Earlier in the summer we were fortunate to have my Mom (Grammy) and Meme come to visit us for 2 weeks. There were multiple reasons for their visit. My Meme and Papa have helped to raise money for many churches in Africa over the years, and several of those churches are here in Kenya. So Meme and Mom decided to come over and visit some of the churches, especially a new church building in Lokichoggio that Meme and Papa personally financed. They were also eager to see the grandkids…to meet Ethan for the first time and to see Sophie. I am sure there was some desire to see us and Melissa as well, but we are realstic, we know grandkids are the main event these days.
It is always an amazing experience to have family and freinds visit us here and to share our lives with them. Mom was able to return for the second time, and Meme visited Kenya for the first time. We had a blast taking them to visit our projects, a few churches, our favorite restaurants (they sampled Indian and Ethiopian!), shopping (Meme had to learn how to bargain), and just spending time together. They were fortunate to be here on Sophie’s birthday, so they were able to take part in the day of festivities and Grammy even made Sophie a homemade cake…not to mention all of the gifts she brought over from family and friends. One of the biggest sacrifices of moving 8,000 miles from home is leaving family behind, so seeing Sophie and Ethan spend time with Grammy and Meme meant everything to us….especially at Ethan’s 4am wake-up time when Grammy would come out and ask if she could take him (Yes, Grammy, the answer is always yes). It was also a huge blessing to take Meme and Mom to all of the places that Meme and Papa have helped bless over the years. They have faithfully raised money to build churches, as well as supported our projects at Christian Community School Ruai and Hosanna Children’s Home. Meme and Mom were both showered with love and apprciation everywhere they visited, and I know that they were greatly blessed by all of the people they were able to meet.
I know in a lot of ways it was a very difficult trip for Meme. My Papa passed away a few months ago. It has been very tough for our family, but especially for Meme. She and Papa spent nearly 60 wonderful years of marriage together. They have always been faithful to their church and avid supporters of missions. The church that has just recently been finished in Lokichoggio was personally financed by them and has now been dedicated in Papa’s memory. I know it touched Meme to be able to visit this church…especially considering it is in a remote corner of northeastern Kenya not far from the South Sudan border…but to do it without Papa had to be extremely difficult. She did have the opportunity to donate many of his clothes and suits to some of the members of the different churches, and she has the joy of knowing that Papa’s picture is now hanging in their Loki church….in a remote corner of northeaster Kenya. Meme is also nearly 81 years old. Very few people at that point in life decide to fly half way across the world to spend 2 weeks traveling all over Kenya on bumpy roads…but she did. There were many times I could tell that the roads and travel may be a bit much on here, but any time I would suggest we slow down she would say “No, no, I want to see it all!” And she did.
It was one of the highlights of our time in Kenya to be able to spend this time with Meme and Mom and to be able to share these expereinces with them. Here are several pics from their trip…