Saturday, December 30, 2006

your africa...

I was feeling reflective tonight. A lot on my mind & heart as I watch the hand of God mold me. Life is deep in thought right now & I feel like I am on the brink of something new again. I anticipate what God is going to do, but yet, you just never know what is about to happen.

Well in my reflective mode I was going through old writings of my on this computer. I found some things in my "overseas" prayers file folder. I wanted to share this one with you. I was written on the 18th of April, 2006.

What is Your Africa?

"In my desire to become independent I’ve become dependant

In an effort to expand my mind, I realize how small my mind truly is

Knowing that pain produces perseverance, I acknowledge that I truly don’t want to face it

Coming with the excitement to be separate from my family, I realize how deeply in love with them I am.

Thinking, perhaps unconsciously, just coming was enough, I’ve learned it takes much more than one act of faith…

It takes
a daily dying to yourself
A daily commitment to The Almighty God
Expectation for His presence
Willingness to be used, broken, transparent, & healed

In thinking my desires to work outside of the slums was somehow un-noble, I’ve learned that it doesn’t define me, how big my heart is, and that what God has given me, the desires specifically, are God given & that each person possesses the desires & that in them will most glorify God. I didn’t have to go to a slum to learn that.

I’ve learned that everyone needs their “trip to Africa”. You don’t have to go to Kenya, or Africa to have it. It’s just taking time away; time away from the familiar faces, places, & things. It means taking a dive into the unknown; unable to trust any one or anything BUT God. Learning its quite enough for the God of the universe for you to be who you are, and that it could be just that much for a man on earth. It means taking moments to just breathe & realize “I am actually here. Doing it. Living it. Being here.” A trip to Africa doesn’t have to take place in Africa, but indeed it must take place. To learn who you are & whose you are. Africa is where I found myself. What is your Africa? "

thats it. that was a journal entry I wrote within the 120, and some odd, days I was Kenya. I hope that you have a wonderful & safe new years.

love, me

Saturday, December 09, 2006


I suppose I haven't come with eloquent words tonight. I don't have a profound realization to share with you. As someone posted a comment on here I realized it had been a while since I last posted. So has I sit here on this wonderful December eve, I was thinking of my lovely blog readers & wanted to chat.

So, recently, as in the last hour, I returned from one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever had the blessing to attend. Everything seemed so wonderful. The church was beautifully decorated for Christmas, and the reception, wow... white chair covers with red velvet bows; center pieces of white roses, and everyone dolled up to the nines. It was gorgeous. I ceremony was what tipped it off to me. Many of you might know who the groom was, Mr. Lamont King Black; an amazing man of God & friend, who has impacted not only my life but I know many others. Anyway, he is 33. He met his WIFE, Tyler, last April. As of late I've been attending weddings, where the average age is 22-24. When I was 18 I felt like that was the perfect age, but now that I'm 23 I see beyond this time. Not that there is ANYTHING wrong with getting married in your early twenties, but Monty's wedding had a profound beauty in which I had yet to see. He waited 33 years. Yes he dated other girls, pursued others that didn't work out, but then he found Tyler. Perfect for him in every way. But that isn't what made it so beautiful. He is 33 you guys. SO often I think how old I am getting for not even dating someone, and here is one of the most amazing guys ever and he just got married. When they repeated their vows, they stared into each others eyes, and with intent and true commitment, they promised. Monty first, nodding his head, so Tyler knew he meant every word. Taking her time and fighting through tears Tyler shared her intentions for the rest of their lives. They thought through, shared and committed before each other, God, and the 300 audience members, that there is and will never be another human for each other; Astounding and such a gift. The wedding was at ECC & the reception in Alumni Hall.

Other than that, just chugging along. Verizon is ok... we're going through our ups and downs & I can confidently say I feel a part of their family. Through all the times I've desired to leave God has kept me there. He is growing me & I am now at a point where I would be thrilled if another door opened for me to walk through, but if not, I am there to love the people I'm with and I intend to be a presence in their lives. No boyfriends to update you on, not too many changes. Dad had a huge ankle surgery but is recovering pretty well. Lydia is swamped with wedding stuff as the day rapidly approaches in just over a month. We're excited. Ok, sorry not such a great update, but at least you heard about an amazing wedding. And if you're married just remember how much of a gift that spouse is. Truly... not every one gets to have the blessing of such an intimate relationship. Glorify God in it. After all, that is why you are together.

Until next time...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The bottom

Well today I reached the bottom. I walked into work and BAM! I was hit. A "corporate" walked in and found that my name tag was upside down, and the rest of the day was downhill. There was Jesus in the midst through customers, but me in my stubborn personality, did not give into joy in the midst of the storm. Today I hated my job & I was considerably at the bottom. I was a bottom dweller. I have to ask the question... "why do we choose to dwell in the bottom when we could joyfully dance on top?" I present this question to you, my faithful readers.

Today I found myself, at what I thought was the bottom. There was no light at the end of the tunnel (or that I was choosing to look at or focus on). So to top off the day, I go out to my recently purchased 2001 Volvo S60. Do you think it would start? Absolutly not. Nope. Not today. When I was at the bottom, I could've decided to stay there. I called my friend Nancy, and she said "You've had a really bad day haven't you?" My response was obviously "YES!" Nancy: "And you know the enemy just wants to get you with this right?" Me: "yeah..." Nancy: "and you know that this really isn't a big deal and it'll all work out?" Me: "uh huh". So that was it. A brief moment of pride taken out & what replaced it? Joy. When I thought the day couldn't get worse, it got better. Yes, I still have a job I don't particularly love. Yes, my car was towed to the dealership. But Jesus is with me. My car will get fixed. (I have a 3 year warranty!!!) I will get to work tomorrow. And He is with me.

So when you find yourself at what seems to be your bottom & you choose to dwell there... PLEASE, for me & for your sake, get out. It is so much better to just get out. Choose joy over self-pity. Choose humility over pride. Choose spirit over flesh. Choose God over self. Life is never as sweet, as when its lived with Jesus Christ. The hope of Glory. The Son of Man. The Son of God. The Alpha & Omega. My redeemer. My savior. My hope. My peace. Allow Him to sing over you with peace & love. Choose Him today. If you don't, you might find yourself at the "bottom". But if you do, life isn't so bad.


ps- This is what I learned today. Joy is a choice. We choose. Sometimes it doesn't feel good, but we need to. Or all things of God -hope, love, joy, etc., will be stripped & only because we've allowed them to be. I pray that you're finding joy in knowing Jesus. And if you don't know Him, I pray that you would come to know Him. Trust me, He is the best thing that could ever happen to you.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

the past

I have noticed something about myself. I often long for what's past. I love to look at old pictures, read old cards, watch funny videos, and talk about memories long gone. I love the past. Interestingly enough, when I was in the past, I longed for what was before that. I didn't love where I was at that moment. Sure there were moments of utter joy & laughter; but as with each phase of life it always seems to get a little more difficult than the last phase. Yes I love the past, but that gives me no excuse to not look forward to the future.

Yes, each phase of life is truly more difficult than the last because I will have never faced it before. This is the definition of growth. You can't grow when you're doing things you always have, or you've known how to do. But God pushes us in the unknown. Right now, as I sit here & type, there are so many unknowns. How exciting that God wants me to grow so much?! If I'm not feeling a push toward Him, than I'm not being sensitive. He wouldn't be doing Himself justice if He didn't want us to be closer to Him. He absolutely is the best thing that can happen to you. let's take advantage. Let's grow. Let's be pushed. Let's depend on Him.

I love you brothers & sisters. Thank you all for putting me in my place after that last blog. I am thankful to have faithful readers. I appreciate you being in my life.

In love & faith,

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Back by popular demand

Anna is with Grandpa Umbaugh & Grandma Mannan. I am with Grandma Umbaugh! We went our for chinese over a month ago! I love my grandparents.

