Last term, toward the end of the term, Debbie and I had a 90% date.  We had to go to Nairobi to shop, but I had the opportunity to take my bride out and do some fun things together.  One of the things we did was to go to Java House (a fun Nairobi restaurant) and sit, think, chat, and dream together.  As we were talking and reminiscing about teaching at RVA, Debbie burst out laughing.  I suppose if you saw my face, you would have been able to tell that it had caught me off guard. I was beginning to look around to see what it was that made her laugh.  She looked down and tried to bring herself under control so she could tell me.  A few moments later, she said, “You said that you really enjoy working with the students and feel that they are ‘round welded’.”  Of course, being the humble, understanding man that I am, I said, “No I didn’t. I said “well rounded’.”  If it wasn’t the next sentence that we were talking about RVA students, and I said, “round welded.”  I heard it this time, and we both sat there chuckling.  Needless to say, it has become one of our favorite phrases.

The students recently returned from April break, and during the first week of school, Debbie asked one of her sixth grade library classes what countries they had spent time in during their break.  She received an answer she didn’t quite expect.  The sixteen students had visited a total of sixteen different countries!  Several of the students had been in the same country, some had been in several countries, and one girl had spent time in five different countries! However, none of them had been to the United States or Canada.  Here are some the countries they covered in their travels:  Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, England, Lesotho, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Angola, South Korea and Sao Tome e Principe.  Just when we think we are becoming familiar with teaching here, the Lord catches us off guard and reminds us that only He is the author and designer of a school such as RVA.

Debbie and I have talked during this past year about being here in Kenya. We enjoy all the various aspects of serving Jesus here, including helping down at the IDP camp and Tree Church (we’ll be letting you know more about that sometime soon), and the various ministries in which we participate.  But we find that the Lord continues to reinforce to us the calling that drew us to Kenya in 2000–to stand in the gap for the children of missionaries.  Whether teaching, mentoring, listening, sponsoring, training, or serving, we love these young people and really enjoy working with them.  I find in my walk with Jesus, many times, it is not “bigger and better.”  Rather, Jesus calls us to “simplify and organize” what He has called us to and simply serve our King.

We should be sending the “Rothfus May Scrapbook” soon.  By the way, I had a very special day with Debbie in Nairobi.

Much love in Jesus,

Ed, Debbie, Jonnie & Jennie