Ryan Morris working in Kenya
When you read this letter you will see why we are so blessed to have Ryan with us in Kenya. We cherish each day he is with us. Serving Jesus with Ryan in Kenya, Connie
Sent via Cingular Xpress Mail with Blackberry
News from Ryan Morris in Nairobi, Kenya October 1, 2009
The work continues!
When I made the decision to go to Kenya, I gathered some things, said good-bye to friends and family, and jumped on the plane. I arrived in Nairobi airport, paid twenty dollars to get my visa, and walked through the front gates. That process was in the forefront of my thoughts as I prepared some of the team here to make a journey to the United States. Over the course of this past week, one of my tasks was to secure visas for 5 members of the Partners for Care staff to make a journey to Atlanta so that their message could be spread to the area churches. I was to find out that the task at hand was a little harder than my experience just a few weeks prior.
The stories, rumors, and legends about America have been the topic of discussion with everyone as the date of this trip to the U.S. approaches. It will be the first time anyone from this team has visited America. Stories ranging from “Americans never eat meat!” to “there are no unpaved roads there” have been giving me nightly entertainment. All these stories have been making me realize how great of a place in the United States. I have always been proud of my home, but not until the last few days have I realized that we are truly living in the greatest country in the world.
I cannot describe how coveted we are here because we live in the U.S. The guys here speak of it as a dreamland, and when I hear their description I have to agree. “America is a land where everyone drives to their destination, even when its within 5 kilometers.” I have to laugh at that one. A big news story in Kenya right now is that the United States is threatening to not allow top Kenyan officials participate in talks because the corruption level in the government is at an all-time high. The news story went on to say that the US must stop its bullying tactics and it is not Kenya’s job to make our government happy. As I turned the page, the next story was about the need for more than $220 million for flood relief in a remote part of Kenya. The money for this project? “Kenyan government reaches out to U.S. aid for flood relief.” Appropriate stories to put side by side!
Much of the last few days has been spent filling out form after form for a request to obtain a U.S. visa. Recommendation letters were compiled, bank statements secured, complete itineraries made so that the five guys could qualify for a visa. To obtain a visa, each man had to have a huge portfolio of all this information and then pay a non-refundable $150 to schedule an interview at the U.S. embassy. Packets were secured, money was paid out, prayers were made, and we all waited as the first two men went for the interviews…..Both were rejected.
Out of the hundreds that were at the embassy that day, two visas were granted. So no trip will be made, the money gone, and the dream of going to America was not to be. They were considered an elevated risk of running away and staying in America. The guys were heartbroken, as was I. But I also had an overwhelming sense of gratefulness that a country I call home is a land that millions dream about.
The lesson I learned this week? There is a sense of responsibility that comes with being truly grateful. This is exactly the feeling I want to have with my relationship with Jesus. Protecting. nurturing. cherishing. expanding. sharing: all cultivated by being grateful. Many of the “spiritual” rules I have been changing for myself over the last several weeks have been focused on making my spiritual life more proactive. And that is exactly what happens when you are truly grateful. Last week my “new” rule was to base all of my relationships with Jesus, and this week I am truly grateful for those relationships.
Serving Christ in Kenya,
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org