Dear Loved Ones,
Tumefika salama! We have arrived well! Wow! What an amazing trip. We woke up this morning in Nairobi Kenya with the African dawn to the sounds of familiar African bird songs. Jon and I commented that our trip could not have gone any more smoothly. Thank you all for your prayers on our behalf! All our luggage made it and we met my mom at the airport in Nairobi. Also, praise the Lord, our Tanzania work permit was renewed!
Here’s a synopsis of our last week:
After arriving in London a week ago an hour ahead of schedule (at 5:00 A.M. having lost 5 hours of time), we picked up our luggage and met our new friend Ken who took it off our hands for us so we could travel light around England. We took our time getting the rental car but were on the road heading up to Liverpool by 8:30 A.M. It was a 4 hour drive and we were very tired. We stopped for a meal but other than that, the kids slept the whole way. But what a wonderful feeling to arrive at Devi Road. After visiting with our hosts for a while, we found our beds and all konked out. Jon and Josh managed to get up for dinner (or tea, as they call it in that part of the country) but the rest of us slept right through. I woke up for a couple of hours later on but slept through until 9:00 A.M. We love those English duvets.
Jon preached on Sunday morning and we got to spend some time catching up with our friends from the fellowship. On Monday, we were tourists in Liverpool and we shared our work on Monday evening. We left Liverpool on Tuesday morning feeling refreshed and blessed. We had such a special time with our friends there and it certainly didn’t feel like 5 years had gone by. Of course, it was a highlight for us to introduce Rachel.
After another 4. 5 hour drive to Epsom (yes, famous for it’s healing salts) just south of London, we arrived at the home of our good friends who had moved from Liverpool a couple of years ago. They have 3 children close to the ages of our kids, 2 boys and a girl so it was a delight for us parents to watch our kids all playing together. We did some fun things (trip to Wisley Gardens and the huge science museum in London) in the couple of days we were there and it was hard to leave. All of the other kids kept telling us that they didn’t want us to leave.
A shorter drive up to Harrow brought us to the home of friends we know from Tanzania and back to our luggage. We spent a wonderful Friday afternoon and evening with them and were up early Saturday morning the 14th to return the car and get to the airport. Again, Ken helped us out with luggage and everything went so smoothly. The timing was just right and we didn’t have to spend hours in the lounges trying to kill time before boarding the plane. We were a little late taking off but the flight went well and the kids traveled well. Of course, where else do they get to watch movie after movie, each with a private screen, for almost 8 hours straight.
What a joy to arrive “home” again. For me, it brought some tears as it was a fresh reminder that my dad, who certainly would have been at the airport with my mom to meet us, is no longer with us. But it was a poignant reminder that no matter how many good byes we say here on earth, within the family of God, it is never permanent. Praise Him! We slept soundly and this morning, Sunday, we enjoyed breakfast at one of our favorite restaurants here in Kenya with my cousin and his family. It was nice to be able to say a “hello” instead” of a “farewell”.
Some thoughts on our time in England: they really do speak a different language than we Americans, they drink A LOT of tea, they are much better at eating less and walking more, there is a great public transportation system and it can be chilly and rainy even in the middle of August. We had such a wonderful time and are so glad we took the time to visit. A special thanks to Pete and Sue and all our friends at Devi Road, to Scott and Abi and family and to Eddie and Kathy and Ken. We came away blessed and refreshed.
Saying good bye to all of our loved ones in the U.S. was difficult as always but as I thought about the sacrifice we have been asked to make, I thought about the other side of the coin as well. In four Sundays in a row, we will be in 4 different countries, worshiping with believers from all over the world. What an amazing privilege to serve our Lord as we do and to get to meet and fellowship with His people from many tribes and in many languages. A foretaste of what is to come! Hallelujah!
So we thank the Lord that our Work Permit has been renewed! Please pray for wisdom as to how to get it from Tanzania to us here in Kenya before we can get back into Tanzania. This is the third time around for us and each time it has been different. It might require Jon to go to TZ without the family to take care of this business or we might need to wait here in Kenya for a couple of weeks. We are still hoping to get home by Saturday but it will take the Lord orchestrating things just so. Please ask him to do this for us. But we rest in knowledge that He will get us there in His time and way.
Thanks for all your love and prayers. We love you and thank the Lord for you.
Melissa for the Eagers