Israel Trip Blog Entries

04/09/2010 Comments off

We will be updating the blog and photo galleries daily. You can also check us out on twitter. (Bell_Brad)

Here is a link to the Joshua Wilderness Institute Blog.

Photo’s ::

Day 1

Day 2

Shalom!

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When The Mighty Have Fallen – A Clarification

03/30/2010 3 comments

Language is a powerful tool… When used correctly, consonants and vowels form words that communicate thought and profound emotion. They can bring with them both the sting of pain and soothing touch of healing. The difficulty with language is that much can be lost in translation. Though words are objective, meaning can fall into subjectivity and be misconstrued easily. Intended communicative purpose can get lost, assumptions can be made, and false assurances given with little to no regard for the truthfulness of intent. The intended message can often be received, or interpreted to mean something quite different from the original thought.

In a previous post (“When the Mighty Have Fallen”) I took some time to reflect upon the issue of depression and the profound impact that is has on all those involved. I had recently attended the memorial service for Jamie Evans (Senior Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Fresno) and was moved by the experience. My intent in the post was to capture the experience in words. I was so moved by the memorial service, and so frightened that I wanted to immediately put my thoughts down in the rawness of original thought. I also wanted to draw attention to a silent assassin that is plaguing the church for years. Many who serve the Lord in vocational ministry are being slowly swallowed by the darkness of depression with virtually no one to turn to. It is an issue that is far to infrequently mentioned and yet far too prevalent in our day.

Here is where language may have gone terribly wrong:

My tribute to Jamie and awe of his memorial service were too closely tied to my description of depression and the darkness that can so easily consume. Also, I failed to clarify that Jamie’s circumstances were unique and my thoughts on depression were drawn from entirely different sources. I have witnessed the breakdown of several of my mentors over the years and wanted to capture some of my observations from their struggles. By so doing, I may have implied that Jamie’s situation or circumstances were “just like that”. This is, of course, a overstatement and unfortunate misunderstanding.

In my post I walk through the stages of depression and outline what symptoms can be present: Stress, Anxiety, Emotional Breakdown, and Physical Breakdown. I mentioned that it is common for someone moving through the process to turn to behaviors like substance abuse, pornography, excessive video game playing, and other self-medications. Later in the post I stated, “That is what happened to Jamie Evans”. Therein lies the problem. Jamie may have moved through a similar progression of Stress, Anxiety, Emotional Breakdown, to Physical Breakdown, but to imply that Jamie’s character was in question would be both untrue and unfortunate.

Truthfully, I observed Jamie’s process from afar. I was not in the inner circle, nor was I there through the darkest of times. I was merely an admirer, fellow laborer, and colleague in ministry in our city. I have watched with appreciation as Jamie taught, shepherded, and lead First Presbyterian. He had courage, insight, and a profound set of values that guided his life.

My intent in the post was to draw attention to depression; unfortunately, some have read this to mean that I was insinuating or assuming that Jamie faltered morally.  This was untrue. From what I am told by those who knew him well Jamie Evans was a man of impeccable character and integrity. His Bride Kristy told me, “Jamie was truly and without a doubt the most integrous man I have ever known.  And having watched him struggle in this most difficult and dark season of his life, I can say absolutely that he never faltered…either morally or in his committed belief that God is good.”

I have also been informed that Jamie’s circumstances were indeed unique. He struggled with severe learning disabilities and had to battle his way through life to overcome these issues. Though there are similarities in his struggle to the typical cycle of depression, his personal circumstances were atypical at best. He was a profound man whose ministry and presence will be dearly missed.

I have apologized to Kristy (Jamie’s wife) and would extend a humble apology to the friends, family, and church body who have stood strong with the family through this difficult time.

I hope and trust that my words in this post can right any potential wrong and clear up any potential stain of dishonor that may have been painted upon his character.

I am grateful for faithful friends and family who brought this issue to my attention. I am also grateful to have been given the opportunity to both clarify my intent, but also draw attention to the true character of Jamie Evans.

To the family of First Presbyterian Church… you have lost a tremendous leader, pastor, teacher, and friend. I can only pray that the memories of Jamie will be filled with the sweetness and blessing of the ministry that he so selflessly poured out for you all.

“A good name is to be more desired than great wealth,

Favor is better than silver and gold.”

— Prov. 22:1

I am honored to clarify and draw attention to the true riches that was, and is, Jamie Evans.

