sharing my life with her.

My other “MOM” – wow my blessed life continued when I married Randy and received another woman who would pour out into my life. Her graciousness towards me has always been overflowing, another hard working woman who has always been available. And, at 80 years old, while most her age are slowing down – she is out and about nearly every day, taking care of and loving on her friends and family.

My other SISTER – indeed, another blessing I received the day I married Randy. She, too, has demonstrated a life of hard work and much love. Her kind heart is an example I have always desired and I am grateful to now share with her my faith.

My Aunt Bev, Aunt Mary, Aunt Frankie, Aunt Mil, Aunt Mattie, Alma, Anne, and many other “aunts” and cousins also fill my the outpour of influence in my life. All, living and loving with that motherly love that embraces the heart.

So… The day I discovered I was pregnant for the first time – at 19 years old – married just 6 months at the time – I can literally close my eyes and not only recall – but actually feel the very sense of speechless, heart cradling, breath taking, eye raising wonder of that expectation of becoming a mama. Really the only thing I ever remember desiring with such depth as that was all I really ever wanted to do in my life – get married and have babies!!!!

I have loved every season of the lives of my kids. Even the challenges served to be character shapers and integrity builders. My boys filled my first 6 years of motherhood with a happiness that can not be explained. They taught me so much with their curiosity, their forever learning and discovering and… their simple love. I loved the way they played and the way they bickered. Then, I loved the way just a few minutes later – they would be back to playing and laughing and I would inhale, smile and know that sense of family my mother, my grandmother and all these had demonstrated for me my whole life.

The boys were 5 & 2 when I became pregnant for the last time. The day I found out I was having a BABY GIRL – I was beyond joyful and overflowing with dreams, with ideas, with expectation… and each and every one so far has not failed to meet up with my hearts desire for her. The gift I have in having raised my “best girl friend” my “Kasi Girl” is nothing short of heaven sent.

I was never bothered or concerned with Ryan or with Cory having “issues” with a new baby – neither time. I expected their love to grow and… it did!! I loved watching them with each other – I love it to this day. I love that Kasi laughs at her brothers with the deep gut laugh that they along are able to stir. I love how they care for each other and how they always challenge each other in the way only a sibling can get away with.

I love how their arms have opened wide to bring in two more sisters into the fold. I love how my boys have prayed for and have chosen the most perfect women, help mate, partner and friend for their lives. And having prayed for each one – both these women – for their entire lives – my heart could not be more connected to them had I given birth to them myself. I love that Ryan is a big brother to Elizabeth and Cory is to Rach.. and I love that Kasi has sisters that she loves and enjoys being with.

I watch Rachel with her children, calm, peaceful, certain, patient and loving – and I see the amazing children she is raising – and I simply say – PRAISE GOD!!! I see Ruthie and Noomie… I watch their brothers doting and protecting and loving. I watch these little girls who will grow up, who will have their dreams, and I pray, with all my heart, that God will raise them up… to be women with hearts after HIM – just as their mommy.

I watch Elizabeth and Kasi with their nieces and nephews – along with the children of their friends – and I see two women God is preparing to carry the torch of the most amazing job ever… motherhood! I see their gentleness and love and they are pouring it out on those around them. I see a God given desire in their eyes that He has protected from the callousness of this world. And as I pray, I know in confidence that my God, in HIS perfect sovereign will, will fulfill in their lives all HE has designed, all He desires!

So – I am surrounded from the front and from behind, circling the sides — with women who I can only marvel at. Women of distinction and of grace. Women of wisdom and of love. Women for whom I thank and praise my Lord for today!

Mom – I love you more than words can say, thank you for everything! Thank you for all you’ve taught me, all you’ve given me, for all your love for me!!! You are an amazing woman and I am blessed to call you my mom! “Thank you” simply is not reflective of my hearts deep love for you!

Mom (Helen) – as well, I appreciate you with great depth and I love your son with all my heart! Thank you for being an example in taking me in as your daughter and demonstrating a Naomi and Ruth biblical example of love.

