Three times is the charm or so they say, but that reassurance did not seem to be enough for 3 children who for the last two days woke up at 5:00 to sleepily creep into a cold car with the anticipation of picking up our new dog Lucy and then head North to home in Kurungu.
It has been over 6 weeks since we have been in Nairobi. The last time I wrote we detailed our delay due to Jay’s mystery illness. Thankfully we are able to report that he has recovered for the most part. Symptoms of headaches, eye problems and facial paralysis mystified both doctor and lab tests. There was no clear diagnosis, but after some antibiotics Jay seems to be back to himself (save his ‘glow in the dark’ red eyes which we hope will go away soon!)
Await or Arrest? After the doctors ‘go ahead’ to return last week we started preparing for the journey North. Shopping lists, last minute purchases, lodging plans for the route up were drafted and the trusty garmin GPS was dusted off. The target departure date of Saturday was set. We had planned to go up in convoy with our mission neighbours and friends from the Master’s mission who along with many other great qualities, drive big trucks and carry firearm protection. Although declared pacifists, we Canadians are quite willing to travel under the company of those who are packing more than 2 eager boys and a couple of slingshots for protection. But such a trip was not to be… we heard from the mechanic who detailed the need for a new clutch. After about 4 days at the shop, the departure date was set for Monday.
We start off,– getting 20 km out of the city, realizing that there is a short in our trailer lights. Head to the mechanics, Gio, whose number is now on speed dial. Most people would perhaps chance this small vehicle repair, however, in Kenya minor vehicle infractions can come with steep fines or imprisonment… Jay would much rather wait a day then spend three months in the care of the Kenyan Prison Service, although I think the kids were up that we test that theory and take our chances.
We were lucky that Mayfield had a room open and we “packed out” there for the night. Second trial run: Tuesday, again a 5:30 am wake up, re-pack the trailer to make space in the Landy for Lucy the border collie we were scheduled to pick up on the way out of town. This time we don’t make 20 ft. The car doesn’t start! … murmuring prayers for patience,- we look for jumper cables and John whose secondary role other than Mayfield Guesthouse front desk officer is to bail the Callaghans out of trouble. With God’s provision, Dilly Andersen, resident expert in (pretty well everything), was staying at Mayfield and came to assess the damage….. no luck,- wires shorting, smoking sailing out of the hood,- necessitating another call to the mechanic. Tomorrow, I am sure that he will not pick up if he sees our number on his phone!
As I speak Jay and the mechanic are out front trying to figure out the problems. Looks like a faulty ignition. My mind rings with words,
‘ In everything give thanks for this is the will of God.”
Our thankful hearts needing a bit of prompting this morning. Whether it is tiredness or weariness or simply the deflation of anticipation, – it is sometimes a challenge to remember that Christ is our Joy and Strength.
We are indeed thankful though, for your prayers and for God’s provision despite the circumstances. We are thankful that we are not facing these problems in the middle of the Northern wilderness on desolated roads, where there is no mechanic, speed dial or place to spend the night. I keep envisioning camping in the bush with wild animals, four children, broken car, new dog and 3 months supply of spoiling groceries in the desert heat. thankfulness is only a perspective away.
Every now and then we try to measure how the kids are coping. A week ago the kids said goodbye to our Canadian volunteer Kathleen, and I overheard Nathan’s planning of how he was going to staple himself to Kathleen’s backpack so he could see his best pal Zeke. Of course such transitions and longings are expected to arise, and for the most part the kids have weathered well, with few tears, Skype visits to Grandparents and of course a Skype chat with Sampson the cat. We so appreciate your prayers for them, their protection of heart and body as they adjust to a new life here. We are still adjusting as well and realize how great the supply of energy, strength, patience and peace we need day by day.
Update for all else: Laura is working on a grant application for global health innovation, Jay is busy with car repairs, the kids are awaiting new homeschool books to arrive; Jesse is speaking in sentences: “Mama my drink now”, and little baby Esther is gaining weight! I was able to visit her last week and received a good report that she is only about 25 grams away from qualifying for surgery! That beautiful face reminds me of thankfulness, of grace of the good gifts of the Father!
― Henry Ward Beecher