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When the Mighty Have Fallen

03/08/2010 10 comments

I spent nearly three hours of my weekend holding back tears at one of the most profound memorial services I have ever witnessed. There were hundreds, if not thousands of people who celebrated and mourned the loss of Jamie Evans. He was a loving husband, father, and friend to many.
For nearly three hours friends and family eulogized his life. They shared stories, brought to life memories of times past, and even captured the hearts of those in attendance with eloquent prose:
I heard such expressions as…

“Gratitude is the pathway down from the mountain of grief”

“Hope is trusting in the music of the future, Faith is learning to dance to it”

I was moved, stirred, and to be honest… frightened. Jaime Evans was one of the most gifted pastors and communicators that I have ever heard. He has led his church through a very difficult transition from the Presbyterian Church (USA) due to theological differences, and had established them under a new denominational head. He had overcome severe learning disabilities and speech impediments, and yet still captured the hearts and minds of all who sat under his teaching. He was a vibrant man, deeply committed to his family, who selflessly poured himself out to his congregation. Over time, Jamie began to slip into a deep and severe depression. His vibrancy faded into the darkness that surrounded him, and his passion and joy, slowly stolen by this silent assassin. What once brought him joy, now seemed to bring discomfort. The grip of depression is slow and steady. It begins to choke one’s vitality and slowly erode motivation and initiative. Depression doesn’t come in a moment, but rather rolls slowly in like an early morning fog. It meanders its way into your life like the proverbial frog in the kettle. It is unannounced, unwelcome, and unrelenting.

