The Strader Family
Strader’s Survey Trip and Singuaya Building
Kenya left the country to be with her family and the Strader’s came in right behind her. This was John and Amber’s official survey trip. John was our intern back in 2010 so he was pretty well aware of the work here but it was Amber and Eleanora’s first trip. We were super excited for their arrival even though it was in the midst of a crazy time. I am thankful that Sadie was here to continue with school and help keep things afloat while Kenya was gone. Once John and Amber arrived they jumped in also and we managed to make it until Kenya returned but I am jumping ahead.
I felt bad because John and Amber got in on Wednesday morning early and we had not gotten the guest house ready for their arrival. Baby Sarah was sick on Tuesday so Mama Cedric had to leave early to take her to the doctor so she forgot also to get the guest house ready. I was pretty embarrassed and Kenya was mortified when I told her but John and Amber were very gracious. I ran and got towels and everything and got them at least pointed in the right direction.
Once John and Amber were sorted out in their room we had a good meeting to talk a little about the trip and how things have been going. It was a great visit that set the stage for the trip. After our meeting John and Amber went to get a little rest since they had not slept in like three days.
At lunch time we had a little one year birthday party for baby Sarah. Sadie even baked a cake and everything. Although Baby Sarah was not feeling well and could barely set up because she was dizzy we still sang, gave gifts, and ate cake. I hate that Kenya had to miss it but we made the best of it.
Thursday I took John, Amber, and Eleanora out to tour the town and see Malindi. Again it was Amber’s first trip so it was a good chance to talk and give her a one time over. In the afternoon I began to get things ready for the building project in Singuaya that we had scheduled for Friday and Saturday. I was able to get everything needed and loaded up so that we could roll out in the morning. John taught our evening Bible study in Malindi and did a great job.
Friday and Saturday were big building days days in Singuaya. John and I headed out on Friday morning and picked up Emanuel, Alfonse , Nicholas, Noah, and Kleopus before heading to Singuaya. We had a great day of building ! The fellowship was great. The only bad thing was it was incredibly hot and there was no shade to work in. Needless to say we drank a massive amount of water. My jeans and tshirt looked like I had just jumped in water. The sweat was pooling up in my shoes it was so hot but we all pressed on and got pretty far on the first day. The church provided lunch for us. They asked me to bring the food from Malindi because it was cheaper and they gave me the money back for everything. They paid me back with a little plastic bag full of coins. No doubt it was their offerings for quite a while. I was so excited to see them step up and take responsibility for the food purchase and cooking.
When John and I got back to town after dropping everyone off we picked up Dub, Joni and the girls from the bus stage. They were in Nairobi working on the Bible Institute project and filming another couple classes.
Saturday I went back to Singuaya after picking up Alfonse, Nicolas, Noah, and Kleopus. Brother John stayed behind to go to Malindi to teach Bible study and visit with the folks in Malindi. Day two of building was just as hot but as the roof started to go on we were able to have a little shade. Since none of us were really builders we had to correct several things along the way. I also had to make a run to Marafa to buy some more Mabati (iron Sheets) to make sure we had enough. We originally planned to be done around lunch but with all our little set backs we did not finish until around 7pm but… we finished. We were all so glad that we got the building ready for the church to meet in on Easter Sunday. I only wish we could have been there for that service.
We put in a lot of hours and I was so proud of all the guys that participated in the building project. It was a joint effort by Malindi church, Jimba church, Magangani church, and Singuaya church. One of the biggest take aways was the time to sweat and bleed TOGETHER.
On Easter Sunday John preached a great resurrection message for us. It was so weird not having Kenya with us. In the evening we had our normal service together only we had a big crowd with our family, Sadie, the Straders, and the Wests. After service I worked with Dub on a few questions he had for the last of the classes he was finishing up.
On Monday the 21 I took John, Amber, and Eleonora to Gede to visit with Daniel Mbuvi and Alfonse Maitha. We also passed by the Jimba church building and Magangani church buildings. We had a great time of fellowship Daniel and Alfonse’s families. We ate lunch with Alfonse and it was so good. In the Evening we all went out for a good-bye dinner for Dub, Joni, and the girls. It was their last night with us after three months of working here in Kenya on the Bible Institute project.