And by popular I mean a one. Sarah Germann. Oh how I love her! And Sarah, because you are most likely the only one reading this, this is for you! :)

So my update on of late I've been in "thinking mode". This usually entails thinking myself into circles, or asking questions with no answers, or asking questions with answers, but those answers are unknown to me. For example, "How long will I be a greeter at Verizon Wireless?" This is a question to which there is an answer, but for obvious reasons, are unknown to me. I feel as if I am in a holding period. I love Jesus & His plans for my life. There is no "but" in which you were expecting, but the simple fact that it is sometimes hard to accept. I don't mind the job all that much, and being with "the lost" again has challenged me & lit a fire inside my soul that hasn't existed in some time. But often I wonder what is the next step? Where is He taking me? There should be no room for doubt if my heart is filled with faith- this is my prayer. I trust where God is leading. Does it ever feel endless to you? Like I might be at verizon forever? This of course isn't true. Sometimes I just wonder...

I do love fall though. I went to Bloomington earlier this evening and the smell of leaves & and seeing the beautiful trees reminded me of a different time in my life. COLLEGE! Oh how I miss it dearly. But as I continue to work 40 hours a week, recieve benefits, and learn what it means to be "independant", I am slowly easing my way into the next phase of life. Weddings, cars, babies, apartments, houses, etc. This is accompanied with death, sickness, and the general awareness that life goes quickly.

Last week my grandmother went into the hospital. At a beaming 83 years old she fell and fractured two bones. She is now moving out of her house into assisted living. Being closely familiar with death's sting, I immediatly feared "losing" her. Shes doing fine now, and enjoy the next phase of her life. She has gone from a life of lonliness and pride, to a life full of social activities & humility. She loves the new phase, but it took her falling to realize this is where she needed to be.

I realize I am writing this while desperately tired, and when I write while I'm tired this don't always make a lot of sense & I tend to ramble on. But then again, this is the flow of thoughts, and things that are on my heart.

With these things said, I'll sign off with a few last thoughts. I'm extremely excited for those getting married, and for a while I didn't know if I wanted to get married. Good news: I still do. So I'm still waiting on that front. I hear the longer you wait the better it is. (as if we have a choice) The job: continually keeping ears & eyes open for an 8-5 that I would love. God will open the door its just a matter of when. In the mean time, I'm in a prime spot for ministry which is awesome. Me & Jesus: Trying to take more time out to hear His voice. Loving His word & studying the fruits of the Spirit.

Thats all. I've of course said too much already. But Sarah, thank you for reading.

baraka kibao (many blessings),

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The longing...

This is a journal entry I wrote as I read Craig's latest update. Today will be the day I say "goodbye" to a house full of memories. I will walk in a room where I lived for 13 years. Memories will pass through like lightening. I will go to the once famous basement, and see the parties, slumber parties, and movie nights flash through my mind. I'll sit in the family room, on the fireplace, and remember so many christmas's gone by. Envisioning our presents all around the room & the placement of Sarah, Anna, Laura, Lydia, and myself. Knowing where dad always set up the camera, mom always cooking breakfast, and the occasional grandparents sitting on the couch. I'll walk into the kitchen, sit on the counter, and remember tried but royally failed dinners. I'll remember burnt cookies, "hankie pankies", and Sarah's wonderful homemade pizzas. I'll walk through the backyard and remember pool parties, hot tub nights, and sometimes hard conversations had. Then the stinging reality of being in the house where Sarah last lived will hit me. I'll stand in the kitchen by the oven and remember when I found out Sarah had a tumor; and I'll remember how at that very moment I knew it wouldn't be long. I'll see her how she laid in the family room with her leg up constantly crying because of pain. But at the very same moment I'll recall the tender moments of dancing and singing. I'll remember making her smile with my karaoke skills, improve dance moves, and general "attention getters". I remember how she was my number one fan. I'll remember how she was a gift that I got to have for 21 years. I'll remember her laugh, her smile, her hug, her dance, her voice... I'll remember her. All other worries will pass me by. Simplicity will come, and I will again long for the life after this one. I'll long for eternity. I'll long to see Sarah. I'll long for Jesus.

Journal Entry:
As I sit and read reports from Nairobi, tears fill my eyes. I have a silent longing to return to that great big, dangerous city… full of looks, stares, and almost a constant fear of my safety. After reading a friends journal entries, I heard about children getting sponsored, friends getting attacked, and the general poverty of Kenya. There is an indescribable ache; in which I can not define. I search for words or explanations but there is an outpouring of my heart in the tears that fall which have no words at all. If I were to try and pray about how I’m feeling nothing would come; the Spirit would have to intercede. Yes I miss my friends, I miss the culture, but its more than that. As I sit icing my tendonitis stricken knee I find myself wondering, “what I am doing”. God has blessed me with working at the number one network in the nation- Verizon Wireless. I have great benefits, a free cell phone, but there is so much more to do. I want to move at His impulse. I want to be intimately involved with the plans of the Father. I desire so much for the people of Kenya. I desire so much for my own life… to be married, to have children, but above and beyond that to be completely and utterly filled with Jesus. I want to hear Him, speak to Him, and know His movements. Caught in sinful flesh but tied to the Holy Spirit, I am in a world where I’m desperately trying to break free of myself. I’m trying to break free of the pressures and expectations put on me by the world, and even Christian society as a whole. Where do I fit? The answer certainly won’t come from a billboard, commercial, or job. It won’t come to me in the form of a brochure or a paycheck. I am an alien to this world, and the idea of feeling comfortable has begun to leave my mind. I’m not made for here. Yes God has me here for a reason and I seek to live out this life fully until His will for my life is accomplished. But I was simply made for Him, and my home… it just isn’t here. Perhaps living in Kenya gave me a wider glimpse of who God is. It let me see a little more in the Kingdom of God. After writing this I suppose, tears come when reading about Kenya because I want to go home. Not to Kenya, 1425 Stonemill circle Carmel, IN, and not to the US. But not to give up on this life, or quit, or because I hate it here…. But simply because all things will be made perfect, and oh how I long for HIS perfection.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

weddings & transitions

Hello blog readers. I realize it has been a hot minute since I’ve written you, and I apologize for that one. But honestly, I’m just trying to figure out my life. Through out the effort to sort myself I’ve realized it isn’t me who will be doing the “sorting”. (The answer is that God will) So right now I have found myself working at a store for Verizon Wireless. It is a great company to work for, but I’m still searching God to know what’s next. I don’t know that I will be there for a long while, but for now its God’s provision in my life and for that I’m thankful.

Ya know what? I have found that transitions aren’t always easy. The next steps are usually great but getting there can be a bit difficult. There are many things that are catching up to me and I haven’t allowed myself to be “sad” about, or miss. My sister Sarah, my friends and family in Kenya, moving from a home I’ve known for 13 years… just to name a few. I’m not asking for pity, but simply telling you what I’m learning. There was a recent diagnosis of tendonitis in my knee, and that has been a bit painful to stand for 8 hours of the day. I don’t know guys… I’m searching for answers, wondering what to do. I miss the 8-5, I miss college, but at this moment those are in the past and for now, this is what God has. Not to minimize because there are many joys.

OH weddings… I am writing while in IL headed back home from a wedding of an old friend (Carrie Barkyoumb) in KS. That was great. Last weekend I attended the late Tricia Callahan’s wedding (she is now Tricia Ray). That was lovely as well. It has been a blessing to see the miracle and blessing that marriage is. For God to unite two people together and that they love each other to commit for life. WOW! Someday, right?

I also LOVE where I’m living, and I love my time with Jesus. He is so good and is speaking to me.

So…that’s me in a nutshell; working for benefits (health that is) & bills, listening to God speak to me, and icing my knee continually. Lovely times. Let me know if God speaks to you about direction for me, and please keep in touch. I love you guys. And I truly pray that your ears are opened and that you take time to hear Him speak to you (not about me); because He is, but we usually just don’t stop to listen.


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Latest

As I've mentioned, Florida was great but its time to crack down on "real life". Today I had two interviews. One with Verizon Wireless & another with Ameriprise Financial. I'm just praying for God's will. Both not easy to get, and then with Ameriprise, it could be hard to maintain (seeing as though, after a certain amount of time it will become all commissions based!). So I kniow the Lord's hand is in all of this. Verizon would be a seemingly insignificant job, but they have great benefits and room to grow. But at least the decision isn't up to me right?!

