Home Assignment 2016

kenya-map-push-pin-57686274Well, it is hard to grasp the fact that we are already on Home Assignment! As so many of our friends and family have remarked, it seems like yesterday that we were saying our good-bye’s and boarding the plane to Kenya.

Yet, here we are. Roughly 2 years down, so many new relationships and friendships forged and so many incredible testimonies of God’s faithfulness to share. We’ve been back for over a month and a half and it’s been a delight to get to share these with many of our partners already!

Some of our time in the States is going to be spent resting up a bit, spending much-needed time with family, visiting with our beloved partners-who have been so instrumental in making all of these testimonies a reality (!!)– and continuing to share our story with others as the Lord opens doors.

GuideBook coverGod blew the lid off of our expectations in this first term, with all of the additional ministry opportunities for both Clinton and Pahtyana, and directing us to write a book and launch a School of Discipleship! He not only established our footsteps but He faithfully expanded the borders of our territory. We’ve trained further throughout Kenya than we ever expected to in this first term, and have had more opportunities to reach people than imagined. We are praying for the same thing here on Home Assignment. Let us explain…

It is our desire that we not just share and give while we’re “on the field” but even when we’re back, it is our desire to bring back encouragement to those who believed in us, invested in us, and supported us all the way. The testimonies that we carry with us are beacons of Hope and Truth that God’s Word stands, that what we read in the Scriptures, specifically the beauty of the early church in Acts is available to us today! That kind of engagement, that pure community, that investment in each other and the Kingdom…The testimonies we carry with us also bring Hope to those who don’t yet know about the power, the TRUE power of finding Christ –through relationship with others. 

As we continue to raise the support needed to return to Kenya in June and carry on the work, it is our heart to share this Hope with everyone God leads us to. It is our constant prayer that the words they hear will plant seeds of life within their hearts. The Family of God that we find within true discipleship with each other, is meant for each and every one of us. Not just in Kenya. Not just in America. But everywhere. So, it is our heart and passion to make this Truth known wherever we find ourselves.

So. Home Assignment 2016 has officially commenced for the MooreFour. We’ve been so blessed by the welcome we’ve received from everyone here and have loved every second of getting to share about what ALL has happened over the past two years.

Thank you, Lord for all that You’ve done and all that You are in our lives!

Thank you to our wonderful partners who have aligned themselves with what the Lord is doing in and through us and have helped to make this all possible!

Lastly, thank you to our new partners- you are now a part of an incredible team of people from around the world who believe in reaching beyond our own borders to bring Hope, to bring Light, to bring Love, to bring the Family of God to those who like us, are longing for something more!  Welcome! 

Sincerely,

C,P,E&e

IMG_4192

 

 

Advertisements

The Eye in the Storm

*For the optimal experience, play this while reading…

Sigh. There are those days in the throws of a hectic week, when you have to fight to carve out much-needed time for yourself, sans little people. So, you dutifully drop them off at school, and make your weary way alone to a coffee shop, order your favorite drink and a lightly warmed chocolate croissant. You miraculously find an unoccupied corner with three comfy chairs, and one table between them. You plop yourself down, unpack your stuff, journal for a bit to clear the clutter in your mind and heart, and then… pull out your laptop. This is the real treat – uninterrupted writing time, all to yourself. A highly-sought after treasure in the land of parenting.

As you begin typing and begin to unpack all that weighs within, you find the snappy jazz ensemble playing overhead is…fun, but a bit chaotic in the moment, and the last thing you need is more chaos swirling around you right now. No. So, you put in your headphones and put on the delightful soundtrack to the movie, The Words, turning it up a few notches to drown out the clinking and the chattering that’s steadily rising as the morning unfolds.

The sweet, inviting, flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg descend down your throat as you waft in the aroma… You begin to submerge yourself further and further into this world you’ve diligently crafted for yourself. The deeper you go, the more the words stop peeking and begin pouring themselves out, and the more your soul finds itself again. The moments are becoming sweeter and sweeter, refreshing your spirit like nothing else. You watch the wintery wind, brisk, unrelenting, whisk the leaves, trash and twigs to destinations of obscurity all around your tightly forged, glass-encased corner of solitude and tranquility.

And then that moment pauses and as it inhales, in walk 4 adolescents, roughly 11-13 years in age. No parents, just the bejeweled bikes that brought them here. One of these little people in particular stands out to you- black hair cropped in the back, with long, bleached oily strands in the front, draped “stylishly” over her eyes, with giant, sparkly heart-shaped sunglasses, dressed all in black and ready to prove her point, whatever it may be. They choose the table adjacent to your corner. As they loudly drag extra chairs over, they giggle and squawk at the noise they’re making. You subtly turn your music up and focus more intently on your screen, tightening your grip on the given moments you need so desperately. It doesn’t take long for them to notice you. All children have a sixth sense about these things, after all.

