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Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Back to Canada - June & July 2012

Summer In Canada 2012

This cake was donated by Bridge City Cakes for our fundraiser in
Saskatoon! Thanks Arvelle and Wayne, you guys rock!
We didn't want to cut it!

Visiting Jennifer's parents in B.C. Larry always flies
the flag of whatever part of the world we are living in  when we visit!

This summer was our first scheduled home assignment to Canada.  We completed our first term in Kenya, and it was time to head to Canada to report to our board and our supporters about what we have been up to here in Kenya, what we have accomplished, and the various challenges, victories, setbacks etc. we have experienced so far in Mission:180's work here.

It was a very busy two and a half months, and we planned it that way. We had many people to see, many meetings to have, and churches to visit, and friends and family to reconnect with.  We had a blast.  It was a whirlwind, and sometimes it felt like "Hurricane Sheppard", blowing in and out of towns and peoples homes so quickly! We drove over 10,000 kilometres in that time, in two different vehicles lent to us by Saskatoon Hyundai, and Blackburn Motors! These generous gifts saved Mission:180 several thousand dollars in rentals and made it possible for us to get where we had to go! We are very grateful!

We really needed get to Canada this summer. This was the longest we have ever been outside of Canada, and certainly the longest we ever stayed in what is known as a "developing nation". Without going into too much detail, we were ready for a break! We were treated so well by family, friends, churches, even strangers. What a privilege to see you all and share the excitement of what God is doing through Mission:180 here in Kenya, with the support of great Canadians who believe in us and the work we are doing!

While we were in Saskatoon, we had a very important board meeting.  There was business to attend to, decisions to be made and budgets to be set. Below is a picture of our excellent leadership team. From left to right, Don Schoenfeld, Mark Emde, Jason Sheppard, Ashley Drayton, Jennifer Sheppard, Nathan Cressman, and Nancy Emde.

Mission:180's Stellar leadership team. 
We are blessed to have the calibre of people who give of their time, energy, and resources as the leaders of Mission :180.  We cannot do this without their guidance and input, and we don't want to try.

Of course, there was some time made for fun and visiting. Below are several pictures of Joshua enjoying some fun on the lake. These opportunities do not present themselves in Kenya, so he was eager to seize the day.  Thanks Uncle Frank, Aunt Cheryl, and honorary big bro Tim Behrendt! You are such a blessing to us and Mission:180! We love you!

The goal with Uncle Frank is always to get airborne!

Success and FUN!

Thanks for my first knee-boarding lesson
and experience Uncle Frank!
We left Canada to return home to Nairobi on August 1st. We arrived here on August 3rd at 2:30 AM. We were tired, but glad to be home.  It was a long trip home. All but two of our 13 checked bags made it on the same flight as us, and the last two came by the end of the following week!
We already miss you!  Our times with our parents, siblings, nieces and nephews and our great friends and supporters were so special. We love you all. For all the moments we will miss pursuing our calling here, we are sorry! Some days this ocean between us seems so big! We really miss you. 

What's Next? Stay tuned for updates on the following:
  • Mission:180's process to become registered as a Non-Governmental Organization In Kenya.
  • The development of the land we now own in Masai-Land.
  • The upcoming school and Christmas Hamper Sponsorship Campaign!
  • The general joys and challenges of life and work in Kenya!
Again, to those who take the time to read this, to stay informed about what we are doing, and to those who support us financially, emotionally and spiritually, we say THANK YOU VERY MUCH! ASANTE SANA!