Kenya Journal – Before the Arrival

July 29, 2011·

Disclaimer: all of these journal entries are taking place via the wordpress app on my iPad. So, please excuse typos and weird spellings of stuff. Yada Yada Yada.

I also am necessarily able to have an actual Internet connection as I write, so many of these are not written in real time.


So, I’m not usually the best at journaling.

When I was a kid, I used to pick up a pretty journal at a bookstore or something like that – I’d take it home and have this very solid week of writing in it daily, and then, like clockwork, I’d stop writing in it. No particular reason, I just couldn’t keep it up. Then I’d see a new journal, think it was pretty, and the cycle would start all over again.

Well, later in life, blogging came about, and that became an easier place for me to jot down my thoughts while also holding myself more accountable to keeping up with it. And just like the old days of journaling, I go through cycles.

Anyhow. Recapping my journaling history isn’t why I’m writing this.

I’m currently sitting on a plane on my way to my first mission trip. I’m going with a group of 16 amazing people from my church, newhope church in Durham, NC, to a small village called Kiria, in the mountainous region of Kenya.

This is something I’ve always wanted to do, but the opportunity just wasn’t ever there. Many time, the big objection (outside) to a trip like this is that people here in the US need our help too. And I completely agree. I love volunteering and helping out in my own community and in my own backyard. But the fact of the matter is, there are people, cultures, and communities outside of our own that need our help too and have a whole lot less resources than we do.

I feel that to be a truly educated person it is so important for us to experience those things outside of our comfort zone and outside of our personal life bubble of the first world.

(Now the journal that 410 Bridge (the organization we are coordinating with on this trip) gave us has some journaling questions that I’m going to use to fuel these entries).

So why am I going? I’m going because I want to serve. Truly. Jesus was the ultimate selfless servant and when you spend your days stressing over overloaded email inboxes, deadlines, bill paying, and the general life drama, it can make it very difficult to get out of that selfish mindset and serve others.

Lately I’ve really tried to be really conscious of how I spend my time. I tend to overwork myself, a lot. And I get caught up in my goings-on and suddenly I look back and I haven’t developed as many meaningful relationships as I would like, or I feel drained rather than fulfilled. So, I try to spend more time with those I love. I’ve made a more conscious effort to tell those whom I have lost touch with that I still love them and think about them often. I try to spend more time listening rather than talking. And I try to serve as much as I can. Getting involved with a small group and the Worship Arts Ministry at newhope has been one of the best decisions I have made in a long time. I feel so refreshed and reenergized after what can sometimes be a very long day of serving. And the friendships and relationships I’m developing are wonderful.

At the end of the day, I just want to help people other than myself, in any way possible.

Now, with any leap of faith comes apprehensions. Going to a third world country so far from home, there are so many unknowns. Will we be received well? Will we be welcomed? Will we develop relationships? Will we serve the people of Kiria in the way they deserve? What will conditions be like? And yeah, no joke, the bathroom situation. The notion of pit latrines isn’t something that exactly excites me. Etc… Etc… The fear of the unknown can be the worst.

So, I’m going to end my current rambling with a thought and a prayer.

I pray for safe travel. We’ve got a layover in London, another 8+ hour flight, and hours of driving ahead of us.
I pray for patience. With a large group, varying personalities, and unexpected challenges, you know that things can get stressful.
I pray for good health. Heck, I had to get so many shots and I’m taking so precautions, but the truth is, you never know what could come about. But needless to say, getting sick on a trip like this would not be fun.
I pray for my teammates. I pray they impact lives and that in turn, their lives are impacted. They’re amazing people and I have no doubt this will happen.
I pray that God breaks our hearts and we allow Him to work through us. Without Him, none of this is possible.

Okay, end of rambling for real this time. Thanks for indulging me.

I love you all.

All for now and much love.