Dub was able to get 11 classes finished and on DVD, footage for Mac Med ministry, Eddie Williams, and Ernie Hopper ministry videos as well as rework some old videos we had. Dub did a lot of work while he was here and traveled across the country several times to video. I appreciate him so much and all the work that he did. We are so grateful for the work and time that he invested in the ministry here in Kenya. The video work that he has done will be used for years to come. Dub is still planning to make DVD’s that we can distribute to the other missionaries here in Kenya and so we can have back up copies of the classes. Along with all the work Dub did we now have over twenty classes on video that can be used.
We had a great dinner together and our kids all gave them cards to tell them Dub, Joni and the girls that they would miss them.
Everyone loaded up in both of our vehicles to go to Mombasa for a fun day with the Wests and Straders. We went out for an awesome brunch at Java House then spent the afternoon at Haller Park looking at the animals. When we left Mombasa we dropped Dub and his family off at a hotel so they could get a little rest before their 3am flights. It was a really fun day just visiting and talking.
On Wednesday we went back, again, to Mombasa for Orthodontist appointments for the kids but more importantly to pick up Kenya! We managed to survive the week without Kenya thanks to everyone pitching in around the house. We also took the Straders by the Mall to look at what was available as they continue to do their survey. The kids and I went to the play area for a relaxing time before we headed out to the airport.
It was so good to see Kenya after only a week. I have been gone on trips or Kenya and I together have been gone for a weekend but this was the first time the kids and I had to be without Kenya for a solid week. We made it with my root beer oatmeal, sausage hot dogs, and of course Shukarani. Kenya had a good trip and I know it was good for her and her family to be together during a very difficult time.
With Kenya back in the house it was back to normal for the most part. Kenya took John, Amber, and Eleonora out for the day to shop a little ands they looked at a few houses. We had tried to look at some house when John and Amber first got in but we were not successful. Kenya was able to get in touch with the guy who helped us get the house we are currently in. I spent the day in the office working on administration stuff.
Friday John and I were out the door at 5:30am and going to Miritini for class with the men at Mnara wa Kweli LBC. John had never met the men in Miritini so we arranged for some class time so John could meet Elli and the men as well as give them some teachings. John did a great job of sharing some lessons on evangelism, which is a subject that John is very passionate about . It was a great day with the guys. We left after lunch to make the long 3 hour drive back to Malindi but it was a good chance for John to get a final look at the over all work. It also gave Kenya and Amber a day to spend together to talk
When John and I got back he and Amber went to Turtle Bay in Watamu for a night out together. We kept Ellenora for them so they would have a chance to talk about their trip together and just get away and enjoy the coast a little. Little Eleonora was a jewel. We had so much fun with her, she is so full of personality. John and Amber are doing a great job with her. Saturday when John and Amber returned we all had a meeting in the office to discuss their trip and to give them a chance to ask us any questions. I think that they were able to accomplish all that they wanted and needed to for their survey.
We all attended services at Magangani on Sunday. I taught Sunday School and brother John preached the message. Alfonse was not at church because he had been robbed on Friday night and was not feeling up to coming. After services we went by to see Alphonse with Juma. He shared with us how a group of men in the dark jumped him and knocked him off his bike then beat him up and stole most of the his stock. Thankfully a motor Bike passed by and his assailants ran off or he may have been hurt even worse. He did not appear to have any major injuries just bruised up. We prayed with him then headed back to Malindi.
Sunday evening was filled with packing for everyone. The Straders were preparing for their departure and our family and Sadie for a trip to Nairobi. I Skyped with a church in Louisiana for about 30 minutes giving a report and answering questions during their morning worship service. We did get a chance to visit a little more before Kleopus came to pick up the Straders to take them to the airport.
We really enjoyed the time with John, Amber, and Eleonora and it has excited me for the future. I really believe that God is building a team ministry here with men of various giftedness but the same vision. It is going to be awesome to see how everyone fits together and what God can accomplish as we preach the Gospel here on the coast.