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The Browns – Tom, Ali, Crescena, Bez, & Ber
April 26, 2013 12:28 pm
Published in: Uncategorized

Today was one of those days where I didn’t feel like getting out of bed.  In so many ways it was a typical day for a mom.  I was thrust out of bed to attend to a daughter with exploding diarrhea because she is cutting two teeth (the pointy ones on the bottom).  Plagued with lethargy and hoping not to spend the day saying “no” to an active toddler, I decided a walk around the neighborhood would be good for all.

Crescena and puddlesThis picture was taken today on my walk with Crescena in our “neighborhood”. This is the estate side of the gate which serves as the entrance to our “neighborhood”, and the bumpy road that welcomes us “home”.  You no doubt will notice the evidence of the current season as Crecsena is helping fill the many potholes with rocks and a neighbor is nervously trying to decide whether or not to join her.  I am often asked what season it is here, and I follow the example of what my Kenyan friends and workers say, since there is not “fall, summer, winter and spring” like we are accustomed to in the US.  This is the “season of the long rains.”  Most days lately feel HOT, but sometime between 4-7pm the sound of thunder signals the alarm to get the laundry off the line, run the water pump (so we don’t run out of water should the power go out from the storm), and get inside if you can.  The intense rain falls all night until morning.  It is a welcome blessing for us to provide water for the parched land and to cool the air for sleeping.

Still, I am reminded of the story of the wise man who built his house upon the rock.  As I welcome the rain, others fear it.  Flooding causes rivers down roads that have taken the lives of many foot-passengers.  And, countless Kenyans who had shacks in the dirt; now are trying to re-build homes that have washed away.

As I watched Crescena joyously throw rocks in the potholes, I was able to have a conversation with one of my neighbors.  Our neighbor on the left makes peanut butter that we buy because it both tastes good and builds relationship.  The “peanut butter” neighbor is always ushering us into her home and asking if we have just 5 minutes to come inside (5 minutes usually means at least half an hour).  Our neighbor to the right has been somewhat of a mystery.  We rarely see anyone come in or out (kind of like Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory!).  However, today she was exiting the estate and she talked to me about San Franscisco, Fishermans Wharf, and the redwood forests of California.

Turns out she studied in San Francisco, and surprised me with some of the best English I have heard from a Kenyan.  We talked about changes in the estate we live in and about how “Americans” always come in and fix things on their own (she referenced an American doctor who single handedly paid for speed bumps to be put in to slow cars for children) instead of waiting for the community to join in and make something happen (the appropriate way of doing things in Kenya).  I told her how lovely it was to see her as I don’t see her often, and she explained that she doesn’t get out much but likes to stay at home.  I too, like to stay at home!!  What an unexpected blessing to connect with her!  What a blessing to have a child to draw me out of the house when I might otherwise spend the day inside.  What a big God that provided connection over a place I know, love, and grew up in… California!

As the day comes to a close, I am reminded that God pours blessings as constant and intense as the rain we experience all night long- I just have to leave my house to experience them sometimes.

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