Saturday, June 26, 2010


Here is an amazing song that speaks to the heart of human trafficking. It's real. It's heart-wrenching. It's happening right now. Can you be HOPE for these children?

Monday, June 21, 2010

I had a good cry today

I was driving home from work today. End of the day-a good day. The car was quiet and I was enjoying just being in familiar surroundings again.

It just hit me.

This face.

and this face

and this face

and I cried.

Not tears of sadness. But joy, for the work that God has done in their lives. Tears of knowing that Jesus is faithful and is the same no matter what.

I seem to have a period of awkward transition when I return from Kenya. This trip has been no different. How does one slip between two opposite cultures and just move on?

My heart is in two places and I pray that God allows the two worlds I call home become one.

It's so tough to put into words what was seen, heard, smelled and tasted. A land that millions of fatherless children try to survive in every day.

I know that Jesus is the same-no.matter.what. That phrase kept coming to my mind with each situation I listened to of the suffering, of the joy. Stories of death resulting from the political violence that erupted 2 yrs ago. Stories of hope as Priscillah's son is being nursed back to health. The stories of neglect and abuse the Mattaw kids endured and how now they are rescued and are being restored and are future leaders of their own country.

God has a plan. It may not be our plan. No matter what the cost. Our lives are to be lived in such a way that brings to Him and Him alone-no matter where you live.

And sometimes, a girl just needs a good cry. Growing hurts.

Home again

Well, we have all made it back to the USA safe! We praise God for that. So much to process, so much to think about as we all transition back to American culture. It seems like now I am fighting a stomach bug of some sort, but I am thankful that it is now and not during our trip.

So, for now, I am going to catch up on work for a bit and when I received pictures from one of our team members, I will post.

Thank you for your kind words, thoughts and prayers when we were gone. Thank you also so much for those of you who cared for my family when I was away-having them over for dinner, bringing groceries, cleaning....TJ has said numerous times how blessed he felt to have that when I was gone. I too, am so thankful for those of you who helped!

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Well, another fun, adventurous day we had! We woke up in disappointment to find Mt. Kilimanjaro was all covered in clouds. Typically, mornings show the full mountain but it has been "June gloom" here in Kenya quite a bit.

We spend the past day in Oloiktoktok right on the border of Tanzania. Homeless Children's International (HCI) was the program I visited in 2001 and 2003 and volunteered with along with my husband for several weeks. We fell in love there and soon after were married. It was so fun to see some of the girls who are living there still all grown up after all these years. They took us into town to give us a mini tour. We started to get hollared at by some locals who thought we were taking photos of them saying "we are not animals" and such-so we left quickly. I don't want to mess with mentally ill or intoxicated, angry locals :)

The drive home gave us views of many gazelle, giraffe and ostrich. I also have a hilarious story to share about one of our team members scouring the Maasai grounds for lava rock from Mt. Kilimanjaro erruption from looong ago, but it needs to wait until I can post pictures to go along with it. It will be worth the wait. I promise.

We got into Nairobi today about noonish and cleaned up and went to Java House for lunch. Boy, that chocolate shake never tasted so good. YUMMO!

We went to an amazing beadshop afterwards called Kazuri. You can check it out online at It's a program that employs around 340 single Kenyan moms-some who have been employed for 20-30 yrs there. Beautiful jewelry and yes, I did bring some home for you!

Later tonight we ate at Carnivore and feasted on wild game meat. I'm not a huge fan of meat, but I was a trooper and tried ostrich meatballs, and other meat anyways. I had a gag a time or two. Eck!

Tomorrow morning I will be going to see Daniel in Kibera with a team member, Ryan. We will take a matatu and go into the slum to see where he is living with Priscillah's sister. I decided not to take Daniel along to Kitale for a variety of reasons and I feel like I made the right decision. We will hit the market for some fun finds in the afternoon and then fly out of Nairobi at about 10:30 tomorrow night. If all goes well, we will be in Minneapolis at 4:30pm Saturday. Pray we have no delays!

Back to the real world I go. It's tough to think I'll be at work Monday morning. Really tough. I thought coming back from Kenya would be easier each time, but it's not. As a team we are looking forward to sharing our experiences and I know everyone will have a different perspective and have learned different things. I don't think anyone has come back the same person as when they left.

