It’s a ride….

Well the last couple weeks…. A roller coaster….


A week in Nairobi at the Compean Safe House was restful and refreshing.  A washing machine to do laundry among other amenities made our stay even better!  Top that with a great host, a new friend from Cali and an opportunity to meet several other seasoned missionaries.  It was really a blessing of a week on so many levels.  It was Ed, Tom, Randy and myself.  Please keep Kelli, Ed’s wife in prayer as she cares for her mama back in California who was diagnosed with progressive cancer.  I was sorry she was not there to just have some time with her but the guys were fun and we monitored things from more of a GI Joe/Boy Scout/super hero angle.  We had much time in prayer, some devotions and just time of hearing of God’s story in one another’s lives.

The wait was long and much like hurricanes in Florida that show Tampa in the cone of the projected path of a cat 4 or 5.  We had supplies of water, batteries, food and gas-filled cars.  We had the crackle of a transistor radio going much of the time.  At one point I could hear the crackle but knew the one in the living room was off… I looked out the window and Manasa, who works on the compound, was sweeping and watering plants with a small one sounding from his pant pocket.

All of Kenya was leaning in and the sense of uncertainty was strong.  So many praying for peace after the tragedy of the last election when tribal tensions rose to violence that took over 1000 lives and over 600,000 people displaced.

This violence is not who or what Kenya is.  I’ve sat with them.  I’ve sung praises with them.  I’ve gathered spinach in their shambas and chatted with them in their dukas as I select fruit for dinner.  I have ridden with them on matatus and I have refereed badminton games… And, I have sat together as we open the Word of God and cried out for His Spirit to fall and cover this nation, her people and the president-elect.  And yet – the same enemy that plagues us in America, plagues us here and the stir of evil is no different.

So far, so good, as the saying goes.  Aside of some isolated incidences that were quickly diffused by authorities… All has been calm.  Oh sure, armed solders on the bench outside the grocery store or walking down your street, or checking your car in every parking lot you enter is a bit unnerving, it has actually become routine in a very short time.  THAT in itself reveals just how quickly our senses can be numbed… huh? 

Please keep praying.  The election is being strongly challenged and the reports Randy reads each night stirs just a bit of anxiousness, which we are very very quick to make our requests know to God and indeed, HIS perfect peace guards our heart!

Now, on Some other notes…

We are filled with thanksgiving for our new car! 
Traffic Jam Wow wow wow what a blessing and a constant reminder of God’s provision!  But if I may ask you to keep this in prayer as you praise….  After all of maybe 2 hours on the roads Randy has announced he drives just like a Kenyan.  Just so you know… This is not good on two levels…. He now thinks he can drive like they drive…. AND…. Driving like Kenyans is not so good.  To help you understand, one evening as we walked into Pastor Ed’s home, I did request that we just go head and schedule marriage counseling.  

First Randy says I am to navigate and be his second pair of eyes keeping watch for the unmarked speed bumps on the highway, people, often children, darting across the roads, round abouts, piki pikis, roaming herds, 

 pot holes that would alert sink hole monitors back home, all while watching the map and giving directions. 
Now, understand, there are ZERO traffic lights which means ZERO composure opportunities….  You know, I’ve said enough, you get the picture, right?

When we came back Sunday I saw my new friend Elizabeth down the lane.  She waved with both hands and came running.  “God is good” she told me!  She explained how she had read the verses I had written down on a card I had left for her.  I had left it with another woman the day we left, disappointed I had missed her.  She told me she had read all the verses and honestly, talked so fast and excited that I missed lots of it.  We are meeting Saturday to study the “Word of God”.  She is the most excited I’ve ever seen anyone and I walked away after a big hug from her filled with such joy and yet convicted for taking the idea of sitting with His Word for granted.  Oh God, deepen my love for You and Your Word!

OH OH OH…. We’ve been approved for our Work Permits!  This is huge and nothing short of God!  We have school mates that are still waiting after four, six and eight months!  Keep praying as we wait “to receive instruction on the collection” but do join us as we thank Jesus!

