Dear family and friends,
Well, we’ve been back at it for a couple of months now. Coming home to Nairobi was not much of an adjustment after the short furlough, but in some ways, we feel like new missionaries again. As you know, we returned to work with AIM’s media team full time. And I must admit that it has been a little odd for me to be here and not be taking to the skies – especially after so many years of it. Last week marked 14 years since the day we arrived as real newbies in Africa. It seems like such a long time ago. We’ve been coaching a new family through their arrival this month and caught ourselves more than once reminiscing about the “good ol days” in Nairobi when the traffic was light, people were friendlier, and the potholed streets were, well, the same. We’ve got a lot of memories here – most of them good ones. And for me, most of them involve the rumble of an airplane engine and the wild adventure of my flying days. There is, undoubtedly, a part of me that misses it.
But now, I wake up nearly every day with some part of my back aching, and the thought of being called in for a flight easily gets my stomach aching. I often still think about the accidents that upended our team and left us dazed for the last couple of years. In my interactions with AIM AIR teammates who have picked up where I left off, I’m keenly aware that God called me away from that life for a reason, even if it’s only for a season.
So we arrived in September to a very familiar city, and a home that feels like home, but to a very different life. I’m part of a much smaller team now – there’s only 5 or 6 of us at the media office – and I’ve put away my technical interests for a while in order to pursue creative ones. The writing and video production and such is not really foreign to me, but it is novel to wake up on Monday morning and realize that this is “the thing I do.” What makes it special, of course, is the reason we do it. I am feeling very much at home working with AIM’s storytellers, and I’m still very much enthralled with AIM’s stories. I’m loving my new job.
Our team has just wrapped up a big project that I can’t, unfortunately, share with you in this newsletter. The short film we created is very public, but we can’t be connected to it for security reasons. Even so, we’re watching from the sidelines and are amazed to see God using that effort. If you’re sufficiently curious from my obscure teaser above, just send me an email and I’ll gladly send you the link – I just can’t publish it here.
Another project that’s more typical for us is the recent media we captured for AIM’s ministry in Madagascar. I traveled there in late September for 12 days – shooting a couple of videos, writing an article, and getting some great photography. What an adventure! I’ve got a travelog here on our website if you haven’t read it yet, and AIM will have an article in their December magazine. The videos take a little longer, but I’ll link them to our website when they’re done.
Our family is well. Renee is fresh into a new homeschool year with the kids, but this could be Ameia’s last. She’s slated to go to AIM’s boarding school next year for 8th grade, eager to get more involved in music and drama and the social life of a big school. You might recall that she tried boarding school in 6th grade but wasn’t quite ready at the time. She’s matured a lot since then, and we’re all agreeable to trying again. Zach is begging to go as well, but he’s going to have to wait. Its a little much to ask a mom to let go of both of them at the same time. (Truth is, I might have the harder time letting go.) Renee’s also working part time at the missionary counselling center, which shares a piece a property with our housing compound – so it’s a short walk for her, and she’s only there a couple afternoons a week. It’s a good little addition to her life.
It’s Thanksgiving day today. It might not look like it from where I’m sitting – a large Acacia tree fills my view out our office window, glowing in the tropical sun. But from the smells and sounds in our home, I can tell something’s up. Amelia has been baking pies all day, and Renee is making the stuffing and rolls. We’re heading off to the home of a friend, to celebrate with friends. For missionaries, we are all each other’s extended families.
It’s also a great day to be thankful. Thankful to God, who has led us and kept us and blessed us – we seldom forget that living here. And thankful for many of you, who in some ways, are the instruments of that blessing.
With love from Africa,
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