“In Kenya, people are so hospitable; even in the slums, where people have very little compared to the North American standard,” Lillian says. You can walk into someone’s home, even a stranger’s, and be invited to stay.
“It’s very collective,” Evelyn adds. “Your life is my life. My problem is your problem and your problem is mine. They’re always covering for each other’s rainy day.”
Kenyans are very people-oriented and they live well in community. It’s no wonder that relationships are really important.
This influences how DRIME staff at home base works with the Kenya team.
“I’ve had to be really intentional about building relationship and connecting as people first, and not just jumping into the North American task-oriented mindset.” says Janna, who has worked with the team since 2012. “The longer that I’ve been working with them, and the more time our relationship has had to develop, the more open they are with me and the more they trust me with the good and the hard stuff of ministry,”
Every other year, someone from home base visits DRIME Kenya for some in-person time together. Though scheduled times for equipping and decision-making is important, like any other friendship, many of the most meaningful conversations happen in the “unplanned” moments: over a meal, on the bus, on a walk after streets.
In the day-to-day, Janna connects with Eva once a month for an intentional phone conversation. She asks about things that are going on and helps find solutions for challenges that come up, and encourages Eva to keep up the good work.
Problems Too Big to Face Alone
Encouragement has been vital for the team as they’ve suffered two losses this year. At the end of September, they lost Jackie, who was a leader of the team and dear friend to many. And then in March, Eva’s brother Patrick, who used to be part of the DRIME team, also passed away.
“This has been the most challenging year that I have ever experienced in my life,” Eva says. “It was so hard. When Jackie started to be sick, I didn’t have peace. We were praying. We were trusting that she would be well, but it never worked out the way we thought. When she passed on, we took everything to God.”
As she reflected on the hardships, Eva also reflected on what God has been doing in her life and in the team. “I appreciate God because He has really blessed me in many ways,” Eva says.
Every two years, DRIME puts on a Summit for all their leaders worldwide, a time to learn and grow together as the global DRIME family. “I remember the time we were in Thailand at the leaders meeting,” Eva says. “What we acquired there, we came and applied in our DRIME team. Our team grew immediately because of what we were applying. There are so many things that we are struggling with, but when we came with that knowledge, the skills that we were taught and we put it into practice, it worked out. I would say that it was a great year for us with the ministry.”
Eva’s faith shines as she expresses both how they had a great ministry year and yet how it was one of the hardest years for her. In every circumstance, she puts her confidence in God’s goodness and faithfulness.
“It’s Christ. It’s not about the leaders. It’s about Christ. He’s the one who is in control, who is enabling us, because he wants his word to be known all over. We know that it’s not our own effort, but it’s God, drawing still His people closer to Him.”
– Eva (from an interview in 2014)
Earlier Posts from this Series: