Passing the Baton

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  • This has been a day of retrospect… a day where God has my attention.

Randy has gone to Nairobi to pick up a new friend. So I usually try to use these times to sit quiet before the Lord. I’m reading some biographies of some men and women who represented the exchanged  and abundant life I daily desire. The team outside are all working so hard to accomplish all Randy left for them to do. So I decided to make them ‘popcorns’. Yes, plural. I decided to listen to some teaching while I popped 8 pots of corn for my 20+ hardworking friends.

I love these people. They have become like my kids. I love being a mom. I always have. And 35 years ago as I was anticipating my first baby at the young age of 20, I was filled with eager joy. I wasn’t walking with the Lord at the time. I had been raised in Truth. I knew Truth. And I believed Truth. But I was not walking in it. Even still, I knew even before my child was born, it wasn’t about me anymore, this child, any future children, they needed Truth.

And in my quest to see them get that, The Lord got me. Over time I became a lover of His Word and a believer in prayer. God used many people to disciple me as I was determined to teach my kids. And teaching them the Truth drove everything I did. I can say that honestly. I may not have had the purist motives some of the time, but I was very cognizant of the potential message in my actions, my words, my responses, my life.  Oh… I made so many blunders, and outbursts, and mess ups and mistakes… but I can absolutely say that my primary focus, my deepest desire, was that my kids knew Jesus, knew the power of His resurrection, that they knew His faithfulness and His love and that they grew up to walk and abide in Him. That was all I cared about, far over education, careers, even relationships, I wanted them to KNOW Jesus.

Again, you don’t need to ask them, I’ll admit… I made so many mistakes and dropped the baton regularly. But I do believe that God saw my desire and poured out grace beyond measure. Grace that covered my mistakes. Grace that covered my outbursts and my messes. And, day by day, month by month, year by year… I grew, they grew and together, ONLY through the grace of Jesus, we are all living for and diligently serving our Savior. We are all eagerly awaiting His return and we are all consciously spreading the gospel and making disciples.

Yes, I know what a privilege and amazing blessing this is. I do not take it for granted. And my husband and I praise our God daily for having revealed Himself to them. It is this faithfulness of God, having seen it proven through my kids and so many other ways that gave me the courage to trust and obey God when He called us to Africa. Out of the blue, never a dream, at a season where it made NO sense, He called us to Kenya and again, He has blown me away.

Well, today, as I was listening to some teaching, I found myself before the Lord. I was being clearly taught something that I think God has been trying to show me for some time. But somehow, this message, this pastor, this time… God’s anointing, God’s desire for me to ‘get it’ spoke deep down in the innermost center of my heart. This pastor spoke boldly of God’s Truth, of His call for holiness and righteousness, he taught of the utmost importance of the furtherance of the gospel and how my motives to serve MUST BE for His glory. I want to want to!!! Oh God may my conduct be worthy of the Gospel and may I stand fast.

  • What moved me to share this today… was after years of praying that God would speak and reveal Himself to my children THROUGH me, desiring to pass them a baton of faith… today… He spoke and revealed Himself to me…. THROUGH my son. The Baton of Faith has most assuredly been passed and I simply praise the Name of my Jesus!!!!
    Hey, if you want to hear some sound and spurring teaching… check out Pastor Ryan Saul at He lives and he teaches…. TRUTH!

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

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.