Loving life in Kijabe, Kenya

This family just recently embarked on the overseas living adventure, though their situation is unique in that they are mostly working with people from their own western culture.  They’re loving living life in the Great Rift Valley.

Tell us about your family. How long have you been married? How many kids do you have? How long have you lived in Kenya?

Amy and I (Kevin) have been married for 10 years. We got married in college and waited a couple years before trying to have kids. We now have three beautiful children, Anika (5), Titus (4), and Elise (2.5). We have been in Kenya for 5 months, since July of 2012.

What fears and real concerns did you have before you moved?

For us, the idea of moving to Kenya was quite exciting! Amy grew up (18 years) in Ethiopia and I always had wanted to live abroad. In addition, in 2003, I had a chance to spend a Christmas in Ethiopia with Amy’s parents. Those 10 days were some of my most exciting and awe inspiring experiences. I told Amy, “Give me a hut and some goats and we will be all right.” It was fair to say we were familiar with most of the common dangers of going to Africa but I think our biggest fear was, “Is God really going to make this happen?” We sold our house, our cars, and most of our other possessions and there were times when we felt, “God are you sure this is what you want us to do, this isn’t easy!”

How did you overcome those fears and take the plunge?

God continually reminded us of His promises to provide when we sought His kingdom first. Also, it was a time of learning to trust in God in any circumstances, easy or difficult. It was also a lesson in acknowledging that God’s time is the perfect time. Somethings happen right away and somethings take a while to develop. Through out the whole time, we felt that moving to Kenya to serve at Rift Valley Academy was what God was calling us to do but we had quite a few lessons to learn along the way. Ultimately, if God wants something done, He will make it happen! And here we are! All Glory and Praise to our Lord Jesus Christ!

What is your work in Kenya? How long do you plan to live there?

Amy and I serve at Rift Valley Academy (RVA) in Kijabe Kenya, an hour north of Nairobi. RVA is a boarding school for mostly missionary kids whose parents serve many different ministries throughout Eastern and Southern Africa. The students live 9 months of the year at the school and spend the other three with their parents. Amy and I are dorm parents for 5-6th grade boys as well as teachers, Amy teaches Spanish 4 and I am currently teaching English 10. We plan to stay at least 3 years, Lord willing and possibly more, according to God’s will. We really love it out here but we know it is by God’s grace and provision that we are out here. Anytime, things can change and in that we hold tightly to Jesus Christ.

Any final words of wisdom or encouragement to families who might want to leave their home culture and live/work somewhere else?

First I would say do it! God has mysterious ways of making His will known to his people. If you feel God calling you to a certain place, start moving in that direction. Take steps of faith, knowing God is your ultimate security. Also, most importantly, continue to abide in Christ. Learn to trust completely, learn to go to prayer for everything, learn to wait quietly, learn to let go of everything so that you having nothing left to hold onto except Christ Himself.

What’s your favorite restaurant in the town where you live?

Every so often we go to the Kijabe Hospital down the hill to eat at their cafeteria. They have good beef stew and chips (fries). We also just found an excellent Ethiopian restaurant in Nairobi that we love, its called Warka.

Name a couple books that have impacted your life.

Utmost for His HIghest has had the most impact on my spiritual growth aside from the Bible. I have been reading it for almost 13 years. The other book is The Freedom of Simplicity by Richard Foster.

If you missed the introduction to this interview series, read it here.

2 responses to “Loving life in Kijabe, Kenya”

  1. I posted this interview, but I don’t currently live in Kijabe. I lived there for 3 years in the 1990s and have visited several times since. It is currently quite safe, but your contacts at the hospital could give you a better report on the conditions. It’s a great place to raise kids though! Lots of great adventures awaiting. The Wells children attend school at Rift Valley Academy, the American school near Kijabe hospital.

  2. Love your post! We are considering coming to Kijabe for a month or so with our young children. My husband is a pathologist and they are in need of one for a time at the hospital. Our biggest concern is the safety in the area with the kids. Their ages are 5 and 8. We would love for them to experience a different way of life. We are currently living in Arkansas, USA. Where do your children attend school? LOVE that you eat at the hospital cafeteria. We had a good laugh over that!
    -Michelle W

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