Compelled By Love
Can you believe it? After years of preparing and praying we have arrived in Eastern Africa! For those who did not know we flew into Kenya on May 28th and will be here for about 6 weeks or so, as we dig into language school 5 hours a day 5 days a week. It is almost strange to wake up in the morning to the sounds of the monkeys running across the roof and think that we are actually here. The place we are staying for our time in Kenya backs up to one of the national parks and so we have been able to see antelope, monkeys and wild birds from where we are. Since it is the end of the rainy season, there are lots of beautiful colors in the foliage around as well. We have had to adapt to some things like no air conditioning, filtering the water, cars driving on the left side of the road, fridges that only keep food kind of cool, some food differences, and the general difference of cultures. We are, however, adapting well and taking it all in stride.
One story of adjusting to the culture in Kenya (and language learning) occurred our first Sunday here. We visited a pastor friend’s church and were treated to lunch at his house afterwards. In the East African culture, it is a big honor to be invited to the pastor’s house for a meal. They served authentic African dishes and a flat fried bread called chapati. The bread was rolled up and looked more like a burrito. Pierce, not knowing the difference, and relating it to something he knew, asked for “more taco”. All of the Africans who were there busted out laughing very hard. It was funny but they seemed to be laughing harder than seemed normal. Later we found out why. In Swahili taco means “one butt cheek” and mtaco means “two butt cheeks”. So Pierce had asked for “more butt cheek”. Having been to America, at least the pastor knew what tacos were and so it was a gentle introduction into the differences in cultures. To all of our American ministry partners, every time you eat tacos, please remember us and this story and say a prayer for us.
Before we left, we got connected with Erin Knight, who is a pre-med college student with a heart for Africa and a gift with kids. It was a God-ordained connection and she agreed to come with us to Kenya for the first bit to watch Pierce while the rest of us dig into language school. She has a desire to return to Africa after her training as a doctor to be a medical missionary, and has been a true blessing all the way around. She has been great with Pierce and a mentor and friend to our girls. When she leaves to head back to America she will be greatly missed.
We took a couple days to get settled and started right into language school and are spending most of our days with language learning. We are making good progress, but it is a lot to process and can feel quite overwhelming at times. We are taking the weekends to connect as a family/ group and enjoyed an Elephant orphanage this first weekend. At times we feel like we should be doing more ministry wise than we have had opportunity to do since landing a week ago. The temptation has been to jump into ministry anywhere because after a life time of dreaming we are finally here. Despite this, we realize that we are not here for a sprint, but for a marathon and are doing as we should in learning the language and building long term relationships. We know that we are here in Kenya for that purpose and are in progress of doing both so that when we cross into Tanzania, we can begin the work set before us.
We have been through a long transitional phase. Even though we are only here for a short bit before transitioning again to Tanzania, we are living out what we dreamed of long ago…to serve the Lord In Eastern Africa. We can’t wait to see what is next in this adventure. Please follow with us on FaceBook at Compelled By Love The Noah’s In Eastern Africa to hear more updates and see more pictures.
Please remember our taco story and say a prayer for us every time that you eat tacos (or more frequently)
Tanzanian visa– our Tanzanian visas are still not ready. They have changed the process significantly, making many hoops for our organization to jump through before they even consider our visa. Please pray that this process goes quickly and smoothly.
Accelerated learning– We are working hard at language learning, but we are asking that God would give us a supernatural speed of learning, and that we would quickly be able to think and communicate in Swahili. It’s relatively easy to get by here with English, but that won’t be the case once we cross the border.
Connections– Pray that we would have divine appointments that would give us favor as we step into His callings.
On going health and protection– we have already had our first set of stomach issues (and took Pierce to the doctor)…please pray physical and spiritual protection over us. We know the enemy isn’t happy about what we are doing, and we desperately need our partners to call out to God for His protection for our whole family.
About Jonathan & April Noah
Our vision is to Empower, Equip, Exhort, and Encourage the local people and ministries of Eastern Africa. So, as to become self-sustaining in order to further the kingdom of God, our heart is to see people be radically changed by the power of the gospel.