Hang on! A lot happened in December. Let me try to break it down...
Many of you know that I was able to get away to the coast last month for a week. I spent four days at a house near the ocean, about an hour's drive south of Mombasa, in a small village called Msambweni. I was there with Clemens, Micha, and two of their friends from Germany. We were able to go swimming, snorkelling, and even fishing one morning.
Here we are with our catch...
On the 18th we travelled to Malindi and met up with another SIM friend. For the next two days we attended training for a ministry called Sports Friends, which aims to help churches reach out to their communities through activities like sports. The folks there prepared and served delicious Kenyan food, and we joined in on a spirited game of football (i.e. soccer) at the end of the day. On the 20th we met up with some SIM girls that had been having their own holiday, and I joined them on a bus ride back to Nairobi that night. Clemens and Micha stayed in Malindi for another week to do some ministry there during the school break.
Christmas in Nairobi was neat because I got to celebrate it with so many different people. On the 24th I helped put on a party for thirty kids at a home near Ngong Town (just outside Nairobi). The kids live at the home (run by Uzima Outreach) because their original families have been affected by drug and alcohol addiction, so it was great to see them so happy at Christmastime.
Christmas Day was really nice, spent mostly with people on the compound. I was invited for lemon and sugar pancakes for breakfast, and later we had our Christmas dinner and a gift exchange.
On the evening of the 25th I headed out to Karen with Alan. I checked in with my family over Skype and opened the package that they sent me. The next day Alan and I had an early start, shopping for groceries, picking up chairs and tables, cutting grass, and getting ready for the Christmas get-together of our two assemblies (Tena and Kibera). When people arrived, we ate, sang, and played sports. I really enjoyed that event as it was a chance to visit with people from my church outside our typical schedule and location.
For the rest of December I was back at Uzima's children's home, helping out at a vacation Bible school organized by Louise, one of my fellow SIMPacters. We played games, sang songs, made crafts, and learned about the gospel and God's will for our lives.
Thank God for a good month. It was different as I had a vacation, a Christmas in Kenya, and a complete change of pace at the VBS, but I was kept safe and healthy, and now I feel very refreshed for the coming months.
Thank God for where He has put me. I really love the people at the church in Kibera and the community out in Karen (not to mention my friends here at Rose Ave), and I thank God for leading me to these relationships and areas of service.
Pray for me as I start into the last half of my time here in Kenya. I'm still working on setting some proper goals, but I hope to make some more solid strides in the hospital software development, as well as to help strengthen the church however I can.
Pray for longterm guidance. I have a lot left to do here in Kenya, but I'm growing more aware of the need I will have to make decisions come June. Pray that I will be sensitive to God's leading.