It was snowing when we packed the last items into the container that was waiting at an appointed lot in an industrial area, almost ready to be shipped. This was the last trip to the container before it left on its journey across the ocean with a load of personal effects and donated items that would help us build our new lives. We’d sold everything we couldn’t take along, moved out of our home, said goodbye to relatives and friends, and were now ready to take off. We were moving to Kenya!

There were voices of caution, but also good wishes and prayers offered for our big move. Some thought it brave of us to make such a drastic transfer with five children, some said that it was a crazy undertaking, and others warned us gravely about sickness, dirt, and heat. But God’s call to venture out into mission work was strong in our hearts, and as we researched, tossed it around in our minds, listed pros and cons, and prayed, we found the confidence that God was the one guiding us to take this leap of faith.

Looking back to the day 22 years ago when we first arrived in Kenya, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. There have certainly been times of dire testing and challenges, when our faith was thoroughly shaken. The temptation of giving up has been present, but during those moments, hanging on to the promises of protection and provision in God’s Word has strengthened our faith again and again. Testimonies of faith heroes have cheered us onward and given us the courage to hang on when the going got tough, when progress was slow, and when opposition blocked our way.

As we learned volumes of lessons of faith and endurance, we realized that it had been worth it to let go of those familiar shorelines that day to heed God’s call. In spite of our initial apprehension and concern, we experienced countless faith-increasing miracles, as we stepped into a brand-new world that became our home and where we’ve set up a work that has helped countless poor and needy families.