This morning I woke up in sheer panic when I realised that in 16 weeks we would be jumping on a plane and heading off to start our new ventures in Kenya. And when I say panic, it was just that. This is one of the few times in my life I’ve been overwhelmed by worry. So I did what I do most mornings and headed up the beach to pray (thanks Ps Phil for setting the standard in this).
I got to thinking about what on earth was happening and realised some important things.
I’m not scared of:
- Living in a strange land where everything is different, especially the food
- Being without my dishwasher or waterbed
- Saying goodbye to Hannah (Skype is the best invention)
- The possibility of picking up malaria, dysentery or a myriad of other diseases
- Being the minority just because my Swahili sucks (well, not fluent anyway)
- The very remote but real possibility of a bomb/suicide attack happening
What it came down to is that I don’t want to be poor and not able to go out and earn money. We’re on a missionary visa and we aren’t allowed to work.
We decided in April last year that we would move to Kenya, but give it a couple of years. That way we could get more financially secure, pay off some debt and be in a strong position. When we got to Africa in September it became very obvious that they wanted us a lot earlier, like immediately. We chose to move in October 2012 because that meant we could take another team to Mt Kilimanjaro and pretty much everything we own is in desperate need of replacing, especially the car, which is in survival mode. If we stayed another year it meant buying a lot of stuff and really be no better off financially because of it.
In our minds it was all going to pan out because we could come back and work our butts off for a year. That was before Pete broke his leg and couldn’t work for a couple of months, and then the 3 months of travelling through several states of Australia for BeyondWater. Remember, Pete is self employed so no work = no pay. So, in essence the 8 months we’ve been back, he’s only worked for about 4 of these. Not the best way to start, but in a way it is.
We are really blessed because a generous business covers our rent in recognition of the role I play in BeyondWater. But beyond that there were no drop offs of groceries or even phone calls to see how we were doing. The insurance money was months in coming and that went to paying back some good friends who had lent us the money to get home. While Pete was stuck to a couch he learned, probably for the first time to really relax in knowing he could do nothing but trust God. Was it easy? No way. We got down to $30 in the bank account and Hannah was heading back to serve at YWAM in Hawaii and we didn’t even have the money to take her to the airport. I kindly suggested to her that her friends (Han, Chan & Mo) might like to do it.
But I will never forget Bevvy. She just happened to be in Sydney for the day, walked in the door and promptly handed both Hannah and myself $500 each. We lived on that for the next month and Hannah paid for her living and school costs.
One person, that’s all it takes to make a difference.
For me this morning, it was that one Person of the Holy Spirit that took me from a burdened, scared kid to one who had that assurance that if God was big enough to create the universe He certainly was big enough to look after 3 little Creans in Kenya.
Yes, we need people to believe in us and our work. Yes, we need people to give us money or we can’t go, but overall our reliance is on God, whose pretty good at providing.
Thanks for standing with us, we appreciate you all – and actually mean it.