Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Arrival Survival

Pastor Gurath

Phoenix to L.A. to Amsterdam to Nairobi with a maximum of two hour layover in each city kept us cruising along.  The usual mish-mash of foreign businesspeople, returning residents, tourists, volunteers and others jammed into our oversold flight headed for Jomo Kenyatta International airport.  The international terminal is still being rebuilt from the fire that consumed nearly the entire thing two years ago.  Passengers deplaned onto the tarmac and crammed into buses that shuttled weary masses to the immigration line.  That's where things really start to liven up.  Fill out your blue entry card, or the tan one they gave you on the plane, don't forget to pick up a visa application…oh and your customs form.  Once you actually get the visa to be allowed in the country from the surly desk agent it's time to play "Where in the airport is my luggage…if it is, indeed, in the airport?"  The little things we take for granted at airports like the signs that point us in the right direction or  the instructions you can study while waiting in line, you know the ones that we reply to in our heads with "Well, duh, everyone knows to have their I.D. and boarding pass out for inspection"  are sorely missed in this setting.  Oh, but that's not all.  That suitcase full of maybe forty dollars' worth of books or medical supplies that you decided to bring along to help people can be taxed at a nearly one hundred percent rate.  Thanks, Obama.  (He's just an easy target these days.)  It's really not that bad after the 7th or 8th time coming through this way.  I know that it's way better having someone travel alongside of you.  She's  (Anna, aka Mrs. Gurath, aka the more popular Gurath in Kenya already) counting how many times I mention that traveling alone is the worst and traveling with her is tremendously  better.   So far, it's a lot.  Jemima and her friend Joan were kind enough to pick us up from the airport and take us to our guest house for the evening.  We are already adjusting to the time change and had Monday to finalize some trip details and even make it out to see our friends at the Lutheran Heritage Foundation out in the suburb of Hardy with the help of driver and friend, Abdallah.  He laments the fact that I come every year at Ramadhan and we don't have the opportunity to sit down to a meal together as he is fasting during the day.    They have been very generous in helping with our work here in East Africa by providing issues of Good News Magazines,  along with catechisms, The Book of Concord,  God's No and God's Yes by Walther and several hymn books in either Swahili or a local language.  We went to and fro without hitting the dreaded Nairobi traffic jam and settled in for the evening.  Thanks for all the prayers and support.  Psalm Devotion of the day Psa 62:1-2  . For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.  (2)  He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.


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