Last Friday, we left Nairobi for the great Rift Valley, to attend a friend’s wedding. The drive down to Naivasha was gentle and dreamy. The best scenery of highland, savannah, rift and lake changed, as we sped towards the cottage we booked for the night.
We had a bit of adventure winding down South Lake Road, Naivasha, past the Kongoni-Maeilla junction to the end of the tarmac. Lots of wildlife dotted the beautiful lakeside scenery and soon, both people and animals dwindled close to nothing, as we made our way past unfamiliar private farms and the airstrip. Our host, Rosemary welcomed us with a warm greeting and gave us a short tour, before we left for the afternoon wedding.
We prayed off the rain and clouds, arriving just on time, as the bride and her parents begun to walk down the aisle. The warm hazy sunshine blessed the couple and guests and a gentle wind teased the crowd. Then Acacia blossoms showered us, as if to signal God’s presence. The wedding went well, with bride and groom well entertained and glowing but soon, it was all over.
We left for our final evening with our dear friend, Margo, who left Kenya for the United Kingdom after a year and three months in Nairobi. Margo is a dear friend and blessed our Home Group with great leadership and companionship. We will miss her and are grateful that God has given us a lovely sister, who really is an English rose!
After breakfast, we sought ought Rosemary, to learn a little more about the guest cottage and how it came about. It turns out, that a couple, Dorothy and Geoffrey Irvine, both missionary Doctors, bought the land from their neighbours, as a place to retire. (See http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.c7317?rss=1)
Dr. Geoffrey Irvine’s father, Dr. Clive Irvine founded the Chogoria Mission Hospital in the 1920s. (See http://friendsofchogoria.org/?page_id=9)
Dr. Clive employed my grandfather, Jason “Karanja” as his Gardener, promoting him to Driver and eventually their Cook.
This had an amazing impact on my mother’s family, as my grandfather earned enough to buy extensive land and was encouraged to grow coffee by the Irvines, who became his mentors. All my aunts and uncles went to school, as a result of the coffee earnings. The girls in the family managed to escape female genital mutilation, as one of the first Christian families in the area. My grandmother went on to be a vocal feminist voice against the practice, facing death threats well into old age, as my grandfather championed equal rights and faith in Christ for his family! As I grew up, I often thanked God for giving me such a strong heritage and still do.
Listening to Rosemary at the cottage in Naivasha brought me close to tears. Three special events this weekend made me realize that God thinks of me often and has incredible plans for me. It is all about intentional connections and a great plan, established with love, care, wisdom and joy for all of God’s own! May I learn to see others (and myself) as God sees us.