Missionary Update: The Radfords in Kenya [August 2013]

Nathan and Carrie Radford serve the Lord in Kitale, Kenya. Their main ministries include indigenous church planting, a prison ministry, and a hospital ministry for mothers with premature babies.

Dear praying friends,

It is now the month of August, and the time this year has flown by. I cannot believe how quickly this year has passed. It seems like the older I get, the faster the time passes. I am sure you all can relate to this as well. How we need to be busy in service to the Lord while there is still time and opportunity. Psalm 90:12 states, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”

Since I write month after month about ministry, I thought this month I would write something different. I enjoy reporting on the ministries, and I plan to continue to do that throughout the months ahead. I thought this month I would report more on how life is on the mission field, or what typical living in Africa is like. I know that this is probably interesting, and since I have not reported much about it, I would like to this month.

Life in Africa. How do you describe it? It has daily challenges that only the Lord can help us through. Many times it really gets hard. Why? Separation from friends, family, culture, customs, etc. Trying to understand the Swahili language when someone is talking a mile a minute in the language and your brain has just “checked out.” I have been there many times. It is exhausting just to try to follow what is being said, especially if it is said at a very fast rate.

Maintenance. There is so much maintenance, both on vehicles, compounds, places to live, etc. I rarely drive long distances because of the conditions of the roads. When a road is fixed, it usually does not last long as the conditions deteriorate rapidly. I usually take public transportation in a van, called a “matatu” here. The matatus are usually jammed with people, with people sitting four in a seat that seats two. Chickens on the buses and vans at times. People preaching on the public vans and passing around their hats and taking up an offering. Yes, life here is certainly different.

What about the family? Typically my wife spends most of the morning schooling with the children. We are so proud of McKenna and her progress. She is a smart little girl. Camille is coming along closely also. Our daughters have friends here, although most are older than them. As I said before, we continue to pray for children their age to play with. God will answer in His time. Cooking for my wife takes twice as long here as cooking at home. All is made from scratch. Something that would take 30 minutes in America takes 2 hours here to make. These are just some of the things that teach us patience here, day by day.

Through all the challenges of daily life on the mission field, God is with us each step of the way. He will never leave us nor forsake us. No matter what we face, He is there. As the saying goes, “No matter how rough or smooth this day, He is with us each step of the way.” Hebrews 13:5b says “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Are you thankful for that? We sure are.

Thanks again for your prayers, sacrificial giving, cards of encouragement, and emails. They brighten our days here.

Nathan and Carrie Radford
P.O. Box 4150
Kitale, Kenya
East Africa 30200

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