Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Surprises Around Every Turn

I'M A CREATURE OF HABIT and I bet if you thought about it, and were honest with yourself, you'd admit to being one as well. I've discovered over the last 4 months just how much of a creature I really am.
If you would of asked me a year ago where I thought we'd be 4 months into ministry in Kenya, I think my response would of been... settled in the house, kids settled in school, a good idea of our daily pattern, a working knowledge of each of our campuses and a good connection with our national staff team. I didn't know that I'd be where I am this evening as I write this.
The kids had their first day of school at their second school in 6 weeks today.
I've driven all over Nairobi searching for houses and have seen so many that I can't remember if that one has the shower and bath, or the other one has the great living room for ministry, or AHHHHH!
I do have a really good idea about what a normal week looks like, the problem is that normal week exists in Nakuru, not Nairobi.
Praise the Lord, my time on each of our campuses and spending time with staff has happened and I feel like we've got a great team of young men and women with a great plan to change the next generation of students in Kenya!
But my Creature of Habit wants to cry.... I'm learning that God has a surprise around every turn, maybe to keep me humble, most definitely to keep me desperate and convinced to keep all of us in just one habit....dependent on HIM.
I have to look at our 4 months in Nakuru and look through HIS lens, see HIS plan, notice HIS hand in the midst of what looks like chaos. Our ministry is connected to the community in the Nakuru area, thanks to the connections we've made at Virginia Children's Home and with a local high school. Meeting and getting to know three missionaries around the area will help us plug our students into the immediate community around them, helping them develop the habits of making a difference where God places them. I've been able to make it to every campus each month and begin to learn how our staff is reaching out and using their gifts.
It sounds holier than I really am (those of you that know me would agree), but I'm really refreshed at how God keeps us guessing. People tell me to "hang in there" and "keep at it", some here tell me I look tired. I'm thankful for the encouragement and the concern. I really am. BUT I love where God has me, where he has us. It does look and sound like chaos, but if you know the Stickney's (the younger ones that is) you know we've never done anything normal or easy. I love that our students get to watch us live life, trust God and do the next thing.
I want to encourage you to be ready for the surprise around the next turn and look for HIM as you round it! After all I'm a creature of habit and I want to be in the habit of TRUSTING HIM.

So Quick Update:
*Sydney & Nathan-Raegan have moved to the American school in Nairobi called Rosslyn. (Its a long story, ask Kerry she's better at telling it)
*We will move to Nairobi, our home campus will become Kenyatta University, but Tom will continue to invest time on every campus that we minister on.
*We officially have begun partnering with COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL and their Leadership Development Program. One of Tom's focuses at Kenyatta will be the 50+ students they have there. We will be filling the Spiritual Development part of the program on any campus that we have staff on for Compassion.
*We head home December 5th, arriving in Dallas Dec. 6th (we'd love to see you and eat salsa or drink starbucks together)

How you can Pray:
*Safe, Good Housing option in Nairobi (car jackings and break-ins are the norm in some areas of the city)
*Quick transition for Syd and Rae (they loved their first day of school today)
*Great opportunities at Kenyatta University
*Safety for Tom as he travels to the other campuses (the most dangerous thing we do here is driving)
*Kerry to connect with some ladies and moms as she builds a support group around her
*Continued Support from current ACO Partners and New ones that we are able to meet in December & January
*An amazing, faithful, inspiring Young man or Young woman to lead the next generation of students at our home church VRBC in Coppell where Tom left as Minister to Students.
*McDonalds to open a francise in Nairobi :)

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