As far as other things go...I'm trying desperatly to stay motivated with this art class I'm trying to finish to complete my college education! I'm trying to get into Nancy's this week; which feels like a bigger job than I could take on this week. I'm sure by early next week I'll be in though! :)

Hmmm... I suppose there isn't much else. Just job hunting, finding joy in the freedom God is giving me right now. It often seems like I'm just floating & sucking life out of people (namely my parents or Nancy), but I truly believe that is not God's intention for this time at all. I believe this time is for restoration, a finding of joy, and just a time to kick back. So God... I appreciate this freedom!!!

Pray for the family as we make the transition out of 1425 Stonemill circle. Its still difficult. We'll be out kabisa (completely) by September 7th! So if you want to come say goodbye to this house of many memories you're more than welcomme. I know we'll be going through A LOT of processing, tears, and memories. Feel free to stop by at any time & bring joy in the midst of this hard time. Or just a helping hand is ALWAYS welcome. 13 years is a long time to live in a house.

Well I guess I'll leave you be. I pray that God is blessing you today in a way you've never known or could have expected. He is a big God & we should expect BIG things! AMEN?! I hooked you up w/ some pics from Florida w/ Anna. Lovely time.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Professional job hunter

I have found myself in a place of discouragment. Wow is it hard to be unemployed, and honestly, I'm not very good at it. I HATE asking for money & thats precisly why I worked my way through college. But as I was talking with Nancy she was urging me to think perhaps God wants me to "be ok". To be ok with getting money from another source than my employment, and to just enjoy this time of life & virtually being "care free"; whether its by choice or not.

So as I step in a leap of faith and move in with her in these next couple weeks it will be hard. Its hard to move out of my parents house permanently. In many ways I feel like I have to hand them over to the Lord. (as if I had some control over their well-being anyway) I'll be handing myself over to the Lord in that I have NO CLUE where I'll be even in a month from now. Life seems so unknown to me... I just don't know sometimes.

You've caught me on a hard day. No job, no car, no money....but I do have to remember I have everything I'll ever need. I have the love of a God who is bigger than jobs, money, friends, husbands, cars, etc. I'm trying to rest in that. To wake up every day & know that there is a reason for the day, but I must get to the end of it to see what He had planned. Don't get me wrong, I am so thankful for so many things, but I guess I'm finding myself in a place I didn't expect or anticipated to end up! But I suppose thats just how life is huh? The unexpected always happens because we don't plan out this life. Which, when reviewing my past, I am SO glad I haven't made the plans.

Thanks for reading this blog ya'll... or should I say you! Life is throwing some twists & turns. Many days feel lonely, but I'm encouraged to know that many people are going through this same thing, I just don't know them! :) On the flip side... my friends Ellen Marie Crawford & Robert Freeman Fellows are engaged!!! This is an exciting one. So in Feb. will be Lydia's wedding to Bob Fox & then Ellen & Rob's. Lovely people who I am so excited for.

aight... I'm going to sleep now. Thanks for the love. If you live in or visit Indy holla at me.


Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Well needless to say the patience I learned in Kenya is in a different way. Things like traffic, service, conversation, relationships, meals, etc., I learned to be decently patient in. Waiting on direction, from the Lord, is something I'm still trying to get my mind around. I just deleted a really quick post I made while in Florida. I was up for an interview but turns out its bogus. In a way that they were lying about the job & praise God I found out before hand. Now I feel like I'm back a square one. Honestly, I have all these desires & things I could see myself doing, but I don't feel a push. Certainly not from lack of self-motivation, because trust me, being poorer than I was in college is not fun. I'm motivated; but direction is lacking. Perhaps its out of my lack of seeking God's face...which I obviously need to do more of. But I do think He is trying to say "Katie... take a breather". I tend to push life along with no room for thinking, feeling, processing, and I always want to get to the next step.

Well right now with my parents moving the next step is getting them out of 1425 Stonemill circle. I have a sinking feeling in this little process of moving us out of a house we've been in for 13 years, processing & thinking will occur. I run across memories of Sarah. Her clothes, books, drawings, movies, etc., and I will almost be forced to think about her & allow myself the grief. On the other hand, I am an enormous pack rat. Everything is sentimental to me & with this its always hard for me to move. So as I look on memories of junior high, high school, and even stuff I kept from college, I'll be saying goodbye in an effort to minimize.

NEWS FLASH: I will not be living with my parents in Carmel. I've been offered a place to stay (virtually rent free & thats only if she turns down my offers for money) to live in Noblesville. This gracious woman's name is Nancy. She has an extra bedroom & an old friend is living with her right now too. So as I make efforts to get my feet on the ground & jolly (my car) off the driveway, I'll be living there.

I suppose those are the most recent updates. I ask for your prayer as my parents make this enormous transition, and as they try desperately to avoid going through Sarah's things. This is the house we remember her in & we all have to remember that the memories we take with us because they aren't in the house.

Anyway, thanks for your support & if you are the ONE person reading this... thanks for reading.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Return Home

Yes its true, the adventure that seems as though it was just yesterday, is now complete. I can assure you the time for me to process that journey has barely begun, but I can tell you this, I miss Kenya. I have never known a place or people that are so close to home. Then again, I've never lived anywhere for a significant amount of time... other than Indiana. So, every time I see "kenya" or hear about it, there is a part of me that wishes I could be there.

On the flip side, I'm pretty sure God has me here for a specific purpose. My family is moving... for many reasons, but it is indeed so. God has given them the clue, & they are answering. The thing is they're starting in a rental, that for the amount of stuff the Umbaugh's have accumulated, it doesn't fit. From there they are building, but we obviously will be in the rental for a bit. Lydia is getting married in February, so shes not going anywhere. Laura (although perhaps not public yet) will be at home this semester and pursuing goals in the areas of style & fashing. Me? Well, as you know I'm a recent (minus 2 credits) graduate of Indiana University. I have no job, no money, and a quickly dying car. The new rental has 3 bedrooms. Thatleaves Laura & I (so Lydia can have her last room to herself) sharing a bed & a room. Lovely? I think so! :) But at the same time there is a push within me, and the fam, to get a quick hire and decent pay, so that I may become financially independant for the first time in my life! We'll see how that goes.

In other news... God is absolultely amazing for giving us this house. Kesho (tomorrow) I'll be working for my friend Blake who has begun his own landscaping company. Then next week I'll be going to Florida with a most gracious sister & brother-in-law (namely Rob & Anna). She has to get through some processing for life, and I for Kenya. So this will be much needed, prior to me joining the grind!

Yesterday in the shower I was listening to a christian radio station and they began talking, and my ears perked up when I heard "Here I am in Nairobi, Kenya". There was a radio announcer in Nairobi with Compassion International, who we(Tanari) worked with when I was over there. It almost brough a tear to my eye! But there is a time for everything, and it looks like it is the time for me to start this crazy financially stressing independant life!!!

So here I go...


ps- I have decided to continue this blog. I don't promise to make frequent updates, but I suppose if this an easy way for you to keep up on my life, than you'll be able to stay informed!

pps- This picture is of us playing while Lyd was trying on wedding dresses!!!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Its almost over...

Hello my faithful blog readers.

I understand that I’ve been a bit slow on posting. I suppose with Lydia being here I don’t feel the need, or rather, there is a lot less time for me to spend writing an update. But because you are faithful & the slight chance you want an update, here you go!

Last week we went on safari in the Masai Mara. It was incredible. We saw all of the “big 5” except Rhino. The big five are: Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Elephant, & Buffalo. We saw herds of buffalo & zebra migrating. We saw baby lion cubs, baby monkey feeding on its mama, baby elephants, ok…. Basically, it was the lion king in real life. The scenery was incredible. I’ll soon put up pictures when Lydia & I find a way to get the pictures from her camera to my computer!

