Leaving Well – Home Assignment 2018

It’s time for our first Home Assignment! (Furlough)

Our thoughts have been quite reflective as we think about the last 3 years. Two recent experiences stick out.

1. The other day I (EJ) was driving (which is still stressful, but not as much as before) to our homeschool co-op, and this thought crossed my mind. “I really love Kenya – Nairobi. I love her people and I love being part of AIM AIR/ABS.” These thoughts lingered even as a matatu (public transport van) cut me off and people darted in and out of my way, even as I drove to an activity that has caused a myriad of emotions, both positive and negative. To me this was a huge revelation, that I belong here – that I have something to offer – that I’ve adapted to my city. It’s not perfect or complete, but I do feel contented here.

2. Just last night, in the midst of packing and sorting, we hosted an AIM missionary family who work in South Sudan. We’ve become good friends in the last 2 1/2 years and it was great to catch up before we left for the U.S.. Who knows when we will see them again?? As we talked, they shared how vital AIM AIR planes are for their work in South Sudan. Jordan even went so far as to say, “Without AIM AIR there IS no South Sudan.” He looked at Phil and thanked him for keeping the planes running. He shared how he regularly needs to travel to their various stations and that without the planes it wouldn’t be possible. It’s still an amazing thing to us – that we are here in Africa, supporting front line missionaries, reaching the unreached, doing His business!

As our thoughts turn towards the U.S. and all that entails, here is our schedule as we know it so far!

Our U.S. time-frame is June 4, 2018 – January 15, 2019.

June 4 – Land in Chicago
June 15 – Benji college Orientation
June 20 – Cleveland, OH area
June 22 – Bowling Green, KY
June 24 – Tompkinsville First Baptist Church (KY)
all week in Tville area
July 1 – Monroe Baptist Church (KY)
July 14 – Crosby, ND
July 15 – Faith Lutheran Church Minot, ND
July 18-23 – Spokane, WA area
July 22 – Valley Assembly, Spokane Valley, WA
July 25-26 – Colorado Springs area
July 27-Aug 2 – Springfield, MO area
August – Family month, Benji starts college
Sept 9 – Community Baptist Church Black Creek, WI
Sept 23 – Watertown Community Church (WI)
Oct – Victory Church Missions Banquet (WI)

To join our support team, click here! 

Airplanes, leadership and college choices

  • The past year gave Phil and the AIM AIR maintenance crew plenty of experience with engine changes – 7 of them to be exact!
  • As part of being Assistant Quality Manager for the maintenance department, Phil recently completed a week long course called Quality Management Systems.
  • Paperwork is a necessity in aircraft maintenance. Phil often handles work orders, which are complete records of everything inspected, installed or repaired on a particular plane during that particular time period.
  • Sometimes our pilots deliver interesting items to missionaries who live in the bush. A pair of hearing aids recently made a circuitous trip before arriving in South Sudan on an AIM AIR flight.
  • Another pilot recently flew a short term team into a refugee camp in northern Kenya for medical relief work.
  • AIM AIR transported a tractor into South Sudan for a partner mission group to dig wells. Phil didn’t think it would fit into the plane, but after some disassembling, it did!
  • AIM AIR flew four tons of shelter materials and mosquito nets to Zande refugees in Central Africa Republic. This region has been rift with tension—pray for peace!

DISCIPLESHIP MINISTRY LEADERS:

Our church is slowly introducing the concept of small groups to the congregation, and we are honored to be one of the leaders. Once a month everyone meets with folks who live in their own part of town. The goal is to eventually meet in homes, but for now we meet on Sunday mornings for about 30 minutes during the normal sermon time.
Pray for Phil as he leads our group. We are realizing that cross cultural discipleship can be challenging as our frame of reference tends to be different. We are learning so much and are excited to branch out into this new ministry.

Winnie, Beatrice, EJ, Mercy, Diana

Pray for Winnie, Beatrice, Mercy, and Diana, who are medical students at a local college. They stopped EJ after our last meeting and asked for a “selfie”. Pray that she can encourage them and build relationships with them.

