The best part was working in the slum along side Kenyans Jimmy Olo and Samuel Mwiti. What a powerful time we had those 5 days. It was special to us, and we gave it all we had. I was also with Becky Munson and Michael Stafford. We were a great group! We didn't have to say a word to each other or plan a thing! I have never had that much harmony in a group of people working on something! I will always treasure watching each one of us be exactly who we are intended to be. I don't know, maybe somebody was having a hard time but it didn't feel like it! God seemed to going ahead of us. If I always had a team like that, I could work there for days and days. We made for quite an unusual sight as we laughed and talked with each other walking along the paths of Bondeni. They must have thought the circus was in town! Safe to say there was not a lot of laughter around us. For the first time in my life I was able to lead someone to Christ! I just wanted to go and tell more and more people! That's what it feels like to be, as Jesus puts it, in a "ripe harvest." God had that time for me and I was very excited about it. We sang in people's homes and prayed with drunks on the street. People end up in the slum for all sorts of reasons. I will never forget the Sudanese man that I am sure after talking to him is a perpetrator. There were long scars on his face and he did not have the demeanor of a victim. We shared the news of Jesus Christ. He said he couldn't receive the gospel because he had too many evil thoughts and dark memories. But he was surprised and grateful after I lay hands on him and prayed for his needs. I bet no one ever reaches out a loving hand to him. I told him that whenever he hears the Spirit calling to him, he can ask God to come into his heart, he didn't need me to pray with him. It's wonderful to leave someone who has accepted Christ, but it may be even more powerful to show love and compassion toward those who cannot accept him. But with God all things are possible.
The earth is the Lord's and everything in it. It's only by the Lord's love for me though Jesus Christ that I can even begin to understand these words. All my senses are overwhelmed by this verse. There is no category to this statement. Take it or leave it; It is his; the earth; everything. And if that's hard to understand then maybe this will help: the world. And all who live in it.
I wonder what kind of music went with this. At first I thought it could be with shouts and drums. But now I think I would sing it very soft and high, slowly so that every word would carry the weight. The Psalmist confronts everyone who has ears to hear. Last week we memorized "who is man that You would care for him?"
Today we say "who can stand in His holy place?" This song gives us time to think of the Lord as Creator King. If I would only stop and sing it. This week I have been very busy with my stuff. I have straightened closets and organized my sewing room. I have been planning what clothes I would like to make over the next few weeks and what I can do to decorate the house. I am going on a trip next week. What should I pack? How much should I spend when I get there? Do I even want to pay attention to that question? Christmas is coming up. There are books I want to read. I really could use a new coffee maker, new bathroom rugs, my car washed.
Today if I sing with myself in mind, it is a plaintive tune. Because I don't live as someone who considers all I have as belonging to God.
I am what you might say an indoor person. Every once in a while I go outside and remember that creation is an awesome and beautiful thing. But there are quilts to make which are better made on my kitchen table. I'm a homebody. So while some might think on God's creation and marvel, I need to look on the man made things and be grateful. Everything in it! The sewing machine, the car, the TV, the food in the fridge, the Taco Bell...... all the necessities of life: (Yeah Man!)
So I have really only begun to meditate on this verse. What will it mean for me tomorrow? I cannot study this poem. I have to sing it. I can't know this Psalm, I have to experience it. I memorized these words and now I can dream them. They are In my mind and shaping my soul as they have for David. Was he a king yet when he wrote this? Well anyone can tell that a King owns everything in his domain. Who can parcel out what is God's and what is not? Who could go up to His Kingdom to possess it? Who has clean hands and pure heart? I know Jesus Christ is the one. He goes up that hill and He stands in that Holy Place. Say it again. Say to yourself that the earth is the Lord's. Everything. The world and all who live in it. The gates move and the doors open. The King of Glory enters the earth, the world and all who live in it. To live is to stand in the holy place. The Word remains or it is no word at all. It remains whether I notice or not.