Kesho (tomorrow) we are leaving for Mombasa, by train. It is on the coast of the Indian Ocean & absolutely beautiful. We’ve been trying to convince friends to come & stay with us in our little cottage, but if they don’t, we rest assured our time there will be lovely. It’s going to be perfect weather. We’ll return Sunday night by bus, and then Lydia leaves on Tuesday & I on Wednesday. Crazy huh? These past four months have flown. I of course recognize the times that time seemed to stand still & I had to wake up & trust that God had me where he wanted me.

As of right now, the biggest lesson I’m learned & have been praying about it worry. I never knew how bad I was with worry, until this trip, & recently how bad I am about worrying about money. Wow- lets talk about a stronghold. Its not that I’ve always wanted a lot, but to not be in want has been my desire. Well, Lydia & I are broke as a joke, and are in no way finished paying off certain debts in this country. God is faithful though, amen? So its just a good thing we have a dad willing (maybe not able) but willing to help us out!

In addition to constant lessons on this walk with Jesus, I am dealing with a great big transition. I have a new community, family, & friends that I’ll be leaving soon. To come to another country completely alone, and build new relationships from scratch, with them knowing nothing of your past or who you were has been incredible. My relationships here are so fresh & real, and I’m going to miss them deeply. So with that said, yesterday I think I cried my first tears as I thought about leaving this country & people that I love. Please pray for strength & a good transition back into life into the United States. Thanks! You’re the best.

Well, I return July 13th at 4:45pm, at the Indianapolis Airport. If I don’t see you there, I hope to see you soon after I return. I’ll take how ever many free meals, or starbucks, that you want to treat me to! Thanks again for all your love & support & prayers. God has richly blessed my time, & I now have a second home in Kenya.


Ps- I’ll most likely send out a last “monthly update” email before I leave. If you don’t receive it… kwa heri (bye) until I return.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

oh theft....

Ok… well things are going well here for the most part! I’ve been having sweet time with friends & family. Adam turned 24 on the 20th & it was a fun celebration. This is a picture from the “party” that his host family had. Ann made stir-fry… YUMMY!

Anyway, I should let you know that I’m fine; that I’m rooting for the USA today in the World Cup; that my day at work yesterday was a productive one; that my dinner with Craig last night was really nice; and that Lydia arrives tomorrow. But here comes the story we’ve all been waiting for!!!

Yesterday there was a hard end to a good day. I was eating with Craig at a nice place called Prestige Plaza; the restaurant was Books First. Aj had arrived, so I moved my large handbag from the chair next to me to the rung of my chair. About 30 minutes later when it came time to pay I turned to get into my wallet and my bag was gone. A lady sitting at a table behind us in a booth saw a lady carrying the bag I described. In this bag was my wallet, with 2 credit cards, my Indiana drivers license, my $400 new canon camera, and my umbrella. I began to flip out. I’m ALWAYS paranoid, especially in Kenya, about things getting stolen. Usually I look for something, find it missing, pray, & realize I put it in a different spot than I had remembered. This time all my fears of the past became a shocking reality. My bag was gone. My debit card, which contained the money needed for Lydia & I to get through these next three weeks, was gone. My new camera, which I was using for my new found love for photography & which I was so looking forward to using on safari next week, was gone. Someone had eyed a white girl, who apparently looked like a tourist, and much to my dismay and somewhat humiliation I was an easy target. This has been a trial of which I never truly anticipated. It’s testing my faith & trust. I’m certainly sad that my amazing camera is gone, my cute bag that had made it faithfully through more than 3 months of hard Kenyan living, and my debit card, but more than that I feel violated. It made me feel used, and mistreated in a way I’ve never felt. I feel stupid & I often question (un-wisely) what I could’ve done differently; or I ask why I didn’t just leave my bag at home when I questioned doing it. I feel like a people I learned to put trust in have let me down. I feel the streets I’ve walked down every day for months, are now unsafe.

With this fear, that I now feel, I’m fighting against it. Last night as I was talking with Anna, she said “Katie, if there is one thing I’ve been fighting against its fear”. I of course “eased” her mind & told her I wasn’t scared. But waking up, and knowing I had to walk to work this morning, indeed there was fear. Our staff is going back to the same place to watch the USA vs Ghana game today, and I’ve realized, there is fear.

I’m going through the needed process of finding my hope, trust, faith, & security in the Lord. I’m seeing, through this trial, answers to prayers I’ve been praying; to have open hands so that the Lord will give & take as HE pleases, to draw near to God, & to really trust Him. I’ve prayed for the testing of my faith, and so it’s being tested. God is faithful through the worst of circumstances. I’ve learned that through Sarah’s going home, & now this. There are many other things that could have happened to me, other things that could have been stolen. What happened was allowed by God and now it’s my chance to turn around & tell Him I’m thankful for this experience. I’m thankful that He wants me to see Him so badly that He’ll allow, perhaps things that are blocking my view of Him, to be taken away.

“Consider it pure joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1: 2-4)

“Do not fear for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

Well, this is my trial. It’s easy to quote scripture, but it’s another thing to have your heart, mind, body, & soul grasp to the words of Christ. Thank you for your prayers of safety. I am safe. I ask now that you would pray for a restoration. I would ask that this experience would not just be something bad that happened, or some experience I “learned” from, but that my heart would truly say “all the glory be to the Lord.” And that my mouth with all assurance in my heart could say “Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus.”

As Lydia arrives tomorrow, God is faithful. He is providing. Pray for her safety & for our time together; that it would be sweet and precious time. This upcoming Tuesday we leave for safari & will be traveling continuously (Uganda & Mombasa) until July 9th. She’ll depart on the 11th, and I on the 12th!

Thank you for reading this blog, and for all the others as well. I pray you are safe, and enjoying the goodness of the Lord in this day. For He is a good God!

Joyfully God’s,

PS- I wrote this in tears… and I’m now recovering. Yesterday I downloaded “This Little Light of Mine”, by Sam Cooke, off itunes because someone was singing it in the office. As I sit here and listen to it, its giving me joy & hope. This was a situation and its over now. Things will be fine. I hope you’re all well & enjoying life today. And if you’re reading this today (June 22) YOU BETTER find the USA playing Ghana today & root for your country!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Last Month...

Well I suppose as time runs thin I should keep my updates frequent. I am living in my last month in Kenya. It seems like just yesterday I was sitting in the Chicago airport, scared half to death, and thinking “what on earth did I get myself into?” But even then God was shown faithful, as I desired an isle seat or a window, and I ended up in the aisle.

He has been faithful for over three months now, and I know He will continue to be the same God He was yesterday, today, & tomorrow. Last week my team (Tanari staff) left for a climb up Mt.Kenya. I opted not to go because my friend was arriving. What can we guess? That God is faithful. Last week I was sick. I actually vomited and literally haven’t done that in years; not only that but that God given woman time of the month arrived the day before they left… I have NO IDEA how I would’ve handled that one. I’m getting better, besides a slight chest cold, which coming from the states is no big deal to me. God is good, amen? He confirmed my choice to stay back. Asante mungu! (Thank you God)

As you well know, my 23rd birthday was this past Saturday. It was lovely. The night before some of my best friends in Kenya (those who weren’t up the mountain), Adam, Craig, & Mark, took me out to what is Adam’s & my favorite restaurant. The Moon Flower. Louis Armstrong (or one who sounds like him) was on stage that night, candles were lit, & rose petals were on the table. It was just so romantic…seeing as though I was with three guys! I can only hope this male influence has been good.

Craig surprised me with a gift Amanda had bought before she left. It was so special to receive that from her. I had Mark order for me, and he ordered a steak. This is something I would never order for myself, but due to his selection I’ve now enjoyed one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten! Anywhere, let alone Kenya. After that we went back to Adam’s place & he played the guitar & sang, sometimes with Craig harmonizing. It was great. We just stayed up and talked and sang; one of the best birthdays I’ve had. It was super relaxed and I enjoyed myself fully.