FAMILY NEWS

  • Our homeschool co-op began in February. With over 30 multi-cultural families that total close to 70 children, it’s provided EJ and the boys lots of new friendships. Benji continues as Assistant Coach for the PE classes. EJ serves as administrator within the leadership team, which has given her opportunities to grow and learn.
  • Benji will attend Concordia University Wisconsin this fall! Andrew also anticipates finding his niche with technical school or in the workforce. Pray for them both as they launch into America living again.
  • Our first official home assignment begins in June! We’ll be Stateside for about 7 months before returning to Kenya. Pray for all the logistics involved, for the significant changes coming up in our family, and for good connections with supporters, friends and family.
  • Michael and Ben are playing basketball each week with a group of Kenyan teens. They are enjoying the friendships while increasing their skills.
  • Andrew had a recent opportunity to help a friend build a shed at a baby orphanage. He told us about meeting a tiny 7 week old baby who had been rescued from a latrine.
  • Phil’s parents were able to visit us for a week in January! What a blessing and encouragement it was to give them a glimpse into our lives here in Nairobi.
Phil Sr, Andrew, Michael, Phil, EJ, Benji, Jan, and Matthew in front

PRAYER POINTS

  1. AIM AIR is currently undergoing recertification with the Kenyan Aviation Authority. Pray for favor and a smooth process.
  2. Michael turned 17 in February! Pray for him as he considers his future. He’ll be graduating high school in 2019.
  3. Pray for rain! While we have not suffered a water shortage, so many in Kenya have. Our househelp’s parents told her that they are not able to grow vegetables anymore due to the dry conditions.
  4. We need a vehicle to use while we are in the States—one that the boys can continue learning to drive with, and one that will handle a lot of traveling. Both older boys need computers for school.
  5. Pray for our finances. We need to resume raising monthly support, as a number of our donors have passed away or have become unable to give. God knows our needs! To give online, go to www.usgiving.aimint.org/missionary/1017520 or send a check to Africa Inland Mission, PO Box 3611, Peachtree City, GA 30269

CONTACT US!

Click HERE to go to our contact page!

SCRIPTURE TO PONDER

John 15:31—The Father said to him,

“You are always with me, everything I have is yours.”

Card’s Journey

One day, Ms. Missionary Supporter was sorting through her mail.  With a gasp of pleasure, she excitedly opened a card from a missionary family that she and her family support in Kenya.  Inside she read a brief note of thanks, handwritten on the beautiful homemade card with a distinct African flair on the front.

“I wonder how my missionary was able to send me this card – it has a U.S. post mark on it?!” she wondered, as she propped it on the table.

This particular card has had quite the journey!  Here is the story of our Card traveling from a faraway village in Northern Kenya to the mailbox of Ms. Missionary Supporter.

  1. Risper and Phelgona, ladies from a Nairobi slum, industriously create cardstock from recycled paper and create the design of Card. They take Card and many others to their mentor/marketing director, Nillah (in photo below), in hopes that she will find a buyer.
  2. Nillah calls her missionary friend, EJ, who lives in Nairobi, to see if there is any interest in Card.
  3. EJ sends out a message to her lady friends in Nairobi to see if there are any buyers for Card. Turns out that Lareina, a missionary who lives in a remote village in Northern Kenya is very interested in Card!
  4. Nillah travels to EJ’s house by matatu (14 person taxi van) with Card safely tucked in her purse. She and EJ sort through all the cards to find the perfect ones for Lareina to use. (EJ buys a lot of them too!)  They find Card and add him to the pile going to the north.
  5. Lareina’s husband, an AIM AIR pilot, coordinates with an MAF pilot who is traveling to their village in a few days. He tells EJ’s husband, an AIM AIR mechanic, how to find the MAF pilot at the busy Wilson Airport in Nairobi.
  6. EJ’s husband carefully wraps up Card and all his comrades for the flight to the north. On his way to the AIM AIR hangar, he stops at Customs to deliver Card.  He prays for favor from the guards to enter – he receives it!  Card is now in the hands of the MAF pilot.
  7. The pilot makes a successful flight to the village in the north. Lareina’s husband
    brings Card back to their house.  Lareina finds Card at the top of the stack and prayerfully considers who this one will go to.
  8. She makes arrangements for completed Card and his friends to make their way back to Nairobi. This time there is an AIM AIR flight available with a bit of space.
  9. Card is taken to the home of Lindsey, an AIM AIR pilot who is traveling to the States. She tenderly places Card (and all the other cards from Lareina, EJ and others) into her suitcase.
  10. Once again, Card gets on an airplane – this time a 22 plus hour journey to Lindsey’s hometown.
  11. Lindsey graciously mails Card at the local post office.