God is teaching much!  We become more aware each day of our increasing need for Him.  We are so aware of the need to be in His Word and on our knees.  And over the last couple of weeks we have heard more and more of the darkness in the Kisii region with witchcraft and tribal traditions that I definitely am sensing God both preparing us as well as emphasizing our need for prayer.  PLEASE KEEP us, Kenya and the people of Kisii in prayer!

Ah, yea, keep the language in prayer… Nuff said there!

That’s about it for now.  Please know we love, appreciate and pray for you all constantly.  Be blessed and press in, our Lord is Great!


Sunday in Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa

This morning our friend dropped us at the Nakumat on his way to his church in Githurai.  We were disappointed we were missing church there but excited for yet another of God’s answered prayers.
We took a cab to the Mennonite Guest House.  We had been invited by Caroline, a new friend.  On the first Sunday of the month, they have a Hymn Sing and this is her last, after being on staff for a couple years.  She leaves today to join her husband, David, in Malaysia.
First…. the Hymn Sing…. We were in dining room, maybe 60 people, all holding hymnals as we walked in.  Ahhh… I grew up singing these songs… ole time gospel, four part harmony, everyone sings and it was sweet.  I look around and there were many children.  They actually were the ones that had most of the requests.
At one point I spied a young boy, my Johnny’s age, he was gazing around, exploring everything he could while sitting there still.  I love boys, I love to watch them.  As he counted the beams in the ceiling, his eye caught something outside and he  stretched to see better.  I love all this but what struct me most… That boy never stopped singing.  Oh come thou Fount of Every Blessing…, Amazing Grace, How sweet the sound…, Christ we do all adore Thee…  He knew every word and his little heart sang as his little eyes explored.
Just behind him was another boy, a few years older, maybe 10 or 12.  He too was singing every song, not quite as distracted.  In fact several times I noticed him close his eyes with expectancy of the words coming up.  “Prone to wander…”  He squinted his eyes as if to relate to these words.  10 years old??  Where has he wandered? I ask The Lord.  I have never seen such emotion in young children as they not only sang songs, but their hearts prayed the words.
It made me think of the verse….  Write them on your heart. Proverbs, Deuteronomy, 2 Corinthians.  All admonishing that His Word be written on our hearts.  While not all the hymns were scripture… They did cry out praise, worship and prayers.
After the last song, Caroline came up and gave me a huge hug.  I needed that.  She then walked us out to our new car.  Yep, God has provided for both David and Caroline  AND  us!  He has indeed answered both our prayers and brought us together for a purpose beyond the transfer of a vehicle… that I am sure of.  We had a sweet time of prayer together, got in the car and she smiled as she told me she had left a CD in the player just for us…. 10,000 reasons…  I tried to have it playing as you read through this post – but the internet speed is a bit challenged here sometimes.  I have, however, put the words below — and as you read through them — may they be the prayer song of your heart….
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name
The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes
You’re rich in love, and You’re slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find
And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore
Jesus, I’ll worship Your holy name
Lord, I’ll worship Your holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name
Jesus, I’ll worship Your holy name
I’ll worship Your holy name

Answered Prayer…

Well, can you believe Monday will be TWO months since we arrived in Kenya?  At moments I feel I just left, at so many more, it seems like NINE months.

So much has happened… Both here and there.  So much emotion has stirred my heart… if emotion was gauged by time… I have aged 5 years.

I will confess, I’ve struggled with much, not least of which has been writing.  Short quips on Facebook is one thing.. but blogging… quite another.  I’ve had much on my mind and much swirling in my heart…

TOP OF THE LIST….  Meet Naomi Grace Saul.


Yes, if you even need to ask, it has been harder than hard, more painful than imagined to be so far from the welcoming event of Naomi.  My girls have been amazing with constant pictures and videos.  And, just as she did with Levi when he was born in Canada, my sweet grandma partner, Barbara (Rachel’s mama) blessed me with a beautifully written detailed description of our precious little girl with the eyes, ears and heart that only her grandmother could do.