Therein lies the fear! The cause of depression is subtle and devastating. It begins to creep in when people find themselves under a heavy load of life. It is not an unmanageable load, at least not a first. In fact, a person can find the load very manageable for a while, but then, after time, the load begins to become unwieldy. The person can be deceived into thinking that the feelings are quite normal or at least expected. The demands of the crowd, the workplace, the family, can all begin to pull and strain one’s sanity. The darkness of depression begins to creep in when the person feels that there is no way out, or nowhere to turn for relief. The things that used to give someone energy or fill their proverbial tank become crowded out by the urgency of the tasks and relationships that demand their attention. In the insanity of this cycle, the very things that are bearing down on them, demand their time, and therefore eclipse the things that are needed to rest, recharge, and bear the burden.
Much like an automobile has gauges to quickly assess the status of the all too important functions of the vehicle, God has created our bodies with a dashboard of sorts to warn us of potential operational hazards. The first sign of the onset of depression is stress. The presence of stress is not always bad, but unrelenting stress can begin to wear a person down and can begin to affect their physiology. The body is a fascinating piece of equipment. It can adjust, adapt, and compensate for just about any physical circumstance or deficiency. However, these coping mechanisms are designed for short term stabilization and not long term adjustments. As stress is introduced into a person’s life, adrenaline production increases to compensate for the increased load. This increased adrenaline helps the person cope and carry on through the presence of stress. Much like a person who pounds a “Rock Star”, “Red Bull”, or some other energy drink, experiences an initial rush of energy; this “synthetic high” is short-lived and typically followed by a profound crash. When stress is present and adrenaline is introduced to compensate, a person must pay close attention to the gauges of their life and the rhythm in which they are living. The created design of mankind is to work (experience stress) and rest (learn to shut down and recharge). Unfortunately, the world that we live in is not sympathetic to our natural need for rest. Quite the contrary! The world that we live in is a constant hum of demand. Like the constant dull buzz of neon, the pace of life seems to demand one thing and one thing only from all of us… More! We have lights to help us work late, alarm clocks to get us up early, cell phones to make us always accessible, facebook and other social networking sites to make us constantly available, jobs that require working weekends to keep projects moving, and the constant pull from every direction.
When stress continues over time, it becomes like a backpack loaded down with the weights of the world. Though not overpowering at first, it begins to wear us down. Over time, the simple dashboard warning light of stress gives way to a greater level of needed awareness: anxiety. This next step becomes even more serious. The low level tension of stress begins to weigh a person down and they begin to grow increasingly more vulnerable to the darkness of depression. Someone sinking into anxiety will find one if not several warning signs present in their life: difficulty sleeping, grinding of teeth, erratic heart beat, high blood pressure, irritable bowel, difficulty breathing, as well as general irritability. Though not debilitating, this stage of oncoming depression begins to take a serious toll. People experiencing anxiety will find themselves pulling away from people and struggling to find time to “get it all done”. They will often find themselves so consumed with the “to do list” that they will skip meals, work late, rise early, and thus eliminate the things that truly give them energy. Workouts will fade, time in relaxing activities will wane, and the frantic treadmill of actions that need to be attended to will replace the simple enjoyment of the moment.
If anxiety goes unchecked, it is only a matter of time before emotional breakdown will follow. In this stage, the load seems unbearable and the mountain too high to scale. The person will then begin to turn to unhealthy escapes and other coping mechanisms. It is not uncommon for people in the emotional breakdown stage to find themselves indulging in “naughty little secrets” to try and ease the pain. They will turn to substances, video games, pornography, and many other self-medications. The darkness now begins to creep in, but all too often, they do not know where to turn, or how to find help. This emotional instability begins to have a profound affect on the relationships around them. Solitude, silence, and isolation can become the norm. Someone in this stage of depression can find himself alone and frightened. (Which only accelerates the problems.) Isolation is a dangerous place to be. It is no wonder that maximum security prisons will put prisoners in “solitary confinement” as a severe punishment. When we are alone, we loose the benefit of the Body of Christ around us. When we are alone, we are shut off from the encouragement and shared experience that God intended for us to have with “one another”. This emotional breakdown begins to erode our identity and steal our joy. It has been reported that marriages have suffered greatly in this stage due to the severity of emotional disconnect as well as the decreased sexual desire and performance.
Finally, as the onset of depression relentlessly creeps in, the person finds himself in a shroud of darkness with little to no hope for relief. It is in this final stage that a person will experience physical breakdown. The adrenaline levels are exhausted, the serotonin levels in the brain are depleted, and both will and motivation become distant memories. This level of depression is not conquered by quoting Romans 8:28 and telling someone to pray more. It is not about reading more scripture, nor is it about “pulling up your bootstraps”. At this point, the person is in serious need of clinical, spiritual, and therapeutic assistance. Most who end up in this abyss find that they are unable to function in the real world. They experience difficulty getting out of bed, not to mention continuing to carry out the demands of every day life. They are no longer able to carry the load, but now need to be carried themselves. Even the driven, the caring, the motivated, the brilliant, and the spiritual, can find themselves feeling as if they have no hope. They can begin to believe the lie that the world would be better without them. They can find the darkness just too dark and can ultimately end their own life.
That’s what happened to Pastor Jaime Evans. He began to feel what most of us have felt, to varying degrees, at some point in our lives. (Stress, Anxiety, Emotional Breakdown, and Physical Breakdown) He fought hard… He was loved by his family through it all… He was prayed for by a loving church… He was carried by incredible friends… He was supported by a tremendous community… Yet… the darkness was too much and he took his own life!
I don’t judge him. Instead I am deeply grieved and filled with compassion. I can’t help but churn inside with hurt as I think of what his family must be going through now. The pain, the hurt, the torment, the loss; what a tragedy!
As I stood and listened and reflected, I asked God to help me learn from this. I knew that Jamie would want me/us to take something from this. I knew that there must be some teachable moment, or some nugget of truth for us all. As I listened, I found myself exceedingly convicted. As I reflected upon my life of late, I found myself feeling the load, grinding my teeth, not sleeping at night, pushing off workouts for the urgent, and neglecting the things that give me the most joy. I realize that if it can happen to him, it can happen to me. Jaime didn’t ask for this. He would have never dreamed of this outcome. As he planned his life, this was not the desired end. Yet it happened.
We must learn the lessons that need to be learned here. God has hidden wisdom in pain, and shrouded insight behind a mask of tears. We have certainly experienced a tragedy. But the only thing worse than what we have experienced, is not learning from it, and experiencing it again!
Can I encourage you… Create a rhythm of life that includes rest and regular times of refreshment instead of trying to keep the infernal pace.

