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The Browns – Tom, Ali, Crescena, Bez, & Ber
February 9, 2012 10:14 am
Published in: Uncategorized

We are in Kenya!  Now before I share about being in Kenya, I need to back track and share about the few months that led up to this moment.

Tom “graduated” from JAARS where he was doing his flight training in North Carolina.  The week we were packing up to leave North Carolina, Tom got so sick he did not get out of bed for 24hours.  He just laid there sweating and moaning.  I was so thankful to have Mom Brown, Dad Brown, and brother Jacob Brown there to help us pack. Crescena got a cold and pink eye that week as well.  So, the Browns basically did all our packing and cleaning as I cared for Tom and Crescena.  We left North Carolina on Sunday, December 18, headed for California.  At that point, Crescena had a fever, was breathing very rapidly, and was extremely lethargic.  By December 21, Crescena ended up in the hospital with pneumonia and anemia.  Both Tom and I had head-colds as we prayed over her and spent the next 4 nights in the hospital.  With joy, we headed home on Christmas morning, Dec 25.  A few days later, Tom and I got the stomach flu.  I would be puking in the shower while Tom puked in the toilet, and then we would switch; not the bonding moment we would ask for.  We are so thankful for Mom Weaver, Dad Weaver, and brother JR Weaver who cared for Crescena, as Tom and I were very sick.

In the midst of sickness and trial, 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 rang so true for us: “8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.”

I was so perplexed why the Lord would allow the time with family and friends in California, that we were so looking forward to, be spent in the hospital and with sick bodies preventing energy for fellowship.  We truly felt pressed on every side, but we were not crushed, and not driven to despair.  Our church home in Spokane (New Community) sent timely and uplifting encouragement notes in the midst of these trials.  God used the body to build us up, and we are so grateful.

I can’t say enough times how much I learn each day that the Lord cares more about the state of our hearts than our physical bodies… He has allowed so much trial and we are being molded by it and pray that the life of Jesus is seen in us both in the USA and in Africa.

We did go away for a night without Crescena for our anniversary in early January and it is amazing how refreshing a night away can be.  We are grateful to have had a night to rejuvenate.

We left CA and visited family and friends in Kansas, and then headed to visit family in FL.  In mid-January we got an e-mail saying Tom and Crescena had medical clearance to go to Kenya, but I(Ali) did not.  We figured that AIM just needed more information and did not worry until we spoke to the AIM doctor one week before we were supposed to leave for Atlanta, GA (where the AIM headquarters are and where we flew out of) and learned he was seriously considering not giving me medical clearance.  If you have not read other posts, I (Ali) was diagnosed with Graves Disease (an autoimmune disease of the thyroid) in October while we were in North Carolina.  So, basically, a week before we were supposed to leave, we found out we might not get to go.  The uncertainty definitely made us press into Christ and learn to trust Him.  We believed that going to Kenya, despite my illness was obedience to the Lord, and that He would provide; that our God of strength will be my strength.  We also had to trust that if the AIM doctor did not give us clearance, it would be obedience to submit to that authority (but that was harder for us to grasp).  I read Jesus Calling and as we were waiting for the doctor’s decision about whether or not we could go; the Lord had perfect timing as one of the verses was:

“They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD.” Psalm 112:7

For us, bad news would have been that after 4+ years of preparing, and months of anticipating leaving on Feb 2, 2012, we would be told we could not go at this time.   I was reminded to trust, and not be afraid of what the decision might be – a needed challenge.

On Friday, January 27, we got a phone call that I was being cleared to go.  We were filled with great joy!

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