It’s Not All Bad News!

There is so much to report on all that has been happening with us, in Kenya, and around the globe. I tried to write one update that would address both of these issues and it turned into a book. So, I am doing 2 updates, the first of which you are reading now. I will follow up with a second update within a couple of days. (Disclaimer: These updates may be a little longer than normal but most of us have more time to read these days)

The first update is all that has been happening in Kenya since receiving our compensation. I don’t have one word to sum it up so pick one: overwhelming; off the charts; miraculous; magnificent; celebration; joyful; explosive; extreme excitement; extreme expectation; walking under an open heaven, to name a few.

After Debbie and I arrived back in Kenya and the money came, we gathered all of our staff, current staff, and those that we had released, back to the property that used to be CMM. We put a small tent near the train tracks where the pavilion had stood and had a “memorial” service. We praised and worshipped, various ones shared stories and testimonies that stood out to them and we enjoyed being together. Each of them had been promised a bonus after we were paid (promised over 1 ½ yrs. ago) and that morning we had deposited their bonuses in their bank accounts. At the meeting we thanked them again for their years of ministry at CMM and then shared with them that the money was in their accounts. Talk about a “Christmas morning!” Wow, it was so exciting to witness the joy and love at how blessed they were.

Everyone Paid
Our next actions were to settle with all the vendors that we owed that have been so gracious in only asking for bare minimums over the past 2 years. These were critical services provided by lawyers, evaluators, auditors, storage, etc. Everyone we owed has been paid! What a wonderful feeling.

Finding our New Property
From there it was on to finding a piece of property for our new home. We looked at several properties as well as reviving the first property we had originally tried to purchase. In doing all of our due diligence, several issues of making a purchase needed to be addressed of which we were in the process. Then came Covid-19. That put a halt on moving with any speed at the moment as no one will even ride in a car together at the moment to visit property as Kenya is being locked down.

What a Great Time for Debbie and Me
During our time in Kenya we were so blessed by being together with our staff when we found out the money was actually in the bank. We were there in person to give bonuses and to personally give our thanks and appreciation to a wonderful staff and many years of relationship and service. We met with bankers and financial experts in getting all the financial affairs in order for proceeding towards the next phase. We looked at various cars so to have in mind what we will purchase when we are back in Kenya and have a home.

We also had a 2-hour breakfast with the American Ambassador and his wife. What a great time we had in sharing our story of the journey over the past 2 years and planning things that will impact the nation going forward. Even more than the “business” chat, when we left we felt like we had 2 more great friends. I even requested that if at any point we need to shelter in place and be quarantined that we would not mind staying upstairs in their home for the duration 🙂 Kenya is blessed to have such a couple in the position they are serving in.

The trip home
One of the most challenging times this time in Kenya was our trip home. Just before we were to depart, the first corona virus cases in Kenya were announced. Also, 2 days before departing we saw what was happening at DFW airport with thousands of people standing in the customs line for 6-8 hours. We realized that airplanes and airports weren’t the best places to be with so many people from virus infected areas in close spaces. Debbie also was challenged as she had re-injured a torn tendon in her ankle and had to wear a boot cast when doing any standing, extended walking, or any steps. Crowds are challenging plus infected crowds add to the concerns. However, what we thought might cause her a huge challenge to deal with the travel back home became a blessing. In the Nairobi airport lounge, we were the second ones to board due to her cast. Then when we arrived at Heathrow, it was a ghost town. Staying 6 ft. apart was easy. I had upgraded us on the flight home and when we arrived in DFW they were only allowing 10 people at a time to deplane (the pilot had announced that the wait in customs was 2 hours). We were in the second group, PTL. I was able to secure Debbie a wheelchair to be waiting for us in DFW and as soon as we stepped on to the sky bridge a lady with our wheelchair greeted us. Due to Debbie being in a wheelchair they escorted us a different route. After the CDC interviewed us, we were then taken by elevator down to customs. But it was a different area of customs than we had ever been in. In fact, we were on the opposite side of the crowd of people. We zipped (ok, wheeled) through customs and from the time we landed until we were in Karen’s car with all our luggage…wait for it…..18 minutes!! Many of you were praying for us during this time and God heard and answered your prayers.

Since we had been in Kenya, we were not able to do any shopping or loading up on extra food, toilet paper (still not sure why this became such a hot item), etc. However, when we arrived home and opened our freezer, it was so full we could not put one more item in it, including, thank you Travis, Bluebell Homemade Vanilla! (Travis, I just finished it). Our family, along with several friends and neighbors had shopped and brought by basically everything that was needed. I can’t tell you how blessed we felt and how blessed we are. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

We had a return ticket for Kenya in May of which we have had to cancel. We are not sure when we will return but the next visit should be just as exciting or greater as we move into the next phase of rebuilding.

It is difficult to explain how blessed we are and how loved we feel. I will expand on this on this in the next update, but community is one of keys to living victoriously during a crisis.

Coming Soon

Update #2….”This too shall pass”

Ronnie and Debbie

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