    Nillah works as a mentor to many ladies in the slums. She teaches them how to run a business, while also sharing with them about Jesus.
  12. Card finally arrives in Ms. Missionary Supporter’s mailbox!

The simplest act of purchasing and mailing a card – we used to take it for granted!  Now it involves a whole community of people.  From the hardworking ladies who use card money to buy food for their children, to all the friends who worked together to meet this need – life in Africa is truly about community and we are grateful to be a part of it!

Phil and EJ Blohm & Andrew, Benji, Michael and Matthew

Send us a card! We’d love to hear from you!

AIM ABS, PO Box 21171,  Nairobi Kenya 00505

Checks can be sent to us at

Africa Inland Mission, PO Box 3611,  Peachtree City, GA 30269

Give online at https://usgiving.aimint.org/missionary/1017520.

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!

Going There and Back Again

Going There…

In July we passed our two year mark as missionaries in Kenya!  What a milestone as we look back on all that we’ve become accustomed to and learned along the way.

With college right around the corner for our oldest two, we traveled to the United States in June/July for college visit and driver’s ed classes.  We were so grateful to reconnect with family and friends again!  Two years in a long time to be away.  Reflecting on our trip, there were three things that stuck out to me (EJ).

  1. Driving, no matter where you live, is scary business! With our three young
    From left: Andrew, Michael and Ben show their driving permits.

    men learning to drive, all at the same time, Phil became instructor extraordinaire!  More than once I bit my tongue as the oncoming traffic sped by.  Their newly acquired learner’s permits are a signal of independence, which is also a scary, yet exciting milestone for this momma.

 

Matthew and his Nairobi buddy Max.

2. It’s all about people.  What we miss most about living in the States is our people (although Matthew says he misses mini-golf most!). What we love most about Kenya is our people!  How can our hearts be in two places at once?  Even though it was difficult to say goodbye (always!), we know we belong with AIM AIR, serving in Kenya.

3. Treasure the moments!  We all had expectations about what we would experience while in the U.S. However, life threw a few curve balls that challenged these expectations (family members moving, illnesses, deaths, etc.). We learned, and are still learning, to treasure each moment and cling to the positive.

…and Back Again

Our arrival back in Nairobi (July 25) was a timely one.

Caravan 208 getting ready for an engine change

Just in time for an annual inspection on one plane and an engine change on another.

Just in time to welcome new families to the neighborhood and assist in a language learning course.

Just in time to experience Kenyan elections, which were mostly peaceful.

 

Small Moments Add Up

Exhaust fumes billowed around me as the bus rumbled by. Choke! Gag! A slight breeze kicked up dust from the road as Matthew and I walked down the street. I glanced up at the bright sky. I’m in Africa – in Kenya – in Nairobi – on Mtongwe Road. And I realize something. I love it here, exhaust and all!

Matthew watches Sarah make tortillas

I don’t understand all that I have experienced in our 18 months in Kenya. Not by a long shot. But what I do understand is this: I belong here, for this time, in this season. Most of the time it’s because of little things, those small moments that make up a day, a week, a year.
Small moments like when 9 year old Matthew watches our house help, Sarah, make tortillas and they have tiny conversations and laugh together.

Or when I attempt to use Swahili with a taxi driver and he grins large, and

Michael and Matthew

conversation opens. When the woman hired to clean one of our missionary houses comes to my house to get the key, and together we share about God’s faithfulness to provide – cultural barriers crumble in the truths of His promises.

When my big boys, my young men, take time for their little brother and his friends – to teach them a new game, to play basketball with them, or just be available – it warms my momma heart.

Benji and Michael teach PE class (Andrew not pictured)

When these same young men were asked to lead a three groups of home-schooled children in physical education classes because the regular teacher wasn’t there.  And I see how they have matured and grown since arriving here in Kenya.

Or when our neighbor boy Max comes over with a piece of carefully wrapped birthday cake to share with all of us, such a small thing, but so vital as we learn to be receivers and not just givers.
When Mr. Michael, our strawberry and English muffin supplier, arrives I serve him chai and we talk about life, about God, and he tells me that our lives inspire him to do more for God – I am the one who is challenged and encouraged.