If you have sunk into anxiety, invite someone into the conversation with you. It is easy to try to take it all on yourself, but that road is a lonely road that flies in the face of God’s design for community. Share your experience, entrust yourself and your issues to someone to that can help you.
If you have found the fog of darkness creeping in and becoming emotional and physical breakdown… recognize that Jesus came to give us life and life abundant. It is not God’s will for our life that we carry these burdens and unhealthy loads. It is time to repent of the driven lifestyles that cause this pain and to learn to rest. Almost a year ago, I found myself sinking very quickly through these stages. It was a terrifying feeling. The longer I waited, the darker things became. Like holding an anchor and floating towards the darkness, I sank. I am very grateful for my wife, elders, staff, family, and friends who cared about me enough to see the warning signs and step in to provide help. If it weren’t for them, I can imagine that my story would have similar tones to it.
I would love to tell you that it is all better and that I never feel those things any more, but truthfully, they are always lurking, always present, always looking for an opportunity in my life. Like Jacob of old, I walk with a limp, always reminded, and always aware of where I have been. As a driven leader, I recognize that my “occupational hazard” is to work myself into depression. Like many of you, I find great joy in working hard. I delight in the grind, and am energized by the load. However a wise man once told me: “When your output exceeds your intake, then your upkeep becomes your downfall.”
I’m reminded of the words from Pr 25:16. I leave you with this as a reminder to us all that just because we enjoy it, just because it feels good, just because we get good feedback, doesn’t mean it’s good for our soul!

“Have you found honey? Eat only what you need,
That you not have it in excess and vomit it.”

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The Lonely Leader

01/28/2010 2 comments

Leadership can be a tumultuous exercise. Circumstances often arise that force a leader to make difficult decisions. Because leadership is ultimately about influencing the people that surround you, the public opinion polls sway with every decision made. The people and their fickle opinions can shift very quickly. A leader who leads based solely upon the approval of the crowds will soon find himself on the loosing side of this battle very quickly.

This is what makes leadership such a lonely venture. The leader will find himself alone, even while surrounded by those he leads. He will be isolated, yet surrounded by crowds of people. He will be forced to make decisions that will test loyalty, challenge friendship, and call upon deep reserves of trust. These decisions will cause low-grade tension, frustration, and often times disdain from those he leads.

How a leader copes with this loneliness will, in many ways, determine the odds of success and endured tenure of a leader. It is in these moments that a leader can cave to the opinions of those he leads for fear of a loss of approval, or will make the hard call, and then run to coping mechanisms after the borage of ridicule. A leader can face a strong temptation to self-medicate his loneliness with things that will ultimately bring little remedy to the actual tensions he feels.

We have a many scriptural example in King David who faced incredible ridicule. 1Sam 30 tells us the story of a poor leadership decision made by the great King. For fear of King Saul and the threats on David’s life, he had found asylum among the Philistines. He had taken shelter in the shadow of his enemies. He had created a guise of partnership with his enemies to ensure safety for his rag-tag band of misfits that followed him. Little did he know in the moment that his decision would have serious consequences in the days ahead.

Shortly after his alignment with the enemies of God, they prepared for battle. As they rode towards the battle lines David learned that they were headed to face the nation of Israel, His very own people whom he had already been anointed to be king over. Fortunately for him the Philistine generals did not trust his loyalty and forced him to return home. During the short stent in the battle lines of the Philistines, the Amalekites raided Ziklag, the defenseless home of David. With all of the men of war returning from the averted battle with the nation of Israel, the city was vulnerable to attack. The city was burned with fire and all of the bounty of David’s people were taken captive along with the wives, women & children.

Upon the return of David and his men, they witnessed the destruction of their city and the evidence of abduction of those whom they loved. David’s men were so distraught and angry that they considered stoning David for his decision to align themselves with the Philistines and hide among the enemies of God. (1Sam 30:6) The public opinion has turned, his popularity has been stolen from him, and his leadership has been placed in question.

How does a leader respond in times like this? What should a leader do when faced with such opposition? It is a lonely place for a leader to be. At this moment a leader is all along with no one to talk to, no one to lean on, and no one to confide in. 1Sam 30:6 gives us the answer. The text simply tells us, “David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” It sounds so simple, yet carries with it profound implications. David did on turn to man, nor the things of this world to find solace. He did not try to woe back the crowds, nor did he allow his countenance to fall. Instead, he found strength in the core of his calling as a leader and the divine presence of the Lord in his life. His position as a leader was not a matter of his own choosing, nor was it a career path that he set out to pursue himself. David understood that God had called him to lead. God had set him apart. God had already anointed him to be King. David simply sank deeply into the one in whom his identity was truly found.

