Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Thankful to the LORD

First something that has been laid on my heart are the prayer warriors and Christian that Have influenced my life.  My grandmother Marty was a woman who loved the LORD with all her heart.  She was truly someone you could follow for a day and see Christ in her.  I know for the years that she was with us and the years she was a christian that she was a true warrior for Christ praying to hear His path for her life.  I am so thankful for her influence in my life and how she raised her children to do the same.  I am blessed that my mother and father have walked down the same path as Marty, and how they have continually shared the love of the LORD with me.  It has encouraged me daily and has made me the man that I am today.

 

I have been reading a book called crazy love as well as my readings His word every morning and I am so excited with each and every statement.  My prayer for the Church and the world is that they know the love that I am learning to know.  I read the words of Francis Chan and I agree with them and am thankful that the LORD is working in me.  He says; “There is often a great disparity between how we feel about faith and how we are meant to feel.  Why do so few people genuinely find joy and pleasure in their relationship with God”?  I am so thankful that the LORD has shown me His joy and beauty in everyday life and I am praying that others and specifically those who are reading this find that very truth as well.

 

The book “Crazy Love” suggests reading Psalm 63:1-5 and I will write it down.

O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.  I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.  Because your love is better than life, my lips glorify you.  I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up me hands.  My soul will be satisfied as with the richest fo foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

 

I could not write anything more true or as sweet and wonderful as what scripture so beautifully conveys in the Psalms.  My mind also goes to 1 Peter 1:3-25 I recommend that any one who reads this blog grabs a Bible and turns directly to it but I will share a few verses.  Verse 3 says Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy he has given us new birth into a LIVING HOPE through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.

 

I am encouraged by that verse because it is not just hope, but a living hope.  It is a hope provided by a living savior who knows our needs and our wants and He desires that we run into His arms and dwell in His glory and grace. If we only draw near to Him He will draw near to us.  A picture that wonderfully appears in my head is Christ just holding me in His arms and walking beside me and carrying me when I need His help.  I can think of no greater way to live a life than in His arms.

 

Another Powerful verse that just screams the beauty and Joy that we all should find in the LORD is Psalm 19.  That one I will let you read but it is a powerful example of how God can and should be seen in everything and everywhere.  I pray that we all as His created beings and will learn to see Him as a mighty God that loves and cares for us all.  I pray that all of us will run into His arms and let His love shine upon and through us all.  Thank you to those who are praying for me and if I can share more with you please email me at tmindrebo@gmail.com I would love to hear your prayers and joy that you find in the LORD but also I would love to share that love with those who don’t know it.  I promise that my next post will also give an update about what I have been doing in Kenya but these are some things that I have been learning and have been laid upon my heart so it would be wrong for me not to share and encourage you with it.


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Homa Bay Adventures

So I have been rather busy with Tanari since I have been here and I have gotten to have many adventures. The most recent one was going to my dear friend John Ogandas home in a place called Homa Bay. Homa Bay is located just off of Lake Victoria. It is a days bus trip from Nairobi, where I am living, to get to Homa Bay. So we woke up very early in the morning around 530 so that we could make our coffee and travel to the matatu station, which is a small 14 passenger van that typically seats closer to 18 rather than 14. However, this day we were traveling in style, so much that I had my own seat and there were only 3 seats to a row rather than 4. For Kenya, this is luxury riding.

So we left the station around 8 to drive to Homa Bay, and about 3 hours in we are pulled over at a police inspection point. This was not unusual for a trip out of Nairobi however our driver we found did not have insurance!! This is a huge problem because typically the cops just pull you over and they have no ryhme or reason, but this time they had a legit purpose and could hold us there as long as they wanted. So we sat there for about 2 hours as our van was thoroughly inspected for others ways they could penalize and charge our driver a fee. Thankfully I have plenty of books and I was completely entertained by the children that sat and laughed and asked me for money and food just because I am white and they of course assume that I have tons of money to spare. We eventually leave because we pay a bribe and get the heck out of dodge.

We eventually make it to our destination around nightfall where a wonderful meal of the best chapati I have ever tasted and beef is waiting for us!! We met many of John’s family that night and had a wonderful evening where we went to bed early and prepared for the long day ahead of us. The next morning my friend David Bawks had prepared to speak in the local church and he gave a wonderful sermon on the LORD’s providence and love. Afterward we traveled around to many different houses and huts where we would take pictures and pray with them and enjoy their company. It was a long afternoon but a blessed one to see the joy in my friend John’s face as he got to share his home and his family to us.

