A Bit of Home
A bit of home in Kenya…
Earlier this month we welcomed several of our dear Malagasy friends and co-workers to Kenya for the Eden Projects International Leaders conference. Eden has become one of the largest reforestation organizations in the world— and as such, numerous leaders from various countries, Madagascar included, converged in Kenya! It was surreal and so much fun to be together with our friends in this place! Walking through the tea fields of Tigoni, showing them the campus of RVA, the kids excitedly introducing them to their friends, speaking in Malagasy, eating traditional Kenyan food at a local hole-in-the-wall place, conversations and laughter… and tears, so many tears that came with both the hellos and the goodbyes!
A bit of home in Madagascar…
The day after the conference ended, Jamie and the Eden team returned to Madagascar together. It was a short but jam-packed few days with work meetings, visiting friends, checking in on planting sites, walking around the community, sharing meals and reconnecting with ministry partners in person (the Maternity Center staff as well!). I’m not sure which was harder– the intense and full days with little sleep that Jamie experienced or the deep longing that Alissa experienced to be a part of it while she held down the fort of family and dorm kids in Kenya. Nevertheless, it was a sweet, sweet time.
Jamie was scheduled to arrive home on Alissa’s birthday and at her request— brought back to Kenya one of her favorite Malagasy meals already cooked with loads of love… tsaramaso sy voanio (beans with coconut). A bit of a taste of our Madagascar home was perhaps the most delicious birthday meal she has ever enjoyed!
A bit of home for the dorm guys…
Yesterday and today we said, “see you later” to the ten 7th grade dorm boys that we’ve had the absolute privilege to care for and walk with over these last three months of their first year of junior high. These ten guys represent six nationalities
(South Korean, Chinese/Canadian, South Korean/Zambian, Kenyan and American) while their families live and work in five different countries (Tanzania, Morocco, Chad, Zambia and Kenya). Despite the vast differences in their passport countries/cultures and the countries/cultures in which they’ve grown up, these boys share the deep common bond of being third culture kids.
These guys are incredible– they are quirky (in the best way), they’re witty, inquisitive, intelligent, kind, respectful, adventurous and fiercely love one another and are seeking the Lord with their hearts. We will miss sharing life with them daily, miss hearing about their interactions, their excitement over sports, miss hearing them play their instruments, telling silly jokes, playing soccer in the gym together and sharing birthdays and meals with this tremendous group of guys!
Clay face masks compliments of our daughters
Successful game of Bigger or Better around campus
One last birthday together!
At the same time, we’re so excited for them as they get to travel home and be with their parents, siblings and friends for the next 7 weeks before they return to campus for the start of the next school year. Please join us in praying that their time with their families would be sweet and bonding! It is no easy feat to maintain close connection with your teen when they’re gone 9 months of the year! In addition, please pray that as they are home, that they would lean into the Lord and continue to draw closer to Him!
A bit of our California home to come…
When we left the USA several months ago we had no idea about when borders would reopen to Madagascar. As such, we made the decision to only pack for the three months that we would be in Kenya. Middle of next week, our family will travel to California for a month to tie up loose ends and prepare to return to Africa. We look forward to enjoying the beauty of Santa Barbara along with family and friends!
This has certainly been an unexpected season of ministry. The Lord has been ever gracious unto us as He continues to faithfully leads us– thank you for your prayers that have gone with us from one side of the globe to the other and back again!
Alissa, Jamie, Isabella, Eliana and Gavin
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