He also learned the art of self-leadership. He was not dismayed by the jeers of the crowds; instead, he learned how to lead himself through difficulty. He drew upon the rich reservoir of God’s love for him. He did not listen to the voice of the disgruntled, but instead listened to the voice of truth that the Father spoke into his life.

He had made a terrible leadership decision by putting his small band of followers in league with the enemies of God, but he realized that his worth to God was not based solely on his leadership track record, but rather who he was in God’s eyes. He found value, meaning, identity, and worth in the reality that he was God’s chosen King and that he could rest in the one who called him from the fields to the throne.

Do you find yourself in a difficult leadership situation? If so, draw strength from the one who called you unto Himself. You can listen to the voices of the crowds, because there may be a nugget of truth in their words, but listen to the voice of God in your life with an even greater volume. Recognize that there will be times in your leadership where you will feel along, isolated, and exposed; yet it is in those very moments that you, like David, can “strengthen yourself in the Lord your God”.

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Give Us A King

01/20/2010 1 comment

For years I have been fascinated with the people of God. From the beginning of creation in the Garden with the first man Adam, throughout the entirety of scripture their track record is stained with unfaithfulness, idolatry, selfish ambition, and personal indulgence. The people of God demonstrate a consistent disregard for God’s word and an unceasing desire to pursue rational as a rule of life rather than obedience to God. At almost every turn, the people set aside the divine for the tactile. Whether it’s Eve and the fruit, Aaron and the Golden Calf, or Samuel and the coronation of Saul, the people always seem to long for that which is seen.

1Sam 8 captures the nations concern for their leadership. They had been led, thus far, as a Theocracy. (Kratos – to rule, Theos – by God) God had ruled His people. He had created them, protected them, delivered them, provided for them, and led them. Yet, they wanted a King “like the other nations”. I think it is interesting that the King that they wanted was similar to the nations around them. Why did they want that? Remember that these were a nomadic people that had settled in their land and surrounded by enemies. These people had battled their neighbors for centuries. So warfare had become a normal part of the ebb and flow of their lives. They had grown weary of the toil and saw the great Kings that surrounded them and began to shift from obedience to rational. They “saw” the Kings that led their armies to battle and were impressed.

Upon reading 1Sam 8 this past week, I think there may have been another reason why they wanted a King. Samuel had been dedicated to the Lord by his parents and had become quite a man of God. 1Sam. 3:19 says that, “Samuel grew and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fail.” He had become a tremendous leader of Gods people and served as a judge for them. According to 1Sam 7:15-16 he served as a circuit Judge for the people and would travel from city to city mediating and providing leadership. In his prophetic role, he would communicate Gods word to the people and serve as a mouthpiece for the Lord according to 1Sam 3:20. As I read his job description, I see a recipe for a driven man with a busy schedule, and a full plate.

If you were to take a look into his personal life, you can begin to see the seeds of compromise and collapse creeping in. There is virtually nothing said about his wife. Though the scriptures do not always include spouses in the text and there is certainly other men of God that were used by the Lord who’s spouses are not mentioned, it does seem interesting to me that we hear no word of his marriage, his home life, or his role as a husband.

Then there are his kids. According to 1Sam 8:1 he tried to set his kids up to win. He put them as judges over Israel as well. It seems that he is trying to put his children in positions of influence and to create a smooth succession plan. It seems that Samuel is getting old and is looking at retirement. Who better, in his mind, to take his place than his own children? However, 1Sam 8:3 tells us that his sons did not walk in his ways and were corrupt leaders. They were on the take with those in they ruled and led with a heart for personal gain.

It seems that the “busy” Samuel did not take care of his home. I can almost hear the dinner table conversations. Maybe his wife had noticed behavior issues with her boys and tried to tell Samuel about them, but he was too busy with the things of God to stop and talk with his boys, so the behavior was unchecked. I’m sure he kept his calendar full and his horse saddled. What’s wrong with that? He was their leader… their prophet… their judge… Isn’t that what he was supposed to do? How could he tell the people no?  Shouldn’t he be available for the people when they needed him? Shouldn’t he respond when there was an issue? Wasn’t that his job?

I have no doubt that Samuel found great value in his “job”. I am confidant that he felt needed, wanted, loved, affirmed, and even respected by the people. The voices of the people stirred him on as he road long distances from city to city. The praise of the people motivated him as he spent long hours mediating for them. All the while the accolades from the crowds fed an insidious narcissistic addiction in his life and blinded him to what was truly important.

