A Way in the Wilderness

January beauty in our neighborhood

Five years ago, our family was knee deep in preparation for our sabbatical in Kenya. I had purchased a new devotional at the beginning of 2016: The Songs of Jesus by Tim Keller. This is a journey through the book of Psalms, and it was both amazing and heartening to see so many passages speak into our day-to-day life with relevance both timely, and timeless, as only Scripture can do. I think there are a couple of posts here on the blog about ways God used the Psalms in our lives then. Lately, I have been sort of re-living some of those experiences as I am re-reading the devotional, this time together with our children in our homeschool. The reminders of how God is faithful to lead, instruct, encourage, comfort, and carry us have been very precious to my sometimes fretful and forgetful heart.

Not many people can say that 2020 turned out the way they would have expected, I am sure. (Anyone? Anyone at all?) For our family, the pandemic was really just one more shade of weird and unpredictable on the wide spectrum of the unexpected, albeit a bold one. It is already over 4 years ago that Ryan was first approached about the possibility of a missionary appointment at the Theological College of Northern Nigeria; not much of this process has moved quickly. There are more things to “blame” than Covid that have contributed to the fact that 14 months after Ryan’s role as pastor at Faith Church came to a close, we are still living in Pella, Iowa, and not in Jos, Nigeria, where we had been planning to move in early 2020. Not only that, but we are still living in the parsonage that we moved into 15 years ago when Ryan was first ordained here. Nobody feels weirder about that than we do, believe me, and at the same time, we are grateful for the stability that staying in this house has given us. (I wanted to mention this, because some have asked us if we have a place to live while we wait, knowing that, since having lived in the parsonage as part of Ryan’s pastoral role, we did not own a home here in Pella. Faith Church has supported Resonate Global Mission in this tangible way, providing housing, as we could not get to the house prepared for us in Nigeria.)

So it is that 2020 brought this already long-drawn-out transition to a head for our family. In the midst of various complications — from small things like medical appointments getting postponed, to medium-sized things like a passport being lost, to big things like a pandemic shutting down airports — we have felt much like Paul must have when he describes being prevented from doing the work and making the trips he thought were before him (see Acts 16, and Romans 1 and 15). We decided to set aside a period of time for intentional, focused prayer and Bible study as a family to seek direction and wisdom concerning our plans to move to Nigeria. We have sought the Lord, and He has answered us. Through passages of Scripture, devotional readings we were already following, “verse of the day” offerings on the Bible app, songs sung and sermons heard in church, a timely word from a friend, and so on, our hearts have felt God’s presence, listened for His voice, and sensed His leading. We are especially thankful for helpful and encouraging conversations with our Resonate leadership team as we have discerned a way forward together.

As you can read in the attached newsletter, the next step in our family’s journey looks different than we had hoped or expected. We are planning for Ryan to make a trip to Jos on his own, and pray that he will be able to have a productive and meaningful time in person at TCNN for the remainder of this semester. Our plans for what happens after that are under construction. There is grief and disappointment that something we (and many others) have poured so much into for so long is still not coming to the fruition we had expected and planned for. There is some frustration that we continue to wait for God’s timing for our family to move. At the same time, we are confident that none of this has been surprising to God, and He will make each step of the way plain in His time as we seek to serve Him with joyful and obedient hearts. We have committed our way to the Lord, and will keep doing so; we trust in Him, and know that He will act. (Psalm 37:5) We pray that we will not see all these delays as wasting time or effort, but as time used to teach us to rely ever-increasingly on the Lord, and to draw us closer as a family as we seek His direction together.  As we wait upon the Lord, we claim His promise that our strength will be renewed. (Isaiah 40:31) Sure, we may never fully understand what has sometimes felt to us like wandering in the wilderness, but our God is the one who makes streams in the desert. (Isaiah 43:19) We rest in this:

Oh, the depth of the riches,
both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!
Romans 11:33

Somebody made an abrupt left turn: can relate 😉

Click here to see our latest ministry newsletter.

Days of the Harvest ~ February 2021

Checking In…

Happy New Year! It’s still January, so that still applies, right?

Speaking of “still” … We have had many friends and neighbors and relatives contact us one way or another to ask if we had any news or updates concerning our move to Nigeria. I thought maybe one of the simplest ways to answer would be to share this song, which has been my theme and my prayer of late.

