April 13, 2021
My return to the Mission in Kisii, Kenya has been delayed because of the third wave of covid in Kenya. The county of Nairobi and the four surrounding counties are locked down—there is no traffic in or out of this zone. People may fly into Nairobi, but they may not go out of the restricted zone. The length of this restriction is unknown at this time.
My time in North Dakota has been a whirlwind. First, there have been the regular visits to the eye doctor, dentist, and family physician for regular checkups, and appointments with a specialist for the arthritis that has diagnosed in my lower back. I am grateful to say that there has been relieve for the latter. It has been a pleasure to visit my father and my three siblings; in fact, I was able to celebrate my father’s 87th birthday with him. Also, I have seen a few aunts and uncles and extended family.
Work for the Mission has continued as I have had numerous conversations with Chuck Reichert, the director of the African Mission. We have been reviewing programs and services offered by the Mission, finalizing the budget for the upcoming fiscal year, and reflecting how we can improve/expand/develop programs and services for the orphans and vulnerable to whom we minister.
I have had many questions and comments regarding my presence as a missionary—”How many languages do you speak?” “We are grateful for the work you do.” “Is the government stable?” “The Water with Blessing program is great.” These questions and comments give me the opportunity to speak about life with the people with whom I live and minister.
In return, I have asked people questions and made comments—“Have you considered becoming a missionary?” “The generosity of the people of the Diocese of Bismarck in support of the Annual African Mission Appeal has been gracious.” “I am grateful to be serving as a missionary.” Again, it gives me the opportunity to speak about our African Mission.
The responses to the question about becoming a missionary have been varied—“I could not learn the language.” “I enjoy my creature comforts too much.” “I am too old.” “My health will not allow it.” In the end, I reflect on vocation—the calling of God and doing what I do for the sake of the gospel. I pray that I may as gracious and generous to the people I serve as God has been gracious and generous to me (although, I know that no one will out do God in graciousness and generosity).
In these days while I am back in North Dakota, I am attending the Spring Clergy Conference this week in Bismarck, assisting in parishes on weekends, continuing to study Swahili, visiting with family and friends, speaking about the Mission, and doing work for the Mission that can be done remotely.