Monday, December 19, 2011


I don't mean to forget; it happens very organically. One moment I have a thought in my head--an important one--and then it's gone. 

I have a grocery list in my head, but only half of the list comes home with me.  

I vow everyday to be a better mother--patient, kind, loving--and then they start arguing and I start forgetting that I wanted to be a Godly mother today. 

I promised my husband I'd love and cherish him "as long as we both shall live" . . . but I've forgotten to do that almost every day of our marriage. 

I promised Jesus my heart, and I forget to remember Him almost every day. I forget his sacrifice. I forget that he was a fleshy, crying baby born in a barn. A BARN. Most of my friends freak out at the fact that I gave birth to 2 of my children in my bedroom. But a barn?!--like, I'm giving birth next to a cow? Gross. But I digress. 

Humans are forgetful. Some days I feel I'm the worst of the humans. 

I really want to focus on Christmas--Cristes maesse--the Mass of Christ; a celebration of His birth. Then I go shopping and people are rude and I'm in a hurry and the lines are long and I mean to smile at the guy in red ringing the bell but I have a list in my head and I can't be bothered to make eye contact with anyone or I'll lose my train . . . 

I can't blame "the world". It's me. I can't sit here with my bible and my coffee and point fingers at how we've lost our way and forgotten the true meaning of Christmas. I forget.

How to remember: Thanksgiving. I know, Thanksgiving is over. The Fall leaves are raked. But that's the way back; the way to remember. Giving thanks

And now, I'm going to plug the book again. No, I'm not getting paid. If you only get (or buy yourself) one book this Christmas: "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp. It challenges it's readers to part with forgetfulness and keep God's love and promises fresh in our heads through constant thanksgiving--even in difficult circumstances. Don't forget to read it. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

To Choose Joy

It seems like "having joy" should be easy this time of year. Ya know--"Joy To The World" and stuff like that. But the longer I'm home from Africa, (it's been almost 3 weeks!) the more I'm realizing that joy isn't "abounding" for many people around here--myself included. 

We're one of the richest countries in the world, and yet I'm finding that I sensed more joy in the small, smelly, mosquito-and-disease-infested corners of Kenyan slums than I'm finding at Starbucks and Target as I watch people wield all sorts of worldly goods in their carts that most of our friends in Kenya wouldn't even understand the use for, let alone have the resources to purchase. That was a run-on sentence. 

Where's the joy?  Well for me, the joy has been a little hard to come by as well. And then tonight, as I was contemplating our situation--my husband and 2 of my children sick, no insurance, an E.R. bill, our CA trip postponed to have $600 worth of work done on our van today, tough family situations, etc, etc, I remembered something that I wish I would quit forgetting. 

Joy has to be chosen. 

It has already been offered in the form of a Baby, born to give us Life. I choose it. 

If people in the far corners of the world's most poverty-stricken countries can chose joy (and I've met some of them), then I can too. If my Kenyan friend Gladys, with HIV, no food in her (mud-hut) home, and no one to take care of her can chose joy, then I will. 

In sickness, financial stress, car trouble, holiday traffic, dysfunctional families and botched Starbucks drinks . . . I chose joy. It's mine for the taking. Pure, unaltered Joy To The World. 

"May the God of hope fill you with all JOY and peace as you trust in him . . ." Romans 15:13

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Home but not "Home"

We're safely back in the U.S. and we're happy to be home, but we're not really "home" yet. We've been living out of suitcases for the last 2 weeks and will continue to do so for 4 more weeks until we're finally in our new home in Bellevue, WA. 

We had a wonderful trip home. First 3 days in Nairobi with some great new friends, visiting the Elephant Orphanage, the Giraffe Park and the Nairobi Safari Orphanage. We were all totally exhausted, but the kids did great on the planes, and we even had an amazing 6 hours downtown London on our layover, walking all over the city on about 5 hours of sleep. 

