19 May 2015

Living gladly to make others glad; a few thoughts regarding hardships and risks

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs.
When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”
~ Ansel Adams (1902-1984), American photographer and environmentalist

 "If you live gladly to make others glad in God, 
your life will be hard, 
your risks will be high, 
and your joy will be full." 
~ John Piper, Don't Waste Your Life

 The five of us had such a great time at Paradise Lost, just a short distance from downtown Nairobi. None of us had ever been there before and we didn't really know what to expect. 

We were beyond thrilled, though, as the place is absolutely beautiful! There is so much to take in and enjoy.

Linet literally danced in circles at the waterfall, exclaiming - 
"I love nature! I love being out in nature!"

Derrick, Jim, and Jeremy really enjoyed the cave. They especially had fun exploring the dark recesses with my headlamp. At one point, Linet and I just sat down and waited until they'd had their fill.

After we ate our sack lunch, the boys climbed some guava trees and enjoyed eating their bounty.

Jim and Derrick tried their hand at rowing a boat... for their very first time. I'd say they did a pretty good job, as they managed to take us from one end of the lake to the other. Next time we go, Jeremy will have to take a turn at rowing.

The boys were also quite happy to ride horses, especially when they did a bit of galloping.

“Be strong, live happy, and love, 
but first of all Him whom to love is to obey, 
and keep His great command!”
~ John Milton (1608-1674); English poet, quote from Paradise Lost 

I have no idea if this park is named after the epic poem Paradise Lost, but it might be. Written by the 17th-century English poet John Milton, it concerns the biblical story of the fall of man.

When we returned to Nairobi, I treated everyone to an ice cream cone and we shared stories about our outing and all the fun we'd had. Such a fabulous day!

Sadly, just after I said goodbye to Linet and the boys... I had a personal encounter with the 'fall of man'.

While in a matatu on Haile Selassie Avenue, I experienced a pick-pocket attempt. There have been many such bothersome incidences in my 13+ years in Kenya - some were successful and some weren't. During the times the criminals succeeded, I wasn't aware of what was happening and only discovered it later... much to my chagrin.

This was the third time I've known exactly what the culprits were trying to do. Such an uneasy feeling comes over me each time.

I was able to circumvent their evil plot. The men (at least three were in on the dastardly deed) were especially 'in my face' about it. After I authoritatively told the guy next to me to 'back off' he mockingly and loudly proclaimed, "Oh, I see you've lived in Nairobi a long time. You know about these things." 

I managed to get out of the vehicle, but my dander was up. I was upset and most likely physically shaking. Words fail to adequately express how disconcerting such a happening can be.

As I walked, it began to rain. By the time I got another vehicle I was quite wet from the knees down, even with an umbrella.

Walking in the rain and while trying to dodge puddles through my tears, I professed to God (and to anyone else that cared to listen) --

I will not allow such things to deter me. I will continue to follow God's call on my life. I will continue to demonstrate his generous and unconditional love to the friends to whom he has supernaturally connected me. I will not be defeated by the dark powers in this world. I will overcome the risks that are inherently involved with living in this developing nation, a foreign land. I will declare God's glory and triumph in the midst of evil and hardships.

 “Make your choice, adventurous stranger,
Strike the bell and bide the danger,
Or wonder, till it drives you mad,
What would have followed if you had.”

~ C.S. Lewis (1898-1963); Irish novelist, poet, and Christian apologist


Anonymous said...

I'm glad you shared that pick-pocket incident publicly.

Anonymous said...

Hi, just read about your encounter with the pickpockets. I'm sorry that happened, but am glad nothing was stolen from you. Jennifer

Anonymous said...

Deb, I read and enjoyed every word of your blog. I am so impressed. I learned so much about your ministry in Kenya. You are so strong and courageous. You are making a big difference in the relationships with specific friends you love and care for.
Peggy G