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Showing posts from February, 2019

Be Still

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him…”
As I sit here right now, I feel like every nerve is my body is on edge.  Anxiety is creeping in.  I just text a friend to say that anxiety was winning today.  I am reading these verses over and over again, yet all around me is NOISE! There is construction happening on three sides of us.  Construction in Africa means constant pounding all day long.  The guard is listening to music on his radio where he is sitting, which is right below my bedroom window.  Our kitchen sink is plugged so there are two plumbers talking and pounding away in the that room.  Cars are driving by – mufflers loud and spilling out noise, people are  walking by and chattering in one of their many languages that make no sense to me.  There’s an ibis outside making his loud and annoying sound over and over again.  The area out back of the flat, which is a slum area, is hopping with people hawking things, music blaring, dogs barking incessantly, and children laugh…

Welcome Back

Welcome back to my original blog!  With the fact that we are moving back to the US in April I wanted to get this one up and running again.  I have copied over some of the most popular blogs from wallacesinafrica.  Thanks for going along for the ride with us!  We look forward to more new adventures as we wander this crazy life God has given us together!
So no more wallacesinafrica.com.  This is where it's happening! ;)

The Wisdom of Pooh

You guys…loving people is hard.  Waiting is hard.  Goodbyes are hard.  Uncertainty is hard.  Living in the day – in the moment – it is all so hard. Yet this is where God has us right now. If you have not heard our news yet – we are finishing up our term here in Nairobi and planning to move back to the US at the end of April.  There are several reasons for this (See our recent e-letterHEREto get answers to all your FAQs).  We are currently living in a state of goodbye with no clear hello in front of us.  I have been paying that God would show us a glimpse of what is next for us in the States, but so far he has chosen to have us sit and wait.  We have our own ideas of what possibilities excite us and what seems like a great fit, but waiting on his timing and his plan is something that we have never done very patiently. So here we are. And grief – it’s a sneaky little thing.  I have found myself full of gratefulness and hope one moment and a sobbing puddle of sadness the next – for no logic…

God in the Curry

I don’t know when the smell of curries became a comfort smell for me. I don't know when the smell of curries became home for me. 

Today as I was walking through Diamond Plaza (Little India here in Nairobi) I instantly went to a place of feeling safe and at home when I caught a whiff of turmeric and cumin wafting through the air.  These warm spices automatically hit my senses and make me happy. It brings to mind pictures of English class with my ladies; Karogas (BBQ’s) with friends – laughing, eating, and visiting; cooking lessons with our neighbor when the interns were here; and henna with friends after taking chai together. Somewhere along the line India became home, and I’ve never even been there. This time back in Kenya has been a bit difficult for me.  Shawn and Anna are missing from everyday life.  (Shawn will be back this week!!) I came back to a whole new team, because our Nairobi team became two as we focus on more specific ministries.  We no longer live in the house we were …

Holding My Breath

Living in a developing country often has things to it that get me wondering what in the world I am doing.  I’ve noticed a common phrase coming out of my mouth as I am driving is, “I just don’t understand” meaning, “What in the world do you think you’re doing?!?”  Literally every time I am driving this phrase or some variation is said (ahem, yelled) at least once.  A little head shaking and maybe a glare if they look in their mirror (rarely) and then we move on.  (I’m such a good missionary…) Insane driving aside, I do love Kenya.  But there’s a certain feel here that I don’t experience in my home culture.  I am in the last minutes of getting things ready for our apprentices to come.  I will be teaching orientation for them for the first week.  We will talk about specific things in Kenya, how to not just survive, but to thrive and excel here.  We will talk about medical things, drinking water, cultural adjustments, what to do when the honeymoon phase wears off, etc.  I feel pretty prepa…

The One Where I Watched NCIS

(*This has been transferred over from my other blog, along with many others recently posted.  It was written over three years ago!  Thanks!) As we are coming upon a year (!) in Kenya this month, I have been thinking a lot about the last couple of years.  I wrote a blog a few years ago about the true desires of my heart for my kids (here) and I have thought about this blog several times in the last two years.  It was easy to say as I wrote it in the comfort of my comfortable, safe little home at the time.  My kids had seen some sorrow with the death of their grandmother and a drowning of a friend from church.  But for the most part when I wrote that blog, they had not seen a lot of the real world.  Though I knew it was coming, I didn’t really know what was coming.  I didn’t know that when I ripped teenagers away from their familiar world with technology and friends and family and clean drinking water from the tap and fast food and A/C how much anger would come from that.  I didn’t under…

