And that’s about all I have to say about that…


I bought a bookmark in Kenya that I keep in my Bible. On it is written a Kenyan proverb in elegant handwriting – “Traveling teaches men their way.” Here’s what I think my trip is teaching me…

    • I am far less afraid since my return. I hope hope hope that this effect has staying power. I have always been a ‘fraidy mouse, but I have not felt that or thought those things since I’ve been back. I faced a whole bunch of personal fears in going, and right now, everything else seems like small potatoes. Thank goodness!
    • Playing duck-duck-goose in a country known for their fast runners. Really? Not necessarily a good idea 🙂
    • This is definitely a season of refining and shaping.
    • Creation. DANG! Creation. I want to notice Him more, enjoy Him more in what He has created.
    • Turns out, I can live without Diet Pepsi. Who knew?

Okay, this one doesn’t fit nicely into a bullet point. Back to that Anthropology class point from the last post – the notion that it’s judgemental to label one culture as more advanced than another. I hear you. I do. We do vaccinate our children; we can communicate with people anywhere in the world within an instant, and we have way more food, clothes, and shelter than we need. Okay. I’ll give you that. We’re healthier, busier, better resourced, wealthier, and have more “knowledge” and gadgets. That’s not an eternally valuable list; those aren’t things that we aspire to as we desire to be more like Christ. The people of Segera are poor; they know their need for God in a way that I never will. It sounds like the rumble of hunger in their children’s bellies, and it feels like the weight of the water bucket she carries every day. It looks like dirty feet eaten away by filth, and it sounds like a prayer to grow that tiny dark cloud in the sky to a life-giving shower. Joy and gratitude are radiant on their dusty faces. Those are circumstances and attributes dear to His own heart. The Bible is clear that Jesus is The Advocate for the oppressed, poor, and humble, and He is near to those who realize their need for Him.

We have done exceedingly well at using our wealth to cushion ourselves against our need for God. My children have never known their need for Him; that is scary to me as a parent. We are too busy, too selfish, too rich, too proud, and too stressed for Him. Our comforts come at a great spiritual cost. God, in His mercy, still loves us, is still moving in this place, changing and saving lives. But we will never need Him like they do.

So, I hesitate to call us more advanced.

That has been the hardest part of coming back for me. How do I cling to my need for Him here? How will I live differently because I have been there? How do I even begin to simplify my life? How do I parent?

So, it was really hard to come back to the busyness and materialism of Christmas in America. This was a more serious Christmas for me, but not really in a bad way. I think I was much more focused on Christ than I usually am but also less enamored by the bells and whistles of the commercial aspect. I was far less stressed than normal during the holidays but less silly and giddy as well. I definitely think this is the toughest time of year to come back from this kind of trip.

This concludes our journey to Segera together. Thought you might enjoy another look…

dscn0168If you have any interest in donating to the communities of Kenya through The 410 Bridge, please check this out.

Or if you would like to sponsor a child in the Segera area through BrightPoint for Children, you can click here. You can actually sponsor some of the exact same kiddos I met, and if you look closely enough at some of my pictures you might recognize their faces. COOL, COOL STUFF!

What in the world are you doing?
Yep. My tongue turned black in Africa.


  1. Heather
    January 2, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    I dont’ like that we’ve come to the end of our journey back to Segera :-). This may sound so crazy, but there are days that I am so scared that I am forgetting things about the trip. I often go back through pictures to help me remember EVERYTHING I took in over there. Your blog has been a great help too! I will be back to reread, I promise!

  2. Lindsay
    January 4, 2010 at 12:39 am

    I’ve loved each of these posts! You’ve got a way with words, and reading these has been like a small taste of the world outside my little SC bubble. I’m eager to experience it myself…Gracias!

  3. Mary Nell
    Mary NellReply
    January 7, 2010 at 12:53 am

    Thank you, Cookie–your “nonbulleted” point really touched me. Lately, I find myself more and more concerned with the fact that I educate children but I’m not really educating them with about what–and who–is most important in life. The comfort and security I seek to give my children (and myself) is in direct opposition in so many ways to all that Jesus directs us towards…if you find any help in your struggle to balance, please share :).

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