Prenote: This is quite long and I apologize. If you skip any of it, skip the first part. Please do not miss the story of my UNEXPECTED EMOTIONS.
Dear Friends and Family,
My original title for this was going to be “TEST FRIDAY, TRAVEL MONDAY(?).” But I’ve decided that after today, Tuesday, I need to change the title to “UNEXPECTED EMOTION!” The unexpected emotions at the end and I saved the best for last. So, if you have limited time, speed read the part.
TEST FRIDAY, TRAVEL MONDAY (?)
Liberia advertises their covid schedule for travelers. It reads “Test Friday, Travel Monday.” As I reported the other day, we spent about three hours in various lines to get tested (again) for Covid. The literature says “up to 72 hours to get your results back.”
Monday rolled around and I got my results back (Negative) fairly early. Henry’s didn’t show up. We were planning on leaving for the airport by 2. We were told that the next batch of results would be out at 2pm. We asked the hotel if we could stay in our rooms two extra hours and were told YES. 2pm came around and Henry’s report was still not back. We were pretty much ordered to leave our rooms. Henry was understandably confused about what to do. He was thinking about 3-4 contingencies if the report did not come in Monday. He decided to leave for the airport and hope the test came in before we got there. We left at 2:30pm for our 7pm flight. Sounds like a stress-free time. NOT!
The traffic for the first half of the trip (maybe 35 miles) was at times stop and go; more STOP than go. Then to add suspense, a car trying to squeeze between us and another car to push his way through the traffic, scraped the driver’s side of our car (that our coordinator had rented). The drivers pulled over, shared information, took pictures, and continued on.
Shortly thereafter Prince, ITEM coord, found the report for Henry (Negative). So, no we just needed to get to the airport. Then it happened.
Before breaking free from the “jam” a three-wheeled Tuk Tuk (a three wheeled, golf-cart sized “taxi” tried to cut in front of us and struck the front of the car on the passenger’s side of the car. The drivers got out and started shouting at each other and kept going. Finally, they did what they did, and we got back on the road. Those 35 miles took us 1hr 45mins at
PRINTED TEST RESULT
Henry had to get his test result on his phone from Prince’s phone. Then take it inside the airport to print it, which he did. And we checked about 90 minutes before we were to board the flight. So, we were OK. But there were times while we were on the road, we both wondered.
We found out later that our driver’s car was hit by a motorcycle on the way back and those on the motorcycle were taken to a medical clinic and are recovering.
NIST 1998-ITEM 2003
Twenty-three years ago, I made my first trip to Africa to teach at the Nairobi International School of Theology (Now International Leadership University/Kenya). I was an uncertain, reluctant participant. It was a huge step of faith. It was Masters’ level, cross cultural, half way around the world and I was traveling alone. I had to develop the class from the ground up. Those two weeks ended up being the most fulfilling two weeks I had had in 26 years (to that point) of Christian ministry. It was a “hand-in-glove” experience. It was God affirming, “This is what I have been preparing you for all of these years!”
I continued to go back twice a year to teach various classes and during those five years I met many students, experienced various ministry opportunities with some of them, in various countries. Then in 2003 it led to me founding International Training & Equipping Ministries.
In recent years I’ve been thinking of where I would like to donate much or all of my theological library and ILU/NIST seems like the appropriate place. I’ve “dreamed” about having a plaque on the wall in the library with my story and ITEM’s founding because of my time at ILU/NIST. Another part of the partnership that I’m praying for is that ITEM could use a corner of their
building as a physical location, with an address, that we need to register ITEM in Kenya.
The school is only a 15-minute walk from Biblical Guest House so I invited Henry to walk there with me and allow me to show him where my missionary years began and he agreed.
GOD’S PROVIDENCE AT WORK
I introduced myself at the locked front gate and after an explanation, the guard let me in. I walked 50 feet and out of a room came Charles Chege (sp?). He recognized me immediately and I recognized him. We reminded each other of our names. And we started to reminisce. He used to pick me up at the airport much like George does today.
I asked to go into the Academic Building (see pictures) and as we walked into the building and started up the stairs to see the classrooms, my eyes swelled up with tears (as they are doing again right now as I type this). I was overcome with emotion knowing that it all started right here.
UNEXPECTED PHONE CONVERSATION
As I explained my “dream” to the librarian, he seemed excited about the idea. Charles Chege (sp?) called the Vice Chancellor. It just so happens that he already knows who I am because I am the keynote speaker next Monday at an apologetics seminar sponsored by ITEM and ILU. As we talked, he seemed wide open to all of the pieces I mentioned above.
COULD BE A PRECIOUS PRAYER COME TRUE
I told them that if this came to pass, when I’m in heaven I will feel like my ministry had come full circle and the final chapter had been written and the perfect ending had taken place.
Thanks for reading this very long post. Now excuse me. I need to go wipe my eyes and blow my nose due to the joyous emotions I am feeling right now.
By His grace and for His glory,
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