Some of you have asked what I’m learning here in Kenya. So I wanted to take advantage of the short time I have wifi to share.
Coming to Kenya I’ve left everything familiar. The buildings are different. The roads are different. The showers and bathrooms are very different. The beds are different. The food is different. The people are different. The customs are different. The concept of time is different. Education is different. Phone calls are different. Money is different. Driving is different. Basically, you name it, it’s different.
On top of all these differences, I came here on my own. I came here knowing nobody. People would tell me before I left, that I was so brave. I never understood that. I’m starting to understand. I have nobody here who knows me, nobody I can be 100% completely myself with. I felt very alone the first few days – actually the first week. Then something hit me. I’m not alone. I’m under the shadow of the fathers wings. Today I read proverbs 30 and it really hit me. Parts of it say , “I am weary o God; I am weary o God and worn out..” Then it talks about how God is the caretaker of the winds and waves. How much more does he care for us. The all powerful God is ever near. “Every word of God prices true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.” I’m clinging to that today. The Lord is my strength and my shield. I’m not alone. In face I am closer to the Lord than usual because he is the only place I have to turn. He is my only familiarity. No matter where we go. Whether it’s half way around the world, whether it’s starting a new job, whether it’s going into a new relationship, God goes there with us. We will always have that familiarity. I’m learning that. I’m learning about his provision. Im learning to pray constantly and for Him to be the first place I turn.
I’m also being greatly stretched outside of my comfort zone. Here everyone stares at me. People want me to talk and share wisdom. I’m constantly asked to share something out of the blue on the spot. That’s not me. I’m quieter until I feel comfortable. I have to push outside of that. Some of the kids and students even asked why I don’t talk as much. Im learning I have to just put myself out there. I’m learning to just do and not think so much about it.
I’m learning the importance of others and helping those less fortunate. I’m learning that no matter what we have, whether we are poor or rich, all of us have something to share! Maybe we can give money or maybe we can only give a smile. No matter what, we should be looking to brighten other people’s days and finding out true needs. Along with that, I’m learning discernment. It’s easy to be taken advantage of here. I have a compassionate heart, and so I want to believe the best in people, but I’m realizing that we need to be wise and sure. At the same time when we help people we need to make sure we are not enabling them. For example teach someone how to do something while helping.
Lastly, I’m learning patience. I’m a planner. I’m usually on time. Here in Africa there’s a thing called African time. Basically if you say you’ll be somewhere at 1pm you’ll really be there around 2:30 or 3. Everything takes longer here. Sometimes we don’t eat dinner till 10 at night – the food has to be prepared and there are no ovens. I’m a doer. I want to get to the school and start working, but in Africa, first we must take tea or first we must do all the formal introductions. It takes a long time to get things done. I’m learning to wait and to have patience – kind of perfect because waiting on the Lord is what I’ve been learning this entire year.
I still have a lot to learn! I guess it’s good I’ll be here for another month. (That seems way too long haha) but that’s the basics of what I’ve learned so far. 🙂