Pictures and stories will be coming very soon! Promise! See you when I get to Minnesota!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


We made it to Nairobi. I found how "OCD" my team is. Talk about the need for organization and diesel fuel-free air. Sheesh. Who'da thunk :)

God has answered prayers beyond my expectations...but I never doubted that. Jesus is the same no matter what happens here-I dunno why that keeps going through my head, but it does.

We are able to hire a private vehicle for cheap to take our group rather than public transport. It may seem like a small detail, but it is soooooo BIG here.

Everyone is healthy. Food is great-or at least we've grown enough bacteria in our tummies to make the food withstandable. :) I think the kiddos are getting a little homesick but all have been such troopers through all of their firsts. Love them., pardon me, but I need to finish my amazing chai tea and shower off my crustiness/deisel fuel goo before bedtime.

Monday, June 14, 2010


What day is it anyways? Time is completely gone when you are here.

Wow-last day in Kitale and it was UH-MAZ-ING! We took the kids on a field trip in Kitale town-some of us went to the museum and others explored the markets downtown. A few rode a "picky picky" (spell?) around town and got some good pictures. A Picky Picky is a dirt bike/motorcycle. Cheap. Fun. No, I didn't do it. I'm prego, why do you think??? :)

Afterwards, we took the kids swimming at the Kitale club. A REALLY posh place!!! It was a great way to kick back and relax and it felt like a completely different town in that place!

We had a sweet man from Eldoret, about an hour away come to our guesthouse with all of his knick knacks from his curio shop-and some of us got our shopping fix in. Yes, I got a bunch of multi colored paperbead necklaces. So, for those of you waiting for them, they will be in Fargo in a week!

Our plans for the rest of the week will be to head to Nairobi tomorrow. We will be staying at the Mayfield Guesthouse for the night and then renting a matatu (a van/taxi) and driving 3 hours to Oloiktoktok. This is a small, village town just on the border of Tanzania and Kenya, a the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro. This is the town I visited back in 2001 and 2003 with TJ (where we fell in love awwwww) and worked with the street children's program there through Homeless Children's International. We figured since we had some time to kill, we may as well see more of Kenya. We will be there only one day and then head back to Nairobi for some more touristy stuff.

Our team has been wonderful. Bud and Kimberly and our fearless team leader, Scott have been wonderful people to host us in Kitale. Many things went unplanned, but that has made this trip more fun and exciting. I hope some of you that read this may one day desire to come and visit as well-whether we are living here or not.

Please continue to pray for our safety. I'm sure that you may have heard about some bombings in Nairobi yesterday during a rally for a pro-abortion movement. This is just a reminder that we are in the hands of God's mercy and grace and that living in a 3rd world country means that things like this can come up at anytime. Jesus is the same no matter what.

Oh, and did I mention I was in my first "earthquake" yesterday? I was sitting and the room began to shake and outside it sounded like a big truck was rolling by-very common here. Well, it turns out I had felt the after shocks/tremors of an earthquake that measured at a 5.0 in Lake Victoria, about 130 miles away. It's never a dull day here in Kenya. Oye.

I'm not sure how much internet access I will have from here on out. I will try to update as much as I can. I'm looking forward to seeing Priscillah's son, Daniel this week and having some fun, chill time with the team before we head home.

I miss my sweet boys and it was great to speak to them today briefly. We fly into Mpls Saturday around 4:30pm.

Looking forward to seeing lots of you when we return to Fargo!!! Love you!

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Today is Sunday and it's a day that is filled with the people of Kenya dressed in their best clothing-which varies between prom atire and holey jeans and a cut off tshirt. Many start their day early to walk to church or take bikes and motorbikes to go and worship.

This morning we spent our last Sunday with the children at Mattaw. It was precious and I was overcome with emotion to see such young, small children praise and cry out to God who they believe wholeheartedly has a plan for their life. He has a plan for your life sweet children.

