Sunday, April 22, 2018


Welcome to Mombasa!

We were able to attend the Resonate Global Missions retreat in Mombasa, Kenya (we are partners).
We enjoying getting to meet new people and see old friends.

Shaardas and Ribbens together again (began mission work in Nigeria together and reunited last year in South Africa where they serve now).

After the retreat we had a two day family vacation.
Mombasa is interesting.  Every time you go on the beach people try to sell you something - boat rides, camel rides, crafts, clothes...  I definitely prefer to be left alone but usually if you say no they leave you alone.  I don't like being rude but...  I know everyone needs to make money.  It just isn't always relaxing to always finding the balance between kind and firm.  I did try to be intentional about sharing my faith through these interactions.  I hope I was an encouragement to the Christians I met and a witness to those not yet in Christ.   

Mombasa is unique.  The tide is extreme (depending on the moon) and when the tide is out and the water is very shallow you can walk out and see sea creature that remain behind.  The water is so warm it is almost hot at times.  It is an adventure seeing what you can find.  And yes, we are nervous and careful where you step.  "Guides" walk with you out there to navigate you around and show you creatures.  Hoping for a nice tip of course.

Grace and a sea cucumber and our guide

One afternoon we went to Fort Jesus in Old Mombasa.
We loved it.  History is amazing and it was a great home school adventure. 
The fort was built in the 15th century by the Portuguese.  

Baby Humpback whale bones - not sure why they were at the fort other than the dead whale washed up on shore near there - but they are awesome!

We walked through Old Town with our guide from the fort and loved seeing all the architecture, cultures, and history.  We saw the first pool, hotel and post office in Kenya.  Where the queen stayed and still normal everyday life there.  It was interesting.  

Swimming in the Indian Ocean

Walk on the beach...

TRYING not to get sunburn but it was hard with our white skin and intense sun.
We had to reapply sunscreen three times a day with all the swimming.

We had the privilege of going snorkeling as a family in Mombasa.  It was the kids first time and they LOVED it.  We all did!  We snorkeled in the coral gardens by the reef.  It was amazing!  I felt like I was in an aquarium.  There were all different corals, colors, and fish of every size and shape.  We all praised God as we watched His creative creation!  We saw stingray, starfish, tiny to big fish, a school of hundreds of was awesome.  We were so thankful to see another part of God's creation.

We all loved snorkeling so much we actually did it again!  What a treat!  The second time we went out further by the reef and then snorkeled in to the coral gardens.  I loved seeing even more variety.  The captain snorkeling with us showed the kids many things and stayed with them while Josh and I had a snorkeling date.  Holding hands and snorkeling - how fun!  Lydia and Josh enjoyed taking off their life jackets and driving down for a closer look.  I tried but just took in too much salt water when I got hit with a wave.

We had wonderful and beautiful meals at the hotel.  The servers were so nice and knew our kids by name.  One of the waitresses saw Luka pray before his meal and she came and thanked him.  We enjoyed getting to know some of them and encourage them in their faith.

At night we liked to walk on the beach and find sand crabs.
Luka learned how to case them so they ran by his sisters and made them run and scream.

Luka loved the entertainment each night at the hotel.

Thankful for a great trip...

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Hatch of the Ants

It is a fun and festive feeling the night the white ants come out!  It wasn't the biggest hatch we have seen but people are happily gathering all the same.  They really appreciate our lights where the ants gather.  They scoop them up by handfuls, sweep them up, or gather one by one as their wings fall off.  Our kids delayed their bed time and joined the festive ant collecting.  It was funny to hear them scream or see them squirm as the ants flew on their heads or down their shirts.  (Yes, I was one of them screaming and swatting.)  Luka, of course got right into it and then thought it would bring laughter if he ate one.  It did.  So he ate three live white ants.  Yuck!  (The video is below.)  He said it wasn't good but he got the reactions he wanted.  He is a funny boy!  By the end our guard and neighbors each had a half a bucket full of ants.  They will fry them and eat them the next day or dry them and grind them with peanut butter.  African treats!  You can't say anything til you try it yourself.  (And remember Americans eat their share of interesting things we love too - hot dogs anyone?)

On another note, it has been unseasonably cloudy and cool here.  Since the rains started the end of February, we have had more cool, cloudy, rainy days than all of the last year and a half when we had drought.  A huge change.  We are thankful.  It is blessing to see the gardens growing and the rains continuing to come.  It is funny though.  This week it was cold for us.  I had to wrap up for devotions, wore long sleeves all day - and socks, and we had to have a special break in school for hot chocolate (or coffee and African tea!).  When I looked at the temperature I just had to laugh - 69 degrees.  Many of my Ugandan friends were in winter coats or stocking caps if they had one.  Honestly, it is cold when you basically live outside, bath in cold water (I really don't like that part), it is muddy, and it is damp with no way to dry out.  I will just enjoy it while it lasts, because it will always go back to African heat.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018


I love making Passion week meaningful in school.  This is our Palm Sunday reenactment. 

On Maunday Thursday to remember the Last Supper Jesus had with His disciples we had a Passover meal.

It was neat to learn the meaning behind all that is eaten at Passover.
We had communion together as Jesus taught His disciples. 

After our meal was over we went to our neighbors with the left over lamb (as talked about in the OT).
We went dressed up and told our neighbors what we were doing.  They thought it was great - or at least the free meat was :).  Walking the dirt path with my kids under the stars made the night even more real.

Josh also washed our feet as Jesus did that night.  Emalai thought it was hilarious when people were ticklish.
The whole night was so special.  Luka was looking forward to it all day and after the meal Malai said she loved being a disciple.  I am so thankful we could making the Bible come alive and be even more meaningful to all of us.
The Saturday before Easter we had a painting party at church!

I was so thankful even our pastors were there to help paint with the youth.

We ended up with almost too many to keep control.  The kids were kicked out and we were thankful for adults who came to help too.  Over all they did a beautiful job painting!  They may not have liked me being picky and neat but it paid off.  We began after ten and were done around 2pm.  Everyone worked together and cleaned up together.  It was actually fun.

We were so thankful to hear how much people loved that we had in our hearts to paint the church, the color that was chosen, and the results.  On Easter Tata Rhoda (Grandma), who was there to clean and paint, gave a testimony of thanks to God.  She and other ladies made sure benches were not touching the walls.  I am thankful they appreciate it.

Thank you everyone!
Easter was a joyous celebration at church - as it should be!
Emalai and her friends did a dance.  They did great and were so cute.
Malai seems to love to worship.  In Michigan some services she would sing her heart out even if she didn't know the words, she just sang her own.  She often lifts up her hands or makes motions to the songs.  In Obule she dances with her friends and sings with joy.  "From the lips of children You have ordained praise!"

After a wonderful choir, our church turned into a full out praise session!  I love praising God and I love the joy filled worship here.  Hallelujah, Christ is alive!  Between Sunday school before church and the service we were at church for about four and a half hour - and we love it!  I think that is why I don't like how short church services in MI are.  Then in the late afternoon we went back to church for Bible study.  It is good to be in the house of the Lord!

Hope you had a blessed Easter celebrating the hope we have in Christ!

Oh, one more thing, happy 40th birthday to Josh on April 5!  I love my husband so much! The older he gets the better it gets. Every year together is a blessing. Josh gives me and our kids an earthy example of of our Heavenly Father. I love and respect you Josh. Have a blessed 40th! May you continue to grow in the Lord this year so He can use you mightily.