They start talking to themselves and looking over their shoulders at you. Then Sparkly Heart Girl stands up and defiantly walks over and plops down in the chair next to you, in “your” corner and looks directly at you. She sits on the furthest side of the chair closest to the window, not exactly courageous enough to sit right next to you, but bold enough to sit there in the first place. Her comrades look shocked and in awe that she would be this bold. After all, everything about you says, “I’m in my precious space, please do not disturb.” But Sparkly Heart Girl, has a point to make. She does a stare down with your lowered forehead as you write a mere 3 feet away, adjusts herself on the chair, moving closer to the middle. She bumps your crossed ankles with her scuffed and frayed Converse sneakers and stares at you to observe the inevitable reaction. When there is none, she does what any self-respecting pre-teen making a point can do, she reaches over your bag on the floor, definitively puts her cup on “your” table, right next to your cup, napkins, headphone case, and charger. Gasp. Her fan club is aghast. But then when there is yet a reaction to be observed, she grabs her sugary drink from the table and immediately jumps up to rejoin her group. Oh, but not before plopping down on the other chair next to you and promptly falling off the corner of it onto the ground because in her newly minted defiance she misjudged it’s location. Fits of squeaky laughter fill the air, circling around you, but you remain in your sphere. Still, unmoved, absorbed in the music and moments you’ve fought for.

They suck down the dredges of their whipped cream laden drinks and leave to mount their bikes again. But not before Sparkly-Heart Girl makes her last stand. She leans in on her bike, just outside your glass-encased world, and does a stare down with your forehead one last time, for posterity’s sake, you presume. Yet, this time… you look up. And lightly smile.

Yes, I see you Sparkly-Heart Girl, your eyes say. Yes, I need to be seen and heard too. But unlike you, this morning, I do not need to be heard by anyone around me. I am heard by everyone around me all day long. By my own children, by my husband, by those I work and live life with. In fact, those around me count on what I say to them daily. For guidance. For affirmation. To be molded, to be released. But this morning, this moment, I do not have to be heard by them, nor do I need to be heard by them. I need to be heard by my own self. I need to hear what I have to say. And as you continually press your presence up against the glass of my world, an act of youthful desperation in a way, you infringe upon my own act of weathered desperation.

So, thank you, Sparkly-Heart Girl, in your desperate defiance of social norms, you have helped me define something for myself… The storms will never cease. This much is certain. But there are ways to find the eye in those storms, to grasp at that peace, to reach out and cling to that hollowed chasm that the chaos can dance around but never touch. Sometimes, this peace is brought in by others but then there are times, times when no one can bring it to you. You just have to buckle down and be that chasm encased by chaos yourself.

 

Facing the Foreign Familiar

selfie within a selfieAs I’m nearing the eve of our departure for the States on our first home assignment, I must confess, I’m a bit shocked. In some ways, it feels like yesterday that we were getting our bags unpacked and our little house outfitted here in Kenya. But to be nearly two years in, and looking now at closing up our little house for the first time, is mind-boggling. Where was all of that time spent?? In reflection, it was spent traveling, training, getting malaria, making multiple hospital visits for various ailments, enjoying quality conversations over steaming cups of Kenyan chai and mandazi with newly acquainted friends, learning Swahili, failing at Swahili, trying out new areas of ministry to fail and try again and again, hanging the laundry up to dry in the African sun day in and day out, crying tears of exhaustion and tears of elation, and above all coming face to face with a new self. A self well known and a self still to be known.

As I face returning to the familiar, I own that I am not the same as I was when I left it for foreign lands. I own that when I step foot on the soil of my homeland, it will not feel quite like the home I knew and once invariably belonged to. I own that I will be a foreigner in the familiar, treading lightly on old, well-worn paths. I now understand this byproduct of living abroad, that I belong nowhere, and yet feel that I can now belong anywhere, in a sense.

What will it be like to be “home” but to realize in a new way that “home” is what I carry with me? That as a wife and a mother, I.Am.Home. to three hearts. This is my cherished burden to bear and my blessing to bestow. I own the trials of this first season, allowing the lessons within each one to chip away at the rough edges. I own the triumphs as well, allowing the hard won victories to propel me forward in fierce Hope and carefully crafted perspective.

Yes, nearing the eve of our departure, I face the foreign familiar. But when  I stop to reflect on this, I see that I’ve been facing the foreign familiar all along, it’s been staring back at me in my own reflection.

 

 

Bearing the Glory of Love

 Momentous milestones usually call for momentous words of wisdom and insight. Yet at 2am as I involuntarily welcome the advent of one such milestone for my husband and I- our 10-year anniversary, I find my profound wisdom and insight to be uh, shall we say, a bit slow on the uptake. 