I know I’ve share with many and have blogged the details… But the certainty I have known of God’s call on our lives to come to Kenya has sustained me more than I can express.  Many tear filled nights, a few breath gasping moments, concentrating hard… Making myself fix my eyes…. And taking captive my thoughts… I have clung to my Hope, I have been reminded of His Faithfulness and I have and continue to TRUST HIM!  I have and continue to KNOW — He is worth it!  My God is worth it!!

This week God blessed me so deeply.  I wandered down the lane and saw a young woman I met a few weeks ago.  Elizabeth.  I have only ever seen her with her 7 month old little girl bundled on her back and this day was no different.

“Oh Elizabeth, Habari za mchana?”  She smiled at me such a sweet sincere smile.  I tried some more Swahili with her, she giggled and strained to see my “mwakenya”, Shang or slang for “cheat sheet”.  Yep, I have one, I admit it, AND I am laminating it this weekend!!

We talked for a few minutes, me trying my Swahili  Elizabeth correcting me with sweet grace.  She suddenly began to look around a bit nervously and said she had to finish her work. She bent over at the waste, with her precious load hugging her back, and picked up some twine and a large white clothe bag, similar to the ones I see daily strapped to backs, to donkeys and even motorcycles, stuffed full of one crop or another.

She started into the field beside the road.  I asked her if I could go with her, and she looked back at me a bit bewildered, “sawa sawa” she said and I promptly stepped unto the muddy trail and followed her through the corn, cabbage, beans… Each patch she would pause for me to give her the Swahili name.  She paused at one I didn’t know, she bent over and pulled out a carrot…. “karoti”. She giggled because it was a borrowed word as she wiped it off on her apron and took a bite.

Towards the other edge of the shamba we stopped, she dropped the bag and the handful of twine.  Without missing a beat in our conversation she bent over and in a few short moments having swung around to several plants, grabbing a string, she stood up with a bundle of spinach and tied it up.  The next one she came up with I took from her and somehow managed to have it tied before she straightened up with the third bundle.  I followed her around, she, gathering the bundle of goods, and me, wrapping the piece of twine, tying the last little bit in a knot.

After a dozen or so, we could continue our conversation while working.  We talked of several things and at some point I must have said something about having been praying for something.  I don’t even remember what.  But without straightening up, she turned to me and said, “I use to pray to God, but” and with her arm just above her head “they only go to here”.

Wow… Out of no where…. In a field of mud and well harvested vegetables, God had swung open a door… A door I had cried for in my prayers.  Honestly, I prayed more than I responded.  I did tell her, when she said she wanted to know God more, that He wanted that more than she did.

She wasn’t out there today… I worried I might have gotten her in trouble or something. Her son, Chris said she was at the shamba on the other side, too far to walk, he said.

So I prayed for her and for her friend that had come at the end, Grace.  Grace dropped her wall of reservation quickly as I “practiced” my Swahili and oohed at her name and told her that it was one of the names of my new “moja wiki wajaku!”.  And, in case you are wondering, I had pictures with me, yep, even in the shamba!

We are leaving tomorrow to camp out at our friends for the Monday Presidential election.  I hope to see Elizabeth before I leave.  I want to remind her that when I get back, we will start that Bible Study I am working on and she can help me to get it down in Swahili.  She seemed excited about that.  I know I am.

Please… Be praying… Pray for the elections… Pray for Kenya… Pray for peace…. Pray for protection of the sweet and precious people of this beautiful country.  And… Pray for Elizabeth.  Pray for Grace.  Pray for time together and that Elizabeth will come to know God well, His deep love for her, His faithfulness, His grace and His kindness.

