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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Of Strategies and Squid

For the last week, Scott and I have been out of town.  Way out of town.  Our mission's semi-annual leadership meetings for the Executive Leadership and Area Directors (15 people this time as a few spouses were missing) were held in the Canary Islands.  Which is geographically Africa, culturally and legally Spain, and in spite of looking ideal for a meeting of people from the US, all over Europe, and East Africa, turns out to be a bit challenging to get to from here in Kenya.  We had three flight legs, ranging from 2 to 8 hours each, which with early check-ins, delays, and layovers meant 24 or more hours of travel each way.

However, it was well worth it.  It was my first time to attend these meetings, because the decision was made recently to encourage couples to participate together in leadership at the AD (Area Director) level just like we did as Team Leaders.  So I enjoyed praying for our missionaries together, debating cultural trends and security issues and what God calls us to do and how to best fulfill our mission and achieve our vision.  We started with breakfast about 8 and went until after dinner about 9:30, every day, with an hour break mid-day for a swim in the salt-water pool, and another hour break around 6 pm for bocce.  Yes, bocce, these people are serious about the bocce.  So the schedule was pretty demanding, but the fellowship was fun.  I felt it was a privilege to get to know the leadership more intimately in this kind of setting.  Our mission is full of creative, dedicated people quick to admit their weakness and rest on grace.  People who are refreshing to be around.

Best of all, almost a week in a nice hotel at bargain rates with my husband.  In our life, ten hour work-days that involve no overnight call and include abundant food, hot showers, a view of a harbor into the ocean, well, that's pretty sweet.  Tuna carpaccio and squid on black rice and ice cream and . . . well, enough said on all that.

We landed back into real life on Saturday.  JKIA arrivals are now being processed in the basement of the massive new parking garage that was nearly complete when the terminal fire happened.  Professional, efficient, and a thousand times better than the chaos of the first days.  We were able to pause at a sports tournament where Jack's team lost in semi-finals, probably about second out of 18 teams, some great football (soccer).  And get back home in time to grill out pork chops for six seniors in our "Caring Community".  And this morning hold our first Sunday School for a dozen Junior and Senior Girls looking at suffering and risk and how to peer-counsel friends in crisis from a Biblical standpoint (Bethany is my partner in this effort, and so far has done all the work).  And take back-up call to support a rotating American Paeds resident, who is perfectly competent on his own.

And to run into the hospital mid day when a Kenyan doctor colleague needed an emergency C-section, the anxiety of potential disaster for dear friends, turning into relieved joy as a healthy baby girl was born.  Beautiful to see the Kenyan staff rallying around her, and rejoicing with the parents.

So we're back to normal life.  To homework and call schedules and meetings and a pesky rat, to friends and ideas and African sun.  Tonight I'm thankful for:

  • Bethany, who stayed with the kids and held down the fort.  And our kids who graciously wanted us to go, and loyally bemoaned the fact that we never even made it to the beach.
  • The richness of community that at the nearly-three-year mark has taken a turn for the better somehow.  I have new friendships in the WHM leadership, in the TL's we support, and growing depth of relationship here at Kijabe which I'm glad to come back to.
  • New life, waiting in the theatre with my intern and nurse, telling the story of having my own babies here, holding the hand of my doctor colleague, praying over her baby with the whole surgical team.
  • The turn of season towards warmth, the promise of many afternoons of cheering on sports teams, the amazing kids in our loose orbit whom we can feed and pray for.

1 comment:

The Bergs said...

I too, am bemoaning your lost beach trip opportunity, and I am oh-so-grateful that two of the kids in your orbit, whom you feed and for whom you pray, are my precious children! Thanks for your service to them on our behalf, and so glad you were enriched by the week!