Thursday, April 23, 2009

San Diego

Ed, We love you, miss you, and can't wait for you to join the fun on Friday. We are having a great time, but a vacation is not a vacation without the daddy. The kids will be so surprised and happy to see you Saturday morning.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Dinner Guest - Part 2

Lawrence did show up for dinner. Jacob greeted him at his car saying, jambo, which is hello in the Kiswahili language. Lawrence greeted back saying, jambo, jambo. He looked at Jacob with surprise and asked how he knew. We later learned that he does not speak Kiswahili, the native language for Kenya.

We had a fabulous time and were sad to see him leave. I truly believe we were blessed more by him than he was by us. Isn’t this the way it so often works? Lawrence is a strong believer, so we didn’t spend our time witnessing to him. We asked many questions about Kenya and he in turn drilled us on America. Many things confused him about our country, our wealth, credit system, personal spending, welfare system, eating habits, our president, and work ethic or lack of it. I was impressed with all he knew of our country. The things that boggled him and questions he asked were embarrassing to me. It made me ashamed of the abundance we take for granted in America. What a reminder of how easy it is to get sucked into materialism and over indulgence.

Lawrence has been in the US for six months and says he cannot keep up with our eating habits. His co-workers take breaks between their meals for snacks, “They eat all day,” he said. He couldn’t understand why people would pay $2 for a bus instead of walking an hour each way like he did the first few months here, he now has a car. Lawrence is 27 years old, the oldest of 9 children, all of whom are still alive. He calls home to Kenya every day and sends money to his mother to provide seeds and beans for planting. He said Kenya is the best place in the world to live if you have money. For this reason, and this reason alone, he is in America. He was a tour guide in Kenya so knew much about the country. He told stories of men from his village who kill lions with only spears. He explained how the tribe will make a circle around the lion and everyone throws their spear. Men always die, but the one who kills becomes respected among their village. They don’t all make it back to the village. More will be attacked and killed on their way home. Yikes! Real live Africa stories. This stuff really happens.

Vivian has always had a fear of adults with darker skin, even though she has an uncle, cousin, and a few friends with brown skin who she loves. We all wondered if she would even sit in her own chair at dinner. She, on her own accord, climbed into his arms, let him carry her and throw her in the air. Jacob and Sophie introduced Lawrence to the trampoline. He has never seen one before and was fearful to get on it. He was worried that it would not hold him, so Ed got on and jumped first. Once he got on and the fear vanished, he turned into a crazy man. He kept saying, “This is so much fun.” I seriously thought he would never get off.

In Kenya, his church worshiped on Saturdays and lasted most of the day. He doesn’t understand why Americans are in such a rush to get out of church after only an hour or so. We told him this was necessary to beat all the other “in a rush” church goers to the buffet line at the local restaurant. He understood. We suggested he visit my sister’s church which is very similar to his home traditions and practices, he was very excited and plans to visit soon. I was excited and surprised to find out that the pastor’s wife is from Kenya and there is much ethnic diversity with several immigrants from Africa. He has had a hard time in his search of a good church. I really hope he connects there.

To give him an authentic introduction to Texas, we are taking him to the Mesquite Championship Rodeo which is a must experience if you are ever in Texas. We are looking forward to what God does with this new relationship and hope to get to know Lawrence better. We have explained and shown our kids the unique gift of looking beyond ourselves, what a joy this has been.

I had to include some fun food pictures of our dinner. Rosemary beef pot pie is one of our family favorites, along with Caesar salad, homemade yeast rolls, and a deep dish apple pie for the finale. Yummy!