Thine is the Power

During these past two weeks here at Tenwek, we've experienced the worst series of power outages since our arrival. The water level over the dam is very low due to a long dry season and a rainy season that seems rather delayed. Because of our reliance on the hydroelectric dam, when the water is low our power can get more sporadic. Also, when a part breaks (as happened last week), the power stops working. The backup system is the national power company, KP&L (Kenya Power and Light, which some people less than affectionately refer to as Kenya Power and Darkness) which either cuts off power randomly or has power that is not a high enough quality to allow into our system. We don't want our appliances fried, after all. The other backup system is a large diesel generator that runs the hospital itself and some of the outlying buildings (but usually not our house).
Every day for the past 2 wks the power has gone out for some amount of time. Sometimes it's all day. Sometimes it's 20 minutes. Sometimes it's at 8am, sometimes at 4pm, sometimes at 7pm. It's usually right around the time that we a) start a load of laundry b) want to make dinner or c) need to put the kids to bed. Whenever it happens, it always seems to be the worst possible time for the power to go out. And because we never know when or how long, it seems to encourage a sense of lethargy and inertia. Our stoves and ovens are gas, but who wants to cook anything? I mean, it means opening the fridge or freezer. I could start some laundry now (or fill in the blank of an activity requiring electricity), but what if the power goes off in the middle? Our computers can run off battery for awhile, but the internet routers need power to connect us. Meal times: don't want to make anything new, leftovers usually need a microwave...PB&J again anyone?

And yet, and yet. Our stomachs are full. Our clothes are clean. We are still able to communicate with friends and family. None of our food has spoiled. Things are not as bad as we make them out to be. Minor inconveniences, although they seem to have a big impact on our attitudes. Paul says that he has learned to be content in whatever the circumstances. I guess I'm not there yet. Sometimes it seems easier to be content with the BIG ISSUES that we deal with, and less content with the "no internet" issues. And my minor inconvenience is actually, in other parts of the country, causing famine--no rain = no crops. I was thinking about a title for this post and the first phrase that popped into my head was "thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory." His ways, His timings, to learn His lessons for our lives. Pray with us as we struggle through some of the more minor inconveniences. We pray that the power situation will get better, that the rains would come, that Kenyans would have enough food...but ultimately, that His will is done. Hopefully I can remember this today, whenever it is that the power goes out.
Photo from Friday night when, to our delight, we opened up an awesome care package from our friends the Tangs, in the dark. Above is what it actually looked like. Below, with flash, you can see us huddled around. This lifted our spirits IMMENSELY in the middle of a 4 hr power outage at night. Thanks, Tangs!

"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength."
--Philippians 4:11-13


Anonymous said...

Great post. Great food for thought.


Christina said...

Welcome to life in Kapsowar :)

Jamie Paauw said...

Check out the new Christian song by frencesca batistelli. "this is the stuff". Perfect for your situation.