Embakasi

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“Jerry Lout, right?” The accent, which I would later recognize as New Zealander, came from beyond a short railing. John Maxwell’s hand, its firm grip on a paper, pressed forward past the barrier and into Nairobi airport’s arrivals section. Labeled Immigration, it was the sector where passports, visas and such are green-lighted or rejected. The paper being handed me was…

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London Interlude

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London’s Heathrow was long reputed the world’s busiest airport. Our landing there came after one intermediate stop in Iceland where no one deplaned except those wishing to stay. We had earlier assumed that, once in London, we would freshen up, take a few steps to a departure lounge and wait for our next flight. The one taking us to Kenya….

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Pluck

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My plucky wife slipped the medical release document between unmarked leaves of her passport. Stamped Canandaigua, N.Y.,, her doctor’s letter had okayed this, her first-ever overseas flight. We would board for Africa May 26 – our first child (we didn’t know the gender) to be born in under two months. *** “Where have you been?” The director’s voice carried an…

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A Milestone

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Taking a seat on a cushioned wicker chair, I stretch my legs forward, resting my feet on another. The coffee mug I hold signals a steamy aroma and I indulge a second sip. A keen sense of satisfaction hangs in the early air as I settle into my restful spot at this temporary residence atop a gradual-sloped hill. The liquid…

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Yankee-land

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My eyebrows furrowed as we entered Pennsylvania and took in the expanse of her rolling hills, farmlands and forests. Puzzled, I wondered, Where are the sky-scrapers? Upstate New York was more bewildering. Any Oklahoman knew that most Yankee states were blanketed throughout by asphalt and concrete. Our ever-expanding world as we motored northward from South Texas, alerted me repeatedly to…

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Recall

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Of things I prized in my Bible college years, nothing matched the volume of raw text Mr. J. Andrew Freeborn had us ingest. Coaxing everyone to scripture memorization. Unforgettable. The Romans course found every student rehearsing countless times Chapters Eight and Twelve. Their combined verses came to sixty. While for some sixty verses could seem a modest number, for youth…

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Remember The Alamo (City)

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A springtime San Antonio breeze caressed IBC’s Hallelujah Hill as I strolled about her dome. I would savor some memories these parting moments, taking in a view of which I never tired. A myriad twinkling city lights stretched to the southeast below. My reflective mood wakened images – faces, scenes – of our recent years, Ann’s and mine. We would…

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Black Heart

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“SO, this is the man with the black heart!” It was my first time receiving such a greeting – from anyone – much less a distinguished organizational head. Wednesday chapel ended, the guest speaker had found his way from the platform to the early row of students gathering up their textbooks. Stepping before me he had seized my shoulders and…

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Coincidence

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“Yes, this is Art Dodzweit, can I help you?” Thus began for Ann and me our decades-long adventure among an intriguing breed of people called missionaries. But it really started in a Church History class. “Students”, Reverend Jensen, portly and congenial, rolled out our assignment in steady, methodical tones. “On each of your desks you see a list of names…

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Shiftings

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Shifting direction requires more time and space for some. The Willis Brothers made popular a truck-driver song, Give me Forty Acres and I’ll turn this Rig Around. For others, like Leonard Coote, redirection happens in an instant – a one-eighty. Tweakings, adjustments come as life moves forward. Still, the word radical characterizes Leonard’s shift. Peace displaced the turmoil of past…

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