And – being far from home – in a place where all women – of “my age” – are referred to only as Mama…. I smile… that I am always, daily reminded of the most amazing role my God has allowed me to take – that of a woman – that of a mom.

Sometimes a long way from home… is much Much MUCH further than long….

On March 17, 2006, after several weeks of increasing pain, I collapsed on the floor of my bedroom unable to move. After a few days of testing, it was discovered that my 4th/5th Lumbar vertebra had ruptured severely and pieces of it was putting pressure on nerves as they floated through my spinal column. It was excruciating pain and numbness all at the same time. I was literally in bed for months, had 2 surgeries and slowly began to improve. I spent a lot of time in the Word during that season. God taught me so much and revealed Himself in new and deeper ways. And looking back…. it was an amazing blessing that I honestly say – I wouldn’t trade. I found a Strength in Him, I didn’t know. I experienced a Rest in HIM, I did not know. I tasted a goodness of HIM… I had never known. It is true that as God walks us through trials, tribulations, difficulties and pain… and as we FIX OUR EYES ON HIM… we do indeed experience a depth of HIM — we otherwise would never know.

Last week, I was sick in bed for 5 days. Again, not leaving my bed. As I laid there I recalled the long season of confinement and just how faithful God was during that time years ago. And, as I am going through the Old Testament, I see over and over how the Israelites would need to be reminded of God’s faithfulness, of His promises, of His love. I realized… I had forgotten. I had grown into a whining Israelite… WHY GOD? Have you brought me out of Egypt so that I might die???? OH that I might have orange juice and a nice thick steak…. Oh that we were having Saturday Morning Breakfast all together…. Oh that I might have my Tempur-Pedic bed… Oh, that I could sit and pray with my friends… OH, that I could read a book with my babies…. Ok, a little different whining…. but whining all the same, whining that was growing out of forgetfulness.

The last 28 hours has taken my breath. Honestly, I’ve had to remember to breathe. Sitting by the phone awaiting updates and texts. This time my memory spiraled back 5 years ago when Ruthie was in the hospital, then even further, 24 years ago as we awaited test after test with my own baby girl.



Little Naomi is indeed… a little thing. There has been a concern that has continued and increased her short little life. And, at just 2 1/2 months, she is undergoing tests to determine what, if anything, is causing this lack of weight gain and concern. So my kids’ lives have hit that “world stopping” mode that a hospital can do. That exhausting and long drawn out process of a hospital stay. The sounds, the smells, the waiting, the shift changes, the reading, the waiting, the vital checks, the waiting, the visitors, the waiting….


I have an amazing Daughter in Law… I actually have two of them! But the mama that is sitting and waiting has been diligent to keep this Nanny informed… often informing that there is nothing to inform. Over the last couple months she has inquired about family history, she’s shared her concerns and we’ve prayed together across the miles. Now, she’s walking through unknown territory and she is walking it holding the hand of her husband, and, her LORD. You see, she is good at remembering. Remembering HIS faithfulness. His Goodness. His LOVE. I hear it in her voice, I see it in her eyes. I’ve watched her faith in Jesus grow to levels I wish I had known at that stage of my life. I see a trust, a rest and I see a memory of all God has done in her life. My kids trust their GOD… and so do I.

My prayer is to share with you soon that we simply have a little tiny petite and healthy girl… but for today, as I am finding the long long way from home… so very very far, I am asking that you keep our little Naomi in prayer. Keep her brothers and sister, her daddy and her mommy in prayer. I am grateful beyond words that beside her is her other grandma… her Mimi… as well as her Aunts and Uncles and great grandparents. Please, pray for all of us to remember.. to remember that our God, Whose thoughts of us, of Naomi, outnumber the grains of sand… pray that we remember HE IS FAITHFUL!!!!!

Things under the sun…

Rand Kari Naivasha drive

So Randy and I have walked with The Lord for nearly 30 years. We’ve sought Him, we’ve served Him, we’ve studied His Word, we’ve prayed and we’ve seen His faithfulness first hand! We’ve prayed many countless times through the years together, interceding for our children, our marriage, one another. I’ve watched Randy grow in Christ sometimes pole pole (slowly) and sometimes right before my eyes.

