Two Stories

From Victim to Victor

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Yesterday was Memorial Day. But I “memorialize” it for another reason.

Last year on Memorial Day (May 29, 2017) our family touched down from Kenya with a sick little boy in tow. We headed straight from Dulles Airport to Baltimore where Graceson would spend the next month being treated following his stroke.

Then, yesterday, Memorial Day (May 28, 2018) I touched down at Dulles airport again at almost the exact hour as I had a year ago! But instead of going to the hospital, I went HOME…where I found my precious kids and beautiful wife running into my arms. And instead of being in crisis, they are settled on the inside and beautifully adjusted to this new leg of our journey together. Home has always been where Mommy and Daddy are. And it still is.

There were times this year where we felt deep pain, anger, frustration, loss…like a victim. But these last two weeks I just spent in Africa felt like a “victory dance“!  To quote the somewhat cheesy, chanty song “Enemy’s Camp” — I felt like I went back into the land to “take back what he stole from me!” (Except Tanzania is far from the enemy’s camp, but a land I love deeply.)

When I try to explain this process to people, the best words seem to be this: “our bodies are back in the states, but my heart is still trying to catch up.” I felt something shift this last week. My heart crossed the line. After many tears and a hard year, I think I am ready to cooperate on the inside.

When I watch this video that we posted 6 months ago, I marvel at all that has happened since. I am so excited for the kids and the way they are all developing! And for Tricia and the way she is alive again back in the classroom– she is like a blossoming flower on the inside and outside. And I am so very, very pleased with how Integer Network is taking shape.

We did it, guys! And you helped us. Countless prayers. Amazing support. And a God that is a Good Father, a Great Shepherd that is ever by our side.

In one year, we have moved from victim to victor!!

 

Integer Network’s Global Work Begins

We are thrilled to report that the first Integer Network international training trip was an immense success!  Noah was joined by colleagues and friends in both Kenya and Tanzania to lead 6 training experiences in 2 weeks that reached over 200 leaders! Some of the concepts were so new to the East African context that there were barley even words in Swahili to capture them.

John Wambura, General Secretary of the Mennonite Church of Tanzania said: “My cup is full again! God is using you in a very different way and it will change the way we think, live and lead. Here in Africa we need such training to happen for our church leaders. Please plan an East Africa conference and run it in Uganda and invite people from Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, South Sudan, and Ethiopia. Dream BIG! Go Integer!”

In some ways it was quite a challenge to address emotionally charged character issues that stretched the worldview of the trainees. In other ways, it was a surge of joy and hope as we experienced leaders engaging important issues in such a deep way. In a context where integrity is often overlooked for position and tradition, now is a ripe time for Integer to be coaching leaders in Africa toward authenticity and freedom. Much more is coming. Stay tuned!