Sunday, January 22, 2012

This and That - Kenyan Style

It feels like I’m watching a moving ---- or in one. So intrigued to see what will happen next. I’m curious about the characters, the unexpected twists and turns, the surprise appearances, and the unpredictable relationships. But it’s not a movie...

Silly of me I suppose --- but I can’t seem to keep from wondering…
Will I really be able to create a “home” on the other side of the world?
We’ve lived on Mockingbird Road for almost 30 years. My nest is the perfect shape of our Taylor flock.
Will people really “hear” the good news Steve and I have for them? Will the men be willing to love their wives and bless their homes? Will women be willing to love their husbands in more God surrendered sort of ways?
Do we know what we need to know to throw this smooth stone in the middle of this glacier like pond called hurting marriages? Will the ripples from the impact break up the glasslike surface and bring life to the water’s shoreline?

It really does feel like we are walking through a movie set. We’re surely “not in Kansas anymore”.

Tonight we lay in a hot hotel room (no air conditioning here) and listen to the train whistle in the distance. The train travels on tracks originally laid in 1899.  The tracks lead to Tsavo and then on to Mombosa. Tsavo is the town where two rogue man-eating lions halted the building of the railway bridge by relentlessly killing and devouring the railway workers. In the late 1800s, many people living in this very town where we now find ourselves, were killed by the man-eaters. “The Ghost and The Darkness”  is a good movie that depicts the true story.

Yep – it’s got to be a movie…

At dinner tonight, we sat with two Kenyan gentlemen who love God. Our conversation was rich, ranging in topics from African soccer to scripture memorization. We shared scripture with one another highlighting verses that had changed our lives and had helped carry us from where we were to where we now find ourselves. All the while inspiring each other to go farther still ---- we affirmed for each other, there is more, much more.

And then i must indulge in laughter whenever possible --- 
In very rural Ngaamba, a group of children asked me what my name was. I replied “Donna”. They giggled. But I’m use to Africans giggling at my funny way of saying things. (Goodness, I’m use to Americans laughing at me too.) I asked them what their names were and we enjoyed sharing more laughs as I tried to pronounce their names. Then they asked again, “What is your name?” I replied, “Donna”. This time they guffawed with pure delight. I inquired as to why they thought my name was so funny. With no Kwamba words in my vocabulary and few English words in theirs, we labored at understanding each other. They finally said, “Donna is food”. Whaaaa?? --- “donna is your word for food?” “Yes”, and they  mimicked putting something in their mouth and chewing. I was so surprised, how odd for my name to mean “food” in their language.

Then a Kenyan friend came to my rescue and began inquiring of the children. By this time we had drawn a small crowd, about 75 kids flocked around the car all repeating my name, making chewing motions, and laughing hysterically. My Kenyan friend began howling with laughter and exclaimed to me, “Your name, donna, does not mean food in their language. They are laughing because they think you are saying your name is “donut” and they know that English word. They think you have the funniest name they have ever heard…” Oh goodness, how great is that. So today as our car departed we were quite literally surrounded by beautiful Kenyan children calling out “donut-donut-donut” as they waved goodbye to the funny talking mzungu.
Life is sweet! Yes…

Even there – it felt like a movie --- a very good movie.

Next day – we arrive back in Nairobi – here for one night. Able to jump back on internet for a few hours, we find the sweet news that Peter, our youngest son was crowned Homecoming King at his High School Saturday night. What a hard thing to not be with him and share his joy! BUT, what a wonderful thing to know his sister and brother and aunt and uncle were there filling that “love” space of an absent mom and dad. Peter knows exactly where we are, and that we simply couldn’t be there. He actually would likely prefer we be here preparing the way for his move to Kenya with us later this year. But still, it’s hard to miss those special moments. 

Only in a movie, would so many different sights and emotions crowd into such a short amount of time: 

-       Today we saw photos of our son wearing a "crown" and shining with happiness.
-       Today I was blessed to love on a little boy who was abandoned at birth. He is 2 years old now. His beautiful face carries saline scars, proof of his mother’s unsuccessful attempt to abort him. He is beautiful and happy.

-       Today we drove past a woman carrying a heavy load of sticks on her back. Two worlds colliding there – why am I in a car and she’s carrying sticks on her back?
-       Today on Mombosa Highway, there were camels on one side of the road and Twiga (giraffe) on the other (in the distance) --- now tell me I’m not in a movie…

-       Today I bargained with a young girl who lives in Kibera Slum, buying 3 sweatshirts for 3 boys who slept on the street just days ago. Praise God they do not tonight!

I'm not complaining --- not stressing --- just sayin' --- today has been a really long, but good "movie".

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.   Romans 15:13

Photos taken by Steve

©2012 Donna Taylor/Reaching for the Robe


  1. Blessings my friend. What a cherished time you are living. God is so very good.


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    1. I love you "Donut". We pray, trust, hope, know, the producer of this seeming movie will make it all possible.Thank you for taking the time to let us come along with you on this journey as you post.

  3. whether you turn to the right or to the left, you will hear a Voice behind you saying, "this is the way, walk in it."

    what i hear through your words of processing is that you are looking for His path and walking in it, even though you don't know where it's leading. that's all that matters, dearheart. He is guiding and He is with you. steve is beside you and all of us are back here praying for you. all shall be well.

  4. reading all with great anticipation. Beautiful beginning to an awesome Movie and to think it is just the opening scene!!!! Follow Him!

    By way Donna, it is that sweet southern drawl that throws people off. Of course it is Do nna, not Do nut!!! :-)