We try to practice thankfulness all year round, not just in November. However, last month we were ever so thankful for answered prayer!
Nov. 2 – our work permits arrived! This was a huge answer to prayer! Phil’s passport was immediately sent out to Mombasa (on the coast of Kenya) to get our crates cleared out of customs and storage.
And then we waited. And prayed. And thanked God for a safe arrival of our crates.
Nov. 8 – A cousin of one of our missionary friends arrived in Nairobi with a special surprise
for the boys! A special soccer ball that won’t pop on the thorn bushes! They were so excited and it’s come in very handy!
Nov. 16 – Phil texted me “our crates arrived at the airport!” Oh happy day! He and Billy, a Kenyan intern mechanic, unpacked his tools from the cardboard crates and loaded our totes and boxes onto a truck. His boss said – TAKE THEM HOME! What a joyous Monday! Everything arrived in tact (although our popcorn popper’s bottom was a bit dented).
A myriad of emotions flowed through all of us as we unpacked totes, laughing at things we brought with us, lamenting at the things we thought we brought, but didn’t; cringing at the amount of things piled up on the kitchen table, wondering where it would all go; crying with relief because we were not charged ANY import duty fees (which is very abnormal), just storage and processing fees (still a hefty sum of $3,700 but no where near the amount it COULD have been – thank you Kenya government man!)
The shipment arrived just in time for our first major holiday in Africa – Thanksgiving! We have a family tradition to write down what we are thankful for and put it into our Blessing Binder. What a joy to have that binder and reminisce about Thanksgivings past.
Nov. 20 – Immigration office day. Phil and I headed down to Nyayo House in downtown Nairobi to file for our foreigner’s cards, Kenyan ID’s. We were so grateful that AIM has Kenyan staff who know the process and accompanied us! After being fingerprinted on all 10 fingers, paying 2000 shillings (about $20), and getting all the papers to the right office window, the process was over.
Now we wait for the cards to arrive.
Nov. 20 – Car switcharoo day! The big 8 seater suv we often borrowed was headed to the car lot and the 5 seater rental car was needed by someone else. What to do about a car? God is the master of details! An AIM AIR family on home assignment just happened to have a 7 seater Mistral (suv) at their Nairobi home, not far from our house, and they don’t return until the end of March. We are now renting their Mistral while we look for a car of our own. And EJ has started driving it a bit, too! The generosity of all the AIM families has been an encouragement and blessing!
Nov. 26 – Thanksgiving Day! It’s not a holiday in Kenya, so Phil still had to work. But – Pope Francis was visiting Nairobi that week and it just “happened” to fall on Thanksgiving Day that he was traveling through the city so much that the Nairobi government declared a holiday to honor him and minimize traffic – and Phil got half a day off! We were able to make some yummy dishes and have a fun family night.
Nov. 28-Dec. 2 – AIM Spiritual Renewal Conference in Kijabe, Kenya! We traveled about an hour north of Nairobi to Rift Valley Academy, the location of
the conference. We met up with a number of families who had been at Orientation with us back in July (many of them are based in that area) to hold a real Thanksgiving Feast. Soo thankful for these friends who have become like family. Our Thanksgiving felt complete after this – fulfilled in some way. The boys had a blast with the other kids that they had spent 3 weeks with before – like long lost cousins! The conference was a good time as well!
All in all, November was truly a month to be thankful for! Thank you for joining with us in prayer and thanksgiving!
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