A Different Sort of “Day on the Lake”
This summer has been spent very differently for us than any summer past. Instead of family vacations, cook outs, and days at the pool we have been learning a new language and adjusting to life in a foreign land. Some of our favorite memories of summer in our “Knoxville home” are of days spent on the lake. So when we had the opportunity to visit a nearby Kenyan lake, we jumped at the opportunity.
In Kenya, the 4th of July is not a holiday. But since our language school currently has mostly students from “Marekani” they decided to give us all a holiday on July 4th. We already had plans to visit our field director in another town, so decided to stop at Lake Naivasha on the way. Crescent Island juts out into this large lake, housing many wild animals (minus the predators) allowing for an amazing “walking safari.”
We took a picnic lunch and explored the island, walking alongside giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, cape buffalo, water buck and gazelles. Our boat ride included sightings of many amazing birds and some close-up visits with hippos. This was a little nerve-racking considering that more people are killed in Africa each year by hippos than any other animal. No skiing or tubing in this lake!
It was a surreal experience to “celebrate” our American Independence Day in this new land that we now call “home.” Surrounded by God’s amazing creation in the Great Rift Valley of Africa on that day, I was aware in a new way of God’s greatness. I am so grateful that God’s love and redemptive plan transcends culture and patriotism and language and earthly nations. I am so grateful that we live under the promise that one day people of every ethnic group and every tongue will be praising God together…a true “One nation under God.” I pray daily in this new place that God will give me His eyes, erasing any cultural bias from my heart and mind…that He will let me see the culture and people around me as He sees them and allow me to love as He loves.
“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” Revelation 7:9-10 ESV
“Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol him all peoples! For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!” Psalm 117 ESV