Grace and peace to you, and thank you for waiting with us.

And Wherever You Stay, too?

This afternoon, I was printing out some Scripture verse coloring pages and came across this verse again: Joshua 1:9 – “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” It brought some bittersweet emotions, because just a few months ago we were talking about this passage in anticipation of a pretty big “GO” for our family – concerning our decision to move to Jos, Nigeria, where Ryan has been appointed as missionary faculty in the Theological College of Northern Nigeria. And now … here it is April, and we haven’t gone anywhere yet.

The surface reasons are obvious: because of the current pandemic, nobody is going much of anywhere right now, let alone making a transatlantic move. We don’t even have our visas issued that we know of, let alone returned with our passports, and since the offices in New York are closed as we understand it, we don’t know when we might have that resolved. And as to whether there is a larger “reason” for our delay – we don’t know that either. Actually, I don’t think it’s necessarily helpful to look for a reason, even though it’s kind of instinctual to do so. I appreciated this piece by N. T. Wright, suggesting the posture of lament in this pandemic situation, rather than one of demanding an explanation.

We do seek to trust God’s timing, and we do believe that no part of what is or isn’t happening is a surprise to Him. We know this: what feels to us like a lot of turmoil and confusion is not confusing or frustrating to our Father. So, we keep laying our fears and questions at His feet, seeking to trust that no matter what happens to our plans, His purposes will prevail. At the same time, I am not saying it is easy to feel at peace in our hearts, as we (and pretty much everyone else in the world right now) live with all kinds of day-to-day unknowns, and try to find some kind of “normal” (is that too ambitious? ha!) in our house partly emptied of various belongings and furnishings, and with half-packed boxes in nearly every room. It’s awkward, strange, and sometimes just plain difficult.

So what about seeing that Bible verse again today was sweet? The word “wherever.” God has not promised to only walk us through the big hard moves, but to be with us during the ones that feel small and inconsequential too – yes, even moving from the living room couch to the back porch step. As I lean in to that promise, I am thankful for voices like Emily P. Freeman, helping to name and acknowledge what is hard about this time and these circumstances, but also giving hope in the reality that God is present even here, even now, and even into an unknown future. Listen to her wise and comforting words here: The Next Right Thing. Another short listen that speaks to my anxious heart is here at The Giving Up Normal podcast; look for episode 36 “Things to Remember In the Wilderness.”

I’ll echo Emily’s closing words here, from Psalm 31:14-15 – “But as for me, I trust in you O Lord; I say ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hands.”

By The Hand!

~ I shared some of this on Instagram, but then thought that it might be nice to have it recorded here too … so here are just a few words on how God’s timing is exactly right.

When everything became “official” for us with Resonate Global Mission, one of the first things we had to do was create some content for our prayer card and informational brochure. This included choosing a Scripture verse or short passage that was meaningful and relevant. We chose Psalm 67:1-3 “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face to shine upon us, that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations. Let all the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!” We think these verses describe the very reason we were created: to bring glory to God, and the reason for missions: that all nations would know His saving power, and thus praise Him. We ask God’s blessing on us and on our work so that we might do His work. We were writing for this prayer card, and choosing this passage, back in May or June of 2019. Fast-forward (and it kind of does feel like that’s what happened) to now, and the passage we just finished memorizing in our home-school — the passage assigned in the curriculum — was none other than Psalm 67. Thank you, Jesus, for seeing all this happen before we even thought of it.

The very first passage we memorized together this school year was Joshua 1:9, “…for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go,” as mentioned a couple of posts ago. So this next bit is interesting, by which I mean is gratefully received confirmation from our Father that He does work all things — all things — in His time. We have been reading through a delightful book together in our home-school devotions: Sally Lloyd Jones and Jago’s Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing. Cannot recommend highly enough; it’s such a lovely volume, and so rich in precious truth. The very last reading is this:


What a good God is ours, who would take us by the hand, guard us, and be with us, wherever we go.

On Hard and Holy Ground

~ some thoughts about and prayers for our church family ~

The last time we wrote something for this blog, we were talking about new beginnings. Now, here we are at the end of December, thinking a little a lot more about endings than beginnings. I’m sure many people are reflecting on similar themes in this funny sort of limbo time between Christmas and New Year’s, as the old year wraps up, and the new one waits just ahead.

