BACK IN AFRICA – A NEW TERM BEGINS

HELLO! Here I am back in Kenya after five wonderful months on Home Assignment.  After completing my first mission term of two years, I return to the UK in March.  At the beginning of Home Assignment I had a number of work commitments including security conferences in London and Germany.  I also attended and spoke at the AIM Scottish Conference in Perth and had an amazing time meeting many supporters who have been praying from me but who I’d never met.  Thank you Ruth Box and the Scottish supporters for your encouragement and prayer.  In May, I returned to Nairobi to deliver training in risk and security management to the AIM worldwide leadership team.   The remainder of my Home Assignment was a fabulous mix of time with family, friends, church and Bishop’s Waltham community.  In particular, it was incredibly renewing and spiritually restoring to be in my home church for Holy Week and Easter.     I owe a huge thank you to so many of you for your kindness, hospitality, fun and generosity.  I had the opportunity to walk, cycle and run the beautiful landscape of England with many friends and family. I also had the opportunity to eat way too much yummy food,  especially tea and cake and I embraced this mission wholeheartedly!!   When the end of my Home Assignment came in late July, I felt ready to return having been refreshed by the time in my own culture.

THEOLOGY OF RISK

One of the most frequent questions I was asked during my Home Assignment was “Are you safe in Africa?”  Of course, this question is primarily asked out of kindness and concern for me, which I appreciate and understand.  However, it always prompts me to consider and revisit the balance of serving and risk in what many would consider a ‘dangerous place’.   When I began my new role of  Crisis and Risk Consultant for AIM, I realised that I needed to gain a good understanding of the Theology of Risk in order to support missionaries in fulfilling their calling, wherever they serve.  Last year I set up a bible study group with a number of different Nairobi based missionaries focusing solely on this issue. We have been using a variety of books, podcasts and essays to discuss how to balance the tension between the leading of the Holy Spirit, wise stewardship of our resources (people, possessions) and God’s invitation to risk in cross cultural mission work.  If you are interested in the books and material we’ve used then do let me know and I can share the details with you.

My colleague Hiram and I have now completed the Security and Risk Management policy and procedure report which we submitted to AIM Directors in September.  It was well received and so we begin to draft our implementation plan for roll out across the organisation.  This will be our biggest piece of work to date and our priority for the next twelve months. We continue to assist in dynamic security and crisis situations.  In addition, we work with other faith based mission organisations to share knowledge and improve our crisis preparations.   In the coming months I have a lot of travel and I would welcome your prayers for these journeys.

NAIROBI LIFE

I am now settling back into my life in Nairobi and all is going well.  I have returned to my home here and it was fun to bring back a few comforts and treats from my other home (UK).  The house was well cared for while I was away and after a good clean (life is dry and dusty here) and restocking the food cupboards, I felt very much at home and back in the swing of life here.

October is a time of visitors (this seems to be a theme for each year and I love it!!).  My sister, Sarah and her husband Kevin arrived last week and we enjoyed our road trip to Nyeri last weekend (3 hours north of Nairobi).  We spent two nights in an amazing hotel in The Aberdare National Park.  Sarah and Kevin then travelled to Masai Mara for a few days safari and now they are in chilling out in Zanzibar.  My cousin and family arrive next week and have a similar itinerary.  It’s a great combination of time together exploring the city of Nairobi and the countryside nearby and then enjoying time on their own on safari and the beach.  There are more visitors in the coming months.  Life can be busy here and isolating too, so knowing there are pockets of time with family and friends is a real boost to my morale.

MOTHERS’ UNION

Since I have returned to Nairobi, I have been enjoying the monthly Saturday morning Mothers’ Union fellowship at St Luke’s.  We start with prayer and then time for chai and mandazi (tea and cake).  I was able to give greetings to the ladies on behalf of St Peter’s MU and also I gave a testimony about my time with St Peter’s Mothers’ Union during my Home Assignment.  I ‘formally’ handed over to our branch leader and other key leaders, the card and gift from all of St Peter’s Mothers’ Union.   They were so happy to receive them.


It has been a busy time lately for the leaders of our Mothers’ Union. St Luke’s church hosted the Diocese Confirmation Service.  There were over 120 candidates from the five parishes linked to our church and the service was presided by The Most Reverend Dr. Jackson Ole Sapit (Archbishop of Kenya and our Diocese).  It was a longer than usual service, as you can imagine with that many candidates….!  The catering and hospitality was provided for by our Mothers’ Union. We were all looking very smart in our uniforms as we performed a hymn during the service too.
In September, there was the annual enrolment of new MU members from across the Diocese.  MU in Kenya is thriving and there were 218 new members enrolled including 20 women from the Deaf Church in Nairobi.  St Luke’s had 25 new members and I was there with other existing members to support our new recruits.  It was another long service but very inspiring to be a part of this ministry.

PRAISE

  • For the wonderful Home Assignment and the opportunity to spend time with family and friends.
  • Give thanks for the generosity of St Peter’s Mothers’ Union and their links with St Luke’s Church school
  • Thank You to all who came along to the mission events: Afternoon Tea and What Is Mission evening.  We had a great time of fellowship and learning.
  • Donations and gifts from St Peter’s Church, The Blessed Mary Church and all my supporters

PRAYERS

  • Safe travels over the coming months
  • Implementation of the new Security and Risk Policy
  • Good health and fitness
  • Theology of Risk study group
  • Security and safety of living in Nairobi

HOME ASSIGNMENT PHOTOS

AFTERNOON TEA EVENT IN JUNE

Cake and friends!!

CHURCH LIFE

Top – Mothering Sunday posies
Left – Snow on the ground at St Peter’s
Right – Molly and hot cross buns after the Walk of Witness on Good Friday

FUN ON HOME ASSIGNMENT

Great nephew Otto arrived in June

    Walking holiday with Molly on the Amalfi coast, Italy

Cycling with Mary and Richard

Heading back to Kenya – this time it was an inflatable flamingo!