Do I really need that?

These past 2 weeks have been quite busy and ucky. This past week I have had a cold that turned into a sinus infection along with an outpatient surgery at the hospital. I have not felt like doing much, but have soldiered on as much as possible. Angela has been a great wife this past week allowing me to get some rest at good times. I am so blessed by her. Today I feel that things have turned the corner and am on the way to get better.

Friday night I was bored will Angela was watching a movie that she wanted to check out before we left. I hopped on Youtube to see what I could find and since I like destruction found some weird demolition derby videos. I was caught by the fact that we like to take things that still have value and get rid of them. Here in Kenya a car is usable until it can not be driven and even then they keep driving them. I wondered what our Kenyan brothers and sisters would think if they saw us taking good cars and destroying them. I thought of how they would think we are wasting such valuable items. Our society in the US is a throw a way society. Do you know how much food is thrown away in a years time in the US? We can not know for sure, but it is estimated to be about 40% of our food. That calculates to cost about $165 billion dollars each year wasted. Think of what we could do with both the food and money. We could really help reduce poverty and food shortages. Here is an article in the Washington Post on it. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/08/22/how-food-actually-gets-wasted-in-the-united-states/ 

How are you and I wasting things that could be put to a good use. For me it is hard at this time as we are packing up to move back to the US, but I know that as I go thru things I would rather leave them here than bring them with me. I can very easily go somewhere to pick things up, but it is not very easy here. I have struggled quite a bit while we have been here with the thought of why did the Lord allow me to be so blessed to have what I want. After today’s message at RVA church I think I know part of the answer and that is to be a blessing to others. God has gifted me with money more than 90% of the rest of the inhabitants on this earth. I must use some of that to encourage them and help them see the grace the of God.

How are you impacting the world for Christ?

Slow to Speak

These past few weeks I have been reading Proverbs during my quiet time in the mornings. I have been struck by the amount of information that is in this small book. One of the areas that the Holy Spirit has been challenging in has been my mouth.

Better is a dry morsel  and quietness with it Than a house full of feasting and strife. Proverbs 17:1

A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

The one who guards his mouth preserves his life; The one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. Proverbs 13:3

I want to be on who is known to be encouraging, positive and uplifting, but too many times I am the opposite. Especially in my family. One day after I had been reading about the mouth and praying about I just used my mouth to hurt Angela. Later in the day I was thinking I just prayed about this and did the opposite. How foolish of me, but also Satan knows how to attack us. I am grateful that we have the Holy Spirit who can work in our lives if we allow. I pray that He never gives up working on me to make me who I need to be.

My words often hurt the ones I love most. I am able to put a face on out in public. A clear reminder of how far I have to go.

Tired

It is hard to imagine that the first term of this year is over. It feels like it just started. We have had a lot of fun this term with our boys, but also a lot of work. Our boys will be with their families for the next 5 weeks and return to us the first week of January. We look forward to some rest and family time while they are away. We do have the joy of have the AIM conference here this year so we will be challenged spiritually by Eddie Larkman on the issue of grace. A great topic for all of us to continue to learn about. I know that I do not have enough grace in my life nor do I show enough grace to those around most times. I pray that the Lord will use it in my life to draw me closer to Him and expand my love for others. After the conference we will be around for a week and then head north to Eldama Ravine for a week away at a small camp area. It will be great to be away and not have many responsibilities. When we come back it will be time for Christmas and then New Years and then the kids will return. We pray that the Lord will use this time to refresh us and strengthen us, but also allow us to get some work finished.

Student Arrival

It is hard to believe that our break is over. The last 6 weeks have just flown by. We have accomplished a lot during this time. The highlight was spending a week in Malindi, Kenya with the Tilly family. We were able to spend a week in an apartment that friends use during there ministry time, but they were away for a time. It was nice and warm! It was so nice to be able to get up in the morning and not have to worry about putting shoes and socks on. We were about 300′ from the beach so we spent quite a lot of time there. Erica and Ethan enjoyed it the most. It was nice to be away and not have to worry about our job responsibilities. When we came back though we hit the ground running. I was working on moving some data equipment from a classroom location to an office location and install things permanently. It took about 2 weeks to get everything done that we could at the time. We hope to finish this project in the next several weeks during off times for classes. The last week has been spent getting the elementary classrooms ready for school. We were busy putting in AV switchers, document cameras, speakers and projectors. We have all classrooms functioning, but still need to permanently mount the projectors in the classrooms. We hope to that finished in the next 2 weeks, but this can be done in the afternoons while specials are happening. All during this time I have been working on changing positions also. This year I have been asked to work in the maintenance department. I will still do some things with computers as we have a long to do list, but the majority of my time will be spent improving our services to the RVA community. It will definitely be an interesting year.