The next day, my actual birthday, I woke up to pre-written cards by my sister Laura, Lydia, & my friend Leah. Those were fun. Then I went downstairs, and hung out with Jane; our househelp. She taught be how to make one of my favorite Kenyan foods, chapati. Oh it was lovely. As the day went I was worried about how I was getting to the airport to pick up Adam, aka Aj. It ended up he met up with people he knew & I met them in town. Then we went back to my place, and with much excitement I opened the five cards, tons of candy, my favorite shampoo & conditioner, earrings, and my favorite magazine, that my parents all sent with Adam. He had been traveling since Wednesday, and was in desperate need of some rest & a shower. We grabbed a bite & settled him into his short term home.

The rest of the week has been great. He is enjoying his stay with Kaguru, & he’s adapting to the culture well. We’ve hung out a lot with Craig & Adam, so needless to say, when Lydia arrives the girly company will be welcomed with much anticipation. I met up with Sandy & Rob Davis, our hosts from Uganda in 2002. When Lydia arrives, we’ll be visiting them in Jinga again. It was nice seeing them, and catching up on the past 4 years!

As for me, my time is getting low. It’s strange to think in one month’s time I’ll be landing in the United States; to a home I once knew. But I’ll be entering in differently; with new experiences under my belt, a small bit of a new language, & all this has developed me into who I am now, at this moment. My prayer would be that I could look at how I’ve changed, and take what’s good & keep it. I pray that my relationship with God would only get better, and that in the busyness of America I would find my times of rest, peace, and stillness. With my verizon phone, and American area code, anyone can reach me at any time; often this is a plus, but to me it might feel overwhelming. Of course I’m anticipating seeing everyone, to even think about how many there are, even in my immediate family, is stressing. Just my immediate family alone would be a high number of how many I make efforts to hang out with here.

So, with these things in mind, I’m scared, nervous, excited, and over all weirded out and I have no idea how to transition out of Kenya & back into America. If you’ve got any advice let me know!

Until then… Lydia arrives the 23rd; 9 DAYS from today. That’s nuts. And then we’ll begin our travels. I hope you are all well. Thank you for all you do for me; your love, support, & prayers. Keep them up! My great adventure is almost over!!!


ps- Two pictures are from my birthday dinner (one with Mark, & the other with all four of us- Adam, Craig, Mark, & Me) & the other is Adam & myself, at the end of his first day in Kenya!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Time is flying...

Oh wow... I realize I am keeping up to date with this blog pretty well! Yeah for me!

Anyway, within the past couple weeks Amanda left for C.A. She received what’s been dubbed the “Adam/Katie Disease”. (Adam being my friend who I met here) It’s pretty much chronic diarrhea! Poor Amanda! She’s been seeing the doctor since she returned & she said they’ve run every test on her imaginable. So if you think about it, just pray for healing!

Yesterday, there was a public holiday here! It was glorious. I “slept in” (till 9), and with my recent membership to Body & Soul (a gym about 200 feet from my house) I went and worked out. It was so nice. Then I finished watching the 10th season of FRIENDS, and met up with Jackie. I hadn’t seen her for SO long & it was such a refreshing time to just catch up. She is such a blessing, and Lord willing next year she’ll visit Indiana in May so you’ll get to meet her!

Last week another intern for Tanari arrived from PA. His name is Jon Sovocool & working mainly with the ROPES program. It’s been great having him here for the simple fact that it makes me extremely thankful for the time I’ve spent here & what I’ve learned so far. It’s amazing how much you can learn by living somewhere for 3 months! But he is a cool guy & will be with Tanari for six months. He upped me by 2 months!

Well… on Wednesday I went to Kibera. (the largest slum in East Africa) I hope to put up a lot of pictures on my yahoo account ( It was a great experience. We met one woman who through Tumaini Medical Clinic [a ministry through Nairobi Chapel & who we were working with] asked Jesus into her heart in 2001. She now works with the clinic & the way she talks is with every breath she is thankful to God. She still lives in Kibera; among the people she ministers to. These were often the type of people I met in Uganda & it was refreshing to see the destitute be more filled with the Lord than I ever have been! It was great. In addition to meeting her, I didn’t know my blood type. So we pretended that I was coming in for service. I paid 60 schillings (about a dollar) and went through the whole process! A finger prick hurts worse than getting your blood drawn! So we saw how they test the blood, and we were in the lab with the doctor to see the different tests. We went into the pharmacy & got to see the different drugs they carry! The prices they have are more than 50% less than other clinics in the slums! If you want to support this amazing ministry I’ll find out more information. Just email me… God is good & is working through them in a major way!

SO those are the major updates. I sadly have about 40 days left in Kenya. My friend, Adam Delp, arrives next week, June 10th (if you are the first one to tell me why that day is significant in my life, in exchange I’ll bring you a gift from Kenya)! His team will arrive on the 15th, so we’ll get a few days to hang out. Then Lydia arrives June 23rd. We are looking forward to our travels together. If you could pray that we will have the finances to do all the touristy things we hope to do that would be great! Thanks. I know God is good & I’m just thankful she’s at least able to come for three weeks. She’ll leave Kenya on July 11th & I leave on the 12th. So she won’t even be able to hold my hand on the plane while I’m balling… but all will be ok. Perhaps I’ll need that time to allow myself to sob as I leave my family & friends here in Kenya.

With that said, time is flying & I try & make the most of the days here in Kenya. God is so good to me & I’m eternally grateful for this amazing experience. More to come in a couple weeks I’m sure! I hope this finds you all doing well in America, or where ever you are. More soon than I can probably grasp I’ll be home eating a strawberry poppyseed salad from Panera & drinking an IC Carmel & wondering where the time went!

See you,

Ps- if you can be praying for a job for me & a car that would be great![preferably a wrangler, but I’ll take what I can get] Jolly (my 1994 Camry) is dying fast, and Lydia & I are “sharing” it at the moment. So when I return a job & a car are a definite necessity! PRAY PRAY PRAY! I know God will provide, but it never hurts to have people asking for you too! ASANTE SANA!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Mail Updates & My Hair Cut

Hey everyone!

I just thought I would write with some updated info on mailing & to let you know I’m having the time of my life!

First of all, I am becoming a lot more accustomed to the culture & ways of transport. I have a dear friend, Amanda, from C.A. She leaves in a week, which is saddening, but being able to hang out with her has grown my confidence in Matatu’s, and ways around the city. I still have a lot of ways to learn, but I am able to get farther than the near perimeter of my house. If you can, pray that she has a wonderful last week here in Kenya (after having lived here for 4 months), and that she would get home to Sacramento safely.

As for me, continue to pray for recovering health. It comes & goes, but truly God is healing me. Through my time with Amanda, & other friends, God is restoring my joy. I wish you all could’ve been at work with me on this past Friday! It was awesome because I just felt so at home to be myself. It was the most amazing freedom I’ve felt in sometime. The relationships God has given me at Tanari do not go unappreciated. Seriously…these people are getting a very real taste of who I am, and in ways I think they are helping me discover & love who I am & who God has created me to be. I’m learning to be “ok” with me! This may sound corny, or perhaps you think I’m a semi-confidant person, but trust me I certainly have issues of self-esteem. But God is using the people in Kenya, especially at Tanari, to love who God has created me to be. (Even if that means being ok with the fact that I’m white!)

ALSO: Last week I got my first hair cut! It’s a lot shorter than I asked for but it feels so refreshing to have a fresh cut (even if it is somewhat uneven). It was an interesting experience, and not to be repeated. But I’ll try & upload a picture of my hair before & after! WOW!

If you could be praying for my last 7 or 8 weeks as they are now here, we are very busy at Tanari & it is only going to get cranked up. Pray for patience, diligence, & efficiency. With friends coming soon, I grow anxious but my mind needs to be able to focus while at work.

Also, Mo is coming home tomorrow (Monday) so pray for safety & thank you for all who met him while he was in Indy. We are all looking forward to having him back here!

Thank you for your prayers & love. Here comes the important business part of this update!

If you are going to mail me a package, the last day to send it out would be May 22nd. The reason being it will take about a month & a half to get me. It usually sits at the airport & then I have to go get it & pay. SO…if you want to send me something, I would encourage it, but it must be within the next week.

