An update from Joel and LaReina King and their ministry in Africa. Please read below as God's plan for this family unfolds.
Joel and LaReina King


It's all a matter of Perspective!!!
We landed on this African continent 5 weeks ago.   We are by no means “settled”, but we feel like we understand our surroundings a bit better now (except in language, but that will take A LOT longer than a few weeks to master!).   ABO was extremely helpful in giving us all (kids too) tools to maneuver in this foreign culture.  Now it’s a matter of swallowing things like pride and comfort, stepping out, making mistakes, learning and continuing on with a new perspective.

Let’s start with our neighborhood.

Entering the solid, locked gate to the community of Ngummo Nera, you’ll be welcomed with a big smile from one of our community security guards, Edward or Chrisant.  If you’re a mzungu (white person) you’ll probably be let in with few questions, but you may be asked who you’re coming to see and what gate.  They’ve gotten to know us now and let us through with a kind wave.

The neighborhood streets are lined with 7 foot steel locked gates that open to each driveway.  No garage door openers!  You have to get out, reach your hand through a 3 x 5 metal flap, find the pad lock and open the lock.  Let’s see … been here a week and our (ok, LaReina’s) best time is 45 seconds.   If it’s dark, add 1 to 3 minutes.  Joel’s turn is next week when LaReina starts driving … DO NOT place bets on how much faster he will do it!!!

The house is 2 stories, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.  There are two more key locks before you enter.  While we’re unlocking the doors, there’s a cute garden to the right that adds color and beauty to the harshness of the cement /steel gate surround.  One or both of our neighbors may be out.  Rose operates a duka (small store) out of her gate (how convenient is that for little things like milk, fruit, sodas, and a few basic cooking needs!) and always has a friendly smile.  We love Rose!  Hanging out with Rose is a great way to meet the neighborhood ladies since most visit her store often and stop to chat.  They’re considering giving LaReina a tribal name since “LaReina” is tough to pronounce and remember.  We can relate.  So is Swahili!  Since this neighborhood represents many tribes and remembering multiple tribal names would be really tough, we’re sticking with “LaReina” for now.  Mama Betty, our neighbor on the other side is welcoming as well.

Our house is feeling more like home.  The first few days without power were an adjustment, but there’s nothing like a hot shower and hot cup of coffee to change your outlook on life!  We have now come to expect and appreciate candle light dinners! 

Renee and Ian are meeting the neighborhood kids and they play together at the playground every day.  Renee and Ian need to practice their football (soccer) skills…these kids are pretty good!  They’re kind, playfully competitive, and welcoming to the neighborhood newcomers.   Renee’s favorite place to hang out is on a tire swing hanging from the tree at the park. We think the local kids are accustomed to playing independently, though.  One 7 year old boy’s eyes were like saucers as we pushed him on the tire swing.  He said he’d never been that high before!  One push was enough for that day.  “Maybe more tomorrow”, he said with a smile as he scampered off to join the football scrimmage.
So perspective.  What details command our attention?

Is it the gates, or that it takes us 3 times as long to get anything done (navigating traffic, and the cultural norm that you NEVER walk past someone you’ve met without stopping and asking about their family, how their day is going … until the conversation comfortably stops), or the unreliability of power?  Or do we focus on the warmth of smiles, the value of a promise, the trust of relationships, and the safety of belonging to a neighborhood?  Gotta tell you, the latter wins.  We take the time to invest in relationships.  The warmth of our African neighbors and the beauty of their souls are amazing.  We can see how people come to love it here.
May the Circle Be Unbroken

We worshipped this past Sunday with a church that is reaching out to a remote, native village with a water well, a school and the Good News of Jesus Christ.  Friends, we are not alone in this mission.  God has placed outreach missions on the hearts of Africans as well.  This is new for their culture … to step beyond tribal borders and bring Jesus to ALL God’s sons and daughters, allowing the tribes to be joined as brothers and sisters in Christ.  One step at a time.  And God smiles as His children walk hand in hand, hearts joined together in one mission, each taking the talents they’ve been given to bring Him glory.  Thank you for taking your place in the circle.

We continually Praise God for the formation of our prayer and financial team.  If God has laid on your heart to be a part of this and what He is doing in Africa through us, please respond to this email with your interest.  Or simply visit Kingsinafrica. There are always needs to operate in a 3rd world country and unexpected expenses that arise.  We would love to share these specific needs with you.

Joel, LaReina, Renee and Ian King
PO Box 21171
Nairobi, 00505, Kenya

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Thank you for your continued prayer support! Prayer protects us, guides us, and keeps our hearts aligned with His. 

For more information on how you can financially support our ministry, simply reply to this email or visit KingsinAfrica.


- Thankful for an incredible time of cultural learning at our Africa Based Orientation.
- Thankful for getting into our Nairobi house and starting the process of making it home.
- Thankful for the warm reception we've received since we've arrived in Nairobi by fellow AIM AIR families.
- Thankful for Renee and Ian's successful start at West Nairobi and loving it.

Prayer Request:

- Smooth transition for the family.
- Health during these first few months as our bodies continue to adjust to new foods and environmental conditions.
- Our shipment arriving intact in a timely manner with minimal fees at customs.
- Preparation of our minds for retention of language learning! Kids are doing great ... Joel and LaReina are struggling. 
- We feel we have been brought here for more than aviation needs. Please pray that God will direct/connect us to the Church Commmunity where He needs us to be. We trust that His plans for us will unfold in His perfect timing.  

They look cute, but don't let them fool you, they are equivalent to Raccoons.
Copyright © 2013 Joel and LaReina King, All rights reserved.
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