Friday, April 8, 2016

step one: go shopping

It's my second full day back in Kenya and I spent the afternoon shopping. More details on that in a sec... let's rewind just a bit.

The last few days at home were so good and yet such a blur! I'm so thankful for my sending church of Shadow Mountain and their willingness to send me off in prayer.  I was so encouraged by the amount of people who joined my monthly support team in the week before I left. 12 families signed up monthly and 2 increased their support, allowing me to hit 100% on Monday afternoon! (Gotta love how God's timeline isn't ours!) Goodbyes at the airport were bittersweet but I was grateful for each one who woke up early to come say bye!

All three plane rides went pretty well. The ride into Salt Lake City was only preparation for what is to come on the commuter planes I will soon enjoy! The two long flights I had the seat next to me empty and was able to sprawl out and sleep, quite well actually. I arrived in Kenya early, about 9:30pm on Wednesday night, local time. Customs went smooth and on to collect my bags. Five of them came out pretty close to together and I should have known at that point there was something wrong but I held out hope. I checked 4 action packers and 2 suitcases. In order to make sure the action packers stayed closed I had to put airline approved locks on them. When the 3 action packers that made it with me arrived one of the locks had been tore off of each one. To my surprise the insides of all three were still perfectly packed as I had them and nothing was taken! Praise God! And my dear friend Amanda who I've known since I first came to Kenya back in August 2013 patiently waited and waited and was there as I walked out of the airport at about 11:30pm!! What a relief to see a friendly face!
I waited and waited, hopeful the last one was to come. It didn't. I was directed to baggage claim problem area where before she even had a chance to look at my baggage tickets asked, "Are you Ms. Warford?"... yes, yes I am(and I realize this isn't a good sign). "One of your bags didn't make it." Can you tell me where it is? "Yes, it is in Amsterdam".... at least you know where it is! She agreed to have it delivered on Friday and behold at around 2:30 (today Friday) it was delivered! I found it with both locks still attached(Praise God!) and opened it to find my contents just as I had them! This is amazing considering the stories I've heard of bags getting lost or delayed and things being taken. Thank you Jesus for looking after it and answering my prayers!

Thursday, my first full day back in Kenya I slept in, went and got a new Kenyan phone number (which works in my iPhone yay!) and enjoyed lunch with Amanda, and then back home to rest. I went to sleep around 8:30 (with the help of sleeping meds), wide awake at 2am, back asleep at 3:30 (with help of sleeping meds again), and finally awake at 5:40am. Oh jet- lag... how I wish you didn't exist.

And now to today. Had a lovely morning of girl time when one of my teammates who arrived from Egypt this morning and the other from Doro yesterday commenced together in our living room with our cups of tea & coffee to catch up and enjoy being together! We soon realized today was the best day to go shopping. I was definitely excited but feeling a bit stressed knowing decisions were ahead and I was going to be buying everything I needed to set up a home in a new place and everything I got would have to first be organized, weighed, shipped by plane and delivered into Doro before I could really settle. So the idea of going shopping was very much embraced and yet desired to be procrastinated on. But with the help of 3 ladies and my jet-lagged brain we did it!

2 out of 6 baskets!
My amazing shopping buddy Bethany! I wouldn't have finished if it wasn't for her!

This amazing guy met us and willingly and quite professionally loaded all my stuff into his car including the big items on top! Thank you Johnathon!
Had to document!
And the next step, putting things into piles and into importance. Everything I need for the next 3 months. 
All this stuff should go in on two flights, possible three. Tomorrow we repack, weigh & label and Sunday it will get taken to the office for final processing before it goes to Doro on the 20th! 
Whew! I'm tired just thinking about this day! It was great fun reconnecting with old friends and beginning this next step towards making Doro home!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

I’m getting on a plane!

How do I feel? Denial.

This is real. And I can’t explain it but at this moment I really can’t believe it is finally happening!

This last weekend my home church prayed for me in all of their services. It was neat to look out into the audience and make eye contact with so many familiar faces that are behind me in this. But as I stood there listening to the Pastor explain the ministry and how they can be praying, my mind was thinking, “huh, that seems like a God orchestrated ministry, but who would choose to go there?” It wasn’t until I realized everyone was clapping that the description was about me. Not kidding, it was like I wasn’t even there!

My bags are packed, weighed and locked. Four action packer bins and two suitcases. I total of 320lbs of weight. My life in six containers. Kinda crazy.

I can’t wait to step foot in Kenya again. To smell the smell of Nairobi, to embrace the crazy driving, to hear Swahili being spoken all around me, to take in so much history. But that is only the beginning. The next step, orientation, final shopping trips, packing preparation and reconnecting with old friends leads up to two flights that will allow me to settle in my new home.

But knowing in this moment, that I am right where God has me, makes me so excited for the plans He has in the coming weeks and months and years. It is a joy to walk this path with so many alongside me. The stories I have heard of people praying for me having heard my name in a church service or on a plane and having no idea what God was actually doing is just amazing to me! I look forward to sharing those in the coming days. But for now I gotta rest. Just a few hours and I’ll be on a plane!


I am in awe of You! When I gave my life to You 10 years ago I had no idea what that really meant. But You have shown Yourself faithful in so many ways that as I take this step, no matter how difficult the days are to come, that You are right there with me, and still as faithful as You always have been. Remind me often of Your presence and may Your light shine bright wherever You send me! May I continue to be obedient in everything You ask me to do and say. And at the end of each day may You always receive all the glory that is due You!

I love You and grateful to be called Your child.
It is in Your name I pray,

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