Another update from Ryan. Such a joy to read about Partners for Care through the writings of Ryan. Connie
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Writer’s block. That’s what I have caught. It is a disease that has no easily discovered remedy and it’s symptoms look very much like what you are about to read. Two months have elapsed since I made the long flight across the Atlantic Ocean and set down in East Africa. Some of the weeks have flown away with a whirl, seeming as if it was just a fleeting moment, and some have crawled to an end with excruciating deliberation. All together, they have streamed away into the past, leaving not quite five weeks dangling perilously attached-the homestretch. Many of the updates regarding the prior weeks have been the tales of my experiences and the lessons learned from them. This week; however, I want to break a cardinal rule in the world of missions: I am going to tell you what is to take place in the last month of my stay. “Never be bound by promises of the future,” should be a mission credo because who knows what plans will be changed, delayed, or canceled altogether. Accurately predicting the events of an entire month in missions is like stepping up to the plate and pointing out your homerun! You just don’t do a thing like that; you hope for a homerun but you’d take a single in a heartbeat. So here’s my swing at a homerun.
Connie Cheren, the president of Partners for Care, returns to Kenya next week. The anticipation of her arrival is beginning to mount, not only because she is the boss, but also because of the events that will cling to her coattails. The first of such events is a trip to Marsabit. This town is situated in the far northeast of Kenya, near the border of Somalia. It is perhaps the worst area of Kenya: severe drought, vast desert, no roads, little food and water, and the occasional bandit-the seed of adventure without doubt. The reason for the two-day excursion over sand is to meet with the father of a child that lives at one of our children’s homes. He wants to give his land and full custody of his daughter to the organization in the hope of a better life for her. The long journey will be well worth it. With a piece of land and the full care of responsible guardians, this child will have a bright future.
Returning from Marsabit, we will then turn our focus onto a mission with a group of Americans from Atlanta. Cumberland Community Church will be bringing a team of 16 to a town called Kiserian. The purpose of this event is to hold an evangelistic concert with both Kenyan and American praise bands for the community. It should be a great time for all involved. Taking place over Thanksgiving weekend, I secretly hope that the American team will bring some treats with them. Although I do not fully expect turkey, gravy, and football, I won’t turn away an occasional holiday granola bar or a festive jar of J.I.F. peanut butter. I have decided that one can determine the strength of a nation by its peanut butter-and I have to say that Kenya’s product is most definitely third world.
December 1st is a circled date on the calendar of Partners for Care. It is World AIDS Day, and appropriately Kenya holds a huge “celebration.” It is a day where the world comes together and renews its resolve to fight the spread of this deadly disease. Outside of the usual importance of this day, this year is especially exciting to our organization because our team will be performing on the main stage in Nairobi during the event. Thousands, including the President of Kenya and the U.S. Ambassador, will hear our message. Everyone is looking forward to this opportunity.
After our concert at World AIDS Day in Nairobi, we all head east towards the costal town of Mombasa. This is the second largest city in Kenya and it is the nation’s most popular resort destination. Yes, even Kenya has a Myrtle Beach. Our team goes there not for vacation but for the year’s last mission. We will hold a series of concerts and messages about the Gospel and the deadly effects of HIV/AIDS. All the guys love Mombasa and I have been told of its wonders many times, I look forward to seeing them for myself.
At the conclusion of these events my time in Kenya will have come to an end and I will make the journey back home. This homestretch looks to be exciting and I am looking forward to it with great anticipation. I will have traveled from the arid lands in the far North to the costal tropics in the southeast. Through a series of missions, I will have met a host of new people. I look forward to new experiences, new lessons, and new discoveries. Call it being young, call it being optimistic, or romantic but I always think that the best is yet to come. This bell rings no truer than the events of the coming month. The homestretch-it looks to be a homerun…but I won’t do any pointing.
Serving Christ in Kenya,
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org