That night we had a special treat of Goat. The special part was that I was to slaughter the goat my self and help prepare it for dinner. I will try not to be to graphic but I literally took the knife and sawed through the goats throat until it was dead and we than proceeded to prepare the meat and various body organs for eating. It was quite the experience and was my first kill as far as anything bigger than a large bug or insect. I would post pics online but I def have acquired a few vegetarian friends and PITA supporters who might be offended, so if you want to see the pics email me and I will send you some of the better ones. After we killed and prepared the meat we roasted it for feasting. That night we had plenty of food and I tried something that I have no need to ever taste again, actual goat stomach and intestines. Some may enjoy it but I literally had to force down every bite that was served to me. The next day we had more food and continued to enjoy the family and friends that lived in the village. That evening we traveled home by akamba which is a more comfortable bus set-up similar to greyhounds back home. We had no hitches or stops on the ride home and safely made it home the next morning around 430. It was a blessed time yet we all got home extremely tired and slept most of the next day.

My Passion and My Prayer

 

So something I have been struggling with is writing updates and just writing in general. The LORD did not give me a passion for writing but He has given me passion. However, I know that the LORD has given me a lot of passion for life and I am not sure where that will take me but I will follow in His footsteps all of the way to the end. I read in Oswald Chambers “My Utmost for His Highest” “Never allow a truth of God that is brought home to your soul to pass without acting on it, not necessarily physically, but in will”. I have truly been learning so much while I have been here in Kenya and the majority of it all is just letting the LORD work through me. I am thankful that the LORD has granted to me me by faith a passion and a desire to wake up and draw closer to Him. I enjoy my morning where I draw to Him so much that I don’t want to go to work and I would rather continue to worship and draw near to His love and His WORD. I was reading today about two things, being a bond-servant for Christ and the Authority of Reality, the second I will explain more in detail in a second. Yesterdays verse was Galatians 2:20- “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me”. I read this and the LORD and my roommate convicted to write my thoughts down considering that even though I am not a writer Christ liveth in me and He wants His gospel spread.

 

I have been reading a book called “Daring to Draw Near”, by John White and I have from it been learning many wonderful things about prayer. The book goes through and picks out specific prayers throughout the Bible and what we should learn from it. Some of the various prayers are Abraham’s prayer to and petition to save Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 18:9-33 and Moses’ prayer to the LORD to save the people of Israel in Exodus 32:9-14, 31-32; and 33:12-23. Others include Job’s conversation with God and many more. I would recommend the book to anyone who wants to learn more about prayer and how we can communicate with our Heavenly Father. Through it I have been learning that we serve a mighty God who when we go to Him in prayer we need to be aware and reverent of His power and might but also petition to His love and mercy for our lives so that we may grow closer to Him. I have been desiring and learning to draw near in Prayer and I have loved every step of the way. I am learning to become a bond-slave to Christ and to quote Oswald Chambers, :The one point I decide is-I will surrender to Jesus Christ, and make no conditions whatsoever”. The LORD gives us many chances to surrender our lives to Him but He won’t make you take that step. I have been learning to take that step and I have loved every step that I take towards a greater faith in Christ.

 

I am daily praying that the LORD continues to work with me as I step towards his power, mercy and love. I have a great path to follow of many saints before me and many more beside me. I am a journeymen on a path for HOME and I can’t wait to finally get to Heaven where my true allegiance and home lies. I will be writing more has the LORD continues to work in my life. I am a warrior and a slave to Christ and I would serve no other master or fight under any other banner. I truly have loved and enjoyed the passion I have and a picture that continually comes to mind is the end scene in the movie “Glory”. In that film there is the final charge where Denzel Washington grabs the flag and encourages the soldiers to fight on and charge the fort. Ultimately they die but the fort was later won. I see myself as that man who will gladly grab the flag and charge the enemy. I will fight for my LORD till the end knowing that through Christ the Fort and the battle has already been won. So now I am learning to live each day as a charge where I run full force ultimately towards to goal of getting home to my Savior and I see no greater charge than that.

My Adventures In Kenya

So I think i first need to apologize to any of you who might actually be checking website for new post, all three of you including my mother and me.  I am not passionate as I should be about writing down my experiences and would just prefer to move on to the next adventure than to write about it.

Life has been a blessing here in Kenya and I have been learning and growing through Christ quite a bit since arriving here.  I have been learning patience through the difficulties of building a program here in Kenya while I have also just been experiencing the power of prayer and learning more and more how i should pray.  I also have been growing in my faith, I know that the Lord has granting me more faith than when I came to Africa and I am praying that He will continue to add to that measure the longer I am here and then beyond my internship.  I am faithful that He will as long as I use what He has given me.

Since I last wrote God has blessed me richly.  I have had the pleasure of going on a safari trip through the masai mara where I got to camp directly in the park with a few friends and a tent.  It was the experience of a lifetime to see such beautiful animals and to hang out with a great group of guys.  I also have been working on building a low-ropes course here in Kenya for Tanari.  That is definitely where the Lord has been giving me patience.  My task has thus far been to build a legitimate ropes course with minimal tools as well as minimal funding.  It has been a fun adventure considering that everything is “pole pole” or slowly slowly here in Kenya.

