Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Back on the Coast

 Sorry for dropping off the radar for so long... We spent the holiday season in the States with our church and family. It was a great time of refreshment and reconnecting. It has been a tough year and a half but God has been so faithful and we have been stretched tremendously. I wanted to give an abbreviated update highlighting all that the holidays held for us. First of all I must express our appreciation to our church, Pauline Baptist Church for bringing us in at the mid point of our term. They take the money out of the churches budget not our mission account in order to do this. They are committed to taking care of our family and trying to do all they can to ensure longevity.
    Let me give you the breakdown of how we spent the holidays. We got in the week of Thanksgiving on Tuesday. We were greeted at the airport by a slew of friends! It was so awesome! We all went out for dinner then our family stayed the night in Cabot with our dear friend Jeanean Wilson. She loved on us and loaded us down with travel goodies(which lasted us the our entire trip) and also sent us off with a good breakfast after a good night of sleep. We love you Mrs. Jeanean! We went to Indiana and spent Thanksgiving with our families then headed back to Monticello, Arkansas to be with our church on December 1. I preached the morning sermon and we had a great time seeing everyone.

    We spent the next few weeks in Monticello visiting with our church family and staying with Mr. Richard and Mrs. Doris Akin. The Akins let us crash their place the entire time we were in Monticello and when we passed back through before departing. They are so good to us feeding us, loving on us, and being stand in Great Grandparents. Our time with our church was so great! We attended several Christmas get togethers, services, staff meetings, and just hung out. We had a Kenya Missions Team get together at one point that was so good. Even with the bad weather several braved out to say hello.

    I was able to run a Marathon with Darren Clemets. Even though it was not the one we prepared for it was still fun and we both got Personal bests. I also got to run a half marathon with a big group of fellow runners from Monticello. It was so good to have the fellowship and we actually took a lot of first places! Oh and Josiah went hunting and shot a deer!

    We finished our time out with the chruch by going up to Branson, Missouri for a staff retreat on December 16-17. Nearly our entire staff went as well as our other two missionaries Clayton Howell and Joey Cook. We had a great time just being together and playing games. The fellowship was sweet. Clayton even brought his Fianc√© to meet everyone.

    It was while we were at the retreat that we got the news about Richard passing away. When Kenya and I gathered the children together and told them, everyone just cried especially Josiah. Listening to his weeping was so heart breaking. We sincerely thought Richard was getting better but The Lord had other plans for him. It has been a big life lesson for the kids.
    After the retreat we went up to Indiana to be with our families for Christmas and New Year. My dad even came down from Maine to be in the area for Christmas. We were able to see all of our immediate family and spend some good time with our parents. We were on the go the entire time we were in Indiana but we loved every minute of it just being with family. My brother was suppose to get married while we were in but he postponed his wedding for a few months and instead my sister got married (CRAZY). 

We had a good time with our families and close friends while in Indiana. The day before we left we even got to play in six inches of snow. The kids had wanted to see snow the entire time we were in the states but every time it snowed after we left one place and melted when we got to the next so it was a blessing to have a day in the snow and the kids had a blast.

 We left Indiana on January 3 to head back to Monticello for one last Sunday service before returning here to Kenya. On the way we stopped in Memphis for two of our interns wedding. Logan and Brittany had asked our kids to be in their wedding so we stayed over to be with them on their special day. It was the kids' first wedding to attend and to be in so they were all so excited. Abigail and Lydia were flower girls, Sarah carried a sign introducing and announcing the Bride and Groom, Samuel was a ring bearer, and Josiah was a Junior Usher. The kids all did great and the service was beautiful! We had a great time.

 We attended our first service of 2014 with our church then prepared for our departure. We left Arkansas on Tuesday Jan 7 with Sadie Hardin, our new home school teacher, and got back to Malindi on Thursday Jan 9. We off loaded everything and went to bed. We all slept form 6pm on Thursday until 9am on Friday. Needless to say we were exhausted.
    Friday we unpacked and I was able to talk to Ricklynn to get the low down on all that had happened while we were gone. It really seems like things went well at least in Malindi I will have to talk to the other men later. I was so encouraged by all that Ricklynn shared. The church even baptized 5 while we were gone!
    Saturday I worked in the morning on my message for Sunday and we went to the church in the afternoon to clean. After all the yard work was done I met with some of the men and the football team about them getting organized. We passed by the hospital and Kenya and Sadie went in to pray for one of our ladies who had a  baby that day. The kids and I went on to Shukarani. It was good to have some chicken and chips!
    Sunday we had a good service attendance even though there were several still out but things will be fine in the next few weeks with holidays passing. We had a good service here in the evening.
    Monday I spent the day with the kids while Kenya and Sadie worked on School things. I put together the girls 3 1/2 foot Barbie dream house that they got for Christmas. It took some time to get the 200 pieces put together but when it was done there were some happy girls! I let Josiah beat me at some video games also. All the kids had a triathlon in the yard as well. It was good to be home and to take a breathe before the week started.
    Today I have spent the day on trying to get reports together and this update as well as catch up on some emails. Tomorrow I plan to make calls and check in with all the guys. I am looking forward to seeing how everyone is. I have texted a little with everyone already but it will be good to talk to them. Sadie had her first day of school with the kids and I think she survived. Pray for her that The Lord will give her wisdom. Kenya is still helping her at first until Sadie gets in her groove then Kenya will be freed up a little to consider some teaching opportunities with the ladies.
    There is much to do and I would ask that you pray for us as we begin 2014 here on the coast that God will give us clear direction and that many will be lead to Christ and Discipled this year. I know God has great things in store for this year!
James Taylor
East Kenya Missions

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