We've been in AZ with Howie's parents for the last 2 weeks. Mya got sick with an ear infection and pneumonia, so we had a trip to the E.R. and are now trying to get all our paper work turned in for free AZ health care so that we don't have to pay her E.R. and prescription bills. She is on the mend--thank you to those of you who have been praying for her. 

Being back in the U.S. has definitely been an adjustment. Besides some really severe jet lag and everyone in our family feeling sick at one point or another, we have experienced a little of what feels like spiritual attack--just feeling a little defeated at times. We are also having some financial issues with our support which has been very discouraging to both of us, but we're holding on to God's promise that He is in control, and that He always provides. 

We can't wait to get to CA next week and see all of our SoCal friends and students from Kitale, and then spend 2 weeks with Amy's parents in Mount Hermon for Christmas. 

Thank you so much for reading this, for keeping up with our family, and for your support and prayers. We almost feel like we need more prayer now that we're home, with all of the challenges that moving countries (again) brings. 

Please also be in prayer for a job for Howie. He has a few solid leads, and we're just asking the Lord to bring a job for him quickly so that he can start working as soon as we get there!!  

Hope to see as many of you as possible very soon! 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Kwaheri, Kitale!

That's "goodbye" in KiSwahili--our time in Kitale is quickly coming to an end. It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to our good friends that we have made here. We didn't want to leave them, and certainly not this soon, but we know that God's plan is the best, and that this move is the best for our family. There have already been tears and there will certainly be more, but we will forever be grateful for our time in Kenya, and will look forward to the next time we can see all of our dear friends here.

We will be leaving Kitale early on Thursday morning, Nov. 17th.  We will stay with friends for 3 nights in Nairobi, taking in the giraffe park & elephant orphanage, and maybe some shopping at the Masai Market. We depart Nairobi at 11:30 pm on Sunday night, Nov. 20, and will arrive in London early Monday morning. We happened to luck out and get a 9 hour layover during the day, so we are venturing out!!  In just about 6 hours, we have mapped a route to see Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and the British Museum. If time allows, Amy will slip into Harrods, but Howie would rather slip into a football stadium. :-)

From there, we'll be flying direct to Phoenix, and will arrive on Monday evening around 6:45 pm. It will be odd to spend all day on Monday in London, and then fly for 15 hours, and then arrive in Phoenix--still on Monday! And you thought your Monday was long!  We will be in Phoenix for about 2 weeks, and then Orange County for about 2 weeks in early December, and then Santa Cruz for about 2 weeks over Christmas and New Year's. We'd love to see as many of you as possible. Please feel free to contact us via Facebook or email, as we don't yet have our stateside phone #'s. Email:

We would appreciate your prayers as our Safari of Six travels back to the U.S. We have been talking to friends are praying about our "re-entry". I think (and pray) that it will be easier for our children--they have been through so much transition. We know that there will be times when it will be difficult for us to be back in the hurried pace of America. Please be patient with us, and please pray that we will give ourselves permission to cry when we need to, to relax, to sleep and get back on U.S. time, and to just soak in time with our families and good friends.  The images that we've grown to love here in Africa will be burned into our minds forever, and we will miss it.

We are still fundraising for travel and moving expenses, and are now very close to our goal. If you would like a year-end tax deduction, we would be grateful for your help.

Most of all, we appreciate all of the love and support from all of our family and friends. We could not have made it through this past year without it. Sending one family to a third-world country is truly a "group effort", and we love and adore our group.

See you on the other side of the pond!!
-The Biemecks

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Orphan Sunday & Meet Our Son!

