Saturday, November 24, 2007
Traveling Mercies and Angels Unawares
Dark-eyed Anya, 18 months, provided the in-flight entertainment on the BOS-AMS overnight leg of my trip. NW Airlines served a delicious vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner on board, and little Anya shyly hugged me goodbye eight hours later, before we went our separate ways: she to New Delhi with her parents, me to Nairobi with your prayers. Echoes of a family holiday...
The nine-hour flight to Nairobi took us south over astonishing views of the Alps and Italy's "boot," then over the vast sands of the Sahara before darkness fell at 6:30 PM. Darkness always falls at the same time at the equator, just as daylight always dawns at 6:30 AM. I'd forgotten that. Joachim, a young German soldier recently returned from his second tour of duty in Kosovo, sat on my left.
He was en route to Nairobi to meet his (German) wife of seven years. It was Joachim's 5th visit since June, when the couple had first begun legal adoption proceedings for Samuel, their infant Kenyan son. "We wanted to do more than just send donations to help children here," he explained. Joachim told me that Samuel was abandoned near the public toilets in Thika. He was taken by police to an orphanage. Joachim's wife has been renting a room in Nairobi since June, and little Samuel is now living with her under the watchful eyes of the adoption authorities. Their final hearing is scheduled for November 27th; Joachim hopes to take his family home to Bavaria in time for Christmas. Please keep them in your prayers.
A young Kenyan economist who lives in Stockholm and works in Sweden and Denmark sat on my right. Jacqueline ("My mother admired Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis") was returning home for the national elections and for a traditional up-country holiday with her family. Originally from Kisumu, she smiled when I told her I was going to Maseno. "That's where my (Luo) tribe is from." Jacqueline described the days around the December 27th elections as "chaotic, with lots of drinking and lots of corruption. I came home to vote for change." Please pray for continuing peace in this beautiful land where 42 tribes currently live in peace.