EJ and Charity. She is the worship leader at our church and the bride-to-be.

When my friend Carrie and I were the only white ladies at a church bridal shower, the focus was not on the gifts, but rather on passing along advice and experiences to the bride-to-be.  I left amazed and encouraged by the wisdom shared with these godly Kenyan women.

When, over Christmas break, we visited a children’s home and I watched as a little deaf boy grabbed Phil’s hand and wouldn’t let go, my heart broke for the boy as I wondered about his future. But in that moment, he felt acceptance and love.

Or watching our sons develop friendships with people of all ages and backgrounds, and seeing God at work in their lives – this is a gift, because they are ministering right alongside us.

Andrew chats with Chris, a missionary who teaches art

All these small moments – I treasure them deeply in my heart – and they add up to so much fullness.

Then there are other small ministry moments that don’t always feel like ministry at the time, but truly are important.

Like when a partner organization needed to be evacuated and our AIM AIR team provided the flights. My actual role was quite small – donating clothes, toys and chocolate bars to the traumatized family with children. And I prayed – we all prayed – for their safety and transition. Read the story from a pilot’s perspective here: http://tabrown.aimsites.org/

One of our AIM AIR planes that flew into South Sudan for evacuations.

Or when we hosted a fellow AIM missionary from a remote village in South Sudan and when, as a joke he suggested chocolate covered strawberries for dessert. Hey, I can do that!
When Phil explains all the paperwork details of maintaining planes in a foreign country, I’m grateful for his attention to detail and abilities as a mechanic.

There are times when I feel tired, weary, inadequate – what am I doing for the Kingdom of God?

Yet He reminds me of so many more small moments that have made up our time in Nairobi. My heart fills, overflowing in thankfulness. The weariness dissipates like the exhaust fumes from the bus.

I do love living here in Nairobi, even though it isn’t easy. I love the people we meet and the people we serve. I love knowing we are making a small difference in people’s lives.
All these small, seemingly insignificant things, they all add up…and fill my heart. And I think, perhaps, that they fill God’s heart too.

To partner with us: Give Online

Car owners at last

Inside our new van!
Inside our new van!

We’re excited to announce that we are the proud owners for a ‘new to us’ mini van – a 2005 Toyota Alphard.  It’s a Japanese manufactured car, so the owners manual is in Japanese.  Due to his love of manuals, Phil may be motivated to learn a bit of Japanese.  Or just use Google translate as needed.

Purchasing a vehicle in a foreign country is just, well, foreign!  The process involves many factors that we’re just not familiar with.  One of those things is a log book, which is actually a single sheet of paper.  Each car has one, and it’s super important that the log book is correct.  If one has never seen a log book, how does one know if it’s correct?  Mmm.  Understanding the process of bargaining for a good price is essential to the process.  The car prices here are just so much higher than we are used to – we just had to gulp and take the plunge.  Also important is asking the right questions about mileage, how many seats the car is rated for, was it in any accidents, or has it been painted a different color.  Then we have to consider if parts are readily available or not.  Some of the newer-to-Kenya models are very difficult to find parts for.  There is no NAPA store down the street.  My brain hurts looking at cars in the States – the process here puts me in coma!

It was with gratitude and humility that we turned to a friend, David Livingstone, for help. He is the director of the AIM guest house here in Nairobi (Mayfield).  He enjoys helping people find just the right car – and his resources are extensive.  He did the bargaining with the owner, he checked the log book, he took it for the first test drive, he arranged for Phil to be able to test drive it, he asked all the right questions, he had his own mechanic check it out, he had the insurance required safety switch installed, he got the tires changed (there is no super tire change center), he did all the paperwork…you get the picture!  What a blessing to have his help in navigating this process.

img_0632
Toyota Alphard

Now this shiny silver van sits outside our gate.  It’s got lots of leg room for the older boys, space for luggage, seats for 8 people (hint hint, come visit us!), a working radio (essential when sitting in traffic!), a back up camera and side sensors that beep when you get too close to something.  It doesn’t have a roof rack, and it doesn’t have great ground clearance (which could be interesting with all the wicked speed bumps and pot holes in town).  But we are at peace with this vehicle and know it’s the right one for us at this time.  We feel so grateful to each one who gave to the vehicle fund project!  Thank you!

