The seasons change and so do we. It’s October, the Spring season in Kenya and so the Nairobi landscape is turning purple with the beautiful jacaranda trees in full bloom across the city. As this is now my second year in Kenya, I’m learning to understand the seasons, the routines and cultures but mostly I’m learning about change and transition. The Greek philosopher, Heraclitus of Ephesus wrote ‘the only thing that is constant is change’. I know it’s a cliché but I think it’s a good one!
CHANGE. I’m seeing it all around me. Kenya is going through huge transition especially in this difficult election period. Change is ever present in AIM as team members rotate on Home Assignments and the mission environment is of course dynamic. And personally, there’s change ahead too. But change is a gift. It’s a chance to let go, be refined and a reminder of our unchangeable God who is constant and outlasts change. Hebrews 13:8
It’s been a wonderful and changing three months since my last newsletter, so here’s the latest news from my mission field here in Nairobi.
Jacaranda tree in bloom viewed from the AIM AIR office
Yesterday, today and forever plant in my back garden
My role as Contingency Officer has taken priority since my return in July. Preparation for our members and staff meant everyone stocking up on supplies and being ready to remain safe in our own homes if necessary. During the election period our travel (international, national and around the city) was limited especially after the results were announced when most of the disturbances occurred. Sadly, many Kenyans lost their lives in this violence. Shortly after the results were announced, there was a Supreme Court challenge and the election outcome was nullified. The new election date is 26th October and again we are prepared and ready for the uncertainty ahead. We pray for peace and a good resolution for this nation.
A NEW ROLE
I was recently approached by our AIM International Director asking me to consider the International Crisis Consultant role for the organisation. Whilst a career in the British police seems a perfect background for accepting the role, I have spent the last month in careful ‘research’ and prayer to decide if this was a good role to move into. I’m excited to tell you that following that period of discernment, I have accepted and will start in December. I will remain in Nairobi and will retain some of my other roles. Life will be busy! I will be working with a colleague Hiram, who comes from an American policing (law enforcement) background so we shall be an interesting team!
MOTHERS’ UNION LINKS
You may recall from my April newsletter, that I have been making connections with the Mothers’ Union (MU) here in Nairobi and became a member of the Kenyan MU in May. Along with new friendships, it has been the start of some wonderful opportunities to link the MU branches from St Luke’s, my church here in Nairobi and St Peter’s, my home church in Bishop’s Waltham. During Mum, Beryl and David’s visit we spent time with a group of children that St Peter’s MU branch are supporting. It was lovely to meet the children, who are from nearby Kibera and attend St Luke’s school on the ground of the church. After introductions, we had chai (tea) and mandazi (doughnuts) in the school room, prayed together and got to know each other a little more. I’ll be working with some of the St Luke’s MU ladies over the coming months, purchasing school uniforms and text books for the children.
St Luke’s Mothers’ Union ladies with Beryl, myself and Mum
Children from St Luke’s school in the classroom
I have been blessed with a wonderful place to live and it seems incredible to think I have been in this house for a year now. It really does feel like home. I have been able to share this home and offer hospitality to not only family and friends but to visiting missionaries or those exploring their calling in the mission field. Over the last few months there have been some fabulous visitors. Rachel and Steve (St Peter’s) ‘dropped by’ for supper during their Kenyan travels in August. Molly came at the beginning of September and we also spent five fun days on Zanzibar with Lindsey (AIM AIR pilot and great friend). What an amazing place Zanzibar is! Interesting history, beautiful beaches and crazy people – a great combination. It was a relaxing time after the busy election period. I felt refreshed and ready to go again with planning and preparing for the next one!
My dearest friends Jo and Mike came at the end of September and later in early October, Mum and friends, Beryl and David from our home church in Bishop’s Waltham arrived too. It was great to show them the mission of AIM especially AIM AIR at the Wilson Airport hangar and our AIM guesthouse, Mayfield. We worshipped together at St Luke’s church on two Sundays during their stay. We experienced both Kenyan and British preachers and had to smile at the differences! We had a fun and busy schedule being tourists around Nairobi and Navaisha but mostly I just loved spending time together, chilling and catching up. Jo and Mike spent five days, climbing Mount Kenya and even returned to tell the tale! And there are more guests to come, my niece Christina and Hattie arrive on Saturday – YAY!
KENYAN ELECTIONS – due to take place on the 26th October but there is uncertainty and increased anxiety this time about violence across the country
AIM & AIM AIR – in particular the work in Central African Republic of the church and AIM missionaries.
NEW ROLE – I’m excited to see where God takes AIM and I in this work. Wisdom, energy, inspiration and grace as I begin this new role.
MOTHERS’ UNION – developing our links and for the children from the church school
LOVELY VISITORS – give thanks for the time and fun we had together. Pray for safety while Christina and Hattie are here during the election period.
MY HOME – A Wonderful Home – a place to offer hospitality to friends, family and other visitors.
HOME ASSIGNMENT – I can’t believe I’m preparing already…. ! March to July 2018.
There are so many ways in which you support me and I love the variety and your creativity too! Asante Sana (thank you very much) for your continued prayers, kindness, gifts and surprises. Mostly, I appreciate and feel energised by your prayers. They sustain me through this changing landscape and the many transitions of the mission field.
A FEW PHOTOS
Mike, Carrie and Jo in Karura Forest, Nairobi
2nd birthday in Kenya!
Carrie, Steve and Rachel