Last week, after some challenges, disappointments, set backs, several very long months of language study, after feeling defeated and inept in our studies… We made a decision to go away… to set apart… With purpose. We realized our need and had a great desire to seek our God, to hear from Him, to wait on Him, to rest in Him and to expect that in His faithfulness He would reveal, speak, meet, refresh and totally pour Himself out!

We had an amazing weekend! Randy felt we should go though the book of Ecclesiastes together????? Ahhhh okay? We first read straight through it and still, I thought, ahhhh hmmmm okay?? Then we began to dig in a bit deeper.

Written by Solomon… The wisest man, the richest man… It is thought provoking as he writes of so much… “Under the sun”. That phrase is used 29 times! Constantly he wrote of the things “under the sun” with no real eternal perception throughout most his writing. While we are not finished going through this book, Gods purpose for us to take a look, at a book I must confess I’ve never spent much time at all in, His purpose is certainly to remind me I can NOT be looking at my life, this mission, Kenya, Kisii, Randy, my children, my grandchildren, my “pain”, my upsets…. I cannot be looking at these things… “under the sun”… but rather… through and in the SON!!!

It is clear that apart from Christ and an eternal perspective… There is very little… actually… there is nothing left!


As God is refining me, refining us… I am more and more in awe that He would invite me to be apart of HIS plan.

We had such a sweet time together, enjoying His creation, taking advantage of our Kenya resident status, and prices, setting ourselves apart and with purpose, seeking Him, as I must also confess…. We’ve really never done

    together like this before in prayer and fasting. And I can say it WILL happen regularly!

    As a result of our time we have made some plans subject only to His Hand. We will remain here in language school through May. We then will spend a couple weeks gathering supplies, packing and finalizing some things here. Then we will take another week to do as we just did… Set apart and sit before Him. After that we will head to Kisii, move in and spend that last week of June settling in. Also during this time, Randy will be preparing for his first session.

    He will teach 2 ten week sessions this year. Each session will have seats for 8 men and will meet three days a week for 6 hours a day.

    I will be going back to the states mid October so as not to miss a very special wedding! Randy will fly out Dec 5 or so after his second session and we will break for the holidays, returning early January to begin again.

    We have a number of specific prayer requests…

    1. Pray for a continued drawing to Him. Pray for our walk, our commitment, our prayer time, our time in the Word, pray for our abiding in Him…. Apart from which… Is only under the sun.

    2. Pray for our language learning. We are actually making sentences and can carry on a simple, albeit, broken conversation!

    3. Pray for Kisii. Pray for those men God is already preparing to take through His Word.

    4. Pray for the orphanage and school. Pray that God will direct the next steps there and that He would be glorified through the outreach to young people who have no one. This arm of the ministry is on the alter for Gods direction. Pray for wisdom, discernment and for specific leading as a we move forward.

    5. Pray for those God has called to teach His Word.. That they will guard the treasure, study to show themselves approved, rightly dividing the Truth. Pray for them as they minister to their flocks.

    6. These people know the stories of the Bible probably better than you or I. But I am finding that few are actually walking with Christ, abiding in Him and actually understand the Gospel. Pray for hearts like our teacher Peter… Who pastors a church down the road. Pray for those God wants to put that heart in!


    7. Pray for Gods provision. We have a few expenses not budgeted for or not budgeted enough for. God has been amazing to provide and we know He will continue.

    8. Pray for the next phase of adjustments and cultural shock as we move up to the village.

    9. Join us in thanking and praising God for some very encouraging brothers and sisters… Both in the states and in Kenya! We are blessed beyond measure. I was pretty humbled by the outreach of encouragement after my blog about my Jericho wall. Our family back home shot through the miles to embrace me. And we have been blessed by amazing missionary friends here — most with years of experience — and each one opening wide their arms and their hearts. Oh God is so so good!

