Mike's Blog

Letters, stories, and other stuff

Wheels

Imagine a sleek car, cornering a patch of asphalt in some place more beautiful than where you live. It glistens as your perspective pans and tilts with fluid motions, virtually caressing the vehicle through its circuit. The driver grips the leather bound steering...

Crossing the GW

This is what they call reverse-culture shock. Take a bush pilot from the barren expanse of southern Sudan and drive him into New York City. I pressed my face against a cold window in my uncle's mini-van. Stretching my eyes upward, I watched the massive girders and...

A [grait] day

I woke up on the wrong side of the ocean today. I could tell, in part, by the chill in the morning air of this old house in New Jersey. In part, because there's a glorious box of Captain Crunch on the kitchen table. Our plane landed on Saturday, after a long push over...

Happiness is a bag well packed

Update on Kenya: "A Kenya Redrawn" - NYT article We will soon have the luxury of packing our suitcases. Renee and I are preparing to head home for an early furlough. I've booked tickets for March 7th, and we'll arrive in New Jersey the next day. And so, we are packing...

Man with a Message

“I was a very bad man,” Timothy says as we rocket along in a rattling old mini van, a matatu, heading straight for Kibera. “I was a fighter,” he continues. “The man you see before you would be dead if not for Jesus.” He bows his head and invites me to feel a divot on...

Displaced

IDP. Another acronym you learn in Africa. Internally Displaced Peoples are, by definition, refugees in their homeland. Presumably a little more fortunate than a flat-out refugee. A little less fortunate than a homeless kid on the streets of Nairobi. An IDP camp is a...

One tribe

"One month after a deeply flawed election, Kenya is tearing itself apart along ethnic lines..." NYT Article here Today I walked the streets of Kibera. It is the largest slum in Kenya. (I've heard it called the largest in the world.) People estimate that a million...

Thank God for Sundays

Finally a Sunday. A number have gone by in recent weeks, but at last this one feels like a Sabbath. Nairobi is calm today. No doubt what millions of Kenyans are praying for all over the country. Peace. I spent a good part of last week up in Sudan, doing some of the...

Helpless vs. hopeless

It's 5 am in Nairobi and I can't sleep again. Amelia woke up with her obligatory "bad dreams" and is camping out at my side, asleep again under the protective watch of her father. I spent an hour with tears slowly soaking my pillow. Reached for my daughter and rubbed...

Waiting, listening, praying

"Within the span of a week, one of the most developed, promising countries in Africa has turned into a starter kit for disaster. " (NYT) (Article - Kenya Topples Into Post-Election Chaos) Our bags are packed, sitting near the door downstairs. We are poised for leaving...

Bad to worse

Fighting Intensifies After Election in Kenya Above is a link to the latest report about events in Kenya from the New York Times. Such sights are common for me. But not here. Not in my hometown. This happens in other places like the Congo, and Sudan. I never thought I...

A sad day for Kenya

“It’s a sad day for Kenya,” said Michael E. Ranneberger, the American ambassador to Kenya. “My biggest worry now is violence, which, let’s be honest, will be along tribal lines.” (Full NYT article here) We have been in a state of "lock-down" on our compound today, in...

Christmas

It's Christmas eve here in Kenya, and the kids are getting ready for bed... on that night above all other nights when kids can't wait to get to bed. It's fun to re-live the anticipation of Christmas morning through the eyes of our children. We talked about...

Ten years down the road

Through the eyes of a pilot and a plane, these years have offered a window into what God is doing here. And they have revealed His purposes in us amid the process – through the uncertain moments, the heart-stopping, the heart-wrenching, and the glorious.

A Hill in the Heart of Congo

Some weeks back I spent a few days deep inside DRC Congo. During the busy time I had some moments to glean a bit about the history of the mission station we were visiting. There's something beautiful about a Cessna airplane tucked back into the edge of the rain forest...

Piloting my pen

I am on a media week right now. It is all new for us, and for AIM AIR, to have me steal away part of the time and help develop media for the mission. It's also quite a change of lifestyle when I do. Getting up after the sunrise, and commuting only fifty feet to our...

Congo on my mind

I had this terrific trip to Congo a few weeks back. When Renee and I arrived to Africa ten years ago, some of my first few flights were to eastern Congo. That route was soon after shut down as the region descended into yet another war. So, I have only known the place...

Newsletter – August 2007

Dear friends, Renee and I curled up by the fireplace today. It's quite cold in Nairobi, unseasonably rainy too. Today is the tail end of an overdue week of vacation for me... the week itself an end to three overly busy months. I have fallen behind on nearly...

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