Yesterday, December 29th, was Ryan’s final Sunday as an official pastor at Faith Church, Pella. It’s been nearly 14 years since we came, answering God’s call to live and serve among His people here. When we arrived, we knew that our hope was for a longer-term ministry than what many of our colleagues might consider “normal,” but we didn’t really have any particular number of years in mind. We knew we hoped to put down roots, but we didn’t know, couldn’t have known, how deep those roots would go, nor how much this place, this town, this church, these people, would become home for us. Thank you, Faith Church, for being home. Thank you for the beautiful service yesterday. For the songs and the heartfelt prayers, for the hugs and the laughs, for the delicious lunch and cake, and the beautiful, meaningful, flowers that represent our whole family. We came home after church and lunch yesterday with overflowing hearts, and overflowing eyes, too.

Endings are hard. We try to put a good spin on it, to console ourselves, saying things like “it’s a new chapter in the same book,” or “we’ll still be partners in ministry, just in a different role,” and these things are true – but they don’t negate the fact that this different chapter and role involves a different continent as well. We’re going to miss this place and these beloved people, and we, especially Ryan of course, will miss the role we had here, even in the excitement of what’s coming next. Here we find ourselves holding grief and joy side by side, and still, again, learning to let it be that way. This is hard and holy ground.

Looking back over all that has come and gone in our years at Faith Church certainly gives us hope and encouragement for whatever may come and go in our years ahead. We so often see God’s hand more clearly in hindsight than in the moment, and we cling to His past faithfulness in the uncertainties, fears, and questions about the future that accompany our upcoming move to Nigeria. At the same time, some of the very things that lift our hearts are breaking our hearts. Our friends, our family here, have shared a wide scope of life experiences with us, and us with them. They have rejoiced and celebrated with us, and they have walked with us through dark and heavy places; they have carried our burdens with us, for us, alongside us. There is something about shared grief that binds hearts together in a unique and precious way. This move feels like a tearing away, and tearing away hurts. I know that speaks to the depth of goodness we have experienced here, and honestly, we wouldn’t want it to be any other way – what a gift it is to leave with full hearts, even as they break a little, or a lot, as we go.

Saturday night, the night before Ryan’s last service as Faith’s pastor, the reading in my “Let’s Read the Bible Together” plan on the Bible app included Isaiah 55. I’m thankful for the audio option on this app, because it’s easier to listen with tears running down your face than it is to keep reading with your eyes. It seemed like every verse connected or applied to either our time at Faith Church or our hopes and prayers for Faith Church going forward. Go ahead and listen here: https://www.bible.com/bible/59/ISA.55.ESV

I know that God is speaking to the nation of Israel in this chapter, but I believe these words are for us here and now, too. I believe God called our family to Pella in part to demonstrate His covenant faithfulness to us, and He provided for our thirsty, weary souls while we were here (vs 1-2). I believe that through Ryan’s leadership at Faith, a nation we did not know is now part of God’s call on our lives – in fact more than one nation. First a move to stay in the United States instead of returning to Canada, and now a move to Nigeria, to be a witness to the peoples (vs 4-5).

If there is one thing we pray for our church family here, it is this: that they would continue to seek the Lord (vs 6-7). Sometimes it feels like we are abandoning ship as it were, leaving while there is still work to be done, but we do believe it is God’s work, not ours, and our part here is over, or is at least changing. And we can believe this with confidence because of the promise in verses 8-11 – His ways are so much greater than we can ever know in this life, and He will accomplish His purposes through His word just as surely as the rain and snow bring water to the earth.

May you, Faith Church, go out with joy, and be led forth in peace, and may you make a name for the Lord that shall never be cut off. We love you deeply, and yet we know that our heavenly Father loves you immeasurably more, with a sure and steadfast love and in an everlasting covenant. We trust Him to hold us all in His hands together, even as we part.

To Him be all glory.

Wherever You Go

Here in Iowa, August and September are full of beginnings. In the past few weeks, everyone in our family has had some activity start up or re-start, including things like soccer, piano lessons, gymnastics, dance, kids’ midweek groups at church, our family’s small group from church, and of course, school.

