Good Morning from the Great Rift Valley in Kenya!! Boy, does that sound a little strange. I awoke early and wandered out of our guest room to make my coffee. The back porch looks out through the trees onto the Rift. The view is not quite as stellar as the lowest station but still not bad at all. I love the cool, moist air of the early morning. All around are hills of green with islands of colorful flowers. Familiar birds darts from the branches, chasing each other in friendly fashion. Even with a sweatshirt on, clasping a warm mug, I notice the chill. Life on the Rift is very different from life in the desert.
For the last two nights, Jana and I have been the proud parents attending Hillcrest celebrations. Wednesday we were driven into Nairobi early enough to enjoy a ‘beef burger and chips’ at our favorite restaurant, Java House. We arrived at Hillcrest in plenty of time to get good seats. The night was to be an award night. We mistakenly thought it was for the seniors alone. Nope. We heard many speeches and awards from every class from grade 9 up to 13 (This is our American equivalent grade 12). We were clapping and snapping pictures as Michael, too, received awards. Who would have guessed a young boy arriving paralyzed to the CURE Hospital and having no formal education would end up graduating at Hillcrest? What a miraculous plan God had for Michael! And He is not done.
Thursday was the big night — graduation. This is the first year Hillcrest used caps and gowns. We heard more speeches, music, and saw the huge smiles as the graduates received their awards. Although Hillcrest is a British-style school with many British faculty, the program was very Kenyan, as many people stood to share their thoughts. A few were added to the already long program. The bright lights of the evening were the students as they performed and gave well-prepared speeches.
Michael returned Wednesday with the funds and saw a different man this time. He was told , “No visa. You need to bring your guardians in and financial information.” LSU has already gathered the financial part, CURE confirmed I was working, and I wrote out several forms. Not enough. Michael had to reapply and was given an appointment this coming week; we would already be back in UAE.
So this last Monday early morning we all three went to the US embassy. Let us just say, to be polite, there was no help there. My blood pressure rose way too high. In the interim we went to the Embassy of South Sudan, and they wrote an official letter of support for Michael. Later, after rather uncomfortably asking friends a favor, I even managed to speak to the American ambassador to Kenya, but he is not supposed to get involved in visa applications. We at least tried all we could do.
So here we are. Michael does have a appeal interview on Tuesday. Jana and I wrote an official letter committing to total support. Michael has financial details of our family. I also have letters of his medical issues, which are not expected to need planned future medical care. We have a letter of support from the Ambassador of South Sudan. Most of all we have a God in control of all. Continue to pray for Michael and his US student visa. Michael is supposed to be starting LSU on August 9th.
Tomorrow we board the plane to return to the UAE. Sunday is a work day for me. Our time in Kijabe has been good. We enjoyed the cool, our friends, graduation, and familiar sights. We now return to our new home with our flat and surrounding desert. The sun will be hot; the skies a dusty blue. Whether the temperatures are a cool and rainy 50°F or a hot and steamy 50°C, we still remain firmly in His grip.