Wednesday, July 2, 2014

One year already?

The iconic "tusks" of downtown Mombasa.
One year ago today we got off the plane in Africa for the first time as a family.  We are so thankful for the past year, even with its volatile ups and downs.  We have come out on the other side stronger mentally and spiritually.  It is hard to believe it has been a year already.

After all the moving around we are enjoying being settled and having a home.  More importantly we love getting “traction” with our work.   We are developing strong relationships that we believe will bear fruit over the coming years.

Language, though far from perfect, seems to be making strides for both Sarah and me.  The kids are excited about starting school in the fall and we are learning our new 
culture more and more everyday.

Our basketball clinic at a local school
We just had our first real “team” come from the states to Mombasa to help us and we had a great time with them.  A local school opened their doors to us on a Sunday afternoon for a basketball clinic and around 40 students showed up, eager to learn and have fun.  It was an awesome experience to work alongside such volunteers who just wanted to serve.

They also visited a couple of area primary schools and had opportunities to “teach” the kids as well as play with them.  At one school we tried to introduce American Dodgeball.  The problem though was that we played with a soccer ball – so it took lots of explaining to keep the kids from converging on the ball and kicking it instead of running away from it.

Team Bynum/Noblitt at a local school with teachers and kids.
It was a tremendous blessing for our entire family as the team was close friends from our home in SC.  We had fun with them and we served with them.  Every single member of my family absolutely loved the visit from start to end.  In fact, Rainey and Asa received an extra benefit; they flew back with the team to SC where they have attended Ambassador Camp (where Sarah and I met 24+ years ago) and are visiting grandparents and cousins.  They will return at the end of July with some family coming over to visit us. 

We are always learning more about our new culture and how our friends here “do life”.  This past Saturday was a sobering lesson as we attended the funeral of infant who was two days old.  He was the son of some new friends we have met.  It was a reminder that life everywhere is hard, but in Africa there seems to be a greater degree of difficulty for a number of reasons.  Africans are a strong people that help share each other’s burdens, a good example for us to see and model.

We wouldn’t trade this past year for anything.  We have grown more as individuals and as a family these last twelve months than any period before…..and we are just getting started.

The latest addition to the family.  Meet Asa's dog
Indi, short for Indiana Jones    
A street view of "Old Town" in Mombasa, where
many Swahili live and the culture is preserved.
Nurse Sarah and Mrs. Satcher helping kids with minor cuts,
scrapes, boils and other skin problems.
Nehemiah is ready for some medical
work with his latex gloves on!

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