I know I should be able to pull something brilliant from the last decade…I mean, come on, with 10+ annoyingly humorous situations involving fire, 9 different (mostly questionable) hair styles, 8 failed attempts at gardening, 7 job changes, 6 cars, 5 epically disastrous culinary episodes, 4 house moves, 3 garage sales, 2 miraculous baby girls, and ONE international move, surely there’d be something. 

But alas, in my sleepless stupor, I find only reflection and gratitude ready and waiting…so, here’s my offering: 
10 years…in truth, no language on earth could ever adequately describe the adventure it’s been- the challenges, the discoveries, the journey. We are increasingly humbled and awed at the terrifying and tremendous privilege it is to be divinely charged with loving one another. Yet standing in the face of His Great Love, we are perpetually made new by it’s working in and through us. This to the glory of Love Himself manifested daily through us who bear His likeness.

July Update – Launching the School of Discipleship and Publishing a New Book, WOW!

Greetings from Kenya.  We are so excited to share our July update with you in a new format.  This month we have three shorter videos for you to enjoy; the first is an update on our family and the ministry, the second is a video about prayers and partners, and lastly we have an amazing testimony from one of the pastors we work with up country.  I know you will enjoy all of these videos and please let us know what you think about our new format.





GuideBook coverClick here to see a sample of the new book Clinton wrote for Kenyan pastors titled: The Guidebook to Transformational Cells – How to Equip and Release the Body of Christ Through Launching Small Discipleship Groups. disciple makers coverClick here to view a sample of the Disciple Makers workbook Clinton created. This gives a glimpse into the six month experience students will have as they experience not only how to become a Disciple but how to be a “Disciple Maker”


MooreFour PRAYER REQUESTS:

  • Pray that we would be able to raise $500 / month in ministry support and $400 / month in personal support or we may have to come back to the U.S. about 5 months early.  Please click here to watch a video to find out more.
  • Pray for Colin & Fey who started the CellKenya ministry in Kenya over 9 years ago.  Colin has had medical complications that have kept him from Kenya since October of last year.  We are praying for breakthrough and healing.

Partner PRAYER REQUESTS:

  • One of our partners recently passed away from cancer. Please join us in keeping her family in your prayers.
  • Two of our partners have recently come into hard financial times and may lose their farm. Please join us in covering them in prayer.

PARTNERING and WALKING WITH US:

If you would like to financially support our family & ministry either monthly or with a one-time gift please click here.

May Update: Pahtyana is in the US, what a surprise!!!

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 11.27.21 AMClick Here: to watch a quick update video!!!


PRAYER REQUESTS:
– Pahtyana safe travels back to Kenya on June 8th
– Family will make it without mommy for the next couple of weeks.
– Girls will adjust well to their summer routine.
– Pray for trainings, that God would continue to fan the flame of ministry.
– Pray God would continue to lead the designing and implementation of the 6 month “Disciple Makers” coarse we will prototype in August.

PRAISES:
-The video is full of incredible testimonies!
– Colin has had his medical procedure and we are waiting to hear the results so he can join us in Kenya soon.
– David’s mum has had surgery and she is recovering well.  She is still in pain, please keep her in your prayers.
– Praise God several dear partners gave financially to help us replace our engine in our car!  Thank you very much.

PARTNERING and WALKING WITH US:
– If you have a heart for this ministry and want to l
earn more about partnering and alking alongside us in ministry, please click here to learn more.
– If you would like to financially support our family & ministry either monthly or with a one-time gift please click here:


Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 11.25.04 AM
Click Here: to see a beautiful photo album of our family & ministry.

FLOODS, FIRES and FEET – August 2014 Update

PRAYER REQUESTS:
– Adjusting to ministry and family schedules and trying to be intentional to set good boundaries to keep our family and selves healthy.
– Adjusting team dynamics as we join our ministry team.
– Clinton injured his shoulder moving sand bags, hoping it is minor and will heal itself, but going to have a doctor look at it this week.

PRAISES:
– Elly loves her new school and Jolie is adjusting very well.
– We got a new office for the ministry and are settling into the space very well.

PARTNERING WITH US:
If you have a heart for this ministry and want to learn more
about partnering and walking alongside us in ministry, please click here to learn more about partnering with us!

CLICK HERE: To play with a fun interactive Google Map with pictures and see where we traveled and where ministry took place this month.
CLICK HERE: To see a photo album of this month’s ministry and family moments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Slumberless Slumber Party

IMG_0114My almost 6 year old had her first slumber party last night… (Yaay!!) At our house. (Uhh…)

I fully admit that when I agreed to host this, not even 48 hours beforehand, I did not in any way, shape or form, accurately recall what slumber parties were actually like with 5-7 year olds…until all girls (5) were assembled, squealing and jumping on the couch and my fearless husband said, “Good luck” as he very rapidly closed the door behind him and headed/sprinted upstairs never to be seen again all night. Oy.

