Whirl-Paks, Birthday Parties, and Chickens!

Taylor is learning a lot about herself, God, Kenya, and serving. Read about her journey here!

Thursday and Friday were our first field research days where we were sent out to collect water samples from some of the communities. Our field days consist of us going to each household that has a filter to collect samples of their water for later testing. We took eight samples at each home and we would collect them in Whirl-paks (I am now a pro at whirling!). At each home, we were greeted with kindness and hospitality.

We had a few eventful moments over the course of these two days. Thursday evening when we were driving back to Africa Hope we stopped in another village, surprisingly to my team, to attend attending a birthday party! We ate some delicious bush food (the bush = the middle of nowhere Africa) and had fun with some kids before continuing our way back to rest up for the next day of doing exactly the same thing. We had a very similar routine the next day of collecting water samples, but this time we brought some friends back with us. Our journey home the second day was accompanied by four chickens in the back of our van.

These days were great but they were also very very hard. We experienced tiresome days, the hot African sun, hungry stomachs, many flies buzzing around our faces and a painful sunburn (that was only me). These things made me pretty uncomfortable and I experienced a time of frustration and annoyance. But through a moment of frustration and stepping away, God reminded me of something: as followers of Christ, we were never promised comfort. In fact, Christ himself tells us to embrace difficulty and discomfort that accompanies the flesh-denying, kingdom-proclaiming life.

But if we’re honest with ourselves - most of us freak out at the thought of discomfort. Denying ourselves, picking up our crosses, and following Jesus would just be too uncomfortable and so we don’t do it. We fix our eyes more on the discomfort and difficulty and we miss the blessing that it will surely bring. We’re able to experience more of God and His promises. When he leads us to uncomfortable situations he promises us that He will be right there with us. And what a deep and vibrant joy we get to experience when we embrace the discomforts and decide to take up our cross.

“Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” - Matthew 16:24-26

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