    10. Finally, please pray for protection from the enemy. Please seriously intercede for us. Know we have a prayer journal we are faithful to go through… We welcome opportunities to pray specifically for you.

    Tu basi… That is all!

    We love you and thank you and praise our God for you as well!
    In Him!
    Randy & Kari

Grammy, I promise….

As I am dying….

….May my expectant and hopeful heart say “take me”

I remember a few years back when my grandmother died.  She was 94 years old, still drove, lived alone and went every Thursday morning.. For as long as I can remember… To minister to the “old people” at the nursing home.

She fell sick and was diagnosed with bone cancer in April or May.  I remember being over there one day as she was dressing and I could hear her in her room “Jesus, You are going to have to help me with this or I won’t be able to do it….  speaking of the daily shot of B12 she had given herself for decades.  That was common place, she prayed for and about everything.

She declined quickly.  She remained home with my mom, dad & my aunt caring for her.  The grand kids that lived locally all made regular visits.

I remember the August day she died.  I went over there on my lunch break as I had been doing.  My mom and aunt were there.  I went in to see Grammy and she had grown restless that day.  She saw me and her eyes opened wide and she pulled me down, “Kari, you need to pray!  You need to pray for Kris, pray that she would see the Truth and that she would know Jesus!”  Kris is my cousin who does not believe Jesus is THE WAY or the authority of God’s Word.

“I will Grammy, I promise, I will.”  She immediately relaxed.  It was as though that was her only struggle, her only undone thing left. She fell completely at rest as she passed that baton.  You see, my Grammy was a serious pray-er.  Praying hours a day.  She loved The Lord with a depth I am only now appreciating.

I don’t think Grammy said another thing that really made sense to those of us surrounding her.  She spent the next several hours drifting.  At one point, there was NO doubt she saw someone none of the rest of us saw.  She seemed to be fixed with her vision and her attention.  She spoke but not to us and we could not make out what she said.  But, she smiled and with her frail thin arms she reached out as to say, take me, come get me and take me with you!

I know The Lord ministered to my grandmother that day… And not too many moments later, my Grammy was lifted up into the arms of her Savior.  And it was beautiful and an amazing blessing to witness.

It was so – because my 94 year old grandmother had been dying for some 45 years, ever since she had given her life to Christ.  Romans and Galatians talk about our dying to this life, dying to sin, dying to ourselves.  That process, for those of us who believe, will carry on until the day He takes us home.

Grammy had some quirks, like us all, that didn’t always align with her profession, but no one could deny her heart’s total and complete commitment.  As I have struggled with my own dying, the “death to self” we are called to surrender to, I’ve come face to face with facets far more painful than quirks….  The pain of letting go.  The pain of trusting when I haven’t seen the plan.  The pain of the unknown.  The pain of desperate dependence from one who has always been independent.  The pain of realizing my sin and then knowing what it is responsible for.  I am seeing more and more of myself that God needs to transform. And having a mirror lifted before my eyes —  I am moved to my face before Him.

You see, somewhere along the line, Grammy became convinced that her Savior was worth it…  worth whatever He asked, wherever He led.  In the depth of my heart I am convinced of that as well!

Last week I cried out in the pain of death.  And with the faithful love that never fails, with the mercies that are new everyday, through the very Bride He’s preparing me to be a part…. God lifted my eyes.  I am filled with thanksgiving for all those who encouraged and prayed.  Please don’t stop!

I still don’t know how God does or will use the likes of me, and I am trying NOT to resist the death I can literally feel taking place in my heart, but one things for sure….  I will rejoice if, when that day comes, I have submitted to this spiritual death of my old self and in His transformation of my heart…. Oh I will rejoice… if I have only the burden of a persistent prayer to hesitate me from lifting my arms and saying, take me!!

I’ve smacked my face into the wall of Jericho…


So… There is this idea that as missionaries, as missionaries supported by others, I need to portray all the victories of God with joy and enthusiasm that assures you that your participation in these efforts are yielding fruit and prospering well.

