Back to Africa – Again!

26 October 2020

Good Bye Loki

JUST TWENTY MINUTES to midnight, the time when all international travel would be suspended. The roar from KLM’s 747 engines at full thrust and the vibrations from some 18 wheels as the aircraft accelerates along runway 06 at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport finally affirm what we’ve eagerly been praying and hoping for over the last few days: We are homebound! There’s a deep sigh of relief as we notice the runway edge lights disappearing beneath us while the fully loaded aircraft is edging its way into the African night. Behind our face masks we utter a silent Praise the Lord! 
The Corona pandemic had rapidly taken a firm grip of the Kenyan society; closure of schools, universities, churches, mosques, restaurants and a nightly curfew. No time for a good-bye party, no hugs and who knows how long we could have had to linger in Nairobi if we hadn’t gotten that last chance of a flight out of the country. We’d been away already 6 months and were so eager to meet our loved ones again!

TWO DAYS EARLIER in a MAF Caravan enroute from Loki to Nairobi there was suddenly a text message from Children’s Mission in Sweden. So exceedingly wonderful in a situation like ours, full of stress and uncertainties. It read: ”We’ve found two tickets for Wednesday night out of Nairobi”. 
Surely you’re required to put your phone to flight mode – even on a MAF flight – but with some extraordinary circumstances and a lock-down haunting, it was a great relief to know that at 13,000 feet along side some high terrain, there was mobile coverage. We had been extremely busy trying to speed up our departure from Loki during the preceding days. And with our flights having been cancelled several times over we had no clue of how we would make it back to Sweden. But the Almighty knew!

NOW, FINALLY, IT WAS TIME to relax and we were so relieved knowing that we had a new team in place in Loki, the Danish couple Thorkild and Charlotte Jørgensen from Children’s Mission, who were ready to assume the leadership responsibility for the work in Loki.
Despite a great number of challenges with the school being closed etc. our team in Loki has been able to achieve a number of things with teachers and ground staff digging to divert water and prevent erosion (Kenya has had record rains this year with lots of flooding), getting buildings repaired and repainted and lots of other practical work.

TIME FLIES AND IT’S BEEN ALMOST 6 MONTHS since we were picked up at the Arlanda Airport by our dear friend Mattias who drove us straight home where Angeline, our pastor, met up with wonderful flowers and a delicious lunch. So thankful for friends and our Church.
Following some few weeks of quarantine we had a chance to carefully start meeting our loved ones again – mostly outdoors – while adhering to the best of our ability to the recommendations and rules set by our Health Authorities. And now we can look back at a wonderful summer and break, although we’ve missed having our annual Cousins’ Camp with our grandchildren this year. And we’ve also begun to sense, not the least in our bodies, that 11 years of intense work in Loki is starting to take its toll.

Could you consider going back out again?

A little more than a month ago we received an unexpected call from our missions CEO, where he told us that the Jørgensens had handed in their resignation due to medical reasons and would be leaving Loki this Christmas. Of course we were surprised but we also understand that work-load, the Corona pandemic and other circumstances have led up to their decision. 
Shortly after this phone call we were able to meet with the directors of our mission in Malmö in order to discuss a way forward. We are in the process of working out a plan in order to identify and establish a new longterm leadership for the work in Loki.

A Future and a Hope

It’s about the future and fate of 600 children in our school, some 60 high school students, 100 food packages to very destitute families, livelihood for about 50 of our staff plus much, much more.
We feel that we need to do what we can in order to secure the future of the work and have thus responded to the call of going back out to Kenya again. We will be travelling out on 2 January for initially a period of 3 months.
Together with Children’s Mission, priority will be given to the process of trying to indentify and a new longterm leadership which we hope this time would be a Kenyan couple with adequate competence and experience. And of course people who have a sense of divine calling for the task of serving some of the most vulnerable and neglected people in Kenya.

Grandma and grandpa, You’re to sit over there – this is Corona times!

Ruth with grandpa

RUTH, who just turned six, new exactly what the rules were when we visited our son Emil and family in Umeå, some 750 kms up north. Her distinct order came as we had bought ice-cream for the crew in central Umeå. But restrictions haven’t prevented us from meeting all of our children and their families, mostly outdoors.

To meet in times of a Corona pandemic – this is Jonas and his family

Our first Swedish autumn in 11 years

All in all, this summer has been wonderful with visits to friends, picking of berries, tracking in the nature etc. The two nights onboard our dear friends Erik and Maria’s nice little motorboat in the the i Bohuslän archipelago was one of many wonderful moments. And we’re enjoying every moment of our first Swedish autumn in 11 years, notwithstanding rainy and misty days.

Keep up the good work!

We all need to heed the rules and recommendations from our Health Authorities, but we can’t do it alone.
We need each other, more than ever, wether it be in Corona pandemics or in other challenges.
That’s also why we want to stress that you and other faithful supporters and prayer partners, are absolutely essential for the success of making a difference for the vulnerable and destitute people in Loki.

Thanks for standing with us! Yours KeA & Birgitta

YOU can also become a sponsor! Please visit Children’s Mission