Dan, Heather, Jeremiah, Tory, Emma, Tye, Claire, Levi, Josie, Jane and Ethan

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Galat Family Update January 2015

2014 was one of the craziest years we have experienced since first arriving in Kenya six years ago.  The underlying theme of every event however, has been God’s continual sovereign love and faithfulness in our lives, through your prayers and support!  Following are some of the major highlights:

Rift Valley Academy
We now have three kids (Jeremiah, Emma, and Claire) at boarding school at the Rift Valley Academy in Kijabe.  Our family actually moved on campus for three months for one term (by God’s providence a house was available) to help our girls acclimate to their new environment.  The concentrated times spent together in our little, temporary home were so rich.   I continued working at Tenwek and made the three-hour commute on the weekends to visit (when not on call).   A little more than half of the Galat’s (more on this later) are now back at Tenwek while Jeremiah, Emma and Claire continue at school.  While we miss them tremendously, we also know that this is where God has ordained them to be and we treasure every moment we have together (last weekend we were all together back at Tenwek for the first time since August 2014).

Jeremiah, Emma and Claire on the first day of school.

Jeremiah has full-blown senioritis and has applied to 6 colleges in the states.  Among his top choices are Vanderbilt, Bowdoin and my alma maters, Ohio State University and Miami of Ohio.  I recently had the pleasure of disclosing volumes of financial data on the FAFSA and College Board applications!  Our prayer for him is that God would lead him to the school where he will grow as a young man of faith.   His newest passion is “crossfit,” an intense exercise regimen combining Olympic weight lifting with heavy aerobic activity. 

Jeremiah sporting his "epic apron."  Yes, he is a fantastic cook and heads the senior store grill at RVA.

Music in the Air
Emma is freshman in the dorms at RVA and continues to practice voice every day.  We miss her singing around the house!  She is growing in her faith, spurred on by the challenge of “independent” living at RVA.  Her goal is to attend Juilliard (dream big, right?) and will continue voice lessons in the states during our next scheduled furlough the second half of 2015.

Mother and daughter or twins?

God’s Provision for Claire
Claire started eight grade at RVA during our stint on campus last term, and loved it so much she decided she wanted to stay (friends, band…trumpet!, no homeschooling, etc.)  However, there was no space for her in the 8th grade girls’ dorm.  However, a wonderful family who lives at Kijabe invited her to stay with them for the remainder of the school year, and she is so well cared for and happy.   Claire’s interest remains math and science and she hope to be a pediatrician or orthopaedic surgeon some day!

 Claire learning how to apply contact lenses!

The Man of the House
During my frequent travels (currently at a conference for PAACS residents near Kijabe), Levi functions as the man of the house, and is a great help to Heather.  Although he misses his siblings, he keeps busy with his Tenwek friends, Josie and Legos.  Did I mention Legos? 

Levi and his handmade pinewood derby car.

Another on the Way!
Yes, God has surprised us again with another child on the way!  Heather is ending her first trimester and looking forward to the cessation of the endless nausea (I keep telling her it must be twins).  Heather is due in August and will deliver again in the states.  Because she will be so far along, she will need to travel back to the states in June (with Levi and Josie), and thus miss Jeremiah’s graduation from RVA.  I will remain in Kenya with Jeremiah, Emma and Claire and after graduation in July, we’ll all join them.  Our plan is to get Jeremiah in college, have a baby, and then remain in the states until the end of 2015. Whew!!

 "I'm going to be a big sister!"

Developing Scholars
Between bouts of nausea, Heather is also doing a fantastic job teaching the 4th and 5th graders at Tenwek literature and writing.  Currently, they are reading Robin Hood and doing writing lessons based on medieval history.  All the women at Tenwek work very hard teaching the 32 children who are based on our compound.

Major House Repairs
Our house at Tenwek was built in the 1940s and was literally falling apart, and desperately in need of major repairs (roof, ceiling, wood siding, etc).  God’s timing was perfect because the majority of the repairs were done while Heather and the kids lived at RVA last fall.  However, just last week, my office chair almost went through our wood floor and several other boards acutely became very loose.  An inspection under the floor in the crawl space revealed the culprit: termites!  I guess the repairs aren’t quite over…however this one will wait until furlough.

Major remodel/repairs in process.

Floor joists: Termites love wood from the 1940s. 

Galat Guest/Ministry House
The whole of 2014 was also consumed with building a guest/ministry house in our side yard and completion is drawing nigh (thanks be to God).   It includes two apartments for volunteer medical visitors and guests.  In addition, the large “upper room” will be used for meetings, meals (replete with wood fired pizza oven), and other ministry events.  We are looking forward to the first scheduled event, which will be the “white coat ceremony” for our new residents.

Some of the construction crew.  Hard working guys.  We were thankful to provide income for local workers and their families. 

PAACS/ORTHO Residency Training Program
The ortho program is now in the second year and we added Dr. Ian Orwa to our other two, Dr. Fasto and Dr. Sowayi.  The training and discipling of national residents, interns and medical students continues to be our primary ministry objective at Tenwek.  It is a privilege to impact the lives of future leaders in medicine and ministry in Kenya! 

 Graduation day for PAACS residents at Tenwek.  Dan and Kiprono with the ortho residents. 

So much more has happened, but these are the major highlights.  God has been teaching Heather and I to remain dependent on him in our weakness and brokenness, and to dwell on his promises in scripture.  Thanks again for your prayers and support!

 On the road from Kijabe to Tenwek.  Need we ever doubt God's faithfulness?!