But today, thankfully I hear the invitation to lift up my head. The King of Glory is coming into my sewing room. He's about me on the freeway, in my heart and my mind, in my empty tummy and my full tummy. Thank you. Thank you. I am in the world and I am yours. So take what I concern myself with and be lifted up with it. Whatever is fine, what ever is noble, whatever is of good reputation, let it lift up my head that the King of Glory may come in.
Oh Lord I am calling will call and must always call. I will also call as others call Call out to you like birds would caw caw The sound comes back to me as your people are the mountain that makes the echo. I hear them call, we call an abrasive music, caw
You said my name and red and green gems fell out of your mouth. My name was given to me by my mother and then again by you. It hung there making music, making me real. I was a phantom, I was baited breath; unformed and messy out of my container.
From all the words, I can only remember the shade of red leaking around my name. The letters formed from purple opulence, some iron bar bent into text. You played my name and it clung to me like oil. I hide in my name and you have fed me in its deepest corner.
I'm heavily into the craft/sew/knit mode. So I'll be posting most of my projects here. I like Squarespace and hope to chart the inspiration I've been lead to by the work in Nairobi and the attention I'm making toward art. I hope to record the journey I've begun to find my place in developing the path of fiber for sustained living. Hand made, provision for life and meaning- it's a calling from our spiritual voice. God and our dependance of Him.
Plans are in the works to return to Kenya at the end of March. I hope to get back to Amani Ya Juu. What a beautiful place that can inspire all the working women of Mathare. They are free to work at something they love and enjoy the community that it makes.
January is turning into a new kind of month for me. It's very good to be home and taking better care of things. We are so thankful. It's little quieter, but also a little more productive for me. I feel as though I've come out of retirement, back into the routine of being home. I so appreciate the rain today. I finally finished that bed quilt I started about 3 years ago. I finally figured out how to make bread. I've got my head into making a meal. I finished a book this morning. Sounds like a life.
November 16 It's cool and overcast. The open reserve next to the airport has giraffes in the distance. But I guess I'm feeling too serious to get excited about it. Or still tired. Keith is laughing all the time. He's so glad to see Arty. I get the front seat. Tim is patient and engaged. I can be quiet. There's a lot of traffic and roundabouts and so may walking. It all looks familiar. I don't know why. The slum even seemed familiar The people just looked tired to me. The troubled and sick side by side with the able and self-sufficient. But the smallest of children in the street were a shock. Some with no pants, no expression. Like life hadn't begun yet. I didn't like to see the children. I was self-conscious. But I can't let myself think of it. I am what I am and I must also be a steward. The school is community. They are the best that they have. It's the way we could be...
With the two women we met today, Naomi and Eliabeth in her regal purple, I knew there were others. And there are the ones who do not even know what abundant life can mean. I think Elizabeth knows. Do I know?
I want this place to make me more at my own home. Why are we going to Kenya to find them? I gave Kathy the coffee and tea. She made us enchiladas. She told me she is a mother. And then a missionary. Help her more Lord. Come and console and fulfill more. Life always has us going higher.
Remembering back to that Saturday night all I can think of is "I'm tired!" We hadn't even begun. But maybe that's just my memory. I was sick. The fires, the traffic, the drama aver the fires, the drama over the traffic. All of us were nervous about our tickets. During all of this I called out to God, but it didn't carry assurance. I just called. Once. That's all the energy I had for it. Now with my new skill, I tried to forget about it. This is where you think God has a plan and though you're not for sure about why and how you have to rmember all the steps that got you here. We had to walk through open doors after all that trial and prayer that comes before it.
I was sick before I got out of the car. I slept the whole way to London. I began to feel better on the flight to Nairobi.
I am in the moment. No anxiety. Just watching things as they come.
In impossible circumstances, the children taught at the Hope Center are surrounded by dedicated people who love God. We felt very privledged to visit and develope friendships with those who love them.