In one of our missions classes or maybe a book we had to read before coming, it spoke of the different “levels” at which you share of what is going on, taking place, weighing upon and stirring in.  Not that it was directing this, but that it was a common screening groove many missionaries get into, often finding themselves isolated.

I’ve been told I’m a very private person, although I don’t feel that way.  I really do feel I bring people in… Maybe not as much as I enjoy entering into the hearts of others, but I have certainly become one thing out here… And THAT is… a much more open book.

That all being said… We need prayer.  I need prayer.  Without going into details, our trip to Kisii last week was extremely difficult, discouraging and despairing.  I have struggled with how God can possible use my bitter and ugly heart.  I have struggled with the deep lack of power and a homesickness that is physically painful.  I’m struggling with the questions of who, what, when, where, how…  And….. Why?

My back is hurting.  My eyes are hurting.  My brain is hurting. My tooth is hurting. And, my heart is hurting.

I’ve run smack face into my “Jericho Wall“.

As I am reading the book of Joshua I found myself like the spies… Oh not these two…. Rather… One of the ten from 30-40 years earlier that we see in Numbers.  The ones that came back and reported to Moses… It’s too dangerous, the giants are too big, we will be overtaken!  I even went on just as the Israelites in chapter 14 and I’ve wept all night, crying out with my voice to The Lord… Why have you brought me here?  Why did I leave everything for this?  I can’t do this!  I CAN”T BREATHE!!!!!

I am left tonight with a decision.  Will I now turn back?  Will I now be content to wander?  Will I book the ticket I found online?  Will I pull out the bags from under the bed?  Will I succumb to the defeat of the unknown…  Or…. Am I going to be strong and of good courage?  Am I going to trust my God?  Am I going to obey despite the craziness of the plan?  I mean, come on….  Silently march around the city wall once a day for 6 days?  Ahhh what?  This all AFTER….  Right after…. the entire army had been circumcised???

First, I need to go back.  I need to re-read…  I need to slip away and be just like that young man… Knowing he had heard a voice… Going back again and again…  “You called, Eli?”  Finally after being awakened the third time… Eli realized young Samuel is hearing GOD!!!!

I need to go back… And say like Samuel… “Speak Lord, for Your servant is listening”. I need to go back and see that The Lord told Joshua not once… Not twice… But in this chapter alone… FOUR times… “Only be strong and of good courage”.

I need to go and remember…

Come here and hear the words of Your God (Joshua 3:9)  

By this you WILL know that the Living God is among you (Joshua 3:10)

He will…without fail…. Drive out your enemies (Joshua 3:10 )

And… As HE so clearly spoke to me a few weeks back… 

Sanctify yourself… For tomorrow… The Lord will do wonders among you! (Joshua 3:5) 

This battle is not mine!  This battle will be fought by the Commander of the army just as He assured Joshua before the crazy plan was put into action and they marched around silently SIX times on that 7th day and then… The 7th time around… After the trumpet sounded… “SHOUT, for The Lord has given the city!”

I don’t know the plan.  What little I know is a bit crazy.  I know there may be giants in the land.  But I WILL ABIDE IN YOU!!!! Because… this one thing I know… With YOU… I can do anything!  (Sung in my heart with the voice of Gen Falleur)

So… I share all this not to complain, not to whine, not for sympathy or even permission to bail…. I share this because with all my heart… Honestly with all that is inside me… I want to obey… I want to be a part of HIS plan… I want to be strong and courageous… I want to be sanctified… And…. I want see the Living God give the city!!!!

So… I again ask your prayers.  

I will give a couple praises…

Our work permit/dependent pass is IN HAND… Record 2 months!

And God is truly teaching me the gift I have in Randy who has been so incredibly loving, patient, gentle, encouraging and showering me with prayer.  I am opening my heart more now… To this man of mine for 32 years… Than ever before.  It really has never been just us… So… It is good… It’s SAULGOOD!


Gotta love Saturdays!!!!

What a wonderful day!

