Thursday, November 28, came and went this year without much fanfare. Since Thanksgiving is an American holiday, all the medical missionaries here at Tenwek had to work a regular day. The kids went to school as usual in the morning. (They did have the afternoon off.) We had no power since Thursdays are our days to go without power. (Power rationing is a must until the second turbine is installed by the waterfall.) The leaves are green, the weather is warm and sunny, and I still dress in the bright colors of summer.
I did get to facetime with several members of my family, which was a huge blessing. Thanks to facebook, I saw pictures of the family gatherings I missed. Boy! Kids grow so quickly! I may not recognize anyone by the time I return to PA! Otherwise, Thursday was a normal day.
Saturday, November 30, however, was a grand day of celebration! If there’s one thing the Tenwek community is good at, it’s throwing a party! We started the festivities bright and early with the 1st Annual Tenwek Turkey Trot. It was a 5k friendly race. I think I came in 4th place for the women…not sure what my time was. (As you can tell, it wasn’t too competitive.)
The adult race was followed by the Mashed Potato Mile, a one-mile fun run for the kids. Noah and Jacob ran it, and I jogged with Jacob to cheer him on. Jacob won the ‘5 and under’ age group, and he is quite proud of himself!
Noah did really well too! Since neither of them had ever run a race like this, I was a little worried about how they would do. They both surprised me with their endurance! I think it was Jacob who said, “Momma, it hurts when I breathe!” after the race. It is surprisingly chilly in the mornings here in the mountains of Bomet!
Levi and Aaron cheered us on and took pictures. Levi is anxious for his turn to run! “Team Tie-Dye” did a great job…and I’m not sure when my boys got so big!!
After hot chocolate and breakfast breads, we headed back home to prepare for the Thanksgiving feast. I was listening to Steven Curtis Chapman’s Beauty Will Rise album while I got myself ready for the day. The lyrics washed over me in a fresh, raw way. I suddenly found myself crying and missing Hannah so deeply once again. But I’m thankful for the time I did have with her, that she’s celebrating thanksgiving everyday with our LORD and Savior, that I still have 3 beautiful children to mother, that I have a wonderful and godly husband, a supportive family back in the States, and a great family of believers here in Kenya, etc. My list of blessings could go on and on, so I allowed myself this time of mourning and then chose joy once again.
Lunch was a huge family event. Four giant turkeys were cooked. Everyone brought the side dishes. The room was decorated with as much Thanksgiving decor we could collectively find. The picture of the smorgasbord says it all…
I think we had as many tables of food as tables of people!
The turkeys at my table used the centerpieces as hats…They’re so much like their father!
After stuffing themselves silly, Aaron and the boys went home to take naps. I stayed to help clean up and then headed home to rest. While we were resting, though, many of the more ambitious members of the community got together to play flag football. Only a few injuries ensued. And then, it was time for pie!
Oh my! The pies were even better than the feast! We each had the privilege of choosing two pieces of pie. I went with an apple-cranberry pie and my own pumpkin streusel pie. I also tasted the upside down banana split pie and my blueberry-peach pie. (Thank you, boys, for sharing with your momma!) So, so yummy!
The night ended with the men watching football. (Yes, we were able to stream a game…The internet was cut from everyone else’s homes so that the one connection would be fast enough.) The older kids watched Elf. The younger kids (i.e., my 3 boys) went to bed. They were exhausted after all that running, playing and eating!
Needless to say, our first Thanksgiving was a blessed event. Despite the fact that we are half-way around the world from our families, we felt extremely blessed and thankful for those blessings. May God receive all the glory!!
Praises and Prayer Requests:
1. Praise God for freedom to worship HIM!
2. Praise God for the Body of Christ, for the family of believers around the world!
3. Praise God for technology that allows us to stay in touch so easily!
4. Please pray for my dad as he begins radiation Monday, December 2. Pray for complete healing!
5. Please pray fervently for us this holiday season. Hannah’s stocking is hung with the rest of ours. (We have a fireplace for the first time!!) We want to honor her life as we celebrate the birth of our Savior. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will guide our decisions in how to honor her and comfort us as we miss her this Christmas…and everyday.
(We spent the day decorating for Christmas! Stay tuned for more pictures. 🙂 )