Bob and Kristi Rice - June 2017 Update
“Father…not my will, but yours, be done.”
Luke 22: 42
On the morning of Wednesday, June 14, 2017, Kristi went for a bird watching jaunt with the Nature Kenya group. I stayed at the guesthouse and took some time to rest and do some therapeutic, meditative coloring. While I was tempted to color in the page with the theme of “Healing,” I was drawn in my spirit to color in the dramatic “S” for “Surrender.”
Surrender feels like the greater, all-encompassing theme of our lives, while of course we are earnestly seeking and praying for healing. We came to Nairobi three weeks ago from Juba regarding a couple of health issues which were badgering me. First was a fish bone I swallowed in Kinshasa which left my throat perpetually disturbed. Second was an inexplicable tiredness and lethargy that still won’t let me go. Over the last three weeks we have been to see the doctor four times and had two multitudinous rounds of tests performed.
Last September we surrendered to God our desire to have children. Right now, we feel like we are having to surrender something we too often take for granted, our health. During these weeks of convalescence, we have to take things day by day, depending on how I feel and how much energy I have. We have also had to surrender our plans to the Lord. Our plan was to begin language learning three weeks ago, and jump with both feet into our new life and ministry in Juba. Instead, we find ourselves exiled by choice in another country, shuttling back and forth across busy Nairobi to see doctors, also resting and rejuvenating ourselves physically, emotionally and spiritually.
While we fully anticipate and hope/plan to return to Juba, we have even had to surrender our sense of call. Indeed, we feel called to serve in South Sudan, but when one’s physical well-being gets pummeled, you begin to ponder your call. It has felt like everything is up in the air until the ever-elusive signs of improvement in health and well-being reveal themselves. As our
days prolong here in Kenya, it feels like we also need to surrender our reputation, not knowing whether we are able physically to fulfill the call set before us.
For me personally, I have also had to re-surrender my life to God during this time. Last week on Wednesday night, Kristi had just sent out a prayer email to friends and family when I was suddenly hit with a terrible case of the chills, complemented with a fever which seemed on the verge of spiking. As I haven’t had a fever in years and am not well acquainted with having chills in such a deleterious manner, I felt in my heart that maybe God was now calling me home to him; I had to surrender my desire to live and be at peace with the possibility of my days on earth ending here and now. Thankfully, by God’s grace, my fever turned after a few hours in the night. I rejoiced the following morning, feeling that my life was restored. On that note, it has felt like a spiritual battle with forces set against us and against the good future God has for us. Yet, we are confident that in the strong, all powerful Name of Jesus we will prevail! God has even spoken to me reassuringly in a dream about his guiding Hand of protection.
Our hope and prayer is that this time in Nairobi will prove to be a time to recover physically from these ailments, to recover emotionally from the last few months of huge transitions related to our call, and to regain our spiritual bearings before re-engaging in our new role in South Sudan. Our time here in Nairobi has proven to be a soul-searching time, as we have had to surrender our health, our plans, our sense of call, our reputation and even our mortal lives to the Lord. Our firm desire and resolve remains to get well and return to Juba. Pray with us for God’s healing and that it would come very soon! Most importantly, please pray with us that our will aligns with God’s will as we embark upon this new season of life and ministry.
“Asante sana!” (Thank you so much!)
Bob and Kristi
Read more about Bob and Kristi Rice's ministry by clicking HERE.
Outreach is seeking $10,000 for support funds for Bob and Kristi Rice.