The past few days we have spent playing with the kids at Mattaw. A family who has travelled, the Quandts, sponsor 2 of the boys that live at Mattaw and have seemed to have formed a bond with them. It's sweet to see the meaning sponsorship has to these children. It is way more than receiving a check or bringing gifts, but rather a relationship with someone across the world.

We spent a bit of time at In Step Foundation baby home, run by a couple from Washington State. There, I held tiny, weeks old babies, one of whom was found in a bush being eaten alive by ants as she screamed. Today she has the scars to prove she is a survivor and I'm looking forward to watching her grow up.

I have spent many hours with the missionaries that live here. It doesn't seem like "missionaries". It is an amazing group of families that come from all over Kenya with a love for the people of Kenya. I have come full circle-the rose colored view of Kitale and Kenya have definately worn off and I truly see and understand the life that my family could live if we made the committment to live here.

It's worth it all.

I have no doubt that God is working in both the hearts of my husband and myself, as well as our kids. There is meaning as to why we are not here yet-because it is not HIS time or us to come.

I am so encouraged by our team who has maintained flexibilty, joy and pursued meaningful relationships with children and adults they did not know 2 weeks ago. I believe their hearts are changed for the rest of their lives.

We have laughed, cried, and have seen God work in ways we could not have imagined. I am excited to get some pictures up next weekend when I finally have a computer that will allow me to do that.

Thank you for praying and following us on this journey. It's not over yet. We spend one more day in the community with the kids and then we return to Nairobi Tuesday - Friday for some fun.

Though Kenya weighs heavy on my heart, I am looking forward to returing to some of the luxuries of America-flushing toilets, warm water always, nobody stealing my internet or phone line, fast food and my bed. I am most looking forward to seeing my boys again and being a family. God only knows where we go from here.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Another great day-no words. Just a fun quiz for you guys and a sa-weet giveaway!

Answers to this can be found on google, and the websites and

Ready? If there are several people who get the answers correct, I will go to and randomly choose the winner. Winner receives a soapstone sculpture that I will pick out later this week. All comments/answers need to be in by noon on Friday.

1. What is the capital of Kenya?

2. How many children live at Mattaw Children's Village?

3. What does "Mattaw" mean?

4. What is Kenya's #1 export?

5. What are the Kiswahili words for:
a) I'm sorry
b) come here
c) chicken
d) you
e) thank you

6. Name a slum in Nairobi.

7. Where is Mattaw Children's Village located?

8. What are the names of the Huffman's 2 children

9. James 1:27 says what?

10. What is name of house #1 at Mattaw Children's Village?

Good luck!!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I think I may eat the turkey....

....if the turkey doesn't shut it's trap, I may eat it for dinner tomorrow. PU-LLLEEEZE! At least the cell phone tower and duck squawking-or whatever was gone. Thank you Tylenol PM :)

I posted a bunch of pictures on my facebook account if you want to have a look. I will try to post as often as I can.

It has been another incredible day! We brought out some books that we brought for the kiddos. Boy, did they go wild. Dr Suess is popular wherever you go. Everyone pitched in with the laundry, which is done by hand Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. It can take anywhere between 2-4 hours to complete.

I'm thankful for my washing machine and will NEVER complain about laundry being behind again.

Adam is doing better-he still did not make it out to Mattaw today and stayed behind, but now seems to be able to have soup and water and not have it come up again.

Did I mention I forgot a bag at the airport...oh, it arrived on time..but I just FORGOT to pick it up. Well, another miracle is that today, we got through to the baggage claim and it turns out it is still there. It will arrive in Kitale tomorrow morning. Kim, it was your bag. SORRY!! I am praying now that all the items inside are still there. My rain gear, shoes and loads of school supplies were in there. That is just one of the things I seemed to have forgotten this I prego or something??

Guys, I dunno if I'm coming back. This trip has had a much different feel. I've been completely relaxed and at ease with my surroundings and feel more of a sense of getting to know other families in the area. So, I'm doing just that. I'm picking the brains of other missionaries about how they came to Kitale and what they wish they knew before they came from the US-or wherever. There are some incredible people who live here. Not only that, but I strongly feel that God has made me wait-made US wait for our family to come for many reasons. It just wasn't time yet. As impatient as I feel, I know it is God's timing at play and not mine. Please pray for discernment as TJ and I try to figure out what's next.

