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Dinner parties and discipleship

October 2015


Even with missing the pumpkin craze in the states (I love a good Pumpkin Spice Latte), October has been one of my favorite months here in Nairobi.  Much like August, it was a month of living normal life-- no traveling or special events, just learning language and adapting to life here.  This month I have been able to use my hospitality gift by having people over for meals.  I love cooking and inviting friends to share the food I've made.  These meals have filled me with a lot of laughter and joy.  Through the fun and the difficult moments here in Nairobi I really feel like I'm growing so much and really thriving here.  God has fulfilled his promise that this time in Nairobi would be good.  

Language classes are difficult but good.  I've adjusted to my new teacher and we have a much better time in class than at the start.  I am able to tell stories using past, present, and future tenses.  I still need many corrections for the grammar which is really complicated, but I feel like I can speak the language now.  Not at all fluently, but I can make myself understood.  

Last week I was able to meet with the manager of the language school.  Our meeting was so encouraging to me!  We talked about some of the "why" behind the language I'm learning being so difficult.  There is a lot of spiritual opposition that comes up against everyone learning this language.  There is so much power in being able to communicate on a heart level in someone's native language and the enemy knows this.  He doesn't want the group of people that I am working with to experience the peace and freedom that comes from knowing Jesus.  Please pray against spiritual opposition to me learning language.  

One of the other things that came out of my meeting with the manager of the language school is that I am going to be able to start discipling a young believer from the people group I am working with.  Because I don't know if she is in danger from family or her community I'm going to call her Angie in my emails.  Angie was baptized in August and she works near where I live.  I'm so excited to be able to help her learn more about Jesus and to learn more about her culture as we meet together.  Discipling people is honestly one of my favorite things to do.  In the states it was so life giving and joyful for me.  Please pray that even with very different cultures Angie and I will be able to relate to one another well.  

November 8th I am running my first full marathon in Athens, Greece!  Thanks to all those who have been so supportive during this time of training.  Running is something that has helped me so much in my transition here.  Having a specific goal to work toward helps me so much with motivation to exercise.  It has helped sustain physical and emotional health as well as provided me with discipline and structure.  I find when I'm disciplined in one area of life the other areas of my life are also more disciplined.  I'm so excited for this trip to take a breath from work (all the other travel I've done has been for work) and to see friends.  I booked my tickets today and almost started crying from excitement.  I can't wait to be able to talk to some of my best friends in person and give them the biggest hugs ever. 

With peace,
Hannah 

Top Left: The photos from the beginning of the email show a dinner party I hosted.  The part of the story that is missing is that the power went out four times while my guests were over.  My friend Ryan took this picture after I handed him this candle holder so that he could have light in the restroom.  

Top Right: These photos were taken by my friend Peter last Sunday.  The first is me running in the Nairobi Marathon.  I did the half marathon distance as a training run for my upcoming full marathon in Greece.  I did really well and I was thankful to have a friend to document the occasion.  The second picture is from a brunch I hosted after the marathon.  By this time though the brunch had turned into a pizza party because I was hungry again and some people were still hanging out playing games (pictionary telephone and fish bowl).  It was a perfect Sunday with friends! (Friends from left to right: Ryan- more accurately the top of his head, Emily, MK, me :), Mike, Micah, Patrick) 

Bottom Left: When I was sick this month my friends Whitney and Peter nursed me back to health with homemade lemon-ginger tea, quinoa and veggies, and peanut M&M's.  I'm pretty sure it was the M&M's that cured me.  Here Whitney is tossing the M&M's in the air for me to catch in my mouth.

Bottom Right:  Girls night!!! Here I am with my friends Emily and Sheel.  We ate sushi and talked about life, work, make up, and boys for hours.  It was glorious.  We have also gotten brunch a couple times since our first girls night and it has been fun to get to know them better.  

*At the top of the email, the picture on the bottom left shows my friends (from left to right) Ryan, Micah, Peter and Mike. 
PRAYER REQUESTS:
  • For my relationships with my language teachers - that we would be able to have good spiritual conversations
  • For the opportunity that I have to disciple Angie -  that we would both learn a lot from one another and grow in our faith together
  • For endurance in language learning - spending 15 hours a week in language class can be exhausting and tedious but it's so necessary for what I want to do
  • For a place to live (and maybe someone to live with) come January
  • For a safe and fun time running my marathon on November 8th
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