School for all of us is all home-based this year, from the 5 year old to the 15 year old, (okay, even the 1 year old will not be left out!) and we have the boxes to prove it! This is not even all of the boxes … 

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We’ve spent just over a week “in the books” now, and it feels like we’re getting some rhythms figured out together, but oh boy; we have a lot going on, and it’s bigger than those boxes of books. When I first opened the Instructor’s Guide that includes our Bible readings and memorization assignments, and saw the verses planned for Week One, I could hardly keep back the tears. It truly felt like Jesus Himself was there in the room, speaking right to my anxious heart – and I know of course He was and always is, but knowing and believing aren’t always the same, are they?

“This book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:8-9)

So where are we going? Well, maybe the people who put this curriculum together were thinking about how the beginning of a school year can feel daunting and even frightening; maybe they wanted to encourage us that as we travel through our studies together, our God is with us, even when we feel inadequate as teachers or students. All of that is certainly applicable for us, this year and every year. But maybe the Holy Spirit prompted those verses for other reasons, too. It is constantly amazing to me how Scripture, written thousands of years ago, to vastly different people in vastly different circumstances, also speaks right into the here and now of my own life.

Our family is beginning something besides the usual school and activities this fall: we are beginning a transition out of this small town Iowa life, where we have lived and grown for almost 14 years, as Ryan has pastored at Faith CRC in Pella … and into a life that so far still feels like more questions than answers, more vague ideas, map dots, and emailed pictures than anything else. We have been working with Resonate Global Mission towards Ryan’s appointment as a missionary in Jos, Nigeria, where he will be teaching at the Theological College of Northern Nigeria, and it is now official! (Click on images to enlarge brochure)

It’s been a long and sometimes complicated and confusing process, but also one that keeps leading us to Jesus, as we continue to intentionally (and sometimes desperately) seek God, quietly listen for His voice, watch for His hand, and trust His timing to be more perfect than ours. We are, and will be, leaning hard into the promise that He will be with us, and in fact, even goes before us (Deuteronomy 31:8), wherever we go.

Before we do actually go, and over the next few months, our transition primarily means preparation, as we gather a network of prayer partners, build a team of financial support, and continue to ask the millions of questions that arise when considering moving a family of 9 across the ocean.

At this time, we are asking for prayer partners, maybe even as many as 200. Will you come with us in this way? Email Ryan at rfaber@crcna.org to receive our prayer letters to your inbox, and to share your own requests, so we can come to our Father for each other, together, no matter where we may be, or may go.

You can also message us with your contact information through the “Drop Us a Note” tab at the top of the blog. We’d love to hear from you!

“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word.” (Colossians 4:2-3)

Every Day is Father’s Day Around Here

This is a more personal post than most of what we write here; I hope you don’t mind. You see, I’ve been sorting through our “May” photos of this year, and I came across one I’d really like to share. This is one of my favorite pictures of Ryan:

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Every year at Tulip Time here in Pella, Ryan gamely puts on his Dutch costume, and takes our children street scrubbing. I like this picture, even though it’s a bit out of focus, and the lighting is weird, and Ryan’s not even looking up – I like it because it almost looks like he’s about to soak the girls’ feet. I like to think of it as washing their feet. I love this picture because it shows Ryan doing what he does best: serving. This is just a small example, but a good one: it might be really hot at Tulip Time, or really cold, and always kind of tiring, but he’ll take them anyway. Tulip Time and all the time, he’s been putting his kids first for well over 14 years, and he never complains. He actually finds quite a bit of joy in doing so.

I was thinking of sharing this picture yesterday, which was Father’s Day (here in North America at least). But I saved it for today, for a couple of reasons. One is that over the past several years, specified “days” like Father’s Day and Mother’s Day have become very poignant for our family. Oh, we celebrate on them, and we rejoice in every one of the children that have made us a father and a mother, yet we mourn on them, too, for the children that wait for us in heaven are no less loved than the ones here with us now. Sometimes, the sorrow makes days of joy all the sweeter. Sometimes it makes us have to look hard for the light. We feel very keenly, on these days especially, that as believers in Jesus, and in His promise to wipe away every tear, we live in the already-but-not-yet of this earth. Oh, hold our tiny precious babies close, Heavenly Father, and hold us close too. It makes us feel like heaven is not so far away for a minute, when we picture all 11 of us being held in His hands.

