|Claire and I at her house on Saturday afternoon May 31|
Sunday, June 8, 2014
A couple of weeks ago I was thinking about Claire and then the phone rang and it was Claire! I met Claire at an HIV Positive Youth Camp in December of 2012. We became fast friends. She joined me in January of 2014 with the Bethel students at Daystar University.
When she called I was in the middle of a second draft of a portion of the Maarifa curriculum and needed some assistance coming up with questions to ask the youth. Claire was the perfect choice for a helper. So Daniel and I went to see her one Saturday afternoon.
Claire lives about an hour and a half from Nairobi in tea country. The rolling green hills of tea plantations are absolutely stunning.
Claire and her auntie Monica walked down the road to greet us. Claire is petit in stature but larger than life in personality. She is also blind. We ate the lunch of mukimo (mashed potatoes with green vegetables) and cabbage that was prepared for us and then Daniel went off to see the neighborhood with Claire’s cousin George and Claire and I read through the narrative, a fellow writer in Nariobi and I had composed for Maarifa. Claire listened intently to the story and posed great questions to ask the youth as well as helping me identify words that might be difficult for them to understand.
When Daniel came back I had Claire perform her I CAN spoken word piece. I posted it on YouTube a long time ago. Click here to watch
Afterward I told her that she wasn’t the only person in the room with a disability. She was surprised and asked who else had a disability. I told her that Daniel wears hearing aids. Daniel let her run her fingers over them so that she could “see” them for herself.
Daniel told her that one of the things he liked best about me was that I loved him just the way he is. Claire smiled and said, “Me too!”
We said goodbye to Claire and her amazing family and drove back through the rolling hills of tea to the new by-pass that is being built…it’s not open yet, but we drove on it anyway…lots of people do. We cut maybe an hour out of our trip both ways by driving on the bypass road. It feels strange to drive on a road in Kenya that is not full of potholes. It’s going to sound strange but we really enjoyed ourselves!
The last Saturday night of every month our church holds an evening Praise and Worship Service. It’s mostly singing and praying and brief message. Two months ago at a Praise and Worship night, Daniel and I spoke for the first time, so to us it’s an anniversary of sorts.
During the singing portion I thought I heard God telling me that Maarifa was of his heart; that it was His vision and that I was just the instrument to carry it out. You know when you think you hear God saying or doing something but you’re not sure…that’s how I felt. A few minutes later, Ann, a Kenyan woman from my Bible Study came up and asked if she could pray with me. She said God was telling her to tell me not to doubt. “I keep hearing the words abundant joy, joy unspeakable, have faith and trust, do not doubt.”
Sometimes when you need confirmation, God gets right on it.
So here I go - not doubting, having faith and trusting Him in his plans for Maarifa, in his plans for Daniel and I, and for a future of abundant joy.
You might have seen my Facebook status change in the last month or so. Let me quell all the rumors here and now. It’s true! I’m in love!
So let me give you the vital statistics:
His name is Daniel Steyn.
He’s 43. The same age I am, although he’s two months older. Another reason that is good is because he has the same birthday as my brother Tom. (No need to remember too many dates).
He is from South Africa. (He’s White.) For those of you who know me well, you might be giggling about now. Yes, I know I said I wanted to marry an African. But I didn’t specify the color with God. Guess who had the final word on that one.
He is an engineer. He works for Intel. (Yes, the computer company.)
He has lived and worked in Kenya for 3 years.
He is ridiculously handsome! And tall!
He likes to run…that’s what we did on our first date.
He is an amazing cook! Albeit with a recipe book close at hand.
And the best part is that he is a God-fearing, praying, Jesus follower!
But the best, best part is that he is crazy about me! I pinch myself every once in a while, not too often because I bruise easily…but often enough to remind myself that I’m not dreaming. There really is an amazing man in my life who loves me to pieces (and is not my father or my heavenly father), his name is Daniel, and I love him too!
|Daniel and I in Kakamega, Kenya, during Easter weekend.|
(It’s June 6!) Happy two-month Anniversary Daniel!
I can’t wait to see what the next two years…two decades bring!
I LOVE YOU!