Saturday, May 21, 2011

Things are looking up in Africa, we found Mountain Dew!  I bought the four bottles they had and now ration them out.  For those who like Coke, it is the most common soda found here to purchase.
We are adjusting well to the foods and basic living conditions.  If the electric power is on I even get a hot shower.

Lori keeps busy in the clinic providing health care for students and staff.  She also oversees the safety of water and food handling, mosquito netting, and policies for health at KIST.  One of her "oh by the ways" was the co-teaching of the class Fundamentals of Health.

I am teaching two classes this term at KIST, A Study in the Book of Hebrews and Introduction to Psychology.  I also facilitate a Mentoring Group of eleven students that meets every Wednesday for an hour and are planning a trip to do ministry at a place caring for orphans and widows near Kisumu.
I will be the Chapel speaker this coming Sunday and have been scheduled for speaking on several other occasions.  In August, I will be the Saturday Evening Speaker for the G.A. Convention of the Church of God in East Africa - Kenya.

We have Spread the Word interns coming to KIST next week and we will be hosting one of them in our home.  For those who have not attended a International Youth Convention of the Church of God, Spread the Word is a youth funded missions program, that provides ministry materials to places like KIST, like this van that is used most weekends by student ministry teams.

Lori and I are in the process of purchasing this 2002 Subaru Forester for our missionary use in Kenya.  Most vehicles are twice as expensive as in the USA, and don't complain about the price of gas too loudly,  we are currently at about $1.60 per liter ($6.40 per gallon) here in Kenya.

Here is our alarm clock that goes off at the beginning of dawn's light and continues through most of the morning.  He is large and loud! and all the roosters in the area join in the raucous, that starts the cows bellowing as well; and there is no snooze button to push.  Morning light starts at about 6:30 AM and it gets DARK at 6:30 PM; and if it is clear, the stars shine brightly in a different pattern than what is seen in the USA.

Well, I will close this posting with a picture of the KIST campus as seen in the afternoon.  Yes the weather is beautiful and we enjoy this place of endless summer...  Blessings!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

We are at language school in Tanzania

Unasemaji kwa Kiswahili?  (How do you say this in Swahili?)  Pole Pole ...  (slowly)
From the beginning ... say, Jina Langu ni Ernie.  (My name is Ernie)  I think I got that...
At my age the words all swim around in my head and I need a deep sea fishing expedition to get them out.

We have learned so much this first week, and trying to remember over a hundred words each day has been challenging.  We are in class from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM with a Chai break at 10:30 (Everything stops for Chai !!) and Lunch from 12:30 to 2:00 PM, then after class we have 2-3 hour of homework.
There often is the diversionary "monkey break" to watch the little rascals.  I played camera tag with this one...

This weekend we had the opportunity to "safari" in Arusha National Park which will be remembered for a long time.  Here are some select photos...

We are standing on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater

If you have seen the old John Wayne movie "Hatari" it was filmed here in the Arusha National Park and in the nearby city of Arusha. If you did not know, in Swahili hatari means danger. 

Well, I had better look over my report on what I did this weekend, which has to be given in Swahili.
We appreciate your prayers,
Barikia Ninyi !  (Blessing on you all)
Bwana Ernie and Mama Lori

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

We have arrived in Kenya

Wow the sun is bright on the equator in Kenya, Africa.
This is where our home will be for the next three years.

Everything takes longer in Africa... we finally are getting to the updates here.
This will be more of a photo entry that tells the story.

When we arrived our water source tested positive for E-coli; so in goes the bleach.

Did I say I'm getting use to the taste of bleach?

Yes, bleach is our "friend" it keeps us from getting sick.  We do boil and filter all our drinking water,
and wash all dishes and vegetables in a bleach rinse.  Wonder if that is why my hair is turning white?

Now travel here is a "ride" that most amusement parks would be envious of...

Actually this dirt road is better than the pot-holed tar road, until it rains that is...

I have been in vehicles that have broken down several times, and have no doubts why?  We will be purchasing a vehicle in the near future, hope I can find a "monster truck", or at least a good used land rover.  For most distance travel we will need to fly, as Lori did to attend a nursing conference near Nairobi.  She learned a great deal about African medicine, including some things I hope she never has to practice on me.

Suturing Practice?
And there is no xylocaine at the clinic...

While Lori was away, I attended the KIST Board of Governors' meeting and met the Church of God leaders from Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.

