Every once in a while God reveals something of your hearts desire. Maybe it was something you could have never imagined happening… like our sweet surprise baby girl Charleigh. Maybe its the day you turn off an African highway onto a bumpy, dirt path of red soil bound for your new home in Kenya.
On November 22, I sat in the backseat of our small 4×4 as my husband turned the last corner of that dirt road toward our new home on Kijani Farm. In one of the most surreal moments of my life, this carpool (my husband, middle son, baby daughter, sister and I) were greeted by a small herd of zebra, a few impalas, two warthogs and a couple of dik diks. About another half a kilometer down the road, two Masai men pulled away the thorn shrubs that formed a make-shift gate at the entrance of our boma (home area).
I was home. My home is in Kenya. My home is in Masai land in southern Kenya.
I am 45 minutes from a grocery store. Two and a half hours away from a big city. I am 8,116 miles away from my oldest son. I have no electricity. I have no plumbing. I have no internet. But, I am where I am supposed to be.
Fatigue is a word that almost describes my physical state. Fish out of water might explain my psychological state. Dumbstruck awe would describe my emotional state. And yet, some how… everything is okay!
For six years, my husband and I had a common desire… to build a community development project in an unreached area of Africa. Well, we are here!
Oddly, the only thing I can think about is that I always wanted to marry a farmer. I don’t know if its the overalls, the work ethic, the ability to plant, water, and harvest or if its just the ideals of something I know nothing about. But, a farmer – yes, that’s who I wanted to marry.
My husband and I have been married for a little over 23 years. We have two incredible sons and one sweet daughter. Our family is a little odd. Our children’s ages are far apart and it makes people smirk when they hear we have a 21 year old son, a 15 year old son and a 7 month old daughter. We laugh with them but consider ourselves to be very blessed! Three kids and a marriage that has been blessed.. this woman married to this carpenter.
In February 2017, while I was six months pregnant, Brian flew to Kenya with a ministry partner and broke ground on Kijani Farm. I suppose the minute he picked up that shovel…he became a farmer. When Brian came home five and a half weeks later, he didn’t completely come home. Looking back over this last year, I think he was never to come fully home, his heart was on Kijani Farm. He went again and again to prepare a place for our family. In November, I was no longer waiting for him to come home, I was going to meet him. My farmer. I was married to a farmer.
16But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.
Those words were spoken from a daughter-in-law to her mother-in-law but I always loved the commitment and faith that gave passion to those words. Those few powerful phrases were spoken at our wedding, a little over 23 years ago, when I married a carpenter.
Now, I have gone where he has gone. I will stay where he stays. The Masai people will be our people and our God will always be our God. I will be the farmer’s wife, at his side as Kijani Farm begins. We are going to grow many things. Trees and vegetables and we are going to plant a school, clinic and church. We will also plant seeds of hope into the next generation of Masai. Farmers plant, water and harvest.
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