Language School Again?

8 years ago, Josh and I were at orientation in a class that taught us how to learn language. More importantly, they taught us the reasons WHY we learn the local language.

*for understanding
*for acceptance
*to be able to properly order pizza over the phone (harder than it sounds!)

We want to reach people where THEY are. To show them we love them, their culture, their language. Jesus reached people where they were. It means something to have someone learn about you when they are in your country.

I am thankful I have been able to get by on my limited Swahili all these years, after our initial course in Tanzania 7 1/2 years ago. I can bargain, get good rates on public transportation, and meaningfully tell vendors on the beach that I am not interested in more wood carvings. However, I am limited. I can’t hold “real” conversations. I want to.

Josh has done much better at me in expanding his language abilities. Probably helps that he actually talks to people. I use my “I’m an English teacher so let’s talk in English” excuse a little too much. He will be doing the main course learning, because his work depends on Swahili more than my work does (my kids speak English and my students are from Pakistan). But I’m hoping to learn more through helping him with homework (déjà vu from college days!), and just practicing around town where English is not an option. I also want my kids to learn greetings and basic phrases so they can begin communicating.

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6 weeks in a new country. 6 weeks in a small town. Homeschool? We will learn many things, but it remains to be seen how much is from a book. We might depart a little from the technology, take advantage of the surrounding rustic natural settings. I can’t wait. I’m thankful for this opportunity to add to our skill set in our work here. I’m thankful to be able to learn a little better how to be a “local.” I may never look Kenyan, but I hope that when I open my mouth, I can share the love of Jesus in a way that sounds a little closer to home. To their home. >

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Youth camp Like You Haven’t Seen It

Lighthouse has started over 70 churches on the coast of Kenya. Every year we train 200 pastors and church leaders through conferences.

But a couple years ago, we got the feeling we were missing something. The youth. The ones with the energy. The ones with a passion. The ones that are unrestrained in their love for The Lord and ability to reach into all circles to bring the lost to Him.

But they weren’t staying in church. They weren’t coming to youth camp. We needed to reach out to THEM. So, we had a college team from Grace Community Church in Tyler, TX come put on a youth leadership retreat and “mock” camp to give the leaders an idea of what can be done. They were incredible. They brought the fun, the games, and the smiles back to the idea of camp.

This year, we had 261 kids come to camp, and 20 of them gave their lives to Christ. Please watch this two minute video to see how Mombasa kids do camp!!