          There are an estimated 100 million street children in the world. Children who have no parents and even worse--no homes. Some of those children are on the streets in the U.S. Some of them are down the street from me in Kitale, Kenya, huffing glue. 
          This Sunday, November 6 is Orphan Sunday. In honor of this day, I'm going to share the story of Michael--one boy who was an orphan but who now belongs to our family. And you get to hear it in his own words.  
          This summer one of our summer college students, Kyleigh, spent extended time getting to know our son Michael. She sat with him and wrote down his words as he shared his life of despair, hope, and finding ultimate healing in Jesus. Here is his story:
             "I was born in the province of Turkana in the village of Kerio. My mother was the youngest of five wives to my father. Because she was married so young, my mother never went to school. She was treated like a slave and forced to take care of my father’s animals. When my father died (I think from a liver problem), my father’s brother wanted to take my mother as a wife. She knew that if she didn’t accept, our lives would be in danger and I was only 4 years old.
In an attempt to protect me, my aunt took me to Kitale. We lived in a slum called Kipsongo. My aunt was unable to provide for my two cousins and I, so we were forced to leave to town to beg for money and food. It was for survival. I learned how to gamble with other street kids. My auntie wasn’t happy with what we were doing but didn’t care as long as we brought home money. This continued from the time I was 4 until I was 6. Many nights we slept on the streets. When I was 6, I followed my older cousin to his school. I didn’t have a uniform but there were so many of us street kids that we were overlooked.
When my auntie became sick with tuberculosis, a man from Turkana who knew my father (a pastor at the church I might have gone to when I was younger) took me back to Turkana. He took me to school. When he asked me what class I was in, I told him standard 2. (I pretended like I knew everything.) When I went, I passed God-willing. So I was allowed to continue and progressed normally, almost through class four.
My mother knew where I was but didn’t take me back in. In the Turkanan culture, a man buys his wife. They pay the woman’s father “dowry.”  My father’s brother, who bought my mother again, wanted me because I was part of what he paid for. But somehow, I was able to stay with the man who took me to Turkana.
Although the man was good to me, his wife Madam Arii was a bad woman. Every mistake was my fault and she would threaten me and tell me I would be taken away. I knew that she hoped I would. One night, I was quarreling with their son and when the mother came in, she beat me. A beating I will never forget. So I left. I hadn’t finished standard four yet and was about 8 years old. 
I left Lodwar with what I was wearing, my report card and one more shirt. I jumped into the back of a semi truck as it passed by. I was hiding behind a tire when the truck stopped due to a punctured tire. The drivers found me hiding. We were in the middle of nowhere, far from any kind of town. There were two Somalian men and a lady. They were speaking in their language and switching back to Swahili. They were speaking about punishing me but the lady asked them to leave me alone. I knew that they were on their way to Kitale and I begged and cried that they would take me there. They assumed I was there to steal but after I explained myself and situation, and how bad life was, they understood. I showed them my report card, and they were baffled as to how someone could treat me so badly. They told me to come to the front with them and I came with them to Kitale. They shared their food and I guess we kind of became friends. I convinced them that I had a family here in Kitale, and they let me be once we arrived.
When I got to the slums of Kipsongo, I heard that my auntie had already been dead for a month. She died in the hospital and no one ever went for her body because my cousins didn’t have money. I realized I had no home.
I heard that my one of my cousins was taken to an orphanage called Tumaini (which means “Hope” in Swahili). The only option I had was to sneak into Tumaini to visit my cousin and stay there for a few days. When I wasn’t there, I would sleep on the streets. I would find sheds or something and sleep in them. This wasn’t really a problem because I had done it so much when I was younger. I only huffed glue twice, but my cousin beat me for it when he found out. I’m thankful I didn’t get addicted. I lived on the streets for about 4 months, before Tumaini offered to take me in permanently—but they couldn’t help me get to school. I would borrow my cousin’s old uniform to go to school. They’d have holes in them but I didn’t care because I loved school so much. I was always curious about everything, in terms of anything new to learn. School intrigued me. I loved it.
