A Roller Coaster Week


We are still overwhelmed by the daily uplifting of God’s people. Thank you for your continual prayers and your regular words of encouragement. I’d like to give you all a little update of the week. It’s been a rough one, but many blessings are evident as well. I don’t think I’ve ever used the word bittersweet more in my life.

Saturday was a friend’s birthday party, so the boys got to enjoy water games, cake, and a BOUNCY HOUSE!! Bet you didn’t know we missionaries in Africa had such great parties, huh?

bouncy house

The highlight of my weekend, though, was video session 4 in my James: Mercy Triumphs study. Beth Moore talked about Shekinah, the glory of God manifested in His people. (This is more than the Holy Spirit’s presence. A believer always has the Holy Spirit.) I’ve been experiencing Shekinah ever since the night Hannah stopped breathing.

Hannah at Tenwek ICU

I can’t explain it, but I never in my life felt closer to God. His presence was so strong in my life that I was feeling like a superhero, like I was indestructible. I know that sounds silly, but I felt the power of His presence in such a real and awesome way that I wasn’t afraid of anything. However, while listening to the video on Sunday afternoon, I felt the Holy Spirit warning me that it would be leaving soon. Although it is not completely gone, I can tell that it’s fading quickly. It has been fading for weeks, but I’ve been trying to hang onto it as long as possible. If there was anything I knew to do to hold onto it until I die, I would do it. But it doesn’t work that way. So many people have posted songs to our Kelleys In Kenya facebook page. We so appreciate your thoughtfulness. Now, I’d like to share a song. It’s the ONE song that most accurately describes how I’ve been feeling these weeks of Shekinah.

 Mercyme – The First Time (with Lyrics) Fisher of Men – YouTube.

Monday was a sad day. It was Aaron’s first full day back to work. We found out that his grandmother passed away. And we were missing Hannah in an overwhelming way. When people tell you grief comes in waves, they are right. Monday was the beginning of a tidal wave.

Grandma Rebholz and Baby Jacob

Tuesday was a little better. Pretty uneventful. Aaron was on call, so he spent some time on the phone with the doctors in training. Although the pager was quiet after midnight, we didn’t sleep well. It’s hard to rest when you know the pager could beep at any moment. Below are pictures of Levi and one of his friends, Ellie, playing with Hannah’s toys. This happens almost daily. It’s beautiful and sad all at the same time. I love to them watch remember Baby Hannah, but I often have to fight back tears.

Levi with Hannah's dollLevi and Ellie playing with Hannah's toys

Wednesday morning delivered another highlight. This time, it was from You are my Hiding Place, a devotional by Amy Carmichael. As Shekinah was still lingering in my mind, especially the coming loss of it, chapter 12 entitled ” Trivial” Profanities spoke clearly to me. Maybe it hints to ways we can keep, or at least not risk loosing, Shekinah. After a discussion of the relationship between the world’s entertainment and reaction to God’s love and best plan for each of us, she wrote, “…we who love our Lord, and we whose affections are set on the things that are heaven for us today – we voluntarily and gladly lay aside things that charm the world, so that we may be charmed and ravished with the things of heaven. Then our whole being may be poured forth in constant and unreserved devotion in serving our Lord, who died to save us.” She goes on to say, “Therefore, we may bind ourselves to God with the kind of vow that commits us to this: to look upon the world, in all its delights and attractions, suspecting that traps are set there for us, reserving ourselves for a higher way. The world is not for us.” Wow! What conviction! What a reminder of how close God is to us all the time. So often, we just miss Him.

pink sky with a rainbow

Thursday morning began with a blow. Aaron got his first ever migraine. It caused him to stay in bed almost the entire day. Fortunately, a wonderful neighbor (Amy Bemm, thanks so much!!) brought a prescription that eventually kicked the migraine, and Aaron was able to eat supper with us.

Friday. Today is going well so far. We are tired. The boys are exhausted despite my best efforts to rest them every afternoon and get them in bed nice and early. Aaron is on call again, so let’s hope it’s a quiet night at Tenwek.

We especially want a restful night of sleep tonight because we are going on our first safari tomorrow!! After waking up super early, we’ll spend the day looking for wild animals in the wild. We are so excited!! Aaron and I get to spend the night. The boys are coming back to Tenwek with friends (thank you, Jenny Roberts!!!) so that Aaron and I can have a little quiet time and more adventure in the Masaii Mara!

Praise and Prayer Requests:

1.) Praise God that we survived this week despite the roller coaster ride it was. He is faithful. The Holy Spirit was faithful to deliver words of encouragement and challenge, songs of wisdom and emotion and praise, and friends with open arms and listening ears all at the right times.

2.) Potty training is still going well, but he still has daily accidents. I’m looking forward to the time when he can string a couple of accident-free days (or even weeks!) together. In the meantime, please pray for us during this disgusting part of parenting. Pray for him and the Roberts this weekend! Ben and Jenny will have their 3 boys plus my 3 boys. Potty training will add another challenge to 6 boys under the same roof. God bless them!!

3.) Pray for rest and relaxation for Aaron and me this weekend, for a spectacular show of animals on our safari, and for blessings to all who are making this weekend possible. (We are getting the night at the hotel and meals free!)

4.) Pray that Aaron will not experience a migraine EVER AGAIN!

5.) Pray for our extended family as they celebrate the life and grieve the death of Grandma Rebholz.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27


4 responses »

  1. I continue to pray for your family as God brings you to my mind. I will be praying that you have a wonderful and relaxed weekend. You are going to see so many of God’s creatures, how awesome. As a foster parent, I have potty trained lots of little ones and I agree, it is the worst job and one that the child has control of. I will be praying for that also.

  2. God is with you, even in visiting that vast Masaii Mara wilderness! May you remember that He will continue to walk with you through the storms of life. Trust Him and look to HIm for wisdom! Blessings on your retreat there!

  3. Stephanie, prayers continue daily for your family and everyone there working with you. The work you all are doing is amazing. I especially share your pain with the beeper at night and Aaron with his migraines so there will be extra special prayers for that!! 🙂 Find peace in knowing that, even though the holy spirit will leave soon, it is always there when you most need it again. Blessings to you all and enjoy your weekend.

  4. I don’t know you or your family or your mission organization, but I stumbled across your blog through an acquaintance’s link on Facebook. Reading about your commitment to our God is humbling and challenging. Thank you for expressing your staunch faith and confidence in His goodness, no matter what. Your words and stories pulled my heart, and I will pray for you and your family. Your confidence in suffering makes me think of G. K. Chesterton’s “The Man Who was Thursday” (a strange and wonderful book) that explores (in a round-about, dream-like way) how we experience suffering and fear. I pray that you and yours continue with hope and courage. God bless you and keep you!

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