The owners of our rental car arrive back in Nairobi in just a few days, so the timing is perfect!  Isn’t that like our God?  As we close the page on our car rental chapter, we look forward to helping others navigate the vehicle search.  Phil has Livingstone on speed dial.

 

 

 

 

 

 

When War Hits Home

When War Hits Home

Matthew, Maxwell, Chris, and Ndungu - best buddies!
Matthew, Maxwell, Chris, and Ndungu – best buddies!

South Sudan has been in the news for a long time.  Recently, fighting has once again erupted to the point where missionaries and foreigners are being evacuated.  Our AIM AIR pilots have been busy! One of our pilots, Tom, described the airport in the capital, Juba, as intense.  As soon as the plane lifted off the ground, the relief from his Kenyan passengers was palpable.  Tom said it’s not a fun place to fly into right now, as procedures keep changing and one never knows what might happen with government officials.

I don’t understand all the politics and background involved.  Although I’ve been praying earnestly for all our pilots and their passengers, and checking up on the wives as their husbands are flying (Tom’s wife is my very close friend!), Phil is home safe each night. The one missionary family that I know in South Sudan happens to be back in Canada right now.  So, I haven’t been personally affected all that much.

Today, that changed.

The effects of the unrest DO reach us even here.  Matthew’s buddy Chris, in the blue vest, is from South Sudan (his dad is Kenyan).  He lived there until he was 3.  His South Sudanese mom still lives there, while he lives with his auntie and grandma in our neighborhood.

He told me today that he had hoped to go visit his mom in August, during school holiday.  But because of the fighting going on, the borders are closed to all South Sudanese.  No one goes out and no one goes in.  Chris will not be going to visit his mom.

My heart breaks for this 8 yr old boy, who cannot travel to his home country right now and who must worry about his mom’s safety every day.

Pray for the peace of South Sudan.  Pray for our pilots and that Phil and the maintenance team can keep the planes in perfect condition, ready to fly at a moment’s notice.

But from my mom heart to yours, pray that Chris and his mom will be reunited soon.

11 months in and doing fine

Phil’s attention to detail has been appreciated in the AIM AIR maintenance shop.  He

villagers gather to meet the AIM AIR plane
Villagers gather to meet the AIM AIR plane

often gets to do the paperwork for the same reason!  He enjoys working on the planes and is grateful for the opportunity to be part of the larger picture of AIM AIR.  It’s exciting to hear about and meet the people who are impacted by AIM AIR flights.  In the last three months we flew 620 passengers! Flight hours topped 500 – which resulted in numerous maintenance inspections.

He often gives some of the Kenyan staff rides home, which is a great blessing to them (public transportation just isn’t very fun!) and gives him a chance to practice more Swahili.

On the home front, EJ and the boys are settling in more and more.  Things that used to be strange or difficult (like the vegetable washing process, calling a taxi, handling repairmen) are becoming more normal.  At night we have seven locks to check on all our doors, five are padlocks – that was not normal before!

Ndungu, Maxwell and Matthew are best buds!
Ndungu, Maxwell and Matthew are best buds!

Matthew has certainly grown more independent in our neighborhood!  He has 2-3 buddies who have helped him grow in confidence.  We are grateful for his Kenyan friends who come play on a regular basis.  He also enjoyed the weekly homeschool co-op we attended this semester.

We continue to serve through hospitality, hosting folks for meals way more than we ever did in the States.  EJ definitely has a heart for the missionary wives.  Phil enjoys using his driving ability to cart new folks to the store.  What a blessing to realize how much we have really learned in the last 11 months! Our Kenyan neighborhood has seven missionary homes (out of 100 houses), and those that live there change often.  Life is always in flux and we’ve learned to make friends quickly and stay flexible.

Counselor Chase, Ben, Mike, Andrew, Jonathan and in back, Daniel
Counselor Chase, Ben, Mike, Andrew, Jonathan and in back, Daniel

The older three boys were able to attend a Christian youth camp recently, what a great week!  Have you ever seen giraffes on the side of the road as you drove your kids to camp?  On an adventure hike they found themselves walking among zebras, gazelles, giraffes and wildebeest!  First time experiences for sure!