We were supposed to have a bull dozer come a few weeks ago but since it is one of the slowest Kenyan Companies and the only one in the area, they are feeling no rush to perform.  So my new roommate Jim Luckey and I have been building what elements we can and will wait for the rest.

Jim Luckey has recently come to Africa to work with Tanari and has been my roommate for a few weeks now.  He is from Houghton, New York and we in fact knew each other when I attended their freshman year.  It is a small world and it has been a blessing to have him as a roommate in that we now are able to pray together and share what the LORD is doing in our lives and we try and closer to Him.

It has also been fun to talk about things going on in the U.S. and I have enjoyed having sarcasm in my life again, especially since there really isn’t any sarcasm here in Kenya.  We also have just enjoyed the difficulties of Kenya and being able to work through the crazy differences between working with a program in the States and working with a program here in Kenya.  Altogether I have enjoyed my life here and am excited to see what happens in the next 7 weeks while i am still here.

Some prayer request are for the camps  as we are approaching a busy time with camps and programs as we get closer to the holidays. Also pray that we will be able to build a low ropes course and that all of the supplies will be provided so that we can get work done.  Specifically pray that the Bull Dozer comes and clears the ground so that we can get to work.  Also just pray that I will be able to be helpful and that the Lord will bring Tanari, and myself as well, to a greater level of faith in Christ.

Thank you for those who have been praying it has been a blessing to know that there are those back home who are praying for me and my time here.  I would love to hear how any of you are doing and ways that I can pray for you and if you feel so inclined you can email me at tmindrebo@gmail.com  Thank you again for your prayers and God Bless

Life and my Job in Kenya

For the past few weeks I have been working with an outdoor corporation called Tanari Trust.  It has been an exciting adventure thus far that has pushed me to my in many respects.  The greatest challenge is the need for technological and marketing improvements.  Tanari has really depended on word-of-mouth for their marketing and I have been working furiously since I started working there to change that perspective.  Even though my focus at Indiana University was Outdoor Recreation, I have spent a lot of time creating marketing brochures and flyer’s for Tanari because I have the computer skills to do so.  The office I work at is lighthearted and fun, and I have enjoyed it greatly.  I have had many opportunities to grow and expand the business. I have practically lead the facilitation of activities at a camp for children that they put on.  I ran a good majority of activities for 22 children which included setting up a rock climbing and rappelling site.  The LORD was working in this camp as we ministered to the children all week about the importance of abstinence and staying away from drugs using the CPR program, Creating Positive Relationships.  It was exciting to be apart of the camp.  It was also nice to get away from the city and do some hiking near a river and go on a trip to an area with a waterfall. The blessing did not stop at camp however.

This morning as I was updating this blog at a coffee shop called Java House I had a man sit at my booth and we started talking and I found that he was a man of some importance with the Kenyan Government at the Ministry of Roads.  We started talking about many things stretching from his saddening experience about being racially profiled at the U.S. border because he looks “Arabian”, and his family life.  But the most exciting news was how he talked about how the Government could really benefit to work with Tanari!  We sat and talked for about an hour as he paid for my coffee and talked about all things states and Kenya.  We talked about how the Kenyan Government does a big retreat for the “higher up’s” at the end of the year and he gave his contact and asked me to email him this coming week with a profile of our company and what we do.  He seemed especially excited about our Mountain expeditions and our rock climbing and rappelling trips!!  This contact will hopefully be an amazing boost for Tanari and their ministry!  For those of you who Believe in Christ you can definitely pray that this will be a contact that the LORD will use to benefit Tanari and its ministry to not only the Children of Kenya but the Business class as well. LORD has continued to favor me as I have been here and I am absolutely grateful.

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My Trip to Uganda

Life is good and this past week was no exception.  I do not start my internship until Monday August 3rd and so I have had a few weeks of free time.  With some of that time I seceded that I wanted to visit my sister Emily who is working in a clinic in Kampala Uganda.  I bought my ticket for the bus ride from Nairobi and left early in the morning at around 6:30.  As I sat on the bus for 12 hours I was entertained by a young toto, or child, that spoke very little English so we mostly just made faces at each other and played a few games for the duration of the bus ride. 

 I arrived in Kampala around 7:30 that night and waited only a little bit before I see this short little Red-head, my sister, coming up to greet me.  It was a lot of fun to catch up on the drive to the place that she was staying, and I had been thinking this whole time that I will be staying in a smaller house and would be an inconvenience to their family.  When we pulled up to the house I found out that it was quite that contrary.  We pulled up to a beautiful compound with rooms and food to spare.  I was glad to find that my little sister was well taken care of, but even more importantly for my own sake that she was being well fed.  I arrived just in time for dinner and it was fantastic meal of matoke, squashed bananas, which taste more like potatoes oddly enough, chapatti, and much more.