Rev. Dismus Mofulu (TZ), Dr. Byrum Makokha (KE), and Rev. David Ojule (UG)

These men have amazing stories of ministry in their countries and appreciate the training of leaders that happens here at KIST.

Well, I need to publish this post before heading to chapel.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

MTI break - Weekend at Evergreen with Family

Rick, Ernie, Haley, Lee
Deni, Mark
Lori, Kathy

We had the opportunity to spend the weekend at Mark and Kathy's home just outside of Evergreen, CO and visit with many members of Lori's side of the family.  Lori's sister Kim was not able to make it, because she just started a new job.  The weather was wonderful and we enjoyed playing table games.

Lori on the trail next to MTI

We will be returning to MTI on Monday to begin the SPLICE Program for the next three weeks.  This will assist in preparing us to enter the culture of Kenya Africa and be able to serve effectively.

We have been given notice that our Airline tickets to Kisumu Kenya Africa have been purchased!
We leave Indianapolis, IN on February 17th traveling through Chicago, London, and overnight in Nairobi, before arriving in Kisumu on February 19th.  We will be picked up there for the 45 minute ride to Kima International School of Theology which will be home for the next three years.

There are so many details that must be covered in the next month that it will be such a relief to finally get to our new home in Kenya.  One of the big ones is the sale of our Envoy...

I hear the cookies Haley and Lori are taking the cookies our of the oven -gingersnaps...
and the table games are starting up...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Missionary service begins at MTI

We left Cedar Rapids, Iowa on January 1st to begin our new position as full time missionaries of Church of God Ministries traveling to Mission Training International in Colorado.

PILATE - Program In Language Acquisition Techniques is our challenge for the next two weeks.

After this first week my brain is in over load and my mouth and tongue is tired from trying to make sounds and reproduce on command sounds that are not a part of the English language.  The English language has  44 basic sounds and we have now learned many more that that (in the 100s I think).
We have had several writing assignments and projects to keep us busy.  I even know some words in several other languages.  I can see how this experience will help our learning of Swahili when we get to Africa in February.

This weekend we went to rest and relax in the beautiful Garden of the Gods and took a trip on Pikes Peak by Cog Railway.

Well it is back to the training and I hope to soon post more...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

One step closer to Kenya...

Lori and I are moving our storage trailer to Indiana this weekend, for it to be accessible to us in our missionary travel out of Anderson, Indiana.  What a challenge it has been for us to pack everything we want to store and everything we believe we will be taking to Kenya in the trailer.  While keeping out what we will need for the next month in Cedar Rapids and for the training in Colorado in January.
We are scheduled to be at Missionary Training International near Palmer Lake, Colorado beginning January 3rd for five weeks of specialized training.

We will have many meetings at Church of God Ministries Global Missions in this coming week.  At the last accounting we still needed about 9% to be pledged toward our budget to be fully funded and we are praying that comes in within the next month.  Lori and I will be continuing in our current jobs through December and plan to move on to Global Missions funding in January Lord willing.

Last weekend we traveled to Baraboo, Wisconsin were I was born while my father pastored the church there.  We have several missions partners here who keep us in their prayers.  We had a wonderful time connecting with Pastor Bacon and the congregation, some of whom have known me all my life.

So the days are numbered for my school bus driving and I hope I they will end before bad weather hits Iowa.  I hear our son Aaron and his wife Holly will be visiting here just after Christmas.  Yeah!

Please remember in your prayers our son Adam who has been deployed to Afghanistan, and his wife Michelle, daughter Kaylee and son Joel.  We are proud of his service to our country.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The wheels on my bus are still going round and round... But the "Check Engine" light came on...Mechanics are playing "Rock-Paper-Scissor" for who fixes it...ah the one who lost is now cussing...Maybe I should be concerned?  I have a longer trip on Monday morning to Dubuque.

This weekend is pack the suitcases and actually see want fits in and what may need to be shipped.
We plan to move our storage trailer to my brother's place over Thanksgiving week and from then on be living out of suitcases until we finally leave for Africa.

Yes our time to go to Africa is getting closer!  Our fund raising at the end of this week went over the 90% mark if I have figured correctly.  And there is an great effort to get this to 100% in the next two weeks to be able to start our training at MTI the end of November.  We really would not like to push it back into January, but that is in the Lord's control.  We have about $6000 of on going support needing to be pledged.

Thanks to all who keep us in your prayers!