If you are going to send a beautiful hand written letter, or a card, those can be mail up to 2 weeks before I leave. I have received cards in 10 days. Or I’m told cd’s only take 2 weeks as well. So, those can be sent to Tanari as late as June 28th.

Thanks all of you faithful blog readers. You make my time spent in the cyber worth it. I Hope you all had a wonderful Mother’s Day & memorial day coming up. I miss you & will be seeing you in less than 2 months. Oh how time flies!


above is just my long hair (taken by amanda)...I haven't uploaded my short hair yet! soon to come though - AND NOW: The short hair. This picture of Amanda & I at Java House. YUMMY YUMMY!- Java that is...not Amanda & me.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

a health update & bug story!!!

Quick update & then to my story!
“What is wrong me
Why do I not believe
In Your ever presence
Watching over me

Lord why I am hiding
You’re everything I need
Now I sit & ask
Father, help me to believe.”

This was a prayer/poem/song I wrote & prayed on Tuesday night. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t being healed, and I believe it was a lack of faith. This was my acknowledgement of that lack of faith, and out of it came Wednesday. He helped me believe. Thank you for your prayers. God is so faithful, amen? He is healing me. Each day my body improves & I am eating normally now & enjoying the chai once again.

Not only is my body improving but my spirit. He is refreshing me ya’ll! I wish I could’ve bottled up yesterday (Wednesday) & had you all experience the amount of joy that was going on in my heart. It was unbelievable! Today is good too, and I am eternally grateful for a good & loving God to refresh, restore, & renew a broken girl- from sickness not only in the body but in the spirit. I’ll never be able to fully grasp the work the Lord has done & is doing, but I give Him the glory!

Last weekend was fabulous, and I have no doubt this weekend will be nothing short of spectacular! I’m going on my first Kenyan shopping trip & taking a Kenyan friend to help me bargain. This way I won’t get ripped off for being white! Many are beginning to believe I’m becoming more & more Kenyan, which is an encouragement as I interact with everyone here.

Tonight Tanari is doing CPR for the University students. If you don’t know what CPR is, you should b/c you’ve all look at! RIGHT?! If not, it’s an abstinence program, and from my point of view the most powerful & truthful that’s out there. So it should be a good night.

I hope you are all doing well! I have almost exactly 2 months left. Lydia will arrive in less than 2 months, which means I have less than 2 months at Tanari. It seems like I just arrived! Everyone here at the office says “it feels like you’ve been here forever. In a good way!” And in ways it does. Well, no need for sadness yet because I do have about 9 weeks left here in Kenya, and I plan on living it up with all my wonderful friends here. Ok, on to the story….

Ok blog readers, I’ve got a good bug story for you!

Today at the office I was in the bathroom fixing my hair in a mirror. I am wearing a jacket with a sleeveless shirt, but when I was putting my hair back the jacket moved out of the way, allowing for me to see the side of my armpit! (Lovely so far….I know)

Well, I saw what looked like a tiny little scab. I began to pick at it to get it off & it wasn’t coming off. I tried to pluck it with my finger nails & nothing. Eventually I literally ripped it off my skin & it felt like I pulled a splinter out. When I examined this scab closely I noticed it had legs & the legs were moving. This bug was indeed crawling into my skin or least sucking my blood & it is almost microscopic! GROSS! More than the bug bits, the caterpillars in my hair, and seeing spiders often, this topped it all off! A bug was sucking my blood. And to kill it, we had to burn him!

As I began to write this little story to you, I came up to my office & there was a jumping spider on my headphones. Not a fun bug day apparently!

Well with that said I need to get back to work! Thanks for reading my bug horror story!


Ps- tonight is the night (May 4th) that Mo is at my house in Carmel, if you want to stop by. 1425 Stonemill circle – Be there or be square.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

A wonderful Evening

Hello all. I recognize that in my last update, which was like 3 days ago, I appeared quite pathetic. I wrote it in tears, after having fasted & still been sick I was really upset. I wouldn’t say that I am completely over “it”, but I am walking in confidence in the Lord’s healing. As we continue to pray things improve. I’m beginning to wonder if I am sick, or if I am just lactose intolerant?!

Well, the past couple days have been wonderful. Especially today, being Saturday & a much needed day of rest, I went to a play called “Dead Talk”. This was a play my host, Philip Gitau, was in. It was in a morgue, and the spirits of dead people were talking to each other about their lives, how they lived, and what’s after death. Apparently after this play (being completely secular) many people gave their lives to Christ! Hopefully it is a true life change & not just“scared of Hell” repentance. Either way it was nice. Following the play, my friends Adam & Craig accompanied me to a beautiful restaurant called “The Moon Flower”. If you ever come to Nairobi, this is a must. It was one of the most beautiful restaurants I have ever been to in my entire life! Needless to say this much anticipated evening turned out to be splendid. I give God the glory & thanks for this day in Kenya. They were laughing at me because for the first 15 minutes of dinner I simply could not stop smiling. This picture was taken of me after dinner.

Thank you for your prayers. I would ask that you would keep them up. Trust me, there is a battle going on here, and I know that God can & will win! Please just keep praying for victory!

As for everything else, Nairobi is getting colder, but it’s nice. The rains are consistent, which is good for a land that has so many droughts. Time has been going a bit slow, perhaps because of me being sick, and the rains. But I think in May I will turn a new leaf! There is a lot to do with Tanari; events to plan, offices to organize, etc. It should be a good month!

PLEASE NOTE: If anyone would like to meet Mo, he will be at my house in Carmel, on the evening of May 4th. Just let any of my sisters know, or my parents. He’ll have lots of pictures for you to see & stories about me to tell.

Thanks blog readers. You’re awesome!

More adventures to come….

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Here we go...

Hello everyone. This a quick blog, but in need of great attention!

Ok family, I need you. I just finished fasting for 36 hours, and I had no problems during this fast. (Other than being hungry) I come to these times and wonder if it is out of a lack of faith on my part that I’m not healed. I tried the solution that Benson offered: apple cider vinegar w/ water- 2 x in one day. I tried the fasting resolution, which obviously also didn’t work. This morning I had toast & dry cereal for breakfast. Still nothing. I had been in the office for a couple hours, and low & behold it returned.

My friend I made here, Amanda, gave me this medication that she took & she was better. I think this is my last option until I see a specialist. Please just pray for my situation. It isn’t fun, and the longer I endure it the more homesick & weary I get. Perhaps it’s an attack from the enemy. I have rebuked him….trust me. Either way, the situation at hand is that I am still sick. On Monday it will have been three weeks. Honestly, I think its something I could live with, but something I certainly don’t want to live with.

I am calling all forces to pray for me. Thank you. The body of Christ, through the power of Christ, is a powerful weapon in the kingdom of darkness. Please join with me in prayer. Thank you for all your prayers thus far, & your encouraging emails. I am committed to the work that is set before me here in Kenya. I know that God wants me here until July. Perhaps my diet will need to change. Either way, I’m not leaving. Two months isn’t long enough & there are still other options here.

I have never missed you all more. Not necessarily home, or the states, but to have one good friend to be with me in this time would amazing. But then again, God is becoming my all in all.

Well, sorry for the news. I am enjoying my time here in Kenya. I had a good day yesterday despite my hunger. God is revealing more about what He might desire for me when I return from the states, & I am excited about His movement in my life. It is a good time here in Kenya.

I miss you all & look forward to seeing your beautiful faces in a little over two months.

With love,

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Coast for Easter

I don’t think there is any better way to celebrate Easter than at the Coast. It was b-e-a-utiful! I went with a church group, of about 30 people. For over a week now I have been a bit sick. I’ve made several trips to the hospital (not deathly ill, but the hospital is the best option) Unfortunately this sickness returned while at the coast; but it certainly didn’t take over my time.

We traveled through the night on Thursday night & arrived in Mombasa early Friday morning. From there we traveled to our destination; a campsite 200 feet from the beach. It was wonderful. “Good things come to those who wait”. When we arrived at the campsite, we played icebreaker games & set up our tents. THEN we got to finally visit the beach; and that’s where I stayed most of the time.

