Saturday, October 22, 2011


I’ve arrived! Nothing too extraordinary to report about my journey. Everything went very smoothly, and I was warmly received on the other side of security in Nairobi by the two missionary women here, Ruth and Brittany, and two of the older boys who had come with them as travelling companions and self-proclaimed ‘body guards’. We spent the night in a hotel in Nairobi, and the next morning visited a shopping center before beginning the 3 hour drive to the Karundas Center – my new home.

The first few days have been very low key. My orientation schedule calls for 4 days of rest before I can begin any training or work, so I’ve been settling into my room, getting to know Ruth and Brittany, my new co-workers/roommates, and meeting some of the children and staff here. The Kids are wonderful - really sweet and funny. Within my first 15 minutes with them, one began asking me how to say different words in Spanish (which I answered as best I could), two fought for space on my lap, and another peppered me with random questions like “have you read Thumbalina?”, “what country is to the west of yours?” and “have you ever held a gun?”

Thank you so much to all who have been praying for me, and for the wonderfully encouraging emails. I hope to write a longer post soon.

A few prayer requests:

·         Wisdom and insight as I work to make my place here and build relationships with the children and staff.

·         Continued health and energy for all the newness in my life

·         That I will continue to look to the LORD for my strength

·         That I will find ways to be an encouragement to the people with whom I have come to work and serve

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I've just returned home from three weeks of intense preparation for my time Kenya at Mission Training International in Palmer Lake, CO. I am SO grateful that I was able to participate in this invaluable training, and truly believe that what I learned there will greatly contribute to my effectiveness, longevity and vitality during my term of service. The sessions were taught by highly informed, dynamic instructors who had spent significant time on the mission field, and had priceless life experience and wisdom to share. Their obvious hearts for new missionaries were evident in their loving and thoughtful instruction and interaction with their students.  

A few topics covered during the program:

  • Cultural Adaptation
  • Language Acquisition Techniques
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Gender Issues on the Field
  • Stress Management
  • Grief and Loss
  • Sabbath Rest
  • Effective Goodbyes and Hellos

One of the best parts of this program was the opportunity to learn and grow together with the other participants. What a wonderful group of people! It was such a blessing for me to be with people who fully understand and can relate to my experiences over the past year - to talk through issues of fundraising, uprooting, uncertainty, trust, the strange paradox between joyful expectancy and fear and sadness. There developed a strong sense of camaraderie among our group, and I made some friends that I plan on staying in touch with for a long time to come!

God knew that I needed that time at MTI, and I am so grateful that He gave me those 3 weeks to prepare personally and spiritually, so that I could feel ready to come home to the crazy bittersweetness of packing and saying goodbye. Only 2 weeks till my departure!

Praise God. Praise Him for His graciousness. Praise Him for His perfect timing and gentle hand of guidance in my life. His ways are always always good. He knows what's best. May I continue to yield to Him as He molds me into the person He intends me to be. May I continue to submit to His will as I follow Him on this adventure of serving Him with Kids Alive in Kenya.

Gracious Becomings

The purpose of this blog is to chronicle the next two years of  my time spent working for Kids Alive International in Kiganjo, Kenya.

The web address "gracious becomings" is in reference to my desire to use this blog not only to update my friends, family and supporters on my experiences of settling in to a new home, job and culture, but also to convey snapshots of the ways in which the Lord is using this experience to graciously shape me into the person He intends for me to become.

I would greatly appreciate patience and understanding if I do not post as often or as many photos as I'd like to at first. I've been told the Internet in Kiganjo is not the fastest, and I expect to be quite busy and overwhelmed during my first days there.

Many thanks and blessings upon all those who have helped get me to this point. Your prayers and support mean the world to me, and I know that I could not - and would not want to - do this without you.

 Now, please pray for me as I dive into the craziness of preparing to go. 
I leave for Kenya October 17!