Oh! I found out that it takes only 3 1/2 hours to get to Mt Kilimanjaro (by Loiktoktok) instead of 11+ hours like it did in 2001 when I traveled. So, our team may have the opportunity to see Southern Kenya as well. It depends on what they would like to do.

I can't believe it's Tuesday. I hope Salem VBS is going well. OH, how I miss my sweet boys back home. My baby is kicking a ton inside me and I"m thankful for this new life--I can't wait to meet him/her!!!

Please continue to pray for our health and safety and provision, as "TIA" This Is Africa and anything can change at a moment's notice. God has been faithful thus far. No matter what, my Jesus is still the same during good times and bad times. We are all thankful for His Mercies given on this trip.

Monday, June 7, 2010

I have a turkey outside my bedroom window.

If you live in Africa, you are to assume that you will have many experiences that are unique to anywhere else in the least to the United States.

I have a turkey living outside my bedroom window. A big one. Not far from this turkey is another turkey that attacked one of the Mattaw staff at this guesthouse not long ago while he was brushing his teeth. White turkey is now locked's huge, and I'm thankful for that.

I went to bed last night AND woke up today to turkeys gobbling, a flock of ducks honking, and a cell phone tower alarm going off at such a piercing high pitch noise. Maybe the power will go off today. Maybe not. This is Africa. It feels like home.

Today, we are at the Mattaw Children's Village with all the kids. Wes is dressed to the nines looking like Indiana Jones and is wife, Teri, is almost a replica of a Maasai warrior's wife. It suits her, as their family lives in a grass roof hut at the guesthouse-

We are learning how to cook-Kenyan style and slowly learning that time isn't a big deal here as we all adjust to the relaxed lifestyle. The sun is so hot and I'm trying to remember the new names of kids that were not there when we visited Mattaw in 2008. Everyone is doing amazing. We have met and chatted with folks all over the world and listened to the journey they have been on and how they came to live in Kitale. It is an amazing community.

Today, one of the Lutz boys woke up with a serious stomach/intestine bug that has laid him out for the day. We took him to the clinic that confirmed it was a bacterial infection and not malaria. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

We will be visiting a baby house later this week and taking the Mattaw kids on a field trip.

It takes a while to post pictures here, so I will try to get some up if I can...we have some fun ones :) I spoke to my husband and kids last night and it sounds like they are doing well. Thank you to those of you who have invited them for supper. It has been a huge blessing to them.

I will try to be posting as regular as I can.



Sunday, June 6, 2010



It has taken some time, but I am so excited to announce that ALL of us have arrived safely in Kitale, Kenya. We left 8am Thursday morning, went through a back injury, eye injury and a flat tire and we arrived at the Minneapolis airport an hour before our flight took off at 3pm. Do you think someone didn't want us to be going??? ;) Bring it.

We're here! All of our flights and bus travel were great. It rained cats and dogs on us (chickens and goats?) yesterday, as we are in the midst of the rainy season, but we arrived safely.

Traveling with this team has been an amazing journey in itself. I see God breaking down barriers in every individual and it brings me back to the first time I traveled to Kenya in 2001.

When we left Nairobi, I got a surprising, unexpected visit from Priscillah. Wow, was that a sweet moment. When we arrived, it didn't appear that meeting her would work out. We sent her off to school on Friday and she just hugged me so tight and said 'thank you'. Work hard sweet girl. Your son is so worth it and we love you so much!

The smells, sounds, feelings, smiles and hospitality that I dearly remember are surrounding us again. We were able to get to Mattaw Children's Village this morning for church and love on the kids a ton! We got our "Kisses For Kenya" sweets out to many adults and children. Of course, the kids tried to trick us into receiving a few more than just one, but I think I would too.

Some of the youth in our group went in front of the church and played guitar and drums and lead some worship songs. Time was spent praying over those needing healing.

We have settled into our guesthouse and are feeling at home. Thank you everyone for your prayers thus far. We truly have felt them as we have walked each step of the day.

I will continue to keep you posted as we are here the next 10 days.

Love you!!!