Mundri Mussings

(Originally posted Feb. 2016)

(Ok, I’m terrible at titles…) A year ago yesterday we left Mundri. It was supposed to be for just 7 weeks. We were scheduled to go to Kenya for an East Africa retreat and conference with all the Serge missionaries. After a couple months of severe pain and sickness, Shawn was told he had to get on the next MAF plane out and get into see a doctor to figure out what was happening. He had lost 20 pounds in just a couple weeks, had a high fever, and we were pretty sure had a kidney stone that wouldn’t pass (turns out there were seven stuck on either side). But both sides hurt, so after debating the should we or shouldn’t we, I was relieved to have someone in charge tell us there was no option. So Friday we spent the afternoon trying to book a MAF flight to no avail, and finally decided to just drive to juba and catch a commercial flight out on Sunday. We had no idea how long it would take to drive there (they had done it anywhere from 6 hours to 12!) so we decided…

Beast of Burden

“Bullet is just eating everything, leaves, trees, ground, person. Eating them. Just making person to bleed everywhere. We are just like wild animals now, with no place to be going. Sun, why are you shining at this world? I am wanting to catch you in my hands, to squeeze you until you can not shine no more. That way, everything is always dark and nobody’s ever having to see all the terrible things that are happening here.”     -Agu, Beasts of No Nation (Warning, if you haven’t watched Beasts of No Nation and want to without knowing the story, don’t read any further.  There will be spoilers.) Tonight I watched a movie that just about ripped my heart out.  I had to stop it several times and compose myself.  Beasts of No Nation was filmed in Ghana and is about an unnamed country in Africa.  But honestly, I felt like I was watching a documentary of South Sudan.  It has taken criticism from some, talking about how it makes it seem like all of Africa is one in the same.  To me, it just reminds…

Just Stop

(Originally published 2017) This week has been one of those blah weeks where I can’t seem to find the energy to be thankful for anything, but there is more than enough energy for complaining and finding the worst. It’s been one of those weeks where I stop asking God to change my heart and start begging him to change everything and everyone else- just make it stop. Stop with potholes, flat tires, and yet another suspicious noise on the vehicle. Stop with children’s eye rolling and sighing every time you ask something. Stop with ants in the pantry, the (expensive) peanut butter, and the refrigerator. (How is that even possible?)  Stop with team tension, change, and miscommunication.  Stop with school projects, tests, and bake sales that seem endless. Just stop. When I feel that way I get tired, sulky, and overly sensitive and I stop. I stop praying for his eyes. I stop pursuing peace, patience, kindness, joy, compassion, forgiveness, and love. I stop believing the best in people and do an…

Ebenezer

 Each evening I sit with Andrew and RJ and I read aloud to them.  We have been reading through a wonderful series from Andrew Peterson called “The Wingfeather Saga”, which I highly recommend to everyone regardless of age.  I have read it myself three times and still enjoy it each time!  And I love seeing the boys’ reactions when we get to the end of  a chapter, where the author has very skillfully left you in suspense as to what will happen next!  They beg and plead for one more chapter, and I truly believe it’s not just because when we are done reading they will be going to bed!   One night as I was sitting there waiting for them to brush their teeth before we got started reading I looked over and there sat this stuffed dog who (in my mind) is called Ebenezer: This dog is one of those Ebenezer stones – a stone of help and remembrance.  This dog has traveled the world with us.  He was given to RJ when, at 6 months old, he went in for open heart surgery to repair two holes in his heart …

I Will Rise

(Originally published 2017)
“There’s a peace I’ve come to know Though my heart and flesh may fail. There’s an anchor for my soul I can say ‘It is well.'” Yesterday we had the memorial service of a wonderful man of faith in our church.  He was a cornerstone and a rock in the church history, serving as assistant pastor as one point and in leadership.  But more than that, he was a faithful example of the goodness of Jesus.   Shafkat was born into a Muslim family, got into an accident while driving recklessly as a 19 year old, and woke up in the hospital with portions of his leg bones sticking through his skin and paralyzed from the waist down.  This would be a huge tragedy anywhere, but in Africa it is extremely hard to be disabled.  There is stigma and hardship that comes with the territory in ways that are not so pronounced in the States.  Shafkat (from my understanding) spent a good portion of the next decade in the hospital.  He was never able to walk again, but doctors thought it wa…