After today, we have 4 days left here in Kenya. 4 days. It seems crazy. This is our last blog post from this cute little internet cafe (that I’ve grown to like..even though I was so frustrated I was almost in tears the first day using it). We’ve had our last market day. Tomorrow is our last day at AIC clinic. We’ve had a great past week. Saturday there was a reception here for this Maasai Girls organization that is based in the US but obviously their work is here in Maasailand. There were a lot of Americans (like 10!!) here. It was crazy to be here while they were. They were touring the compound, we were working side by side the kids sorting the grain. They were fascinated by the cute kids, we love those kids’ hearts. Nothing against them, that’s how we were 6 weeks ago..but it just reminded me how blessed I am to be here for a significant period of time. Sunday we worshipped with the kids..I took some videos, I’m excited to show those of you who want to see! Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday we went to the clinic. It seems like every spare moment we have now we are with the kids, or doing things to prepare their gifts for them. I have some absolutely precious memories of time with the kids the past couple of days..just walking through the gate and them running up to us, hugs, shaking hands, playing chako (like everybody’s it tag), taking pictures, helping with their homework. Today is our day off, we are getting gifts around, doing laundry, going into town one last time, eating lunch at a “hotel” (restaurant) for Hannah’s birthday, having tea with Agnes today. Tomorrow is our last day at the clinic and we are going to Agnes’ house for dinner..I’m so excited. Saturday is a day we are going to play games with the kids, and pop popcorn to eat when they have their weekly TV time after dinner. Sunday is worship and giving gifts and packing. Monday is final packing and cleaning and the saying of goodbyes. It is going to be a busy next few days. I want to soak in every moment left.
Part of me feels like we have been here forever…it seems like ages ago that we climbed on that plane in Detroit. We are used to the life here. Hannah and I commented the other day while we were walking through town that the streets, buildings, people, and culture just walking through town are so different than the US, but we don’t think anything of it any more, it’s just Kajiado, part of our every day life. But part of me is blown away that our trip is nearly over. That we will be climbing back on a plane in a few short nights. I have so many mixed emotions about leaving. I am crazy excited to come home. I miss people. I am excited to come home to the way of life that is familiar to me. I’m excited for my own bed. I’m excited to start another year of nursing and learn more now that I have a renewed excitement for using it in life, not just studying all the time. I’m excited for foods (cake, chocolate, ice cream, pizza, tacos, a summer cookout..seem to be on my mind this morning :). I have so many stories to tell and pictures to show (I only have room for 48 more pictures between the two of my memory cards!) that if I stay here much longer I don’t know what I’ll do! But when I think about leaving the relationships we’ve built, I’m super sad. The kids have starting asking us when we are leaving, and when we are coming back. I get multiple times a day, “Morgan, when you leave, I will miss you much.” My heart is attached. A relationship I didn’t expect coming into this summer is the friendship we’ve built with the matron here. Her name is Agnes, and she has become a dear friend. She is crazy strong, but when we talk about leaving, it seems like she is about to cry every time. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt this torn in my emotions. Last night I saw a plane in the sky and I immediately had tears in my eyes, from both the joy of going home and the sadness of leaving here. Mom and Dad, you wouldn’t mind if I brought 50 some Kenyan kids home would you?? They are precious and adorable and very respectful let me assure you 🙂 And I guess maybe I should ask Brittany too..that could get a little crowded in our dorm room, but I’m sure she wouldn’t mind!
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:1-3
As I think about leaving here and coming home, God is teaching me about his home for me. I love the place I’m in right now, but I also long to go “home” (to the US). Not that the US is heaven, but it’s making sense in my head more what the picture of living this life is as well as looking forward to heaven. I can enjoy the place I’m in, making the most of my time here, whether it is 6 weeks, 4 days, or years. But part of me aches for home. Same with heaven. God has given us this life to enjoy, and to use for him. Not to just sit around and wait til we go home to him. But our hearts truly, deep down, ache for something more. For the life we were created for with God. To be made whole and holy and perfect. To be in perfect intimate relationship with our Lord. To go home.
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. The love of the Father is not in those who love the world, for all that is in the world – the desires of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride in riches – comes not from the Father but from the world. And the world and its desires are passing away, but those who do the will of God live forever.” 1 John 2:15-17
This world is not my home. I can live in this world and enjoy it when I love God and follow him. He has given me time on this earth for a reason. Every day I’m here, I’m here to use to love him and make him known. He has given me life to love and enjoy. But there’s more than this. There is no reason to cling to the things around me because these things are passing away. I desire to live with my eyes set on things above, on God and his plan for now as well as his hope for the future. Hope. I’ve learned a lot about hope this trip. And it comes back up again. Hope gives me the energy and strength and courage to have faith and love now. Because I know there is more than this life. I know I’m not at home here.
“He who has prepared us for this very thing has given us the Spirit as a guarentee. So we are always confident; for we know that while we are at home in the body, we are away from the Lord – for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.” 2 Corinthians 5:5-9
Hannah said to me on our walk to the clinic the other day, “I wonder what it would be like to have faith so strong that you literally do not fear death at all. That the things here are nothing compared to your longing for heaven.” I can say I don’t fear death. I’m not scared of dying. I know that leaving this world means the greatest gain I could receive. But I’d prefer not to die right now. There are things in this life I’d like to do before that happens. I want to travel, become a nurse, spend time with those I love, sit by the pool with my mom when I get home, meet Nathan Just, go to OSU football games this fall, do ministry at OSU, get married, have kids…just some random things. I know I wouldn’t really be disappointed if I died before one or all of those things happened, but I don’t know if I can say with wholehearted conviction that I long for heaven so much that the things here seem like nothing in comparison. My heart is made for intimacy with God. It longs for something more than anything in this world can give me. But what would it be like to really live in that? To truly value and long for my time with God more than anything else? To put my full hope in being with God over the good things in this life?
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9
God promises that heaven is going to be great. 1 Corinthians 2:9 tells us we can’t outdream God. Nothing we have seen, heard, experienced, or can even imagine can compare to what he has planned for us. I feel like I’ve gotten to see little slices of heaven while I’m here, especially what it may be like to stand and worship with people from every tongue, tribe, and nation (or at least one different from my own in my case here). And to think that the best moments in this life, and the most extravagent, best things I could think up can’t even begin to compare to the greatness of what heaven really will be like.
I am excited to be going home.
Kwaheri, one last time from Kenya!