But all in all, they had a great time! I mean how could they not? A room full of seemingly “limitless” snacks, dress up clothes galore, your best friends, nail polish, and only one adult present who you suspect could possibly be shelf shocked and therefore, not fully capable of handling the pure insanity you know you and said best friends are about to evoke. What’s not to love, right?

IMG_0113Well, if you’ve ever met me you know that no event that I am entrusted with can ever be simple. “It just can’t.” (Yes, quoting Frozen) Sooo, on the docket for this all-important first event were: Lots of snacks (even snuck in carrots & cucumbers successfully), dress-up, sing-a-long time w/ a pink mic, nail painting, story time, and special showings of: Berestain Bears- Slumber Party and Gigi, God’s Little Princess- Slumber Party. Then in the morning it was “sleeping in” until 7:30 then play time, fruit and yogurt cups, chalk drawing outside and finally a special brunch for all the girls and their mommies. Annnd now I’m dead.

IMG_0119But my little extraverted first born had the time of her life. She told me this morning, “Mommy!! This was so awesome! I didn’t sleep at all, I just lay here smiling and looking at my friends!” I just realized that sounds totally creepy, but she was SO happy to be with her favorite people under a fairy tent all night that she didn’t (supposedly) sleep a wink. Mission accomplished! 🙂

Annnd now it’s time to go out for dinner (yeeeah, not cookin’) and then bury myself in a hot bubble bath and speak to no one for the remainder of the evening.

Signing off,

Introverted Mommy of little princesses

Come Rain or Shine

IMG_1249.JPG
Well, what started as a cozy, little afternoon rain storm this weekend very quickly turned into a torrential downpour that all but flooded our house as well as the other ones down the way. But thankfully, as we were frantically working at our neighbors to get giant sand bags in place and channel the “river” down the sidewalk using wash tubs, we popped back over to our house to get supplies and saw how bad it had gotten in just minutes. We then all shifted our efforts “upstream” as it were and again frantically began diverting the water as best we could.

_MG_4017The downpour intensified as we rapidly cleared drains and made make-shift sand bags out of Nakumatt grocery bags, ziplock gallon-size bags and the nearby construction sand. Other neighbors from across the Compound came running out to help and together we began to make progress. The water was up past ankle-level but we had managed to keep it from spilling over the front step into our kitchen. The house at the end of the path, which is notorious for getting flooded, so far, had also successfully kept the “river” at bay by all of our efforts.

_MG_4018As more people came to offer assistance I began to hear stories of their experiences with the rains in Kenya, and the previous floodings of the other houses on the Compound. People reminisced as they filled sand bags and swooped bucketfuls of muddy water and I was reminded yet again of the wealth of international experience we were surrounded with. Not to mention, the wealth of selfless and giving hearts, who had come out in the midst of their own responsibilities that day, some of which included current ministry and important events.

As I noted in the moment and here now reflect on this experience, three truths stand out:

This is Kenya living-being ready at a moment’s notice for the climate to change (and lately more than one climate has been) as things rarely remain as they first begin. KEY: Kenya living has a compounded component to it.

This is Compound living-recognizing that when that climate does change it doesn’t just affect your household but those connected to you as well, which in truth, is everyone. KEY: Compound living has a communal component to it.

This is Community living- owning the fact that firstly, what affects one affect all, and secondly, we all will only make the most of it through the pouring out of ourselves for those around us AND the humble reception of others doing the same for us. KEY: Community living has a circular component to it.

In Kenya, in my most recent experience, the idea of being self sufficient and fully independent of others is an idea that simply doesn’t make sense. The understanding that we were created to be in community together is lived out every single day, come rain or shine and I for one, am so very, very thankful that it is.

July 2014- Gearing up for Ministry!

PRAYER REQUESTS:
– Ellyana starts school on August 14th, pray her transition will be smooth
– We officially start ministry in August, please cover us in prayer during this season
– One of our partners has been diagnosed with bladder cancer and we are asking all our partners and friends to join us in praying that the Lord has an amazing testimony and brings peace to this family in this season.

PRAISES:
– We are no longer negative in our monthly budget! Our friends at two churches and some wonderful partners have felt led from the Lord to increase their giving to make up the $600 a month shortfall. Also, some individuals were moved to give a bit extra this past month and made up all the shortfall we had since moving to Kenya. Thank you for praying and thank you for being a part of a testimony! Please join us in telling God, “Thank you!”

Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 3.35.56 PM

CLICK HERE: To play with a fun interactive Google Map with pictures and see where we traveled and where ministry took place in July.

Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 3.34.50 PM

CLICK HERE: To see a photo album of July 2014