There’s a mouse in my house. For the past couple of days, I have occasionally caught a glimpse of a small, furry rodent, scurrying along the counter, dashing into the kitchen, or running behind the stove. I barely see it before it runs into each new hiding place. Steve searched high and low last evening while I stood on a chair (I admit that I get that way when I know they are around), without any luck in finding it. Today I saw it for a few seconds once again, so I know it is still here.
In a way, this reminds me of the many emotions that come over me from time to time, as we are preparing to leave Kenya. We embarked on this journey in May 1994, and now¸ 21 years later, it is coming to an end. At times a wave of pure grief washes over me, and then it passes quickly, just like my little furry friend that comes and goes. I am saying goodbye to people and places, not knowing when and if I will be back here. But wait, you may not be aware….
We have made the decision to return to the US for the foreseeable future, and this decision has come in fits and starts throughout this past year. As Steve is fond of saying, He feels like Frodo, at the end of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, when Gandalf says to him “It is time.” We are confident that it is time to be more available to our adult children and our parents. We are entering a new season of life, one in which we will be seeking employment and life outside of the mission field, hopefully in the vicinity of IN/OH/PA. Please keep us in your prayers as we finish up in Kenya, with Melinda returning to the US on May 18th, and Steve returning on June 28th. Once there, we’ll be taking a few months to thank and visit with supporters, take a family vacation to the Grand Tetons, and begin to locate vehicles and further assess job possibilities. We will keep you informed as to when we start work, as we would go off support at that time.
In the meantime, Steve has been terribly busy with a major avionics upgrade/overhaul of one of AIM AIR’s Caravans. He had two guys from a US avionics shop helping out, Larry and Carlos, and they worked intensely hard and with the help of the AIM AIR maintenance team finished the job a week early! It was miraculous. Melinda wrapped up her stint as AIM Africa Based Support’s Personnel Coordinator last week, and has left Judi Troutman filling the post in addition to her normal responsibilities until help can be identified.
AIM ABS had a farewell tea for us on Friday, May 8th. We were kind of dreading it, not knowing how emotional it might be, but it turned out to be a real blessing. It helped us to have some good closure. Apparently our marriage had been a real encouragement to many, and we had not known that. Praise God! We know that He is the source of anything good that comes out of our lives. Then the ladies had lunch together at a favorite spot, Amani Ya Juu. The women had a time of prayer following lunch, and they even gave me a gift certificate to shop. I can’t wait to show you what I bought there!
Thank you all for standing with us in this calling to work these many years with AIM. It has been our great privilege to serve in the ministries of ABS and AIM AIR, and we have been blessed beyond measure. We would continue to ask for your prayers as we transition to the next season of our lives. We know that it will not be an easy transition, and yet we are looking forward to what the Lord will have for us now. We testify to the Lord’s faithfulness and goodness, and will continue to lean upon His understanding and not our own.
Melinda and Steve
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