Friday, May 30, 2008

Don't Forget China

The China earthquake is still going on...

143 aftershocks between May 27 noon and May 28 noon.
Total of 8,911 aftershocks since the May 12 earthquake.

Total still missing or buried: 20,790

Total estimated injured: 292,481

6.0 magnitude aftershock Sunday, May 25
Five million homeless
Please keep China in your thoughts and prayers. The devastation may not be on the U.S. news anymore, but it has not stopped the shaking of lives in Sichuan.

If you are interested in helping my friends in Chengdu, you can donate to Heart to Heart International, an organization of an American friend and doctor who does medical work in Chengdu and helped me when I was very sick in China. I can vouch that it is a legitimate organization.

Donate at:

Monday, May 26, 2008

My Part of Africa

When people ask me about my new home in Kenya, they envision a grass and mud hut in the heart of Africa. They ask me about the school supplies they can send with me and what kinds of clothes I'll wear. My part of Africa will not be what many Americans view. I am moving to Nairobi, one of the most developed cities on the continent with over three million people, movie theaters, water park, bowling alleys, and malls that can compete with any in the U.S. I'm not "roughing" it. Although I won't have many American things available to me, I will not be completely "without". I am moving to a city three times the size of Portland. I will wear the same clothes I wear now (but fewer sweaters - YEAH!). I will have all the modern teaching conveniences available. My two roommates and I will share a three bedroom, three bath house. My part of Nairobi is well developed and established. However, there are parts of Nairobi where poverty reigns, places which have one toilet for every 10,000 people (so I've read). I will see extreme wealth and extreme poverty.

In many ways Nairobi is like any other big city in the world - skyscrapers, pollution, people, poverty, and wealth. In other ways it is not - colors, smells, time, giraffes, and safaris. Here are some pictures taken from Nairobi National Park, a game reserve that rests on the edge of the city. It's not really the type of scene we see every day in America.
I look forward to experiencing this part of Africa for myself, to see life from a different perspective, and the many ways I will change because of Africa.

Monday, May 19, 2008

China Earthquake

The earthquake in China last Monday occurred exactly in the area I lived just a few years ago. When I sat down to my breakfast and the Today Show on Monday morning, I quickly pushed my breakfast aside and ran for my computer when Matt and Meridith mentioned the 7.9 earthquake in Chengdu. I rapidly started emailing every friend I have in China, praying they were all O.K. and that I would hear from them soon. I perused article after article on-line and watched video clips showing the city I once called home. It was unreal and scary as I recognized town square on the news reel. By that afternoon I got two emails from friends, and as the week progressed, I received more saying that everyone was fine. They had some bumps and bruises, were very shocked and shaken, but all of them were safe and sound as were their families. I exhaled a huge sigh of relief with each email. Most of the damage was in the cities and towns surrounding Chengdu, so my friends were safe, but many of their countrymen were not.

As the news continues to cover the devastating quake and its excessive after-shocks, I get very emotional. Several schools collapsed in the middle of the day with hundreds of children trapped inside. Parents are watching their only child come out from the wreckage dead. It's so sad. All their hopes and dreams, which were in this one child, are gone. How does someone get over that grief?

Please pray for Sichuan as they recover from this horrid disaster. Pray that God would turn this sad devastation into an opportunity for more people to know Him.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Time's a Tickin'

As I was updating my blog "count down", I pulled out my calendar to count the weeks until I leave for Nairobi. Ten! Oh my gosh! In ten weeks I'll be on a plane to Africa. I'm moving to Africa! Sometimes I have these moments in which I start to think about it and say to myself aloud, "Kimberly, you're going to live in Africa." I guess I say it aloud to make it sink in and feel like reality. It's so surreal. I'm sure it will be even more surreal when I'm first there. Then I'll go through the phase of "What in the world am I doing here?!" and it won't be surreal so much as a feeling of chaos and lack of control. Oh, the joys of moving to a foreign country. But I am excited. Excited for what the future holds and the new adventure God is taking me on. Ready or not, here I come!