Triple life is an organization that sponsored me (through Tumaini’s church) and sponsored me through standard 8.
I was calloused and had a negligent attitude toward life. I was hot tempered and would easily quarrel with other students if they provoked me. I was full of pride and would often blow off school just because I knew I was smart enough to. With my bad attitude in mind, the headmaster rejected my request to take the National Examinations (necessary to get into Secondary) and because I wasn’t “full time” in school. With the help of a teacher from Turkana (also a neighbor to my grandmother), I registered and passed the National Examinations (they could be taken anywhere).
It was in high school that I became a Christian. I knew that Christ could change my life. I decided to study at an all-boys boarding school (Lodwar) in Turkana and to finish Secondary school there because TripleLife only sponsored me through Form 2.
I had to hustle on the streets in order to get pocket money because the food at school was never enough. Everyday, we had Getheri (beans/corn) for lunch and ugali with sukumawiki (means “push the week”—a vegetable which looks like spinach) for dinner every night. The slang “bora roho idunde” is a popular saying that we’d use to refer to the food amounts. It means “as long as the heart beats.” We all knew that it was never enough, but I endured life there because I had made many friends.
I didn’t know what to do to pay for the two years left in school. Over about a month, I talked to about 70 of the 144 students in my class (as well as 30 faculty)—explaining my extenuating circumstances. I told them I wouldn’t be able to continue unless I got a sponsor, unless another white person would come to my orphanage and decide to sponsor me. But I would have to wait for that, and I wouldn’t know if or when that would ever happen. I convinced them all to commit to giving 20 shillings every month to the school register to put me through school. Some would give more than that if they could. Most of them were my good friends so I knew I could rely on them—they wanted me to graduate with them. This made history at Lodwar; the headmaster thought it was a brilliant idea and today still uses it as an example for students who have trouble with school fees. He really supported me and never sent me away if my fees weren’t paid on time because he knew they would be paid eventually.
Although school was paid for, I still had my personal issues. I could never forget what happened to me, or figure out why I was abandoned. It took away from being able to produce the maximum of my studies. I finished high school and only passed as an average student. Going to college was a far off dream. The government wouldn’t support me with my grades. But I had the heart to go. I wanted to do something with college.
I got a job as a registration clerk for voters. This job enabled me attend Moi University (the most recognized public university in Kenya), to pay for first semester of school with the money I got from this job. I went in as a student in Business Management Diploma (like a major in the US).  Everyday, I walked 10 kilometers to and from school. If a class started at 8:30 am, I would begin walking at 6 am. I was determined. I started school knowing I could only pay for one semester but somehow I knew that God was going to provide for me in some way.
I first met Howie when he came to visit Tumaini in 2004 when I was about 9 years old. When Howie came back the next time, I had just finished my first semester of college and I remembered him. After I met him the second time, I fasted and prayed that God would make Howie my friend. My two prayer requests to God were that I wouldn’t feel rejected anymore in my personal relationships, and to be close to Howie. We communicated over Facebook until he and his family returned to Kenya, but this time for a year! I was so excited to meet his kids and wife. I was so happy to meet them, and I knew God was doing something. I was feeling more accepted and felt myself getting closer to Howie—God was answering my prayers.
The first week that Howie and his family got here, some of the students with them, Jason & Cody surprised me with a new bike. It was the first gift I had ever received from a person. I broke down and couldn’t contain my emotions. God was doing something huge and my world was changing. I had never felt love in a personal relationship—this love in itself changed my life. That was the beginning of understanding that there is hope for my life. God changed my way of thinking. I didn’t know that I had the capability to impact anyone or that I mattered. My apathy for life morphed into a new hope to live and to love. Life mattered for the first time, thanks to the Love of God in my heart that I experienced through other people.

