This blog has been put off for three weeks — for good reason. I’ve been in Turkey to spend time with my children and grandchildren. Now I am in Nairobi, Kenya helping some old friends write the story of their ministry in Africa. It’s the most unusual writing experience I’ve ever had.
My friend Faye has spent more than two years going through boxes and boxes of letters, papers, pictures, journals. Out of this great source of memorabilia, going back to 1948 when she and her husband, Don, were engaged, she’s pulled out five hundred pages of key material. These are mostly single-spaced, legal size pages– and thankfully mainly in chronological order and bound into a book that weighs at least four pounds.
I am working with a team of two Kenyan women, less than half my my age who are very sharp. Both of their husbands teach at the Christian University where I’m staying. It’s a kind of tag team. Rosie pulls all the pertinent, interesting features from the resource book and forms then into a chapter. I receive the chapter and add additional information, re-organize if necessary to keep the story flowing, edit and make comments of things to research and verify, After Rosie and I go through to fine tune a second time, the chapter goes on to Katie who has her MA in communications. She reads through the material again, and stops to deal with the comments and edits as necessary.
Our hope is that in the next month we’ll be able to pass our draft to Don and Faye — hopefully they’ll recognize and verify that this is their life.
We are a good thirty miles from Nairobi, on roads that are lined with massive ten-wheelers rolling along like a Colorado coal train– when is the end ever coming? But we sit out on the patio after dinner and watch the sunset and unique cloud formations in the west. I have yet to see a sunset because this is the rainy season, and it is usually raining over in Nairobi — seldom here. We watch the day disappear at 6:30 pm every night here on the equator; the flickering lights of the city start to turn on,; the planes turn to land over at Jomo Kenyata Airport, and the streaks of gold and rose peek through the clouds for one last moment. All is quiet — even the birds have stopped singing.And it’s grown chilly.
I’m not lonesome for home but find the peace restoring. I have a deep sense of confidence that God has given me this opportunity at almost ninety years old, to serve Him in a unique way. I believe Don and Faye’s story of their lives and the university that grew out of their service will bless those who read it. I’m thankful for the privilege, and honestly wonder why I should be so blessed.
Oh yes, something also happened to Daughters of Deliverance since I left hone. Today it ranked thirty-two out of 100 best selling religious fiction books on Kindle. It probably helps that more and more people are writing reviews — fifty-two to date. If you haven’t read Daughters of Deliverance, or read it and haven’t written a review, there’ still time. You will admire Katharine Bushnell, the woman this historical fiction is based on. The sequel The Queen’s Daughters, is due out Sept 1.