Saturday, May 1, 2010

Traveling mercies

Sunday night, I was back in Philadelphia; my return from vacation in Ireland having been delayed a week by a cloud of volcanic dust coming from Iceland. It was a scramble to catch up on work and re-pack for travel to Africa. By Friday my jet lag had disappeared, but now I am back in Britain (picture shows a May day in Hampshire), so my body has to revert to last week’s time zone.

I am on my way to Kenya, to three different meetings, in three different locations. The meetings have grand names: International Planning Committee, Africa Section Triennial and Central Executive Committee. Translated, this means I will be helping plan a World Conference of Friends that you will be able to attend in 2012, at the university where the conference will take place; I will be worshiping with hundreds of African Friends and watching how they carry out their Quaker business, and I will be part of the body that governs FWCC at the global level.

I have never been to Kenya. My Kiswahili is embarrassingly inadequate, and my facility in other Kenyan languages is nonexistent. The information from the US State Department about dangers to travelers in Kenya is hair-raisingly scary (I wish I had never logged on to report my travels there), and on top of all that, my flight from London to Nairobi was canceled from under me earlier in the week. On the bright side, I have been booked onto new flights. Yesterday I found out the name of the guesthouse where I will be staying between my arrival in Nairobi, and I have decided that since God wants me to be doing this wild and crazy work with all its challenges, God will take care of me by bringing people into my life just when I really need them to tell me what to do next.

I have no idea what kind of access I will have to the Internet, but here at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 glass cathedral, I am setting up the blog and stepping out in faith at many different levels. I’m almost ready – but I would appreciate prayers for, as Kenyan Friends say, Traveling Mercies, that I and all of us who are traveling to Nairobi, through the Rift Valley and on to Western Province, will be safe.

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