Observations from 36,000 feet
Friday, 27 January 2012 09:47
Our journey home has begun but I don’t believe our journey from Kenya will be over for quite some time. I know we all will have many opportunities to share our experiences both briefly and at length, and I am certain that as time goes on we will be able to sharpen our focus and articulate in a clearer fashion, what we experienced.
Bill and Don Fredricks are on their way to one of the IDP camps in northwestern Kenya (please continue your prayers of safety for them. Ann, Al and I are headed to Amsterdam on the first leg of the trip home. We will gain 8 hours, so that will be a gift, but also certain to mess up our internal clocks.
Yesterday we were able to get the final installation done at Jared’s church on the other side of Nairobi. Moving around in the daytime in Nairobi is just awful but we made it just the same. Before we went there we were able to spend a little time at the Nairobi Safari Park.
The parks here are massive, I’m talking the size of counties. We drove in for miles on dirt roads in search of wildlife. We were treated to numerous species of gazelles and antelope as well as a family of warthogs (even the babies are ugly). We even saw a couple of rhinoceros chase some giraffes out of the bush. So if you are keeping track at home, we saw 3 of the big 5. The big 5 are the major game animals that live in Africa. We saw water buffalo, rhinos, and elephants, but we did not see either of the big cats on the list; lions or leopards.
One of the places we went to was an orphanage for elephants. It was fascinating what they have to go through to save an orphaned elephant. For instance they are incredibly emotionally sensitive and need a keeper with them until they are 2 years old, 24/7, or they will get sad and die. I was happy there are people doing that to save these creatures. The center was endowed 60 years ago, and yet relies on private donations from around the world. That’s all well and good, but Pastor Elias needs a cow to make his orphanage self-sustaining. If I am going to donate money to worthy orphans, my money is on the human ones.
I can not in good conscience give money for the elephant survival when so many worthy places exist. Places that are vetted and doing a remarkable and inspiring job raising children that wouldn’t otherwise have a chance.
In my first post, I talked about transformation. Last night as we were sharing around the dinner table about highs and lows for the week, Pastor Elias began talking about how the system we put at the home there will transform the place. Those were his words. The transformation he was speaking of has to do with quality of life, but if anyone deserves it, it is they.
The transformation I was talking about was of our hearts. That has unquestionably happened but it will probably be a long time before it fully takes shape in us. I can only speak for myself, but humility and appreciation are two of the feelings that don’t want to lose as the world comes crashing in upon our return. Deep humility for being a first hand witness of people who are all in for the most vulnerable; following Gods call on their lives passionately and selflessly. And an appreciation for the wealthiest nation in the world and all of the unappreciated blessings that it affords. The list of things we take for granted in the states is endless. I even found myself thankful for the EPA as I had a headache from all of the exhaust fumes almost everyday. Transformations; unquestionably.
I thank you for joining us on this trip, it has been quite a ride, hasn’t it? I thank you for your prayers, they worked! I thank God for the work he is doing in Africa. And I thank God for the words He gave me to write these posts. I hope they were inspiring and informative but most of all…..transforming