Running Life’s Race With A Limp

A Day of Thanksgiving

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“Somebody from his home village sent it to him. Someone with a grudge. The envelope with that stuff inside came hand-delivered yesterday and he’s been like this since.” I thought of the things that led up to this moment. ‘Curse updates’ don’t often happen in Oklahoma. But this thing seems really serious.  My friend, Jerry, had summoned the unusual parcel….

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World of Spirits

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Spirits. Good. Evil. What is this thing, this world of spirits? How real is the unseen world? Do invisible personalities carry influence, power with people – sometimes over them? I pondered the questions off-and-on. Growing up in the Pentecostal tradition, I had heard things about the spirit-world referenced plenty of times. Demon-oppression – Spiritual warfare – Deliverance ministry, and the…

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Megabites

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“Safari Ants!” We shot from either side of the bed – sheets, pillows, blanket flying – flailing through mosquito netting like flies exiting a flimsy spider web. All was pitch black in the thatch roof hut. My wife and I had been asleep less than three hours when the miniature flesh-eating troops attacked.  “Ouch!, Ah! Oh!! Ouch, Ahh!!” “Where’s the…

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On A Hot Tin Roof

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Clueless as to its structural soundness, we crouched low and crawled on – upward, higher – atop the old church roof. Then came the loud crack of splintering wood. Bukuria Mission Station rested near the top of a long sloping hill. Well before my wife and daughter and I moved there a student dormitory fashioned of sun-baked earth had got…

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Sandbox Showdown

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Before, this afternoon I had never laid eyes on a spitting cobra. Not up close, not uncaged out in the wild. And clearly, not mere steps from my children’s sand box where they often played. The serpent measured seven feet. “Mpiga, Mpiga (stone it, stone it)!” Twenty children’s excited voices shattered the mission station’s quiet. They had come upon the…

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Nairobi Heartbreak

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I had shut the kerosene flow to the lanterns and, as typical on a Bukuria Mission night, we had fallen asleep by 11:00 p.m. and for an hour all was quiet. That changed. Ann’s bursting cry of pain shocked me awake. “Honey, what’s wrong, what is it?” My dear wife, young and lovely – missionary mom to our toddler and…

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Mr. Buckley and Baby Scott

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“And, Mommy, that’s Bohkeh and her sister, Rozi. There’s my friend Mwita with his uncle Chacha. . .HI Mwita, Hi Mzee Chacha!” Julie was leaning out the car window, waving. It seemed our three-year-old social butterfly knew every name in the tribe. Was more than eager alerting them to her presence. “Honey, we should get ready to leave for Nairobi….

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Just Do It

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As a foreigner in a region where locals had rarely sighted a light-skinned being, I knew the feeling of different. During one season of discouragement, when my best efforts to connect with the Kuria seemed frail, I knelt on the concrete floor of a back room in our house. The prayer was brief, sincere, and seems as clear today as…

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Removing Stones

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“See this stone in the path? Now this one too, here in the picture on the same trail. . .” I sat with half a dozen men, some a decade or more older than me. The hut we gathered in each week was roofed with long grass. The floor consisted of smooth, hardened dirt. A semicircle of dark benches carried…

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TEE Time

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“Now, Jerry”, My friend’s voice hinted at mischief as we started across the church parking lot, “tell me about tee-hee-hee.” To know Van Gill was to treasure the sound of a rolling chuckle. And take in a pair of grinning eyes, coaxing response to his merriment. Everything about the Texan pastor was large. Large frame, large mind (among the keenest),…

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