Sunday, August 9, 2009

Ashley's in Kenya

Ashley is at 2 1/2 weeks of her 4 week trip to Kenya. She is having an amazing time so far. She has worn several hats during this 2 1/2 weeks, but her main job on this trip was to teach praise dance as a form of worship to the young people. They had a week long camp where she taught them dances, then they shared what they learned at a crusade in a nearby refuge village this past weekend. She was excited because she said there were several of the girls that she could see in their eyes that they "got it". She could really tell that they saw how to use the dance to worship the Lord.

An unexpected and delightful opportunity Ashley has had while she was there was to spend a great deal of time with young teen and preteen girls (her calling), sharing with them, teaching them, and laughing and bonding with them. She spent 2 hours alone with some of them at the girls orphanage one afternoon, and she had THE best time. They fixed her can't wait to see the pictures of that......asked her questions about America, asked her to sing and teach them worship songs, sang the ones they know to her, and shared. She is supposed to be teaching them a 6 day Bible study in the remaining time, and I hope that is worked out.

I've been blessed to be able to hear from her often enough to keep me from worrying (who me??) and to keep me from missing her so badly!, although, because of the drought, they now do not have electricity from 7-7 each day. We communicate on Facebook every few days, and I've been able to talk to her on the phone 3 times. I've also been able to get a few pictures, although, not as many lately. The internet access they have at the missionary's house is vvvveeeerrrryyyyyy slllllloooooowwwww.

For those of you who haven't seen them on FB, here are a few of the pictures.

At the Amsterdam airport~

Orbit School of the Cross

I've tried to rotate this next picture 3 times, so it's anyone's guess as to whether you'll see it right side up or not! This is a class at the school singing a welcome song.

Hey! It's right side up for now!

If you remember me posting a couple of months ago about our sponsor child and her tragic story, this is Ashley meeting Mokoi......her "Kenyan sister."

The medical clinic at Orbit. They are trying to raise funds to keep it open more. Right now it's just one day a week, since Mokoi's baby, Ashley, died. If the clinic had been able to be open, they probably could have saved baby Ashley's life.

Orbit Baptist Church

Ashley was able to attend with the missionary an American Women's Conference in Nairobi. There were women there from several countries, and their goal is to find ways to improve the lives of women in Kenya.

Esther, in the blue in the center, is our youngest sponsor child~ 12 years old. She and Ashley have had great bonding time this trip. So far, I haven't been able to get a photo of our 3rd sponsor child, Faith. Isn't Esther, and her smile, beautiful?

Ashley and Mokoi

I love this next picture~

One of the newer youngest residents of the little children's orphanage~

Ashley and Mokoi

Ashley's hand is on the sweet.

Ashley teaching praise dance. The girl next to her is the missionary's daughter learning also. This is also a photo of the inside of the little Orbit Baptist Church.

Teaching Shout to the Lord

Teaching the little ones sign language to Jesus Loves Me~

The group sharing Shout to the Lord at the crusade

Ashley and Esther singing Shine Jesus Shine at the Crusade. Wow! Ashley has a gorgeous voice, but I can't believe *anyone* got her on stage to sing in public! : ) I am so proud of her!

Girls at "The Well", orphanage for young girls

Please pray for rain for Kenya. They are desperate for it.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


The "Year Of the Whirlwind" continues. : ) I have been absent so much lately, because, well....I've been absent from normal life. I'm really tired, and really ready to just stay at home for a while, without any drama. It has definitely been a month of drama!
Other than posting the HAIRSPRAY pictures, the last time I posted, I had been at Briana's opening night on June 25th, left on the 26th and gone home, turned around at midnight on the 27th, and gone back because Marissa, who had stayed there with my parents, was really sick. I had only planned on staying 2 nights to get her well, then come back. The day I was coming home was our 24th wedding anniversary. Well, things just didn't work out quite that way. That afternoon there was a crisis in my extended family, and in an hour's time, Marissa, Briana, and I had to leave. Briana was living with my parents, but we just packed up as much as we could. The three of us went to a hotel to figure out what we were going to do. The next morning, Briana and I decided that since she was planning to move into an apt. anyway, and because there was just too much emotion going on at the time, she would go ahead and find an apartment. I'll spare you all the details, but that day we found her an apt (me being SO thankful that James and I had done some preliminary searching!) Over the next 2 days, we got mattresses, the electric switched, and a WHOLE BUNCH of shopping for dishes, pots & pans, towels, sheets, the works. I ended up being here 6 nights, and it was an extremely stressful and emotional few days, because of the stress of the crisis and having to take care of all of this in a kind of emergency situation. But, the Lord gave me much peace and strength that I needed to get through the week. Troy (Briana's guy) was a big help bringing his dad's truck to pick up the mattress sets and helping us move them upstairs.
When I left her that week, the only thing she had here was kitchen stuff, 2 sets of mattresses and box springs lying on the floor, and towels. : ) It was also very difficult to leave her. She went overnight from being with family, even me coming to stay with her when my parents were out of town, to being in an apt. on her own. But, it was another place the Lord gave us peace, and we knew He had walked with us through it.
In spite of the stress and busyness of those few days, Briana, Marissa, and I had some fun times together. It was good for the 2 of them to spend time laughing and being silly together in the hotel, and it was just a good time for us in that respect. I think that time with the 3 of us together will always be special to me, because we bonded together, enjoying each others company and laughs, in the midst of chaos.
I went home for a week, then came back alone. I had already had tickets to go with Briana to see Troy in The Foreigner, so we did that, and did a lot more shopping here and the next town over. We were able to get her a dining set and a couch. I'm kind of getting my trips confused now, but I think that was when a few days later, James and the little girls came over for the day, and he brought her a great one year old washer/dryer set that we got for $300! After doing several loads that week at the laundromat, we quickly saw that it would pay for itself in 6 months, especially since water is included in the rent. Briana also bought herself a beautiful real wood sleigh bed at Big Lots for $300! It is queen size, and gorgeous.
Okay, let's see. I think I was at Bri's for 4 nights that time. I then went home and spent time with Ashley and helped her get ready for Kenya! She left on July 22nd! Tomorrow she will have been gone 2 weeks. She is having the time of her life, and I will post some pictures soon. Two more weeks to go, and I have a feeling she isn't going to want to leave. : ) When you see the pictures, you can see a pure joy and gleam in her eyes, that I'm not sure I've ever seen before.
I was home for almost 2 weeks, and, yep....I'm back at Briana's. With all the chaos of the first 2 weeks of the month here, I had to change my tickets to see her in HAIRSPRAY again, so those were Friday and Sat. I have also met and had dinner with Troy's parents and had lunch with his mom and some of her friends while I was here. James brought the little girls over Sunday night, and Monday afternoon they went to my parents' house to spend a few nights with them. James and I are headed home this afternoon, and will have a day and a half alone.
Well, for your sake, I will stop there. There is more. : ) But, those are the biggest events. There have been major lessons for us all this past month, and a lot of clinging to the Lord. I miss my younger girls, but the Lord has been taking care of that, too. They are learning things, too. I'm hoping to start blogging a little more often. I think I have just gotten out of the habit. I'll be popping around to your blogs catching up, too.