A profound lesson…


Yesterday we had a discussion with our teacher about the word “Asante” which means ‘thank you’.  He was telling us how they rarely speak it because it is an action word.  People SHOW their gratitude by their actions.  
I was always taught to say thank you… I thought about what he was saying and even considered this a RUDE aspect of this new culture.
Today in class we were doing verb tenses and a bunch of other grammar mumbo jumbo.  Honestly I am trying hard to focus.  Then he brought up  that verb tense or class or something and put that same word  “Asante” with the word for “try” – “jaribu”. the word for “think” – “fikiri”  and the word for  “forgive or forgiven”-  “samehe”.  In each of these cases the African people did not have words for these… They were actions not words.  It wasn’t until the Arabic influence that the actions were given spoken words.
I found this stirring in my heart.  He went on to explain… You don’t say you will try… You try.  You don’t say you are grateful or thankful, you show it by your actions. You don’t say you are or will think about something – you think about it.  You don’t say you forgive, you show it.  And then he elaborated with an example for the next in his thick Swahili accent… You don’t say you are forgiven by Jesus… You show it with the change in your life day after day.
Wow!!!!  Jesus loves me. Jesus thinks about me. Jesus forgave me.  And He showed this by dying on a cross and paying the penalty of my sin. He continues to show this by giving me a Hope that truly anchors my soul.
Now….  Just how am I going to say thank you?  Speak it? Say some words for what can only be really and sincerely expressed by my actions?
Lord Jesus…  Fill me with Your Holy Spirit… I want to want to….  and I do desire to show You how eternally grateful I am!

Wiki Mbili (Week Two)

Hujambo, habari za Jumapili?  Jana habari za Kanisa?  Jana tu li kwenda Kanisa na Mchungaga Petero.  Mchungaga Petero ni walimu.

Greetings, how are you, how was your Sunday?  How was church yesterday?  We went to church with Pastor Peter.  Pastor Peter is our teacher.

We are beginning our second week of language school.  Phew!!!  For the first three weeks we only go half day.  We are generally exhausted.  Praise God they ease us in.

Several afternoons we have taken a trip to the market. This is where we buy our fruits and vegetables, eggs and milk.   It’s two miles away and pretty much up hill the whole way.  The road is rough.  Between the altitude, our lack of shape and the terrain – it makes for quite a workout.


We have chosen to stay in this afternoon.  This is good and has allowed me to get a bit more organized with ministry business that we have needed to tend to or at least think on.

I have just started 1 John in my tea time with Jesus.  That is where I will be teaching from next month at the CC Women’s Conference in Nairobi.  I love how John states his purpose in verse 3 – that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.

As I read that this morning and again this afternoon – I find my heart crying out to see and hear more of HIM.  To those God crosses my path with – I want to declare from experience, from true fellowship – all that God has done and is doing.

Have you ever met someone that just radiates Jesus?  From their speech, to their actions, in their eyes and their smile – you just see the love of Jesus cover and flow from them.  The fruit of HIS Spirit is abundant… love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self control…  there is no mistake they walk in the Spirit.

That is my prayer.  That through this journey, through the difficulty of separation, the challenge of new language and culture, the uncertainly of tomorrow, that through all this, we are brought in closer and closer to our Lord and that the fragrance of Christ is sweet and powerful in our lives.

Please continue this week to pray for our learning.  Pray for our energy and acclimation to the altitude and terrain.  Pray for wisdom in use of our time.  Pray for a filling of HIS SPIRIT and equipping of His power.

We love you all so much.  We are praying regularly for you individually and collectively.  Please keep us posted as to how we can pray specifically.



Our bags are packed, we’re ready to go…

We have had a wonderful time with family and friends.  Our SAULGOOD STAYCATION was fantastic, loads of fun, and sweet time with the kids.

We are exhausted.  And I seem to be fighting some kind of bug.  But we are as ready as we are gonna get ;))

We’ve said goodbye to many wonderful special dear people…  I hugged my daddy’s neck tonight really really tight…  we have many goodbyes tomorrow morning and then…  at 10:30am….

We’re leaving… on a jet plane….

Keep us in your prayers!

WHAT????? say WHAT????

In one week — from this moment — we will be in route — flying over the Atlantic.

WOW…  I am not sure what to say.

Well to catch up, we had a wonderful Christmas, celebrating our LORD’s birth and the redemption story that began to unfold that starry night.

With extended family through out the day, our parents, siblings, cousins, nieces & nephews and of course our kids and grand kids…  we stuffed ourselves and exhausted ourselves, and then stuffed some more.

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Everyone has moved in and filled each room, toys for both the big and small are scattered around the house, the kitchen is overflowing and the chaos is the most precious gift…  now, I confess, I have already had to go to my room and remind myself of that ;;))).

