It was a wonderful time filled with renewal as we reconnected with our family and friends.
One thing that God has showed us in our time in Africa is that people are what really matter. Our friends on the other side of the globe know this and do it very well. Relationships are everything and tasks come second. Before we left Kenya a friend of ours from America visited us. When she returned to the United States she sent us some of her reflections from her visit and we would love to share them with you.
"I had the privilege of traveling to Migori, Kenya this past November to visit my dear friends, the Ruzgas. As you know, the Ruzgas are serving as missionaries in Migori for Oasis for Orphans. You probably know that they are there primarily to oversee the building of a new orphanage, My big takeaway from this trip is that they are doing so much more than project managing.
The bulk of their job has become about relationships. This means navigating within a culture and languages that are not necessarily natural or comfortable at times. Bob and Deb have done a great job at jumping in and embracing the life they have in Migori. Although certainly challenging, they both are authentically working on relationships with Kenyans, be it in business, the marketplace, neighborhood or in their own home. The mishaps and mis-communications that one inevitably encounters can be frustrating and disappointing, but the laughs and learned lessons from these encounters are treasured. Doing business or making friends can be hard work in the U.S., where English is the primary language and our cultural cues are fairly similar…..these same activities in another culture can be quite difficult. Kenyan's prize relationships primarily because in a land of such poverty, people and not things come first. This tends to lead to a slower and maybe more satisfying cadence of life. (However, this pace can seem aggravating at times to Americans.) Being with the Ruzgas, and getting a glimpse into their lives is a true testament to stepping out in faith. They want to learn, they want to build community, they want to grow and they want to serve God. They may not know the ending to the story, but they are joyous about each chapter as it unfolds.
Facts about Migori:
Migori is the capital city of the county of Migori in Kenya.
Migori sits on the southwestern border of Kenya and Tanzania.
43% of people in Migori live below the poverty line.
There is only 48 miles of tarmac (paved roads) in Migori County.
There is approximately 1 doctor per 52,000 residents in Migori County.
Facts about Bob and Deb:
Deb takes learning Swahili seriously and is getting pretty good. (Ask her about her flashcards.)
Bob’s days are filled with meeting with contractors, city/county officials and Oasis staff.
Four-wheel drive is required to get into the Ruzga compound.
Bob and Deb will walk to the duka (road side shop) up on the tarmac (paved road) to have a soda/date and be social.
“Mommy Deb” is well known around her neighborhood. Women and children will come out to greet her when she out walking and she eagerly learns about them too.
A vigorous, but beautiful, uphill walk is required from the Ruzga home to the new Shelter project.
Deb is using her CNA certification to assist at Kenya Relief."
- Financial support to come in faithfully
- Learning and speaking Swahili
- wisdom as we interview for a social worker and guidance in the child selection process.
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.