Posted by Lisa Lewis Koster - - 1 comments

It's not likely I'll be able to post much while I'm working and teaching in Kenya for the next three weeks, so I thought I'd share some older posts with you.  Here's one about our last trip back in 2010.

I invested many hours into our Kenya mission trip before we ever set foot in an airport, finding answers to the questions “Who will we be working with?”, “What will we be doing?”, “When will we be there?”, “Where will we stay?” and “How will we get from point A to point B?” One of the few things I didn’t do was book the airline flights, and I have to admit I was not happy with what we were given.


I know from experience that once the mission is finished, I’m ready to go home. We were scheduled to arrive back in Nairobi early Tuesday, but only one couple was flying out that evening. The rest of the team had to wait another twenty-four hours before beginning our thirty-one hour journey home. I’m not great at waiting even in the best of circumstances, and I couldn’t understand why we couldn’t all be booked on the same flight. It made no sense to me.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. (Isaiah 55:8)

We had a wonderful mission. For most of the team it was full of new experiences, but for Bob and I it was full of familiar places and old friends. It was wonderful to see God working and the progress that had been made in our absence. I was particularly looking forward to our time in Kisii. We only had one day scheduled there, the last Sunday of our trip, but we were looking forward to connecting with our dear friends from Mustard Christian Center. Bob and I were based in Kisii for much of our prior trip, and had worked closely with the members of MCC.

I hadn’t been feeling well for several days, which I attributed to much more activity than I’m physically capable of, but as I sat in church on Sunday I knew something was terribly wrong. In God’s providence I found myself sitting across the aisle from Celestine, whom I knew to be a nurse, and I was able to signal her to follow me outside before I passed out.

I must have been semi-conscious because I heard everything going on around me but didn’t have the energy to even lift my eyelids. I’m told that was probably a good thing! I remember the IV and the injection, the alarms sounding after the crash (I learned later that a car had driven through the doors of the ER), and being moved to a storage area to make room for incoming patients who had been involved in a bus accident.

After being diagnosed with hypertension (which I’ve never had a problem with before) and a bacterial lung infection I was released and taken to a room at St. Vincent Pastoral Center. I still needed help walking to my room, and didn’t do much more than drink and sleep once I got there. Our team ended up getting rooms there for the night as well, so the next morning I was able to join them for breakfast…for about two minutes. Just getting up and ready was enough to sap what little strength I had.

My thoughts of going on safari quickly faded and I rested as everyone else prepared to leave. I mention this because it was really okay. By that I mean supernaturally so. One might think that it would be a disappointment going to Africa and missing the safari, but for me it wasn’t. It had to have been the power of the Holy Spirit that enabled me to “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) and rather than feel sorry for myself, I began to make a mental list:

I was thankful I was the one sick and not anyone else on the team.

I’ve seen the animals before.

I wasn’t left with strangers; I was staying with "family."

I didn’t get sick in the village where it would have been a 45 minute drive to the hospital; I passed out in the city where the hospital was just a few blocks away.

Because Celestine works at that hospital, I was treated right away.

I wasn’t sitting in the waiting area when the car crashed through the doors.

I was treated before the bus crash victims came in rather than waiting until after.

I had a quiet place to rest.

Shortly after the team left, I was taken to Elisha & Tabitha’s house to recuperate. In the small gaps between naps I was able to have wonderful spiritual discussions that I would’ve otherwise missed. (I thought I knew Job…I knew nothing!) Late the next morning we made the three hour drive to Kisumu where the nearest airport is located (allowing for more great conversation). A couple I had never met before arranged for my plane ticket, allowed me to rest in one of their beds and delivered me at the airport in time for my flight to Nairobi where I rejoined the team at the guest house. (Flying alone in a foreign country, now there's a victory!)

Wednesday found me exhausted once again, so I stayed back to read and nap while the majority of the remaining team members went to see the sights of Nairobi. At 8:00 p.m. we left the guest house to catch our 11:30 p.m. flight, the first leg of our trip home. Despite a problem with luggage, tainted airline food (thankfully not served) and long grueling flights, this was probably the best trip home I’ve had, and it was the extra day that made all the difference. Things would have not gone nearly as well for me if we had to leave on Tuesday night, when I wanted to leave.

Thank you God for not always letting me have my way, but instead doing what You know is best for me! Thank you for providing the day of rest I so desperately needed!

Lisa


One Response so far.

  1. Michelle says:

    Lisa,

    You had me practically rejoicing that you missed the safari for the list of things for which you chose to be thankful. May your new trip provide many more great reasons for praise and gratefulness!

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