a tiny sparkle of light

I was sitting on my couch working when across the room I saw a tiny sparkle of light glittering off the ends of my flowers… what a beautiful detail God thought of.  Valentine’s flowers?  Nope!  I usually hate Valentine’s Day, confirmed by the year I fell down the stairs 30 seconds after waking up… but this year the day was marked by surpassing joy.  And the only reason I can come up with for it is that God is gracious and good.  That’s all ;)

As I get into the routine of life here in Nairobi, I find myself slowly getting busier.  What did I do this past week for those who ask?  A week ago today I went for High Tea at my friend Mark and Su’s house.  What is a High Tea?  Lots of delicious bitings (cookies, cakes, salty crackers, etc), tea and conversation in the garden.  Here’s my friend Anke after showing me how to appropriately dress a biscuit with custard and jam.  Hmm… those Europeans sure know how to eat well!

The week at Amani was up and down.  We introduced an entirely new Production system and order of hierarchy to our program, and on the same day we got two ENORMOUS orders wanting shipment by end of March.  OH MY!  Between impromptu “emergency” meetings and successful color recipes in the Tie & Dye Department that have been causing problems for months, it was certainly a roller coaster for us.  Please keep us in your prayers as we continue to train and transition.  Change is hard, but this I believe will be a very good change for our organization.

On V’day I got to hand out some valentine’s hearts to the ladies… You remember, “Be Mine”, “My Hero”, Friends 4 Ever”.  They were a hit as the ladies giggled as I gave them out.  (Thanks for sharing Dottie!)  There was also our weekly volleyball fellowship that night.  There were about 20+ of us playing volleyball, eating pizza and praying that night.  It was a nice time… reminded me of 315 days for my Kalamazoo people!

Thursday night I had my first official dinner guests over to my new place.  I made a lasagna, salad and garlic break for my friends Frank & Dottie… my Kenyan parents from North Carolina :)  Next week will be some friends from work.  It is so nice to host again in my own place!

My friend Su is having a baby any day now (… she’s my 16th friend in the past year to be having a baby!) and so some American ladies threw a baby shower for her on Friday.  So funny because she’s Welsh and half the guests were European and they don’t do baby showers and didn’t know what to expect.  Can I just say that I’m so thankful we didn’t have to smell a candy “poopy” diaper at this party?  (Guys, if you’re reading this, don’t even ask… you ladies know what I’m talking about.)  We played one game, a race to see who could tie their baby on their backs with a kikoy fabric the fastest, like the Kenyan mamas do here.  At my turn my baby was horizontal, shooting out of my side… When it matters I’ll get it right!

The week ended with a beautiful day out in Karen at the Livingstone house on Saturday.  Frank and Dottie were hosting a group of 14 for an early dinner so I was excited to spend the morning in the kitchen with her and Zippy preparing.  Zippy recently started school to become a chef, so she is sporting her new uniform.  Before the large crew came, we cooked, roasted chicken and had a dart tournament with Zippy and her husband Thomas.  We laughed a ton that afternoon!  And so did the family that visited.  They are a husband and wife with 4 biological kids.  Recently the wife’s sister and husband were killed in Uganda so she took in their children as well.  There are 4 orphans they’ve taken in as their own.  It is hard on them.  They live in the slum and they don’t have enough money for basic things, like school fees.  One of their daughters barely talks or smiles.  But this Saturday the laughter couldn’t have been louder!  What a blessing to see this family have an afternoon off where they can be relaxed, well fed, and free to play in the yard with the dog.

As I reflect on this past week I’m so thankful for the tiny sparkles of light God gives to help us through.  The small joys that make a big heart… I know, it sounds cheesy, but it’s so true.  So forget you Valentine’s Day, that says I need to buy something or receive something to feel loved.  The Creator has you beat.

(sweet sweet boy who is no longer an orphan)

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”  Matthew 5:4

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