Dinners are a highlight with very specific and special meals that were selected months ago.  Feta Bacon Burgers, French onion soup, Beer Cheese Soup, Grilled Chops w Wht BBQ sauce, Mojo Pork and  Pepper Steak w Orzo.  I know there are a couple other things but I can’t remember.


Last night was the official start, and Johnny, who helped with the schedule, started our devotion rotation.

God says that there is NO OTHER JOY than to see your children walk in Truth.  Oh how true that is.  Last night I sat at the dinner table as my 7 year old grandson shared “what God has been teaching him”.  Then he read from Psalm 139 and talked about how God always thinks about us and knows everything about us and what we do and where we go and that even one hour before He knew we would all be around the table reading those verses….    Oh Lord — keep revealing Yourself in great and marvelous ways!!!!

So – here we are — we have lots of packing to do yet and we are saying goodbyes.  God is stirring an excitement that comes straight from HIS HEART!!!!  And we are leaning into HIS arms with an anticipation of HIS GREAT PLAN!!!

Our sweet church family is having a “SEND OFF” this Sunday, the 30th, at Calvary Chapel Palm Harbor – following the second service.  Please join us if you are in the area, if not, please keep us in prayer as we worship and praise our LORD, share in a pot luck lunch and say goodbye to our family.


Please be sure to check on this post, our website and our FB page to keep up to date with this journey.  Continue to pray for us and for our family as we go through this transition.  And if you want to be a part of our team through prayer be sure to sign up on the link below and we will keep you updated on the prayer needs.


We are still in need of both “set up” and “monthly” support.  If you want to be apart of that support – please hit the link below…



Whoa – that’s pretty close!

With a million things to do – Randy and I found ourselves sitting here on the couch – alone in the house that we AND our family refer as “home”.  We are days from Christmas and the beginning of our SAULGOOD Staycation.  We are all pretty excited about that!  Just hanging home and together.  No real plans – other than to finish getting ready and packed, very specific menus, time for prayer together, playing with Christmas toys, laughing and enjoying the incredible gift of family God has blessed us with.

For a number of years our staff at church consisted of Pastor Brett, Pastor Jim and myself.  God has since added some wonderful people but for a long time it was just us – and together with our spouses – we had lots of opportunities to draw close.  Last night we had dinner together and I have to say — I so love these people.  They really have no idea how much they have touched and encouraged and spurred us on in our walk with Christ!  I pray for them much — that God will continue to pour out His Spirit and to use them much!

Tonight we have dinner with some special sweet friends and tomorrow will be our last night out with friends turned family and these times are more special than ever as we think about just how faithful and good our Father is.

We are taking in each moment and finding that the Lord is pulling back the curtain ever so slightly and stirring our anticipation of the next season that is fast approaching.

Our excitement has been mixed some today with painful news as close family friends find themselves facing a heartache and challenge as their new grandbaby – due in the Spring – has been diagnosed with Spina Bifida.  Please keep them in prayer.  Here’s their blog which already shouts — WE TRUST JESUS!!!!

It is my heart’s deepest prayer that each one reading this KNOWS my God and has tasted just how good HE IS!!!  If you do not have that assurance…  can I just strongly encourage you to not delay.  Call me if you have questions – I may not know all the answers but I know the ONE who does!!!

For those who DO KNOW HIM — while we are enjoying this house and family these upcoming days — and then anticipating placing our feet in Africa for a while — we are ABUNDANTLY aware that neither of these places are HOME — and that one day soon — our Lord will come with a SHOUT and will be leading us HOME and we will be with HIM forever…  does that just race your heart????  Oh it does mine!

Be blessed all!



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Love, Kari

What in the world?

Well, we continue the countdown… Now at 18 days…. 

As our nation mourns the tragedy of outright evil, I am reminded of how very much our world needs Jesus.  And as we busy ourselves with the hustle of this season, I am going to bed tonight praying that the proclamations of Jesus as Lord that is heard in every store, on every station, oh Lord, unveil the very TRUTH of those words in the hearts of mankind.  We need a Savior and a Deliverer from this madness.  YOU are that One!! As we celebrate Your birth, may we know that You came to save us from our sins.  You are no longer in that manger….  You are no longer on the cross, but You sit at the right hand of God Almighty and that You hear the cries of those children who faced evil, himself, and that You are only waiting so that whosoever might believe on You, might be saved.  Your patience must be so nearly spent, how long oh LORD, how long?

