Thursday, January 10, 2013

All Our Bags Are Packed, We're Ready to Go

That's nearly true. Ella seems to be the most ready of all of us. The poor girl is so excited to leave, she doesn't know what to do with herself! I told her yesterday that she would have four more sleeps and then we would leave. The first thing she said to me this morning when she came out of her room was that she slept four times during the night and she was ready to go. Weeeellll, that's not exactly what I meant. 

photo taken by my friend Zaundia
But now we have three more sleeps, soon to be two. Unbelievable. We're nearly finished packing as of last night. We get to take six 50-pound bags to check, but at the end of our packing we had only filled two. (We prefer to travel light.) So then we got to have fun. Pete and I went to Sam's Club and Target armed with the lists we were given of things the missionaries and nationals have requested than can't easily be purchased in Kenya. We filled our carts with chocolate chips, decaf tea and coffee, almonds, and lots of candy bars and Crystal Light. Then we picked up some baby items from one of the hospitals nearby to fill the remaining bags.

old man Sammy (sweater from Goodwill, onsie by mama)

I find it hard to believe that our bags are already packed. I had hoped this would be the case, but I honestly didn't think we would really be able to do it. The last thing I want is to be crazy stressed and rushed right before we leave. We're steadily making our way through our lists of to-dos, hoping we don't forget anything. I'm trying to keep track of everything we're packing and prepping so that we'll have record of it for our future trips. There really is a lot to think about. Passports need to be accompanied by birth certificates and extra passport photos, just in case. All of those documents need to be copied and saved online so we can access them anywhere. We need to carry some cash, but there are rules about what kind of cash will be accepted in country. For example, bills must be crisp and printed in only the last few years. Our mail needs to be held, but the post office will only hold it for 30 days. Instead, we need to have it forwarded weekly to another address, which is actually better, we've realized, because they can then check through it for important documents. And what about our fish Tyrone and the plant that I have actually managed to keep alive for just over 2 1/2 years? We're so thankful to have friends and family who can help us keep things straight...and alive...while we are away.

loving on the banana cream pie at Duluth Grill

Our journey will begin at the Duluth airport on Sunday at noon. We'll fly to Minneapolis, then to Amsterdam, and finally to Nairobi. It takes about 24 hours in all with layovers. We'll stay the night at the mission guesthouse in Nairobi and then be driven four hours out to Tenwek Hospital where we'll settle into our two-bedroom apartment and begin soaking in all we can. It's hard to even imagine what it will be like. We'll know soon enough!

she loves her hot chocolate with sprinkles

Will you please continue to pray with and for us? Here are a few specific requests:
  • We need to finalize everything here at home.
  • We'd like to have a day of rest on Saturday so we have the energy and patience necessary for the long journey on Sunday.
  • We really don't want to be sick! Ella & Sam both have stuffy noses right now, and we're hoping that is the extent of it. 
  • We hope the flights will be smooth for all four of us.
  • Our transition into the Kenyan culture will definitely be a big one. We want to remain open and flexible during our first few weeks.
  • Pete & I really desire to be strong together during this transition. We've never done anything like this together before. Please pray that we'll be filled with a whole lot of grace for each other and that we'll feel very close to one another.
This is what I've wanted to do my entire life. No joke. The entire thing. Even though that gives me great confidence it what we are about to do, I'm still a bit nervous. I've never been to Africa and I've never done something like this with kids. All I can say is that I am thrilled to live life knowing a God who cares about my family enough to put these dreams on our hearts and make ways for them to happen. I will never stop being amazed.

We will post updates when we are able, so please continue to check back! We'll also be updating our Facebook page, which you can find by clicking HERE.

Blessings, Friends!


  1. Woohoo! I am so excited for you guys and the amazing adventure God has set before you! We will be praying for you guys!

  2. What an incredible journey you guys are about to embark on...well, have already begun! No doubt God has ordained THIS as the time for your life-long dream to be realized, at this particular season of life (with kids, etc.). My eyes are brimming with tears of excitment and anticpation for all God has in store for you. I will be keeping your family (and the community in Nairobi) in my prayers often and I look forward to hearing stories of God at work in and through you all. Blessings and peace in the name of Jesus, our King! -Kristi O.


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