First of all, we're home! I write this as we're on a bus from Chicago back to Fox River. My apologies that the last few posts have been a bit delayed from the events they describe -- this blogging is time-consuming for a chronic perfectionist with attention issues and a weird sleep schedule while abroad!
Saturday was mostly a day to relax and recuperate from the exhilarating but tiring week at the schools. The team had free time to relax by the pool or enjoy the beach along the Indian Ocean just behind our hotel. Most of us did just that -- after enjoying the opportunity to sleep in a bit.
In the afternoon, we had the opportunity to attend the wedding of two dear friends: Jenna Horgan and O'Neal Nyanje. Jenna first went to Kenya with one of Fox River's medical mission trips, returned on several short trips before deciding to spend a year in Kenya, and ultimately return to stay, O'Neal is a part of the Crossroads Fellowship family, where he serves on the audio team, among other things. Theirs is a long, beautiful story of God's working, but out of the scope of this blog. Suffice it to say, many members of our team consider them to be family so it was a joy to be there to witness two great people taking their next step together.
Sunday morning was spent at Crossroads Fellowship church in Nyali. As you may recall from our first day in Kenya, this is where we spent the previous Sunday morning. This week, Susie Horne (Pastor Jim's wife) asked David and me (Jason) to sing with them on the worship team. That is always a special treat and a lot of fun to come together with our Kenyan brothers and sisters to praise our God. There's always a lot of energy and heartfelt worship when we come together in that place and Sunday was no exception.
This Sunday was also the Crossroads Fellowship Baptism Festival, so Pastor Jim Horne delivered a message on the importance of Baptism, looking at a variety of places in Scripture where Baptism either occurred or is discussed. With the significance of this crucial part of the believer's journey fresh in our minds, we walked next door to the church to Wild Waters water park, who graciously opened their doors for a large number of people to be baptized while their church family cheered them on. Over 60 men, women, and children were baptized in a fantastic celebration of faith.
Sunday afternoon was another period of free time. Again, some took to the beach (there was even a small group from our two teams that went to find a nearby geocache) and some wandered up the beach to Yul's, a favorite place to get pizza, burgers, and gelato. We were blessed to have some friends from Crossroads Fellowship join us at the hotel to spend our free time in fun and fellowship.
Of course, our last day in Kenya is always one of mixed emotions as many are sad to leave such a wonderful place with even better friends, but also eager to get home to our loved ones and our familiar surroundings. After we had said our final goodbyes, we had packing to do and a short time to sneak in a little nap before loading up the bus at 1am and departing for Moi International Airport at 1:30.
Our travels back to the US were mainly uneventful -- which is just as travels through international airports after a tiring week should be. We had an almost two-hour delay in Istanbul (which may or may not have been a good time to blog about Friday's graduation day in Bomani...ahem), but somehow managed to arrive in Chicago more or less on time. It took longer than usual to get our luggage at O'Hare, but after a quick shock of the bitter cold in Chicago, we all made it to the bus and are still currently heading toward Fox River Waukesha.
Thank you for following along and more importantly praying with and for us along our journey. There will, of course, be more stories to tell, photos to share, and videos to post about this short trip full of celebration and fellowship with our Kenyan brothers and sisters in the weeks and months to come. Not only that, but this blog continues to highlight work that Fox River Missions is doing in Kenya and Nicaragua throughout the year. So if you began reading here to follow this trip, we'd love for you to stick around and continue to read about God's amazing work that we are blessed enough to participate in. If you are a regular reader, please continue to share what you find here so that more people can know and hopefully join with us, and most importantly that God would be glorified in what we do.