Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Clue: A 3-letter word that gives “HOPE”. Can you guess the word?

I am not in Kenya.
I cannot speak Swahili or Turkana.
I cannot roll my “R’s”
I do not understand Kenyan culture.
I cannot quickly convert prices from Shillings to Dollars.
I cannot comfortably drive on the left side of the road (or right side of the car).
I cannot use the metric system for temperatures, distances or speed limits.

That is a lot of negativity. Almost makes it seem impossible, ridiculous and depressing for me to be moving to Kenya with all that working against me.

But there is "HOPE". Now read each statement with the word "YET!" at the end.

WOW! That one little word changes those statements and gives them a sense of a future  “HOPE”. A hope that they can happen. It does not mean they will be easy to accomplish or that there will be no cost, but adding hope and looking forward is so exciting.  

I just returned from 4 weeks in Colorado at the Mission Training Institute (MTI). I was there with other new missionaries studying language acquisition and cultural adaptation. In a nutshell, We learned "how to learn a language" and how to “thrive, not just survive" in our new cultures.

One thing that became apparent very quickly is that my ability to "thrive" will depend a lot on MY ATTITUDE. That's where that little word "YET" becomes very important. There will be some very frustrating times in my future as I learn about a new culture, a new money system,  two new languages, to use the metric system,  to cook and eat new foods and…….. Well, that list could go on for a long time describing all the new things I will experience.

Adding the word "YET" to the end of my frustrating statements can help me stay positive and have fun while I keep trying and learning. It was neat to already start to experience this while at MTI. We often began to correct ourselves, before anyone else could if we forgot to add "YET" to something that we said.

MTI was an incredible place and the training was invaluable in helping me prepare to leave here and enter Kenya with the proper attitude. I learned so many things that I can use here as I finish my preparations and many that I will recall and use to help me cope with stressful situations in Kenya.

So, to answer the big question on everyone's mind, "When will I leave?" The statement "I do not have my plane tickets…. YET!" is probably the most common answer most missionaries give. However, I now get to respond differently.

Last week, I sent out a challenge for 30 new partners to step out in faith and pledge $30 a month during the next 30 days. So far 7 people have stepped up.

Because CMF can see that I am serious about being at 100% before I leave, they purchased my plane tickets and I leave on March 18th. I am so thankful for everyone who is partnering with me and investing in the ministry in Kenya. I am excited to be taking a part of each and every one of you with me.

I am also praying daily for those remaining 23 partners. God has blessed me so much already and I cannot wait to see who else He has join us in this ministry. HE is my ultimate HOPE and STRENGTH and HE is the one behind the HOPE that I feel in the word "YET". 

Jeremiah 29:11  I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out - plans to take care of you, not
abandon you, plans to give you the future you HOPE for.  (The Message)

The next 4 weeks will be busy. I will finish my scheduled veterinary work, complete my partnership development, purchase the remaining needed supplies, say more goodbyes to family and friends and rest in the Lord as I prepare to begin the new adventure with Him. Please pray for me and all my new friends from MTI as we continue to process and use what we learned there to "thrive, not just survive".

Philippians 4:4-7

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  (NIV)


  1. you are going to be amazing in Kenya, Shannon! Your fun, positive attitude will take you sooo far while you are there. I'm sooo glad for facebook and other ways we are able to stay in touch and journey with you...blessings as you finish your preparations to leave and prayers are coming your way always...love you!

  2. Shannon, you are constantly in my prayers. I am so proud of you! I find your commitment, love for these people and excitement so inspiring! I know you are going be a great disciple for Christ. Thank you also for your blog about "YET", I needed to hear that and even apply it to my own life. You are an amazing woman. You will always be in my prayers. I am happy to call you my sister and God willing, some day I will join you in the mission field.