Over the past couple of months I have been doing my best to keep everyone up-to-date with the happenings of the Sawyer family in Kenya. Recently the political situation has died down a bit, and things have been much easier for the Sawyers lately. In fact, just yesterday I received an e-mail from Travis with some very encouraging news. I want to post for you here so that you can know how to pray for Travis and his family (make sure you make it to the end, there is a great story about his daughter and what she misses about America). Here is the latest from Travis:
I hope this letter finds you well and continuing to grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Many things have happened since our last letter. The youth nights continue to grow and we continue to have older kids and more girls coming! This past week we had 45 kids!
As many of you know Laura and I do the children’s church on Sundays outside under a big tree, that has continued to grow as well. We had 96 this past week and that was not even counting the 8 baby cows that sat and listened.
We have officially, by letter and by word been invited to come and be involved with the school in our community. It currently has 643 students. Unfortunately we only have around 10 teachers to teach all those kids. It has been great being down at the school and getting to know the kids as well as the headmaster. Last week the headmaster called me and wanted me to come and get him to show him our station, he had never seen it before. It was a very good time for us to get to know him better and to strengthen our relationship.
Currently the kids are on break for a month and will return around the 5th of May. As of then we will know better as to what we will actually be doing in the school.
Church is going really well. We continue to see God work and more and more folks coming to worship. We have just recently started a worship team which involves Jon his wife Almi and myself. Jon leads the music and Almi and I are playing the guitars. This has brought many new faces to our congregation and they are actually coming 15 minutes early, just to sing! In the past we would have folks showing up 30-40 minutes after the service had started, so we are very encouraged with this, as well as hearing people walking around humming or singing the new songs they are learning.
We are also playing the music with the workers throughout the week during our morning devotions so they can help us on Sunday. We are currently going through Genesis. I taught the 7 days of creation and Jon has continued on from there. We have just finished about Abraham, Lot and Sodom and Gomorrah. The other day I went down to the school and one of the guys that works there said they heard us singing in the morning devotions and started singing the song we had sung that morning and said how much he liked it. The school is almost half a mile away from us, and he had heard it! Some say it was the wind but Who controls the wind?
The building around here continues on as we try to complete our fence. We are currently pouring a cap on it with concrete and then we will hopefully be able to get the electric fence to go on top. Lately in the community we have had a couple dogs and a sheep eaten by a leopard. The sheep was taken in broad day light. We have had leopard tracks around the compound, and our dogs go crazy at times in the night, so we are hoping to ease our worries from the leopards and other animals with the fencing. We are also hoping to build a youth field this year between the Johnson’s fence and ours. It would be about 40 yards by 40 yards and have soccer goals on each end as well as a small scoreboard and a volley ball court and a swing set. With all the youth that we have had coming, our shop/house is not holding them all.
As for the country it is becoming peaceful again except for a few small riots here and there. Things have become very expensive in price and the dollar has fallen to the shilling even more. Diesel is close to $6 a gallon and propane is very expensive. We heat water by our propane hot water heater. We are trying to cut costs where we can. So our desire is to try and put in a solar hot water system to help save money. The initial cost will be high but will pay for itself in 2 to 3 years.
Our family is doing very well and we love to watch Savannah do new things. She is such a good baby. Very rarely can I not get a smile out of her. Sarah is at the point of loosing her first tooth without the help of Summer. One of Sarah’s top front teeth is just hanging by a thread. She also continues to enjoy school. As I am writing this I hear her counting 77…78…79… She is doing well and Mom has turned out to be a better teacher than she gave herself credit. Summer continues to be Summer. Making us laugh, saying silly things, throwing dirt in Sarah’s eye , constantly playing in the sand pile and wearing her cowboy boots with every outfit.
This is truly is a wonderful place to raise a family, and at the same time it is such a blessing to be able to watch your children and the relationships that they are making. I do however have one problem with Sarah. The other day we were out about 5 miles from the station, we had went out on a 4 wheeler ride to what we call our private hippo pool. As we were sitting out in the bush watching the hippos play and the monkeys throwing things down in the water and the huge Malibu storks walking around, Sarah says,” Daddy you know what I miss about America?” I said, “what?” She said, “the Atlanta zoo.” So I am currently trying to get in her head that we live in the place that all the zoo animals come from and we see them everyday in our front yard. I have had no success yet in this matter.
Laura is continuing to have the girls come over on Wednesdays to have their reading class. She is also going around usually on Thursdays and visiting different ladies that she is making relationships with. Savannah went last Thursday for her first visit with mommy. Since the music is becoming a big part of the church service now , Laura has had to take back over the children’s church under the tree by herself. We have been talking about wisdom the past several weeks in proverbs. As I watch my wife and all that she does I become more and more thankful for who she is and what she does, and I know that all that happens here would be very difficult without her. I am reminded often of the verse in Proverbs that says ” He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord.” So for all of you men who might be reading this I encourage you to wrap your arms around your wife, tell her you love her and thank God for her.
As for prayer requests, I will be starting to go down on Wednesday nights to the house of a friend/worker whose name is Haron. We will start to go through any questions he has about the Bible. He said that there would be others who would want to come also and I said great then we will have alot of questions to keep us busy for a while.
For the Sake of The call,
Travis for the Sawyers