Ping Pong, Popcorn and Pastors

“And the winners of the Mixed Doubles Table Tennis Tournament are Jackson and EJ!”

A simple ping pong ball and paddle (here they call them “bats”), a handful of enthusiastic church folks, and a table – means fellowship, exercise, and breaking down cultural barriers.

Table Tennis Tournament winners!

When I heard that the men’s department at our church was hosting a Table Tennis Tournament, I knew our family had to participate!  Our dining room table doubles as a ping pong table on occasion, and we’ve all enjoyed playing over the years.  While we love our Kenyan church, it’s been challenging to get to know folks outside of Sunday mornings – so this provided an excellent way for us to build relationships!  We left exhausted (it turned into an 8 hour affair, starting 2 hours late due to a trophy run), but encouraged by the new friendships we made.

Speaking of friendships, our little neighborhood is bulging at the seams right now.  Between new full time missionaries based here in Nairobi and missionaries who come to Nairobi for just a short time, we have laid out the welcome mat numerous times in the last few weeks.

Sugar cane juice break after rock climbing.

Another way we serve is by hosting teens from Rift Valley Academy (RVA), the boarding school that AIM runs.  Seth joined us for 4 days during RVA’s mid-term break.  Rock climbing, burgers, popcorn and late night NFL football games proved to be the highlights of his visit.  This seemingly small thing (because really, in a house full of young men, one more is barely noticeable) turns out to actually be quite a big thing, especially to his parents, who serve with AIM AIR in northern Kenya.  We recently heard that one of the RVA students had no place to go, so his parents had to fly him to their place of ministry in a different country and spend hundreds of dollars.

Some of the pastors heading to Kenya for Bible training.

AIM AIR pilots from Seth’s town in northern Kenya recently flew a group of 24 South Sudanese pastors to Lokichoggio, where our AIM AIR base is.  The pastors were to receive 3 months of Bible training. Since South Sudan is riddled with unrest, poverty and few resources, this was a huge opportunity for these pastors.  In the middle of their studies, a very serious crisis happened in Lokichoggio involving a South Sudanese high school student, a school shooting, and a number of deaths.  Fear and tribal loyalties put the pastors in such a dangerous position that they had to be flown back to South Sudan for their own safety.

Pray for these pastors – that they would be strong in their faith, and that they would be a good example to others.  Pray for those involved in the crisis in Lokichoggio and for our co-workers who live there – pray for God to work in the midst of grief and loss.  While we are personally far removed from the crisis in Lokichoggio, our friends and co-workers are not.  Pray that we can be a good support for them.

In the good times like Ping Pong and Popcorn and in the challenging times like these Pastors are facing – we choose to trust God and continue to do the work He has put in front of us.  Our AIM AIR team of pilots and mechanics have a challenging task as the need for aviation continues to be an integral part of missions and the continuation of the work in remote places.

Thank you for supporting us, praying for us, and being part of what God is doing here in East Africa.  If you’d like to join our support team, click here!

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