Our 4 boys have arrived for this term. We have 2 new boys and 2 returning boys. We have 3  boys in 4th grade and 1 boy in 3rd grade. Friday was spent with the new families and helping them and their kids adjust to something new. We have a new parent orientation for these families to help them learn all the ropes and also how to parent from afar. The parents leave Saturday afternoon and then the returning students arrive that night. We keep the activities pretty busy the first weekend to help the kids adjust and keep there minds off missing there family. We have a great group of boys and look forward to discipling them this year.

Let the games begin! 🙂

Rest or Not?

Well the dorm kids have left. One left on Wednesday and the other 2 left today. The house is much quieter. The kids will be gone home for the next 6 weeks. We pray that they have a great time with there families. We are looking forward to the rest, but also will miss the boys.

We will use these next 6 weeks to rest, but also get some work done for the IT department. We will spend the next 6 weeks rewiring our our server room and updating . We could not do this during the term as we would take down the network also many of the computers tied to it. I have some pictures somewhere of what it looks like and will share them with you later once I find them. It will probably take us about 2 weeks to reroute some fiber optic cables and then the network cables and put in a wire mesh cable tray. Once we have things rerouted then we will need to repunch down all of the network wires and get things back on line. It will be alot of work, but it will worth it in the long run.

We are also excited to have Angela’s sister and husband  coming to visit us for 2 weeks in December. We are excited to be able to show them RVA and Kenya. We will take them to Maasi Mara for a safari to see the big 5. We are so looking forward to the time with them.

Please continue to pray for Angela’s IBS. She is on one medication and will be trying another one. Pray for grace, mercy and that is other medication will work better than the first one.

Time in the US

It is hard to believe that we have been in Kenya for almost a week. We had a wonderful time in the US visiting with family, getting some tests done for Emily and also Angela and checking on Jeff’s parents. It was short and quick, but fun!

We were able to have Emily’s retested by her vision doctor. Emily’s sight is almost 20/20, but her vision is in need of improvement. Vision is your brains use of what the eyes are seeing. Emily is not always able to process in a productive way what she is seeing. We are grateful for some new therapy opportunities for Emily that Angela will be trying. The vision doctor retested Emily’s vision and compared it a test that was done about 2 years ago. There has been alot of improvement, but there is still much improvement that needs to be done. Please continue to pray for perserverance on Emily’s part and that the new therapy will continue to improve her vision

Angela continues to have issues with her abdomen. She did meet with an infectious disease specialist while in the US and he was happy with the care she received in Kijabe. He redid some tests which came back negative. She did have a upper and lower scope, but it did not show much. It did show that her stomach lining was thin so they did put her on some medicine to increase that lining, but this would not affect her abdomen with the pain she is having. He did have her do a lactose free and wheat diet, but that also seemed to not make any difference. She will be having a gallbladder test this coming week at a hospital in Nairobi for that. If the gallbladder is the issue that it will be removed here at Kijabe hospital by one of our surgical friends.

The time in the US to see my, Jeff’s, parents was good. We found that mom is slowing down and can get tired very easily and requires alot of rest. Her spirit is strong though. We continue to pray for healing for her from the lymphoma and shingles. Dad is doing pretty good although he is tired also. He has given mom alot of care and attention this past year and been a great example of how we are to love our wife thru anything. Business continues to be brisk for dad’s company, Sound Specialty Company, and we are so grateful for that and how the Lord provides. I helped dad at the Racine County Fair, Kenosha County Fair, Sealed Air company picnic, Sikh Temple and Racine County Courthouse. I was glad to be able to help in whatever area needed to for them.