Michael with his new bike!
I never had a father, so it’s weird to say I felt that Howie was like a dad to me. I felt that way when I first met him, too. As soon as he had gotten his phone when he was in Kenya to stay, he texted me, “Hi, Son.” I broke down crying. No one had ever called me that before. It was incredible to see God mend my childhood right before my eyes. It’s never too late I guess. They continued to introduce me as their son… I knew God was using them to love and heal me in this way. I can’t explain the transition of being someone Howie met to now calling him my dad, but I do. He’s the only man who’s acted as a father to me. He and his family have taken me in as their son and I love them so much.
             All these things, and the transition of my life history from what it was to what it is now, it makes me love the Perfect Lord so much. I’ve seen His plan at work and His timing is always perfect. I could have never controlled it or made it so. He gave me meaning in life." 
Swinging the kids on the hammock. Such a great big brother.

Celebrating Mya's 4th birthday together
Michael has been such a joy in our lives. We can't legally adopt him because he is already 18--turning 19 this month! But we have adopted him into our family and he will always be a Biemeck from now on. 

To meet Michael and have a conversation with him you would never imagine the pain, suffering and rejection he has gone through in his short 19 years. He is incredibly kind and compassionate. He has been with me many times on our mobile medical clinics speaking to people, hearing their stories, reassuring them, and translating for me. He has also come with me several times to visit Sarah so that he can translate for me. Michael is extremely intelligent, and speaks Turkanan, KiSwahili and English fluently. He was at the top of his class this past year in Business at Moi University. He is a perfect example of the gem that is hiding inside of every orphan--every street child. Sadly, most of those gems won't ever be uncovered unless we help.

I love the way God can redeem any life. Even Michael's. Even mine. God is not finished with any of us yet, and we're excited to see how God will work in Michael's life and use him for His glory. 

This Sunday I encourage you to find a way to get involved, or just learn more about the plight of 100 million children. Don't be afraid--it doesn't mean you have to adopt a child, but there are a lot of ways that you can help.

"Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. 
Defend the cause of the fatherless . . ." 
Isaiah 1:17

Sunday, October 30, 2011

My Favorite Family

Maybe I'm not supposed to have a favorite, but I can't help it. I've been wanting to write about this family for months. There are 4 children who have captured the hearts of almost every person who has visited our compound: Elizabeth, Hezekiah, Dan & Esther. I absolutely adore them. 

These children live right down the street from us in a one room mud hut. They live with their mom Agnetta, and until recently, their dad. I'm told their dad has moved to Eldoret, which is about a one-hour drive away. We don't know if he has left them, or if he is just there working to get money to support them. This family literally has NOTHING, but they are always ready to greet us with big hugs and smiles. Whenever we visit, the kids usually just run and scream, with varied versions of tag/tackle/tickle. 

Buddies: Kenya, Elizabeth, Mya, Isaiah & Hezekiah
I did a home visit at their home last summer with a local social worker and one of our students, Bridget. We talked to them about their most immediate needs, and tried to educate them on the importance of washing as often as possible to avoid spreading disease and illness. The mother was receptive, but very quiet. Then Bridget and I went back and took soap, bathed the children, and put new clothes on them. They loved it. 

Elizabeth in a new shirt from Kenya's closet. 

Bridget giving Dan his bath. He was freeeeeeezing, but he never stopped smiling. 

Elizabeth sporting her whole new outfit.

Esther in her new shirt from Mya, with her mommy, Agnetta

Dan & Hezekiah after their baths, in their new clothes.
We found out a few weeks after that initial visit that Agnetta is pregnant with her 5th child. Here's what we're told about their ages: Agnetta is about 23. Elizabeth is 8, Hezekiah is 4, Dan is 3 and Esther is 1. As I type, baby #5 is due. I just saw Agnetta today and she looked like she was harboring a beach ball under her dress. 

I remember feeling overwhelmed when I was having my 4th child. I already had three to take care of, and it was a lot. BUT, I had running water. And food. And a washing machine and dryer. And diapers and wipes. And friends offering to help. And a loving husband who took on most of the work when the baby was born. 

What do you do when your husband is gone, you are due any day with your 5th child, you have no food, no diapers, and only running water on certain days? 

I'm dumbfounded. How can this be ok? How is it fair? Why did I have it so easy, and Agnetta has such an immeasurably hard life? Why are my children clean and well fed and her children are filthy and always hungry? Why do I have a husband who loves me and provides for our family, and she has a husband who abandoned her?

These questions will plague me for the rest of my life. I can't save them. I can't change anything for them long-term. But if I want to live my life in service to people, without constant feelings of hopelessness, then I have to trust that God's hand is on them. I have to trust in God's grace. I have to trust that the Creator of the Universe will have His Glory.