There were 3 other Americans there, to my surprise, but they were all very fun & always wanted to be at the beach was well. This made for a fabulous time. I got to play Frisbee a lot, with Evans & Craig. If you know me, you know one of my greatest joys in life is playing Frisbee on the beach. And so God richly blessed me in this area.

The water was clear, the beaches were white, and the swimming was good. The people were fabulous & God continually captivated my heart by kissing me with the warm sun, the gentle breezes, & beautiful sunrises. I had yet to see the sunrise in the east. When the time came for sunset I forgot that it was on the other side of the world. The sun rises in the East. Thats where I was. But I awoke every morning to see the sunrise.

The last night everyone stayed up late & swam in the pool. It was lit up by the moonlight & ridiculously fun. Then we traveled, a lot, on Monday. All the way back to the big city & work.

The coast was a wonderful “break” from reality in the city. Now that I’m back I’ve been visiting the hospital daily so they can find what is going wrong in my stomach. Lord willing, after tomorrow’s visit we’ll have diagnosed me & I’ll be on my way.

Otherwise, I’m staying busy in Nairobi. Thanks for all your prayers & emails through out Sarah’s one year anniversary. It went well. Please just pray for healing now, and a time of rest. It is needed.

Until my next update! See you!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

My dear friends...

I recognize that it was a little less than a week ago I updated my blog, but there is important information that needs to be stressed!

First order of business, on Monday, April 10th, it will be the anniversary of Sarah (my sister) going to Jesus. Me being away from my family gives to the expectancy of this day being a hard one. Thankfully, due to the busy weekend, I will have Monday off. I wish I could go to her grave site and lay flowers, or watch videos of her, or just talk to my family about her; but I am in Kenya. I understand that there is perfect reason for this being the timing. It is most likely so I will face it and perhaps deal with it in the healthiest way possible. I would just ask for your prayers. I anticipate it being somewhat lonely, but I intend to cling to Jesus every minute of the day. Not only does He know her, He lives with her! It seems appropriate I cling to Him. After all, He is my family & can comfort me more than my earthly family can. It is all in me allowing Him to!

Second, Easter. I am not going to Uganda to visit my sponsor child. This is to my sadness, but none the less Tanari is having an event at our camp, Camp Malta. I will most likely be spending it there. It will be a nice time & we’ll be able to celebrate Jesus’ death & resurrection together, in the body of Christ.

Third, Mo is going to the states. I have asked that he meet with my family Thursday night, May 4th. He will most likely be at our house in Carmel. I would love it if any of you could go and meet him. He will have a slide show of a lot of my pictures, and be able to explain in detail what I’ve been doing! It would be a really good chance for you to hear and see what I’ve been up to here in Kenya. I’ll keep you updated as to times, place, etc. But GO!!! Here about Tanari, and meet the man who got it all started.

That’s it. Things here are going well. It is definitely rainy season. I’ve experienced getting soaked to the bone already. It’s nice! Anyway, thanks for reading & keeping up with my life. Have a marvelous Easter, and keep in touch. You’re doing a good job!

Lots of love from Africa,

for you : Phil 1:3-7

BY THE WAY- The picture is of the Tanari Staff!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Well, here I am in Mo's house, heckign my internet. I'm afraid I've cost him a pretty penny! But when you catch Lydia & Laura online (being Laura's 20th) you cannot miss the opportunity to talk!

Things are going well here! You know, this country becomes more & more beautiful to me by the minute. God is teaching me so much. The biggest thing I am noticing, is He becoming my all in all. He is becoming my friends, my family, my love, my all! It is a really cool transformation. But this of course isn't perfect & God is continuing to captivate my soul!

It is HOT here. It continually gets more & more hot as the days go by. But with the hot weather, work just gets better & better. I'm learning more swahili, and I enjoy what I do SO much. It is such a blessing. I am doing marketing, mainly, for Tanari, and they trust me. I feel so respected & as if my opinion really matters! Its amazing! They are all amazing men & women of God, & challenge me in my faith (and my swahili) daily.

This past weekend was a God-send! On saturday I went to the nearest "mall", 2 minutes from my house, checked my email, & sat a Dormands (a coffee place). I got an iced latte & read "Captivating". An american guy sat by me, noticed my book, & we began a conversation about christianity. He worked at Kanakuk & is from MO. Crazy huh? It was just a nice & relaxing day.

Sunday I went & visited the house from Out of Africa! For those of you who haven't seen the movie, its a must. It is beautiful & it was so nice to just drive around kenya. Soon we'll be going to feed orphaned baby elephants! Isn't that amazing? I love it.

Anyway, sad news is our week trip on Mt.Kenya has most likely been moved to the end of July - meaning I won't be able to go! But I'm just praying Lydia will come & we'll do a lot of site seeing. I might go to the coast in a few weeks. An american hook up from a guy I work with! That would be amazing!

I suppose thats it. Thanks for all you do! Keep the emails coming.

lots of love from the other side of the world,

- or what many call me "kate"

Monday, March 20, 2006


I just returned to my home last night at 8:00 pm from a very long, wonderful, weekend of peeing in a hole & showering with a bucket; waking up at 5:30 am to jog, and pretend like I am an adolescent! It really was wonderful. We did a training, which I think I explained, and it was a great way to get me plugged in here. I met some wonderful people, and got to bond a lot with those I already knew. It did consist of all the above events, but it was nothing I hadn't done before, so I didn't mind.

I don't have too much to say other than the trip was excellent. I got to experience serious kenyan worship, and begin to develop amazing friendships. God is providing, and homesickness is easing. I am learning how to function in a majorly different culture from the one I know. I learning how to relate to those from this culture and build relationships. You know, its amazing to see Christ in different cultures. He is the same everywhere. My friend Jackie has been speaking volumes in my life, and I've known here for a week. She has gone through similar situations that I've been in, or am currently dealing with, and she is such an encouragment. You would love her.

Going on this camping trip I experienced some Kenyan "staples"; ugali for example. My dad will be trilled! It was pretty good. There was only one meal that was hard to keep eating, but I was thankful for the food either way!

That is my update. This week will be the first "normal" work week I'll experience; except for the fact I have today off b/c I worked yesterday at camp. I am looking forward to settling into a somewhat consistant schedule.

Today I'll being meeting with Marcy. She is going to meet with me weekly, and she knows how these transitions go, so she'll be able to coach me through. She also knows about Sarah, and as April 10th approaches, I think she'll be a huge encouragment. I'm praying for vulnerability with her, and just that the Holy Spirit will really work in our relationship. God has provided her for me, and I'm ever so thankful. Shes amazing, and I look forward to "spilling the beans".

Well, that is it for me at this moment. I'm going to try & update my yahoo photos; but here is the camping group & my friend Jackie & myself! (I do recognize the fact that I look horrible. I was camping; I didn't look in a mirror for three days!) Ok aren't working to upload on here, so I'll give you my yahoo account & go to the album entitled "KENYA", and you'll see more picture there!

love you all! Hear from you soon.


ps- if any of you are thinking of IU right now, yes...I know about the loss and am extremely disapointed! Lets not talk about it. I'm glad I'm in another country. If TEXAS is still in I'm now rooting for them!

Monday, March 13, 2006


Karibu! (welcome)

Well, in all of my wisdom & knowledge, I decided to update when I don't have much time. Thankfully people tend to run a little late in africa, but on the other hand those who work w/ Tanari are different. Either way, they are flex & gracious.

I am in Nairobi! Habari yako? Meaning, how are you?

Last week I did go out with Gina; who is kind of a celeb here in Kenya. We went to a kenyan movie premeire, and I met so many people; including one who worked on The Constant Gardener (which I still have not seen)! Thankfully it is still out in theatres!

I have been hanging out with Muhia (mo) & Marcy a lot. Their sons are terrific. Kiama, who is 6, is into basketball. Boy does that remind me of home. I beat him in PIG & HORSE yesterday about 6 times, but he was still close. I only wish my hoosiers were winning as much as I am!