US Visit

We are back in the US for a short 5 week visit. It has been a very busy time helping my parents and spending lots of time with family. One of the nice things about being back in the US is that Angela will get some medical tests done. She has been having more issues with her abdomen so she will be having and upper and lower scope on Wednesday, August 1. We pray that this will give some insite as to what is going on with her abdomen.

Since we have been in the US we have also been able to have Emily’s vision retested. Her vision is doing much better, but still has a long way to go. The testing that she had done showed that her vision and progression is still 2 years behind. Please pray for her to “catch up”. Angela will be revising some of the exercises they do together and give her some extra work as time allows. We praise God for the way He has worked in her life and the progress she has made.

We have heard that we will have 4 boys in our dorm this coming term. This may change though as we have not started school yet. 🙂 The boys are in 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade. Two of the boys will be returning and 2 of the boys will be new. We are excited to have these group of guys and will have some new adjustments to make.

We have just finished helping grandpa work at the Racine County Fair. It was a fun, but busy week making sure everything was working as needed. The food was probably the most enjoyable part of the fair right ahead of the rides. It was also alot of fun seeing old friends and making new ones.

Busy Weeks

These past few weeks we have been very busy! As you many of you know about 3 months ago we had a lightning strike that took out many different pieces of equipment. We have received many pieces in the past 2 months, but were still waiting for some computers to come over. Thanks to Nathan Smith we received 48 thin client computers in the last 2 weeks. We have busy deploying them the past week and getting things completely back up and running. We have been able to get a classroom used for typing, etc up and running even better and then another Jr High lab up and running. We even had some extra units that we were able to use for our elementary classrooms and make the systems there work much better. It has been a lot of work, but worth every bit of effort. Nathan has another team coming out June 5th that will be bringing more equipment for us. In the end his teams will have helped us bring out more than $25,000 worth of equipment.

It has also been fun getting to know Nathan and his family. We had them over for supper last Monday and had a great time. His kids went with our kids to the Coke data and then played with each other several times before they left this past weekend. Pray for them as they return to North Carolina on Monday morning.

Almost Time

Well the kids arrive on Monday and Tuesday and school starts on Tuesday. It is hard to believe that we are starting term 3. Before we know it school will be done and we will be onto a new year.

We are excited to see our kids again, but the break has gone by real fast. We wish there was another week before they came back, but we will be ready. Angela is feeling a little better, but still has some pain every once and a while. She continues to talk with Rich about what to do and we are going to wait for a while and see what happens.

David and Meredith came back this week so we will be Batman and Robin again. It is great to have them back although Tom was of great help to us. We have already started to work on our list of things to get done before school starts. David is not feeling well today so we pray that it will be short lived.

Medical Update

Well what a week we have had. Most of this deals with Angela and an update on her condition.

Things seemed to be going good this week, but on Thursday night Angela was in some pain for quite some time. It lasted pretty much all night. On Friday she talked with Rich alot and they decided to do some more testing to see if something else was up besides the amoeba. Rich talked a radiologists in Nairobi and was able to get us scheduled for a CT scan early Saturday morning. This would should us of any issues in the abdomen. Angela had to take some medicine the night before to clean out the system. We left the kids with the Davis’ family around 8 am and then headed for MP Shah hospital in Nairobi to have the scan done. We were not were excited about this as hospitals and Nairobi can just eat your time away. We arrived at the hospital around 9:15 for a 9:30 appointment. At first it seemed like there were not any appointments, but after that was sorted out Angela had to drink 5 glasses of water before the procedure. By 9:45 she was having her CT scan. By 10:15 it was all done and we were waiting for the results. The radiologists is one of the best in Kenya if not the best from what we have been told by our doc friends. He was very easy to talk with and answered our questions. He looked at the scans and said that everything was healthy and in good condition. We were relieved, but also disappointed. We still had the question, what is causing all the pain? Angela has decided to give it some more time. She has been on some strong antibiotics for the last 3 or 4 weeks so we want to give it time to clear out of the body and also for it to do its work. Her pain has been less the last 2 days so we pray that this pattern will continue and the medicine just needed more time to work.

We are grateful that the tests came back negative, but would like to know what has been or is going on. Please pray for patience and endurance. Please pray for the docs as they continue to think and research what might be going on. The docs here have been so great, especially Rich!