"I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy." Psalm 140:12

I will continue to help them and visit them until our return to the States, at which time my heart will break in two. Will you pray for this precious family with me? I will put out an update when the new baby arrives! 

Thanks for reading. 
For Him, 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Water Babies

We're so fortunate to have a place here where the kids can swim.  I have to slather everyone with sunscreen like I'm frosting a cake 'cause you sizzle like bacon when you live on the equator. 

What's with all the food references?  I'd better start a food blog . . .  

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sustainable Living

My concern for Sarah as of late has been that she and Ruth (her caregiver) will be able to get food and continue living and eating well after I've left. I've told them that I'm returning to the States and that Ruth needs to find some sort of work because I cannot support them long-term. However, jobs are pretty hard to come by in the slums. 

We've decided to start a business for them so that they can live and eat for years to come without having to rely on someone else. Of course we will supplement funds from the U.S. as needed, but I don't want them to rely on us for monthly support. It's better if they can do it on their own. 

The great thing about "starting a business" in a slum in Kenya is that you don't need to tell anyone. Meaning, you don't need to get a license, or ask for permission, or pay any fees. You just start selling. Maize is one of the main commodities in Kenya, and is very cheap right now. We will buy Ruth a 50 kg. bag of maize to start selling in a few months when maize is harder to find and becomes more expensive. Until then, she can begin selling the charcoal that we are also going to buy for them. Charcoal is also a big commodity, and everyone needs it or they can't cook or boil water. Can you imagine having to rely on charcoal for all of your heating needs? Most of us just flip a dial on our stoves to heat things, or better yet, poke the buttons on our microwave. But here in the slums of Kitale there are no dials or buttons. You have to buy charcoal or find wood. 

We have spent all of the funds that we have received for Sarah, which was about $300. We spent $150 on her hospital bill (which was only 1/3 of what she owed) and the other $150 on her rent and getting her house ready, beds, mattresses, household items and food. So now that we'd like to start a business for her, we have to use more of our own support money. 

BUT, God did what He always does, and this morning we received $50 from some friends who wanted to help Sarah. That is almost exactly what we needed to buy her maize and charcoal. God is good. All the time. He knows our needs even before we do. He is always steps ahead of us. Good. Faithful. Loving. All-knowing. 

"He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea. 
Let this be written for a future generation, 
that a people not yet created may praise the Lord . . ." Psalm 102:17-18

Thank you!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Day On The Farm

We had the privilege of spending last Saturday with our good friends Fandi and Mercy and their children Jesse and Petra out on the dairy farm where they live and work. She dries flowers, is an artist, and works for the dairy farm owner. He runs a guest house on the farm and is currently refurbishing several buildings for people to stay. Their life is charming. 

These are the kind of people that just pull you into their world and instantly make you feel like family. A darling farm house, lots of tree climbing, a looooong walk through most of their property, and a nice leisurely lunch. I didn't want to leave. The farm is in Kiminini, only about 20 minutes from Kitale town, but I felt like I was a world away . . . 

The farm house!

Mya in the kitchen door.

The BEST climbing tree EVER

Hangin' out

Howie napping.

Tree hugger. 

The view from their back porch of my 2 favorite Kenyan trees--
the African Tulip Tree (also called a Fire Tree), and the Acacia.

Jesse letting Isaiah test out his bike

Afternoon walk

We found a BIG moth on our walk!

The Dads with their girls who were too tired to walk. :-)

Jumping off the pile of manure. Seriously.


These trees were amazing and HUGE

Some of their calves.

Jesse & Kenya . . . they walked together the whole time. 

2 silly peas in a pod

Monday, October 10, 2011

Movin' Day . . .

. . . for Sarah!  Overall it was a great day. There were a few minor road blocks, and she was a little confused at times--asking me several times where we were going and why, but once we arrived at her new home, she was very happy. 

