19 October 2016

Celebrating 15 years as a missionary in Kenya; hosting a party for a few of my friends

"Celebration brings joy into life and joy makes us strong."

"The only thing that will produce genuine joy is obedience to God."

Richard Foster, in his book, Celebration of Discipline, goes on to say:
God's normal means of bringing his joy is by making the ordinary junctures of life holy. He breaks into the routine experiences of our daily existence. Celebration comes when the common ventures of life are redeemed.

God has established a created order full of excellent and good things, and it follows naturally that if we think of those things, we will be happy. That is God's appointed way to joy. If we fill our lives with simple good things and constantly thank God for them, we will know joy.

Celebration is a spiritual discipline, an act of our will. It's the result of a consciously chosen way of thinking and living. Joy begets joy, and laughter begets laughter. Of all people, we should be the most free, alive, and interesting.

Celebration adds a note of gaiety, festivity, and hilarity to our lives. Jesus rejoiced so fully that he was accused of being a wine-bibber and glutton. Celebrating the glory and wonder of God helps us relax and enjoy the good things of the earth.

Encourage yourself with good conversation,
even by making merry.
   ~ Francois Fenelon, 1651-1715
       (French theologian and writer)

The joy of the Lord is our strength.
   ~ Nehemiah 8:10

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I hosted a fun, fun party - with much gaiety and laughter, great fellowship and delicious food - for a few of my friends (30, counting myself). The entire purpose was to celebrate God's faithfulness in my life, serving him as a missionary in Kenya for the past 15 years.

Joy and Cliff, enjoying their mango juice

Rose with beet juice cocktail, and Jim with a Coke

Carol, Jasmine, and Jeremiah

Gloria and Masudi

Pastor Ken and Joan

Jim, Debbie, Perez, Moses, Jaiden, Emily, and Malakai

Joshua, Jacky, Dorothy, David, and Joy (our excellent server for the day)

The kids played with toys, while we adults had fun with a 'white elephant' gift exchange.

Sammy, Linet, Daisy, Rose, and Jim

Debbie, Ben, Dorothy, David, and Veronica

God’s loyal love won’t run out,
and his merciful love won't dry up.
They are created new every morning.

How great is your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with you, God.
I'll say it over and over.
You're all I’ve got.

~ Lamentations 3:22-24, Message


Chris & Cheryl said...

It looks like you were having a lot of fun! Amen to more joy ahead.

deb said...

Thanks, Chris and Cheryl!

Anonymous said...

Nice to see and hear what you've been up to! You're a blessing to a lot of people. Thank you for sharing this. Bless you, Joanne

Anonymous said...

God bless, Deb! Sharon R.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on 15 years of ministry in Kenya. God has been faithful and we thank Him for the friendships you have built during the time you have been there. Keep up the good work!!!

Together in His Service,
Earl & Clare Reifel

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Thanks Deb, for sharing and updating. I always enjoy the photos and the stories behind each one. God has used you to be a help and blessing to so many in the fifteen years in Kenya. I am reminded of the paraphrase of Deuteronomy 28:1-15 as it just fits your work and life in Kenya.

"Choose to trust Me and obey My word, and your life will overflow with My blessings. I will bless you in the city and in the country. I will help you overcome when others come against you. I will command My blessings upon your dwelling place. I will bless the work of your hands. You will be successful and not a failure. This is the plan I have for you, my child, so choose a life of obedience, and I will bring to pass all that I have promised."

I continue to pray for you and send love,

Anonymous said...

"Father I come again to thank You for Deb and the way that she is listening to You and the desire to obey you and go where You tell her to go, whatever You tell Deb what to do. I come to pray that You will use Deb when she hears You saying do whatever I tell you to do. Help us all to listen for that for each of us too. I pray this all in Jesus name amen."
Jim D

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your reminiscing, your celebration, and the thoughts on joy. God's ways are so much greater than we can ever imagine and such an amazing adventure when we follow His lead.
Praying, Nancy