EJ stays connected with the AIM missionary ladies through a weekly prayer meeting.  It’s so important for us to be encouraged and uplifted.  She embraces these times with joy!  Recently she organized a get together for them, which was well attended.  The ladies’ positive feedback will likely lead to another luncheon.

IMG_0464EJ continues to meet with our Rwandan neighbor for Bible study and prayer.  Slowly by slowly, relationships are being built with those around us.  Just yesterday a different neighbor asked if we’d be interested in a couple’s Bible study.  Pray for those details!  It’s been exciting to see who the Lord puts into our life, of all different races.  Discipleship, encouragement, mentoring – things that God has been preparing us for all along – now coming into fruition.

Now that the big rains have ceased (we’re headed into the winter season soon!), the soccer games within the neighborhood will begin again, which gives Phil and the older boys a chance for exercise, fellowship and

Deciding which plate of cream puffs is best!
Deciding which plate of cream puffs is best!

relationship building.

Phil was drafted to be the taste testing judge for the cream puff competition that a few of the neighbor gals put together.  Tough job really, but someone had to try them!  His job description just keeps expanding!

One of the police officers at the airport entrance recently asked Phil, “Where is my Bible?  You promised me a NIV Bible!”  Phil didn’t remember any such promise!  Phil honored his request and brought him a brand new NIV Bible.  The officer was SO happy!  He took Phil’s hand, eyes bright with anticipation, and said “My heart is very happy!”  Pray for this officer to understand what he reads.

The hangar where all the magic happens!

Our job as missionaries doesn’t look like traditional missionaries who live in the bush; yet it is vital to the Kingdom! Our work from the big city of Nairobi enables the push for reaching the unreached people groups of Africa to continue.  Your support and prayer make a difference!  We thank you for investing in us as we invest in those in Kenya and beyond.

Our vehicle fund continues to grow.  Many thanks for your generous gifts towards this project.  We still need about $4,000 before we can purchase a van. Pray for the van hunt!

To contribute to the fund, send a check to AIM, PO Box 3611, Peachtree City, GA 30269 and write Blohm Vehicle Fund in the memo line.  Or give online at www.aimint.org/usa.

To contact us, click here.

Relationships to the rescue!

“Hey, hon!  I almost didn’t make it to work today,” Phil casually announced as he walked in the door Thursday evening.

It has been drilled into us from the moment of our arrival – relationships are important in Kenya.  Get to know the guards at the airport entrance, at the malls, at your neighborhood. Be friendly and talk to them.  We’ve taken that advice seriously, and on Thursday morning, Phil reaped the benefits!

As he drove into the airport entrance, which is always manned by police officers, one of them he didn’t know stopped him.  Asked him to pull over.  Never a good sign.  He asked for his driver’s license and insurance papers.  He wasn’t happy with the International Driver’s License Phil had.  Well, we’ve been waiting a long time to get all our resident documents – and the last piece is the Kenyan driver’s license – which is in the works and should be ready for pick up any day.  But the police officer wasn’t listening to Phil.

The officer was determined, and insisted that Phil needed to go to court.  “The judge will decide what to do with you.”  He then hopped into the car with Phil, fulling intending to take him to the courthouse (or possibly hoping for a bribe).  That’s how the officers handle traffic violations – they get in your car and you drive them to the police station, whether or not they are really supposed to.

Getting a bit nervous, Phil glanced over at two other officers walking towards him.  He sighed with relief as he recognized them as ones he’s talked with before.  They walked up to Phil’s window and shook hands.  Phil explained, “This officer wants me to go to court.”  Phil’s officer friend shakes his head, “No, No!  It’s ok, he’s with the church.”  They all look at his International License, and again, the friendly officer says, “No, no!  It’s ok.”

The accusing officer, a little dejected, got out of the car.  Phil said thank you, then the officer stretched out his hand and said, “My name is James.”  Go figure.

Perhaps it’s another relationship in the making.  Although one Phil will pursue AFTER we get our Kenyan licenses!  Meanwhile, we’ll keep chatting with the guards and building friendships.  You never know when they might come to the rescue again!

Two of our favorite guards in our neighborhood, Stephen and Sharon.
Two of our favorite guards in our neighborhood, Stephen and Sharon.