She's a bit of a diva. Once in her home, she started asking, "Where's my food? Where's my soap?" But she also kept saying "be blessed" to me in Swahili. I don't know all of Sarah's story, but I think that she has probably never really felt loved or cared for. My prayer is that she feels it now. Ruth, who is living with her and caring for her loves Jesus, and will remind Sarah daily how much she is  loved by God and by others. 

Thank you to those of you who have been praying for Sarah, and who have donated toward her new house and hospital bills. We were able to pay part of her bill, 3 months rent for her new house, buy 2 beds and mattresses, and all the other necessities for living. 

Picking her up from Freda's hospital. 

Sarah with some of the staff who have cared for her for the last 3 months.

Saying goodbye to Sister Freda.

Happy to be going home!
L to R - Patricia, who has been organizing everything for us, Juliette (my daughter, helper, translator), Sarah, Hannah (my daughter, helper, translator), Ruth--who will be Sarah's caretaker.

On her new bed eating her lunch. She wanted chips. :-) 

Pretty tired after the long move. Testing out her new bed. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Jingle Bells and Tax Deductions

Believe it or not, Christmas is less than 12 weeks away, and Hannukah even sooner. I know, some of you don't like me for saying that. Some of you still have to make handmade cards for 75 people, sew, knit or crochet for all of the children in your life, or go get the dreaded family portraits taken in time for mailing cards by Thanksgiving. I'm sorry. If you're like me, you'll use any excuse to get out of doing some of that. This year, my excuse is that I've been in Africa. Not sure what I'll do next year. 

We would love nothing more than to be home for Christmas with our friends and families. Our time in Kenya has come to a close, and since we're planning to return to the States anyway, we'd love to be home in time for Christmas. 

Right now, that doesn't look like it's going to happen. 

We simply don't have the funds. We're not trying to tug at your heartstrings or make you feel sorry for us--just trying to give a realistic update. In order to get home in time, we need to buy our tickets in the next 3-4 weeks. That doesn't leave a whole lot of time to raise over $4,000. 

We've had to raise a lot of money over the past year, and God has been faithful as He always is. We're not afraid--not stressed out. Simply asking for help, and we'll let God do the rest. 

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." 
-Proverbs 3:5-6

With Christmas approaching, it's also the end of the year, and you know what that means--Uncle Sam wants all your money. If you'd like to help us--even for the simple reason that you'll need more tax deductions before the end of the year--we would be grateful. 

Donations may be made via PayPal by clicking the yellow "Donate" button to the right. If you'd rather mail a check, they can be made out to "Reaching Beyond Ourselves" and mailed to: The Biemecks, P.O. Box 71023, Phoenix, AZ 85050. Please do not write "Reaching Beyond Ourselves" on the outer envelope as this is our private P.O. box and will only be delivered to our family name. 

Thanks for reading, praying, giving, helping, supporting--whatever led you to this blog, thank you! Our work here is not done yet, and we're anxiously anticipating all that God will do up until the moment we leave. 

For Him, 
Howie, Amy & kids

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Golfin' Man . . .

I was going to entitle this post "My Little Tiger" but that just doesn't have the same nice ring  that it used to. "My Little Arnold Palmer" just doesn't flow either.  Bottom line, Little Howie is golfing! 

We have the privilege of being able to golf and swim at the Kitale Club, just down the street from our house.  Big Howie has been golfing in numerous tournaments on Saturdays (and doing very well), and last Sat, Little Howie entered his first tourney in the Juniors category, and won!! Ok, there were only 3 Jr.'s, but still a great accomplishment for his first tourney. He has been taking golf lessons for the last few months--a luxury that we could never afford in the States, but is surprisingly cheap here, and has been very effective in teaching him the game. He loves it. Here are some pics from his first tourney. I'm sure we will be sending these into ESPN in a few years when he wins his first PGA tourney. Ok, a mother can dream . . . 

Ready for practice

British breakfast before his first tourney. Eggs, bacon & tea.

18th hole. 

Bringin' it home.