Kari has been sending out email updates to her friends and family and I thought it would be a good idea to post them on here as well. So here are some of Kari’s highlights of Eburru:
I think Katie and I could write a book on all of what God has shown us and how He has grown us through this experience. Below are just a few short vignettes about the people and ministry happening in the remote, Kenyan village of Eburru:
1) “Jack & Jill of ALL Trades”- Pastor Steve and his wife Mary are the inspiration behind the church, clinic, feeding program, and school here in Eburru. They work tirelessly serving in whatever capacities are needed. For example, in addition to his responsibilities as a pastor, husband, and father, Pastor Steve can be found hauling construction material to and fro, hosting mission teams, providing transportation for hospital visits, playing keyboard at church, and a myriad of other tasks. Mary works long hours as the head nurse at the mission hospital in Kijabe where they live during the week. On the weekends, she serves at the clinic and church in Eburru and always is the “hostess with the mostess” for visitors. I thought I had a lot of energy until I saw Mary in actionJ What self-sacrificing servants of the Lord this couple is! 2) Eburru “Retreat”- Eburru is a remote village tucked away in the north central part of Kenya . If you look up Eburru in the encyclopedia, it will actually describe it as being in the African bush. Although this isolated place lacks in the modern conveniences of electricity and running water, it overflows with natural beauty and the friendliness of the people. Each night we lay our heads down beneath the black African sky illuminated by the shining stars and we wake up to the sounds of chirping birds, gobbling turkeys, and a cocka-doodling rooster. The perfect alarm clock- God’s creation!!:)
3) Faith of Children– The children of Eburru have captured my heart. Before the school and the feeding program which is sponsored by David’s Hope International was here, many of the children would go for days without food- let alone any nutritious food. As a result, these young ones are quite small for their age. For example, little Mary is 7 years old, but she is the size of my 3 year old niece, Abby. Although these precious ones may be small in stature, but they are big in heart. My favorite part of the school day is break time when we have chapel hour. My heart melts seeing the smiles and the joy of the children as they praise God. This week the students learned Psalms 23:1, “The Lord is my shepherd. I have all that I need.” Wow, these little ones may not know where their next meal is coming from, yet they are confident knowing that their Heavenly Father will provide all that they need! The great faith of children- a lesson we can all learn from.
4. Church Kenyan Style- The last two Sundays Katie and I have had the blessing to worship with the African Inland Church (AIC ) here in Eburru. Pastor Steve started the church here in 2004 and it has since grown to be the largest church in the areal. Let me tell you, this Kenyan church knows how to praise the Lord in song and dance. The young men are playing the drums, the children are performing traditional dances, and the older women are banging on the tambourines. Church service begins at 11am and goes well into the afternoon. This past Sunday there was a special time for people to come forward with specific needs for the church to pray for. How awesome it was to hear prayers going up in four different languages- Swahili, English, Kikuyu, and Turkana. Although our words were varied, our hearts were united in the Holy Spirit.
5) Teacher Eva– Currently, there are 3 teachers that work here at the Camp Brethren Mission School- Ms. Nancy, Mr. Kago, and Ms. Eva. I have really enjoyed getting to know Ms. Eva, the lead teacher. What I love about her is that she ALWAYS has a smile on her face! This joyful teacher lives in a simple one room “apartment” that is attached to the clinic. She uses a small coal burner for cooking and heating water for her bucket showers. At night, she has a paraffin lantern for light and an outdoor “squatty potty” for her bathroom. Even with such rustic living conditions, Eva radiates the joy of Christ to all around her. While at the market the other day, I asked Eva if she ever has a down day when she feels sad or lonely. She explained, “I may have a minute or two when I am sad, but joy quickly returns to me.” I further inquired how she maintains such a joyful spirit. She quickly replied, “ I sing praises to Jesus.” Our conversation ended with us standing in the “parking lot” of the market singing Eva’s favorite song, “Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice.”
6) Ministry of David’s Hope International (DHI)– As you probably know, I am here serving alongside Katie Futrell who is part of DHI (www.davidshope.org). This non-profit organization was formed by a mission team that served in Eburru back in Dec of 2008. God gave this 16 member team a vision to continue serving this small village and, thus, DHI was founded. Wow, how God has blessed their ministry! Through their efforts and funding, in less than 1 ½ years, a school of 90+ children has been founded, a maternity ward to the clinic has been added, and plans for an orphanage have been drawn up. Through these projects, lives have been saved- physically and spiritually. I am humbled to have had the opportunity to serve with this organization and am excited to see how God continues to work through them.
We look forward to sharing more stories and pictures with you when we return. Thank you for making this trip possible through your support, prayers, and encouraging emails. We truly feel like we have an extended team through you.
For God’s Glory Always