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Seeds are being planted…

May 29, 2009

Wow, today was an awesome day. We traveled about 2 hours NW of Nairobi to visit a city called Kijabe. In Kijabe, we visited the AIC (Africa Inland Church) Hospital to meet with a German missionary named Dorothy.

Dorothy shared her story of coming to faith, and she also shared about her call to missions. Dorothy grew up in Germany, where she studied agriculture in college. She came to the faith sometime during her college years, and married a Christian farmer named Thomas. Thomas had heard a call for work with Somalians, and he and Dorothy began a 9 year journey in prepraration for working with the Somalian people. Doors kept opening for her and her family, and they eventually found themselves in Wajir, Kenya (NE Kenya). Wajir is a community of Somalis. Apparently, there are 5-6 year waves of missionaries. Dorothy began to explain the nature of the Somalian people. She said that when 2 Somalian people tried to work out an issue, one or both usually ended up dead. From her explanation, it sounds like there’s not much compassion or empathy shown in these communities, and their Islamic “value” system only worsens their violence. Dorothy said the Somalians are very good at observing others, gathering resources, and they are very strategic in their planning. She mentioned the current state of the waters shared by Kenya and Somalia, and she explained how fisherman, computer geeks and weapon makers team up to hijak ships to terrorize waters. She also explained how it was very difficult for missionaries to stay in a Somalian community for long.

Our friend from LIA, Pamella, and her husband Francis also lived as missionaries in Wajir, Kenya for a time. Francis actually taught Dorothy and her husband the Somalian language. Anyways, Pamella and Dorothy were telling us that when they first relocated to Wajir, they were simply seen as outsiders. After a few years of becoming established in the community, the Somalians who were being protective would begin to study the missionary families. After a few years, the unwelcoming Somalians would eventually threaten the missionaries in some way so that they would leave. Dorothy was sharing a story about how three men came to faith during their time in the community. The Somalian men, however, were a little foolish- they went to the church, to friends’ homes, and to Dorothys’ house to share the news of their baptism. Mentioning baptism around Islamics who are very against the idea began to anger some of the non-Christian Somalians. Anyways, the day after the baptism, Dorothy, the church and other known Christians recieved threatning letters, and Dorothys famliy had to leave.

It was just amazing to hear about this womans story. I’ve read a few different books that talk about peoples experience in the mission field, but actually hearing it and being able to ask questions was so impactful on me. Dorothy then began to tell us how two German, Christian farmers began to serve at the Africa Inland Church Hospital. In 2002, the hospital was beginning to see an increase in Somalian patients, but not many on staff could translate, so Dorothy and her husband began working at the hospital to translate.

I realize that was a lot, and it may not have all been typed out very clearly, but Dorothy made an impact on me. I scribbled some notes down right after we talked to her:

  • Missions take a while; after you hear your call, it may take years of preparation before you actually “GO”
  • Establishing a home church is important; without that support and love from people at home, issues on field are even more difficult
  • Try to reconcile relationships at home prior to “GOING”; being immersed in a completely different culture, whether it’s the streets of NY or the streets of Sudan- you’re in a different lifestyle, and working on the relationships when you’re far away can be difficult
  • You can begin your mission field at home (in the States) by connecting with people who are from the culture that you’ll be working in
  • Get experience in the country! It’s okay to take a few weeks to check out the sights and learn more about the culture

And then the unevitable questions came to mind: Where do I go? When do I go?

Obviously these are things that need to be considered with lots of prayer and listening to God. I’m definetley feeling an even stronger call to enter into the mission field, which is absoultely scary and exhilirating at the same time. Scary because I don’t know what’s going to happen, where I’ll be sent, or how any of my past experiences will fit into God’s call. Exhilirating because God has given me the opportunity to Go and do his work. I’m just rambling now. I’m just excited 🙂

And, check out our team blog: www.mi2kenya09.blogspot.com. Our other Mi2 intern friends are over in Poland, so check out their blog and keep them in your prayers: www.mi2poland09.blogspot.com

And what post isn’t complete without a picture? Here’s a little kitty friend I made today, he was munchin on a french fry 🙂IMG_2678

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2 comments

  1. Holly this is awesome! I am so excited that you are experiencing this! You and your team members are in my prayers! I know that God will teach you so much as well as use you for his glory! He is faithful!
    In Christ,
    Emily

    p.s. I would like to hear more about Dorothy sometime in the future! 🙂


  2. Hey Holly, I love the picture of the cat. It made me smile. It seems you are having a wonderful experience and I am so happy for you. I am glad God is revealing things to you in such wonderful ways. You are going to learn so much about yourself on this trip. I love you poop head! I miss you!

    Kristen



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