My friend, do you know Him?  Do not delay, our redemption draws near.


FOUR!!!! MORE!!!! WEEKS!!!!



It is true – we leave 4 weeks from YESTERDAY!  How how how is that possible?

God has graciously stirred an excitement in my spirit that I will admit I struggled to grasp onto.  I don’t know what all the Lord has in store for us but I am blessed beyond measure to be a small part of HIS plan and to KNOW that it WILL be more than I can think OR imagine!!!!

The list is getting shorter!!!  I am no longer adding faster than I am crossing off — THAT’s a good thing!

I have just a few more hours in the office and that — is by force.  The force — is limiting it to a few.  Didn’t really expect it to be so hard to leave that little cube!  I want to touch on that heartache some – but will wait for another post.  It’s been a while and I want to catch up some.

On a scale of 1-10, I was limited to a 4 for level of decorating for Christmas.  hmmm – only 1 tree, I didn’t change out pictures on the wall, decor on the shelves or even the dishes in the dining room…  so — I guess I followed the instructions.  Not sure how I feel about it.

I had some mama time with my boys the other night.  Is it just me or do you NEVER stop pointing your finger and saying, “now, don’t forget…. and be sure you…. and take care of….  and and and”.  I mean – they ARE 26 and 30 years old for goodness sake.  But – they graciously sat and listened…  of course… they were getting a pretty nice dinner out of it.

Boy – I am grateful.  I am literally filled with a joy that is indescribable.  I am so thankful to God for His faithfulness to hold fast to the hearts of my little boys and to raise them up to be men – real men of God.  I will ever pray and intercede for them – but oh – what joy that fills my soul!!!!  Ryan & Cory – you make your mama so very very proud!!!

Now – the girls want to know why I left them out.  Lots of remarks and suggestions – but somehow a motherly nod lets them know that it was MUCH to their advantage.

Have I mentioned how very much I thank God for the daughters He gave – to come up beside my boys????  Rachel and Elizabeth are so very much the little girls I began praying for some 27 years ago.  And I think the way they joined this family without skipping a beat is due to the fact that they have really ALWAYS been a part of the family that I would talk to Jesus about — day after day, month after month and year after year.

Now — my baby girl.  Kasi is doing good.  She started her new job today and is still praying very very much about a venture it would appear God is leading and directing steps for.  Kasi is my very best girlfriend in all the world.  I highly recommend raising your own.  She has become the very woman I pray to be like with I grow up!  I love her heart, I love her smile, I love her laughter, I love her compassion and gentleness, I love everything about her…  but I especially love that she is this amazing woman of God, trusting and following hard after HIM.

Kasi will be rooming with a good friend and will hold down the fort.  Please keep her in prayer as she follows closely the steps of her Lord!

We are excited about this coming month.  We have some SAULGOOD time planned and that NEVER disappoints.  A staycation on the agenda, Birthday parties, Christmas Parties, Dinner Parties, Family Game nights and a slew of dinners with friends.  It will be a great month, albeit a bit tearful.  We will remind one another that our LORD is good and faithful.  We will remind each other that HE has a perfect plan that will bring HIM great glory and honor and He is letting us all be a part!!! is just about done – thanks to Elizabeth!!!  She is finishing it up now.

Our home church – Calvary Chapel Palm Harbor – will be having a send off on December 30th after services.  You can check the website in the next week for more details.

Yep — it’s getting close.  Please continue to keep us in prayer.  I will be updating lots over the next month….  please check back!!!  You can choose to “FOLLOW” us and you will be notified of updates!

OH — we are still needing to raise support – both one time gifts (for getting over there and set up and for school) as well as monthly support.  For now you can give through CCPH and just mark it MISSIONS – KENYA.

Thanks for checking in and keeping us in your prayers!!!  

Keeping my eyes on HIM,  Kari