This post has nothing to do with our life in Singapore and if you aren’t a grandparent of our son, Jakeb, or close family or friend, you may not be interested in this one.
We got an email from Jakeb’s team leader in Kenya a few days ago saying all of the interns were going to be able to call their parents. I had just the day before counted the days since I’d heard from Jakeb at all (besides in general terms on the team blog) and it had been 32 days. I was missing him bad. They were supposed to call on our Thursday, sometime between 7am – noon Georgia time. That’s 7pm- midnight Singapore time. So I emailed and asked the team leader if Jakeb could be one of the first to call so we wouldn’t have to wait up until midnight. Well, I stayed up until a little after 10pm and no call. I emailed the team leader and told him to please tell Jakeb to call and wake us up but I could no longer keep my eyes open and everyone else in our household had dropped already. Two from jetlag and the other just because he gets up at 4am to run. ugh…. He’s really insane but that’s off topic.
Anyway, I woke up the next morning to find an email from the team leader saying that they hadn’t realized how expensive it was to call Singapore from Kenya. What?!? I emailed him back and told him to remind Jakeb that we have a US number. Jakeb knows that. It’s the number he uses to call us on when he’s in Texas. I told Tommy that if I didn’t miss him so much I’d be super irritated with him. As it was I was just slightly irritated. Anyway, we got that all cleared up and he called last night!!!
We only had 15 minutes and he started the call by saying he had a list of things to tell me/us and then a few questions and some business that he needed our help with. I told him to start talking and if he didn’t answer any of my questions I would ask at the end if we had time.
I took notes throughout the phone call so I wouldn’t forget anything he said. Here’s the replay:
First, he asked how our New Zealand trip was and how Dad’s marathon was. Two of his favorite things – New Zealand and running. I told him he lots of pictures to catch up on when he gets back.
Then he asked how everyone else was and I pretty much told him everyone was fine since we all pretty much are. No major news to report. I gave him the run down on his sisters and immediate family. I told him where we were – at the tattoo shop where Tommy was getting his other arm done. I could hear him smile. Moon, the tattoo artist told Jakeb hello. He did Jakeb’s tattoo also. I told him that our London trip for New Year’s was planned and he was cool with that although a little disappointed he wouldn’t be able to make the Invest team reunion in Georgia on New Years. Sorry dude, you’ll be in London. That was my response. Spoken in love of course.
So then he went into all the things he wanted to tell us.
Generally, he’s taking pictures (he knew I’d ask that) and doing really well now. He was recently very sick with a stomach bug that passed through the team. They think they picked up the bug at an orphanage they had visited. They quarantined the sicko’s to hopefully keep the non sicko’s well and he had to be symptom free for 48 hours before he could get out. He said it was a nasty bug and was happy to be done with it.
He was able to see two of our girls, Gladys and Rahab at Havilla Children’s Home and he will get to see the again this weekend. YAY!
He told me that his bucket list for this summer was to make it to Endana (a community that our home church had gone to on his previous two trips) and to ride a motorbike. One of the communities on their itinerary to visit was Segera. It si so close to Endana but they had told him that there wasn’t much chance of being able to get him (and his friend Zach who is also from our home church) there. They were trying not to be disappointed but it was so hard for them to be so close but so far. One of the leaders in the Segera community, Crispo (I think that’s how you spell his name), went to Andrew, the Kenyan 410 Bridge leader and told him of the situation. Andrew said, “Put those boys on a motorbike and get them there!” Jakeb was ecstatic! So they got to go to Endana and see everyone they wanted to see except for sweet little Mary Isiki. Remember her? She is the precious little one that melted Tori’s heart on her first trip there in 2008. Then Tori got to see her again in 2009 and she had the same affect on Jakeb that year. Jakeb got to see her in 2010. Tori sent a letter for her with Jakeb just in case he was able to get to her. So they are in Endana and no signs of Isiki. Jakeb is bummed but they have to leave. They get on the moto and head down the road back to Segera. He’s looking around and Isiki is right there just standing on the side of the road! He yells for them to stop and gets off the moto to visit with her and take photos and hand deliver Tori’s letter. He made sure for me to tell Tori that she was so much more open and outgoing and had a head full of corn rows. In Kenya, it seems like the kids who have fixed hair or even have hair at all are the ones with families who care for them so I’m reading between the lines here and assuming, hoping, that because of her head full of corn rows that she is loved and well cared for. After Jakeb and I hung up I called Tori and woke her up to tell her the good news. She was grumpy at first but she came around.
He’s still not sure if he’ll get to see our Mercy. She goes to a private school and they just aren’t sure if they’ll be able to make the connection. She knows we love her and Anna and I got to see her in October but I sure hope she gets to see Jakeb. She always thought he was a cutie. If you could see her beautiful, dark Kenyan skin blush, I’m sure you would when she was with Jakeb. You could see it in her eyes. She’s a feisty one and so full of life, our Mercy…
He mentioned that while Kwambekenya and Ngaamba had been blessed with physical development and great organizational tools, Segera was a very special place due the spiritual development there. He said the team all noticed the difference and it was eye opening.
He got to see all his buds at Sportman’s Arms. I won’t go into that but those from our home church who have been will understand. I’m sure he had a high time with Ben. What a character!
He spoke of something to do with a potential coffee shop and an orphanage and his connection with another intern, Josh, just might prove to be part of God’s calling for his future. More on that later when he can tell you about it himself. But he’s super excited about what God might be doing with all of this. It’s always cool to hear how God is moving someone to action to carry out His will and even more cool when it’s one of your offspring.
We had been told previously by a friend there that had seen him that he had preached in a community there. I asked him what he preached on and he told me Matthew 6. Laying up your treasures in heaven. He said he preached for about 10-15 minutes but through a translator so it took a while longer.
He told me that Zach, his friend was super sick but was on the homestretch and getting better. He told me that he had not been drinking his Green Vibrance (you can google it) every day. I resisted the urge to scold him. He said it’s really nasty but I also resisted the urge to remind him that it’s not near as nasty as spilling out of both ends. But I digress…..
That’s about it. 15 minutes of pure joy for this mama! We said goodbye. He said we probably wouldn’t hear from him again until he got back to Georgia at the end of July. I made I sure I told him that the team leaders were doing a great job of keeping us updated on the blog and through emails. I didn’t cry. I was SO happy to just hear his voice and it was a fast, furious and full 15 minutes.
He said he missed me, missed us.
I told my “bub” I loved him.
We hung up.
My whole body smiled.