Tim and I traveled with Eastside's own Santa Arty VanGeloof. He has so much to give because he lets all that he gets pass right through his hands. It's fun to watch him in action. Together with the Hams we schemed and dreamed about all that could be done in the future. The near future; because these children don't have time to wait. This was taken the first day we spent in Nairobi
Long overdue, but still worth sharing. Tina and I went to New Mexico to have one of my favorite trips ever. We ate well, traveled well and shopped well. Got a little sight of fiber processing and took in the hand spun type crowd. There are so many doing lovely creative things. I'm hoping to share that enthusiasm with those I meet while traveling to Kenya this week. Tim and I are taking our turn going to the Mathare Valley and to visit the Hope Center. But have a look at the amazing woman of generous years that is hand shearing this ram.
Tim Swaney took these shots and many more of the bead workshop called Kazuri Beads. The Brighton Jewelry company has struck water with the proceeds from their Clean Water promotion in Kibera, one of the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. Karin's group from our church was in the neighboring Mathare slum. You can still find Brighton Kazuri Beads at Ear Abstracts in Yorba Linda and help the families in the slums of Nairobi.
Thanks Paul, I know your thoughts come from your experience. I certainly don't have any special quality to offer. But I'm willing. Our plans have changed to travel in November. I hope to teach and/or encourage some possibly forgotten and abandoned fiber crafts. There is an active group who manage and oversee micro-business financing applications. I hope for a long term benefit for them, but also know that to make something useful and beautiful has meant everything to me. I know there are people who long to do the same. It is a luxury for many.
I hate that communities are stripped of their imagination and co-creation with God. Poverty is cruel and may even be death to the craftsman who can't work his craft. I have an abundance that is waiting to be received. They, in turn, have an abundance.
Karin's trip was full of joy. The faithful surrounded them and those who longed for community were free to join them. Hope Center is growing because of the need. And it's growing because people are acting out of love. I cannot stop and mourn the millions who need more. Or rather I mourn it as we meet together and do what we can. We gotta do what we can. ;)
Karin will be leaving on the 20th for 2 weeks to The Hope Center. The video page tells of 120+ children that are being helped. The number in the past year has risen to over 2000. I hope that you'll sponsor a child too.
What kind of seeds are bones? that lay down in the earth to become earth Then the texture of springs and things unseen before-
The worst came to them and they fell- unthinkable to reverse their purpose an insult to their creation
We are not in the time of knowing it is not to be said what comes of calcium and withered marrow But if bones are seeds once hatched from creations painful roots We will see its planting and after its fullness rest ourselves beneath its shade.
This Saturday I'll be teaching Sweater Finishing at the Knotty Knitters Guild. Ten techniques makes Teddy's sweater loaded with tags. Say that five times fast! Life is going well. April is always a good month for me. Matt will be doing Driver's Ed and Karin will be done with school in a few short weeks. Me too for that matter. I'll soon have all of my garments made and a few patterns drafted as well. Coachella in a couple weeks. Back yard almost done.
Mark, stitch, cut carefully. Yeah, I've got the welt pocket down... and thankfully I've learned to make the jacket fit! I'm using woolen that belonged to my Aunt Mary Alice. She would be proud of me and eager to see this new technique.
It took waiting to the last days of the year to win big. It's all going okay now and this game of Rummicube was a highway sign. Yahoo! Two points to add a little humility, to remind me it shouldn't be all perfect.
I came home today from school with no academic projects barkin' in my basement. What a complete joy! I'm done except for a multiple choice final a week from Wednesday. Mark is coming in two days and will be here for Christmas. He'll be able to see Joel's show on the 19th. His room's all ready upstairs.
I broke down and turned on the heat today, just long enough to take the edge off. Why do you think I have all these sweaters? There has to be some occasion to wear them! I lay awake for an hour last night before I piled on another quilt and slipped on some socks. Growing up in Seattle meant the COLDEST icy sheets this time of year. It will never be that bad again!
So I loved the classes I took this past fall and I'm really looking forward to new ones come January. But yeah for now! I am celebrating this Advent season being at home and enjoying attentiveness to The Wait. Go get yourself a hot beverage.