That’s Swahili for "Welcome to Africa". We’re finally here! After 10 months of preparation, the time has finally come and I stepped on African soil. Read along or watch the video to find out what I’ve experienced and how my first days have been.
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. [Philippians 4:11-13, NIV]
Yesterday, everyone was able to briefly share how he/she came to the missions field and how we heard God's calling on our life. A missionary who has lived in Chad for several years shared this Bible verse with us that spoke to me immediately. Paul describes a skill that I am eager to learn. To be content. No matter if I live in luxury in Germany, the US or somewhere else, or if I have to cope with less, like I will soon experience in South Sudan. Paul, who was in prison for a long time, writes: I have learned to be content in every situation in life.
But the amazing thing here is that he does not rely on his own strength, discipline, or perseverance, but (v13) on the power of Jesus Christ alone. He who is with me makes strengthens me! Jesus is our ultimate and only constant source of strength. What about you? Are you content? I wish that you, along with me, may learn to be more and more content in every situation. Not because everything is always perfect. But because the creator of the universe is near you and looks at you with his loving eyes.
Saying Goodbye is hard, ...
Besides a lot of organizing, packing my bags and cleaning my room, I also had to say goodbye. Farewell to my family, to good friends, to an amazing church and to one of the most beautiful places on tnis planet, the Südpfalz :)
Many tears were shed and I realized how important you all really are to me and how much I will miss you. The flight as well as the first day here in Nairobi was covered by a deep sadness. To a point where I wondered if I really want this and what I was doing here in the first place. It was pretty a hard start here, but ...
... but I am in the right spot!
I arrived here 3 days and before my training started, I had time to get to know some people and the country of Kenya a little bit. And from day 2 my feelings changed. I get to share my room with 2 wonderful people here, participate in the training with 35 incredible people and live and arrive in a beautiful neighborhood of Nairobi (Karen).
Before the training started, our team leader took the time to introduce us to Kenya. Buying a SIM card, withdrawing cash, setting up M-Pesa (a phone to phone payment system, unbelievably awesome!), taking an Uber, ... We also took a trip to the Giraffe Center, a sanctuary for giraffes, where we even got to feed them. That was soooo cool!!!
I am now 3 days into the training and I enjoy every second of it. I realize that I am just in the right place and that God wants me here! I get to learn from missionaries and have many amazing conversations. We also get to encourage each other and learn a lot about AIM, cultures, religions, Africa and safety in this training.
Over the next three weeks we will continue to learn, laugh and talk with each other. I am looking forward to this time of training. Saturdays are free, so we will go on fun trips - if everything works out maybe even on a little safari :) At the beginning of August, my 5 teammates, my team leader and I will leave for South Sudan. There we will live and arrive until July next year. Learn culture and language and overcome the culture shock. After that I will then work as a photographer and videographer, "where?" has not yet been decided.
With all this being said, thank you so much for all your support, prayers and sweet messages. I miss you! But I can also say that I am here at the right place and I enjoy it very much! God bless you!