Another thing I wanted to share, sort of in honor of Father’s Day, is this beautiful piece, full of truth and pain and love, by Eric Schumacher: Dads Hurt Too. It rings very true for our family, and maybe a father you know would be encouraged or comforted by it too. The grief of miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss is not reserved for mothers. As Ryan and I have grieved, together and separately, for our children, we have drawn comfort from the strength of love we see in each other for those children. Burying our tiny son together, and then leaving him in Kenya, is the hardest thing we have ever had to do, and yet we found grace in not having to weep alone. I sure didn’t see that picture in my head when I was 24 and reciting wedding vows that included “mourn when you mourn,” but when it happened to us, how grateful I was, and am more all the time, for a husband that lives those vows out, even in fatherhood.

Things You Don’t Know … Until You Do.

There aren’t any pictures in this post, and it’s not about Kenya at all. It is about learning, and about being made softer by hard things.  It’s about understanding, and asking to be understood. It’s about longing for Jesus to come and make all things known and right.

A couple of days ago, I heard of an organization called Molly Bears. Started by a grieving mother to remember her daughter who died before birth, at 34 weeks of pregnancy, this group of mostly volunteers creates teddy bears personalized for and matching the weight of the babies that families who request the bears have lost. It’s pretty amazing, really. I mean look at these bears.

Now, if I had heard about this a year ago, I am not sure that I would have used the word “amazing” to describe my thoughts about the idea of a personalized, weighted teddy bear to remember a baby who died. I don’t know. I might have thought it a bit odd, creepy even, or somehow just not healthy. But oh … that was so last year. I am learning many things about myself, and about life, as I view it now through the eyes of someone that had to bury their baby boy, and one of the biggest of those is not to assume. Don’t assume I know how I would feel. Don’t assume I know how someone else feels. Don’t assume my way of grieving is the only way. Don’t assume I know the whole story, or even a chapter of it. In this case, with the teddy bears, it hit me when I saw a few family photos that showed parents and sometimes also a child or children – siblings – who are also grieving the loss of a preborn baby, or an infant. These families included their “Molly Bear” in the photo. And I got it. As the tears ran down my face, I got it. All too well.

I didn’t realize how hard it was going to be for us to take family photos until we took one after Findley was gone. I don’t think that it hit me in the same way after our first miscarriage, maybe in part because it had happened earlier in pregnancy, or maybe because we hadn’t told very many people about the pregnancy or the loss at that time, so the baby we were missing seemed like our own secret anyway… For whatever reasons, this time – maybe in part because we had held Findley; we had seen his tiny face, and stroked his tiny hands – we could not shake the horrible realization that our family photos will never be complete again, this side of heaven. Birthdays, holidays, other family events and reunions – all these feel like over and over again making it official that our family is not “all together.” It’s really hard to take family pictures now. It’s hard to say “now get one of all the kids,” while my throat clenches up over that word “all,” and my heart cracks apart again. My head knows that people don’t mean to point it out when they say things like “great to see you all,” but sometimes it truly feels like that’s what’s happening … “All except the two in heaven,” I say silently in my heart, and hope my face doesn’t betray me. And sometimes, that’s followed by the feeling that I betray my babies by staying silent.

I don’t have the answer, for how to avoid these awkward and sometimes very painful situations – there isn’t one; you can’t fix it. That’s just how life is now. Life includes sorely missing those people who should be here, which does not mean you aren’t grateful for the ones that *are* here. If anything, you’re more grateful than ever. So also, it doesn’t have to mean you don’t celebrate birthdays, or that you never take family pictures again. It might have to mean you skip some photo ops, or do them differently. Last month was our 15th wedding anniversary, and it was just too much to even think about trying to take a group picture of “all” of us. So we didn’t. We have a couple of just Ryan and me, and some different groupings of the rest of our children.

What I think I do have is a bigger heart than before. I think when your heart breaks, it gets larger as it works to heal. I have more grace for people whose words or actions I don’t understand. I have more capacity to let things be hard, weird, or awkward sometimes, because I know there’s just no other way for them to be. I don’t ask people how many kids they have, or even wonder to myself whether this pregnancy is their first, or tenth. I am consciously learning not to evaluate or compare, and to listen, care, and accept instead of thinking to myself “why aren’t they over it yet?” or conversely, “why aren’t they more upset?” Accepting people where they are has become a high priority for me – and I can only do it because of what I’ve learned about God. He accepts me where I am. He sees my grief, and is even acquainted with my weird ways of handling it, (Psalm 139:3). He keeps count of my tossings, puts my tears in His bottle, (Psalm 56:8); even my anxieties and fears are not surprising to Him. And when others forget, or unintentionally say and do things that hurt, God says “I will not forget you! See? I have engraved you into the palm of my hand.” (Isaiah 49:15-16).