Thank you Lord!  Your mercies are new, Your blessings flow and Your faithfulness amazes me!  Your work and Your touch, Your Spirit moving before my eyes… YES, YES, YES!  I want to be a part of everything I can!

Rainy season in Kenya is beginning.  We woke to the gentle rain that lulled us to sleep all night.  A leisure morning, sweet time in God’s Word, devotional blessing and my Saturday prayer list which is all about missions and missionaries. My list is growing each week as God crosses our path with others serving Him far from home.

We headed out early with our first stop… Java House!  Ahhhh I needed that!  Didn’t even bother to see if it’s on the list of foods I can eat or not!

We then stopped by the home of a couple we go to language school with.  They have been serving in Senegal for 7 or so years and have recently been sent here to Kenya.  We sat and chatted for a short while and, well, you would have to meet them.  Jason and Dorothea Lee.  They have been great encouragers these last few months.  And Jason… He just reminds me of my boys… A combination of the two… Hilarious, sincere, crazy, class clown, smart and just a great guy who loves his family.  Dorothea, the perfect, hold-her-own help mate!  They have a beautiful family and it was fun to meet the kids today.

After a few errands we headed to Ed’s.  He was hosting a get together to welcome the Pottingers back from a furlough in the states.  Kelli is still in the states but will be headed back in a few weeks!

As we drove up we saw a little one run through the house!  We were greeted at the door with hugs and introductions. Just my style!

I first met Matt Pottinger when he came to teach at the conference in Kisii our team hosted in 2011.  Months before leaving the states, I met his wife, Peggy, via email when she responded to a post I did on the CCMW site. http://ccmissionarywomen.wordpress.com/ Her sweet encouragement had hinted that I would very much like to know her better.  Today totally confirmed that.

They have two girls… Almost 6-year-old, confident and talkative Kenya Grace.  Oh my she made me smile as she told me how she had been “making good choices” after I complimented her on helping her sister, 2-year-old Joelle.  Of course I had to spend a little time with them… Just to catch a grandma breath.  Check em out…  http://www.thep3inkisumu.blogspot.com/

It’s pretty sweet to meet people you have prayed for by name, prayed for their ministry and requests you know.  It really is a gift to see God stir a little “history” through those prayers and bind hearts through His Love!

THEN…. we met Ramsey & Vicky Vule and their very tall handsome 4-year-old Elhanan.  They are missionaries in Sudan, where Ramsey is from.  I spent maybe an hour in a conversation of 7, and while I’ve learned more about them since coming back and reading their blog… I just felt that sweet connection in Christ!  You can read more about them too…    http://vules.blogspot.com/

There is this unspoken bond, this comradery, this unity that I have observed among the missionaries here.  And when I just looked up that word for the spelling… It’s definition…  the special comradery that exists between soldiers that have experienced the crucible of combat together.  Well, that runs even deeper as I sit and listen to them talk and share and discuss… Well… The battle field.

So… In the last few weeks… I’ve met some sisters… Camille, Sissy, Vicky and Peggy, along with a few I am afraid I can’t remember their names… So… I’ll just call them Sweetie.   Anyways… As just this morning I found myself missing friends with whom I have long history… I still prayed through my list of missionaries, stopping on each one and asking God to fill them, anoint them, comfort them, assure them, remind them….  Praying for them as I am learning their needs suggested through my own.

And… Today… God showed me His faithfulness as I see Him building a family like He has blessed us with over the last 8, 10, 15, 20 even 25 years.

A different branch in the family tree, a different part of the battle field, but indeed, the same family and the same purpose!

OHHHH. To top it off…. I came back home to meet with Elizabeth.  We sat on the front porch. Read a couple of chapters in Joshua and she shared a little of her battle…. When she left she was encouraged by Gods Word and she was expectant of His promises.  All I can say is our God is so amazing and He is moving in ways so that the Word of The Lord can be fulfilled!  AND… He is letting me sit in another front row seat!!   Oh yeah… Let me be a part, Lord, I wanna be a part!