The next day I went with Emily to where she has been working for the past few weeks and found that she at times lives a very boring existence.  We spent part of the day touring a village and giving suggestion on sanitation, but the rest of the day we just sat in the clinic since Emily is not a nurse she cannot directly treat the patients.  However, it gave us plenty of time to catch up and talk about life.  The next day I took a matadu to the city and walked around seeing the sites and visiting an Internet café, as well as some tea.  It is a busy little city but much calmer in comparison to the intensity of Nairobi.  As I was traveling back that afternoon I rode a bota, which is a tiny little 125cc motorcycle that most of the people ride in Kampala.  You walk around and everyone yells “Hey Boss, Boss” and they want you to hop on their motorcycle and pay them to take you wherever you want to go.  After some negotiating on the price of the ride I hopped on for a fun little ride to my destination, where I met up with my sister and went to her home.

 The most exciting adventure I had while in Kampala was traveling to the source of the Nile River and going whitewater rafting with a group called Adrift.  We took a 2 hour bus ride to a city called Jinja and got geared up to hop in our raft with a guide named TUTU.  So we started out at the source of the Nile River.  This whitewater trip was different than anything I have been on.  The sheer mass of the water was insane!! Emily bought a disk of pictures so I will post those soon but these waves were some of the biggest I have seen ever.  We traveled on class 5+ rapids and our boat flipped two times while we were on the river.  It was the most exciting rapids I have ever been on.  We were all paddling and if we didn’t follow the instructions of our guide we would flip, so needless to say we followed as much as possible.  We made it to the end of the trip at the end of the day and we all agreed it was an experience of a lifetime!!  We finished the trip with some well-earned chapattis and drinks!  The Next day I got back on the bus to Nairobi where the bus was extremely dull, boring and extremely bumpy considering that most of the roads have huge potholes or are just dirt roads.  I arrived and Luke picked me up from the airport.

My New Start In Kenya!

Hello friends and family! Welcome to my very first blog!  For those of you who know and those of you who are just now finding out I am in Nairobi Kenya!!  I will be here till December working with an an outdoor team building organization called Tanari.  I will be working a bit in there office, editing and adding to their programs that they have with Corporations in Nairobi as well as local church communities.

First I think I should apologize in that I don’t believe this will be the most updated blog considering internet is rather shaky here and not always dependable.  My adventures here in Kenya have been many and I have loved every bit of it.  So far we have been pulled over a few times by the police at the various checkpoints that the police will set up to make a few extra schillings outside of their paychecks. 

 I also have climbed numerous hills and had long walks through Laganat Park where Liesel, Luke, my brother-in-law, and I saw two baby giraffes and their mother close up.  We tried to get close to the baby but it only got scared and ran which set off a whole stampede of zebras, antelopes, and a few other animals that we didn’t even notice were there.  It was a beautiful site to see and I hope to see many more as I travel.

 I also have had a wonderful time with my niece Ada June Mertes who with her family left for Kenya last August and has been growing up here quite happily believing herself to be a native Kenyan with the ways her accent and her love for the Kenyan staples like Ugali with is a thick flour cake which is very good yet like rice expands in your stomach about ten minutes after you eat leaving you extremely full and in need of a nap.  Another wonderful thing about Kenya and the level of hospitality is just about wherever you go you are at some point offered fresh hot Chai.   For those of you who know my family we love warm drinks and to be offered free Chai wherever I go is a wonderful thing. 

 Coinciding with hospitality is greeting each other.  Many people will come up to say hello and will welcome you into their homes with the phrase “Karibu” meaning welcome, and you are too reply with “Asanti” or “Asanti Sana” meaning “thank you” and “thank you very much”.  Whilst traveling here in Kenya I feel like a big hit whenever I surprise people with my small amount of kSwahili and they applaud and try other phrases that I haven’t learned yet.  It is interesting when trying to learn Swahili here in that most of the books you will find has a different form of Swahili than most people speak.  So I think that I will learn most the more I talk with people and ask them to teach me.

 For right now I will just work with my greetings and learn a little at a time as I go about Kenya trying to find a place to live as I will be here till December and you just can’t pitch a tent anywhere you like.  I have a few prospects at the moment with a house stay near Kibera with a wonderful family near the Church I have been attending while I am here.  There is also a house that a missionary is sub-letting till she comes back in January.  For right now my sister and brother-in-law are being very gracious and letting crash there.  For adventures in the near future I will be hopefully be visiting my little sister in Uganda next week just before I start work August 3rd.  I will try and update this site with pictures should anything exciting happens as I travel.