Couch to Kenya

This season has been full of shifting gears. I’ve gone from extremely slow lulls, to breakneck speeds, and then back to lulls again several times.  One thing that is happening rather quickly and unexpectedly is that I am currently planning on going to Kenya in November.  The opportunity came for me to go came up when I was in Kansas City for church planting training, and I could not be more excited.  Not all of the details are ironed out yet, but I will get to work with a refugee population there that is from the country that I think I eventually want to work in full-time.  This trip will help me figure out if I feel like it is a good fit for me and if that is definitely where I think God is directing my next steps.  

I feel as though my life is both really exciting and extraordinarily dull right now.  It’s exciting because I am looking forward to seeing what happens in Kenya… but it’s boring because right now I’m living with my parents (also I don’t have a job so my life is like real housewives of Winter Garden– except I don’t have a husband or kids).  I have so much free time right now that I feel like I may go crazy.  I hate being unproductive for long periods of time.  However, I am trusting God to use this season of relatively little activity to draw me closer to himself.

One of the difficulties of being back at home is that I have felt like a failure somehow.  Like I wasn’t doing something right.  I’m learning more about how to be content in every circumstance and to trust God as he directs my steps better than I ever could.  God is graciously showing me how my significance is not tied to how many leadership positions I have, the classes I’m taking, the number of friends I have, or how much I feel like I am influencing other people.  


 

The devotional book Streams in the Desert has been a great comfort to me during this transitional time.  The reading from August 27th was particularly comforting to me:

And he took him aside from the multitude. (Mark 7:33) 

“Paul not only stood the tests in Christian activity, but in the solitude of captivity.  You may stand the strain of the most intense labor, coupled with severe suffering, and yet break down utterly when laid aside from all religious activities; when forced into the close confinement of some prison house….” S.C. Rees

Taken aside by Jesus,

To feel the touch of His hand;

To rest for a while in the shadow

Of the Rock in a weary land.

 

Taken aside by Jesus,

In the loneliness dark and drear,

Where no other comfort may reach me,

Than His voice to my heart so dear.

 

Taken aside by Jesus,

To be quite alone with Him,

To hear His wonderful tones of love

‘Mid the silence and shadows dim.

 

Taken aside by Jesus,

Shall I shrink from this desert place;

When I hear as I never heard before,

And see Him “face to face”?

L.B. Cowman 


 

The excerpt and the poem capture some of how I feel right now during my “exile in suburban paradise.” 

I’m on my parents’ couch now, but soon I’ll be in Kenya.  I want to be sure I didn’t waste my time here just looking forward to being there.  

*my friend’s mother came up with the phrase “Couch to Kenya” when I was talking to her about my plans– it’s like a couch to 5k plan 🙂 I thought it was really clever. 

Here is a link to sign up to get updates on what I’m doing in Kenya etc. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1CdyxHkuSwb5hgK1kRv0SyrazgxCI18MuTbqqCg23jFA/viewform