This upcoming weekend i am going camping for the first time. If you go to, you'll find the program ROPES. That is what we're doing. They are trainging us, so that we can train others. I'm excited to get out of the city & into the "wilderness"!

My cell phone is a success. I don't have voice mail, but I've talked to my parents a couple times. THere is a funny delay, but I'm blessed all the same to have that easy communication (at least for me- not for them).

My room is coming together, and I have to go to the store & pick up some things to decorate with. And by decorate I mean tape to hang pictures! You like that? I know I know, high class on a missionaries budget.

As you can probably tell I'm settling in. I think the first few days I went into freak out mode, but I'm adjusting. Not to say hard times won't come, but GOd is so faithful in getting my needs met & relationships are blossoming. I've been able to start joking w/ those in the office & my hosts. If you know me, you know I need to be able to laugh & joke (perhaps a little sarcasm)?!

Well, I am going to be late to my meeting. They are forgiving, but I must be respectful. This will still take a couple minutes to load, and then I pay, and then I walk! OOPS!

Thanks for your support & love, and I can't wait to talk to you whenever I can. Thank you for checking my blog & I hope you find it worth your time.

See you!


Friday, March 10, 2006


Ok...its getting late here in Kenya & I can't walk in the dark, but I wanted to write a quick update.

I love my hosts. I got to spend a lot of time w/ them last night. I may be going out w/ Gina tonight.

Today was my first day of work. It wasn't hard, but I say sorry a lot & I'm learning the ropes. Its always hard when you're in a new job; but I'm really enjoying learning Swahili. Its a fun language. I don't know much yet, but I expect to since I'll be here for four more months!

Right now, I'm praying for a friend. Times are lonely when you're in a new country & no one is from America. I did meet this gal named Tracy last night. SHe is from Seattle & is probably 25 or 26. She gave me her number & I think I'll call her tomorrow. She could be really good for me.

Sorry this isn't a long one. I have a busy weekend w/ Tanari, but I hope to post again soon; and little longer; but right now I need to walk home before it gets dark. Keep up your prayers. He is so good to me & I've only been here 2 days.

I miss you all & your friendships & companionships. Write often. Thanks for your love & support.

Talk to you soon!

my cell phone: 0726 516 202. I think you may need to dial 0001 before calling; but I'm not sure. If you ever get the urge, I would LOVE to hear from each & every one of you. You're my backbone.


Monday, March 06, 2006


Well hello my blogger friends. I am in London as we speak. Its pretty cool here; in every sense of the word. I'm sorry I have no London picture to post yet. Its because I'm using lindsay's friend's computer & I'm not going to load any of my pictures on here. We went to this "point" yesterday in a wealthy part of town (Jude Law lives there) and it had a great view of the city of London. We walked A TON yesterday. We ate at a great greek restaurant; and chatted in a local coffee shop. It was a beautiful day. It certainly is expensive here though! I can't wait to get to Kenya!

Anyway, God is already doing so much in me, just by leaving the states. I have an enormous peace about being gone, but I really miss my family & friends. God is already working on what I knew would happen; redefining me in my own mind. I think we all identify ourselves in a certain way, and mine in large part was through my family. Well, it can't be anymore. No one knows my family over here, or in Kenya. And the only logical explanation for me going to Kenya is God. Therefore my identity is being found in God; which is great, b/c that is where it should be.

So, as I post this blog know that God is already teaching me a lot & I've only been gone for 2 days. He is keeping me safe, and giving me joy in the midst of unfamiliar territory.

I send me love to you all. Thank you for your support. Keep reading as I hope to post in 3 or so days when I'm in Nairobi.

Talk to you soon.


Sunday, February 26, 2006


Today was my commissioning. Oh what a blessing! My close friends & family were there. It was such a good time of community and sharing. Through talking about Kenya, God continued to reveal to me His faithfulness and plan in me going. Nothing has ever been more confirmed than this.

TO THOSE OF YOU WHO CAME: THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! It meant the world to me to see each & everyone of you there.

This week will hold planning, packing, and buying. OH my goodness. Thanks for your support, prayers, and love. I love you guys back!


ps - the picture is me in my new hat for Kenya!

Monday, February 20, 2006

its getting closer...

PRAISE THE GOOD LORD! I just got back from Seven Springs, PA! We planned, and followed through, with taking 248 high school students, and 40 adults. The outcome: 3 (that we know about) came to know Jesus, and we only had one broken arm! HURRAY. And yes, I went skiing. The boys made me go on a double black diamond, and DIDN'T tell me what we were approaching. No falls on that hill. God is good.

Anyway, I have one week left working at Grace Community Church; and then a week to pack; and then I'm gone. This is the beginning of a long adventure. Thanks for reading and keeping up with me.

Now...I'm off to rest. I am sick, from emceeing all weekend, and I got no sleep or rest.

COMMISSIONING: Feb. 26th, GCC, Rm. 111, 4:00 pm. Be there or be square.


Monday, February 13, 2006

My Flight...

Things are moving faster than ever! I got my shots last week and we're booking my flight for March 4th this week. God is SO amazing. I have half the funds, and that is why I get to book the flight this week!

I tried my first Kenyan Chai this afternoon. Good news: I LIKED IT. I was also watching T.D.Jakes yesterday on TV and apparently he comes over to Nairobi a couple times a year. I hope that he comes while I'm there. Now that would be a treat!

FYI: My commissioning is Feb. 26th, at 4:00pm, at Grace Community Church. If you could come out that would be great. Just to hang out with me, and hear what I'm doing. That would be fabulous. Thanks.

Thanks for everything, my dear supporters. I will keep you posted on the upcoming events.


Friday, February 03, 2006

Preparation & Confirmation

Confirmation has been happening. God is brining in funds, and has set my housing in place. I am living with a couple that lives a 5-10 minute walk from Mo (my boss). They sound amazing.

Some days I am nervous about the trip, but God gently reminds me of the call He has placed on my life. This is a time at which He has stripped me of responsibility and obviously no relationship to call my own. (ha ha) So in a sense I am care free, and I think that is precisely so that I could go to KENYA!!!

I am thrilled to go and excited that I get to share my travels with all of you faithful blog readers. If you have sent me funds, I can not thank you enough; if you have been praying for me my thanks extends to you as well. God is doing amazing things and I haven't even left.

What I'm working on now: learning some basic Swahili; finding insurance; and getting my necessary vaccinations.

I love you all and will be posting again soon as the departure day rapidly approaches!

29 Days left

Friday, January 20, 2006


Ok, so I got the clear for my ear. I had surgery on my ear drum on December 28th, and I'm healing. The doctor said I would be fine! HURRAY.

Now, I'm reading two books to prepare me for the trip. I'm getting very excited as the day I leave rapidly approaches.

I'm definately going to Kenya.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

IT'S OFFICIAL!!! became official today. I have 7 weeks to prepare for a life changing, mind boggling, spirit altering, adventure. WOW is God so much bigger than me!

So, the approximate leave date is March 4th. The need: $3000, by then; and $2000 spread throughout the next 3 months. I will be returning around the 12th of July.

Today, in the meeting, there was quite a bit of confidence restored. There are great plans for me, while I'm there, and community being built. I'm stoked!

In preparation, I am reading two books, and meeting with pastors weekly. Thank you for your love and interest. I would ask, now, for your prayers of preparation for the best experience of my life.


Monday, January 16, 2006

The Beginning

I began this blog as a step to keep people posted on my trip to Kenya. I'm not very smooth with this whole "blog"thing. Well, I'm not to Kenya yet and there is still learning! The trip becomes official this week, and then the "getting ready" process begins!!!

If you want to start praying, here is what is needed: 1. the funds. Oh goodness there is a lot of money to be raised in a short amount of time. 2. Preparation: not just physically, but spiritually, mentally, & emotionally. 3. My family: None of us have been apart from each other this long, and with Sarah's birthday coming up and her year anniversary of going to Jesus, this could be a rough transition.

Thank you all so much for your love, support, and prayers. I'll keep you "posted" on all events of Kenya!!! God is doing a big work, and I'm pumped.

Isaiah 6:8