A plan comes together at breakfast (this story goes back a few months): attending to the hospitality sign up table for the GCISD retired educators group, I spotted a friend, a former coworker that I had not seen in about 10 years. "Suzanne good to see you! Fill me in on where you've been and what's been going on in your life?" She reported that she had been working the past year at a Christian boarding school in Kenya called Rift Valley Academy. That immediately increased my interest because I was signed up to go on our church mission trip to Kenya and I had heard of a new book by Steve Peifer written about his experiences at this school. (A Dream So Big). We were leaving the meeting and headed our separate ways but agreed to meet soon for lunch; she wanted me to take items to her friend, who had worked as her housekeeper while she lived in teacher housing at RVA. I said yes but i did not know if I could work it out. Kenya is a large enough country that I knew little about.
An email from Suzanne invited me to lunch and she gave me directions to her house. I knew exactly how to get there because the address was in my same development. We had been neighbors for 8 years and had not known it! So I walked to her house and we enjoyed talking, eating and looking at pictures and artifacts from her year in Africa. She told me her housekeeper's personal story that includes many struggles with health, single parenthood, caring for her aging mother and 2 daughters, low income, a tragic death in her family and basic living in a place of beautiful patches overwrought with extreme poverty and rampant government corruption....but she keeps a great attitude, hopes for children's futures and firm faith in God. Suzanne wanted me to take some items she would gather - shoes for her very large feet (size for women not found in Kenya), lithium batteries that are long lasting ( not found in Kenya), pictures, trinkets, letters of encouragement, a book about the Johnson's ( the Born Free story) and cash (always needed)! Again I said yes but had no idea how it would work out. Our mission group was not going to Rift Valley, we were headed to Meru.
Over the passing time in June & July the mission trip itinerary was being set by leaders in the African Methodist Synod that we support and Lisa Kumani's life was moving along through the problems listed above while also enduring a more extreme cold and rainy season than expected. During this time God was also working out some timing of events in her life to bring her to travel to Nairobi at the time I was to be there. The RVA is between school terms so she was allowed some time off. The public education strike had just ended so her daughter returned to school. Her sister lives in Nairobi and provided her a place to stay. She used the public transportation system to make her way to find me at the Methodist Guest House. (I could write an entire post about kenya's transportation system and noticeable common driving habits!) Today I had breakfast with a new friend and delivered a needed care package. She is even more beautiful in person than I had seen from pictures. What a blessing to meet a lady with such dignity, elegance, grace. She gave me hugs and a gold beaded bracelet that her daughter had made and left me with a small package of gifts to deliver to Suzanne & family.
I am so grateful that God let me to be present to see him at work in our world!
Romans 8:28 and we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
And this was just the beginning of the day. I will write more later about Kenya state police, highways, monkeys, a tree house, ox and donkey carts,a curio shop, people walking, flowers & crops, Nanyuki spinners & weavers, crossing the equator, the burial place of the Boy Scout founder and a little girl named Winters.
This is the Methodist Guest House where we stayed overnight in Nairobi before traveling by vans to our home base of Meru.