Samuel joins a long and iconic list of godly men who forsook their families for the rush of public approval and the narcotic of being needed. Men like Abraham, Jacob, Judah, David, Solomon, all forsook their families for the sake of the allure of the crowds. That’s the problem with “crowds”; they call your name, speak into the darkness of a driven leader, and corrupt the purest of hearts. They speak to the allure of the temporal and the disregard of the divine.

God is not tempted by the crowds, nor should his people be. If we are going to learn from the lessons of the past, then we must begin to recognize the warning signs. Are you a driven leader? What can you learn from Samuel and his demise?

The reason the people of God fascinate me, is that I find myself looking at myself in the mirror as I read through the pages of scripture. I resonate with their struggles and can connect with their temptations. Our culture certainly bring with it unique challenges. There are issues that call to us continually. We are more accessible than every before, more productive, more affluent, more needed, yet more relationally bankrupt. We find ourselves working longer hours, taking that overtime shift to make a few dollars, and picking up that second job to make ends meet.

I wonder what would happen if instead of trying to become richer financially, we set our sights on becoming rich relationally? What could it look like for families to downsize if necessary, but to begin to invest in the greatest gift and responsibility entrusted to us. God has given us families to lead, shepherd, and nurture. If we are to truly glean wisdom from those who have gone before, we will begin to see the futility of the pursuit of praise from the crowds and the greater reward of obedience to God and the cultivation of that which honors the Lord.

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The Trip in Pictures

01/10/2010 Comments off

Here are a few photo galleries that capture the trip a bit more than words. Though you can’t capture the smells and feelings that come from these experiences, I hope the pictures can begin to frame our time in Africa for you.

Africa Pictures

You can check out the albums from various locations:

  • Kijabe & Mashani
  • Nairobi
  • Train Ride
  • Mombasa (Day Off)
  • Naivosha
  • Heart of the Bride
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Thoughts from Africa

01/10/2010 Comments off

“Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this:

to visit orphans and widows in their distress,

and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”

James 1:27

House of Hope Children

We connected with a multi-national organization called The Heart of the Bride. The focus of their ministry is to practice true religion by coming alongside orphans, widows, and those in distress. We worked with an orphanage called “House of Hope” in the city of Naivasha. The Children were incredible.  The ladies cared for the children, the men built a new outhouse or a “Choo” as they call it. The Choo that we were building is two squatty potty openings over a 50’ hand dug hole. We carried huge stones, enjoyed the hard work of mixing concrete with a shovel. As with most things in Kenya, the work was slow going and the materials were not always readily available, but we enjoyed the time together.

The Sleeping Fundi

The Fundi Apprentice

That is one of the observations with the Kenyan culture. Though they live in poverty they are relationally rich. We paused the work every morning at about 10:30 for Chai and Mondazi (little doughnut pastries). They were never rushed in the work and would often stop to take a rest, have a chat, or simply laugh together.  This is my friend Shoto. He is, what it called in Kenya, a Fundi (expert in his field) He was very good with the work and kept things moving at a steady, Kenyan pace.They were very archaic in terms of the tools and techniques they used, but the projects came together nicely. We were a bit frustrated that we didn’t finish the project, but they seemed more interested in the relationships than the work. (so we learned to live like Kenyan’s)  We were definitely not Fundy’s, but we got the Choo about half way done. It’s not quite the plush toilets of the US, but when it is finished, it will be an upgrade from the little one that it is next to.

Enjoying the fruit of our labor!

We enjoyed our evenings of rest at a missionary guesthouse in the middle of the bush. It is about 30 minutes off of the main road and is surrounded by the glory that is Africa.  An incredible missions family who are living on the property hosted us. They are fantastic people! They took us to a young man who is from the Dorobo Tribe. (one of the hunting and gathering tribes in Kenya) He brought us up to a hive of Killer Bees. The intent was to smoke out the bees and pull out some of the honey. I have always had a bit of a hankering for some honey, but this was crazy. There were African Killer Bees flying everywhere! This guy just took a coal from the fire, put it in a bundle of moss, and blew on it to smoke them out. These bees were lighting him up but he just kept blowing. There were hundreds of bees all over him and he just brushed them off. The bees were flying all over us, but you had to keep still and not freak out. So we stood there, Killer Bees all over us, standing like idiots waiting for some honey… but man was it good!

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