So, if you ever happen to see us with a little 5oz teddy bear or two in our hands, or in our family photos, and you wonder what we might be trying to say, now you’ll know. We’re saying that life is a precious gift at every age, and we’re grateful for the weeks or months we had with Quinn and Findley, our babies already in heaven. At the same time, we wish they were here. You’ll know we deeply savor the life and treasure the family we have been given, even while we remember and grieve the one we hoped for. Sorrow and joy are not mutually exclusive, but I’m learning that it takes a big heart to make room for them both.

Digging In Common Ground

In the New Testament, as Jesus’ disciples went out to spread the gospel, believers were not left to themselves to live out their new faith in isolation. Churches were planted, and believers lived in community. This way they could encourage each other, support each other, and learn from each other. As Christianity spread around the globe, this continued to be the practice, and how we are the richer for it yet today! It is the case, of course, that churches in various countries, even in different parts of the same country, often look a little – or a lot – different from each other, both inside and out. There truly is immeasurable and invaluable beauty in this diversity. I think though, that the most beautiful thing is what is in common: people all over the world are gathering to worship the Lord, to learn the Scriptures, and to be in fellowship as a body, a community, a family. Christianity was never intended to be a solitary faith and practice.

One of our favorite experiences in Kenya was finding out in real life what it means to be part of a global church. We were able to visit and worship with several different congregations in and around Nairobi, but our home-away-from-home church was St. Matthew’s, a congregation of the Anglican Church of Kenya. There were things we were used to – like being able to walk to church, and things we were not used to – like using a prayer book and following liturgical forms through the whole service. Although the service we went to was mostly in English, some of the songs were in Swahili, which we quite enjoyed, especially as we started to be able to pick up some words and phrases and the lyrics began to make sense to us. At St. Matthew’s, we heard God’s Word preached, celebrated baptisms together, and the Lord’s Supper, prayed together, participated in Sunday School, and enjoyed delicious Kenyan food at a church picnic outside between the buildings and the soccer field, where our boys were often included in after-church matches.  We had chai and mandazi after the service sometimes, and appreciated this at least as much as the coffee and cookies we grew up with. The pastor there is Rev. Redson Komu, known as the Vicar, and he is responsible for 3 congregations, so we didn’t see him every week.  Eventually, we did get to know him a little and we appreciated his love for the community, and for the people in his congregations, which he extended to our family unreservedly. He prayed for us, and for our church here in Pella. His blessing over our family on our last Sunday there remains a treasured memory. We saw God’s gracious provision for all of our needs, including this beloved church home during Ryan’s sabbatical.

So, it is no surprise that we are grateful for the ease of keeping in touch even across an ocean. We do hear from Rev. Komu now and then, and just a couple of days ago were very excited to receive the set of pictures you will find below. When we left Kenya in late November last year, there were several of piles of sand and gravel behind the church building, and some deep trenches dug through in a pattern that appeared to most of the children around to be a type of maze for them to play in.  Today, a building is taking shape; footings are in place, and walls are standing – a primary school is under construction! This school is being built with an eye to making education available to children right in the area of the church who do not currently attend school. It will not be run by the church directly, but St. Matthew’s is supporting its construction as well as providing the site. As far as we know, one potential teacher is also a member of the church.  Since we know that education in its various forms is also a value of our church home here in Pella, we are especially pleased to share this additional area of common ground and to share these photos from Rev. Komu, giving God praise for the progress so far. Please pray for the construction to proceed smoothly and in a timely manner, as this is often a challenge in Nairobi, and that costs would be manageable, so that sound, functional, and useful classrooms can be filled with eager learners very soon!

As we think about being part of the body of Christ, here in Pella, Iowa, and way around in Nairobi, Kenya, and consider things that Christians do differently from each other, as well as things we do that are very similar no matter where we are, we recall these words in Paul’s letter to the church in Colossae:

12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:12-17 ESV

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