Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas in Kenya and Happy New Year!

On Sunday morning, as we prepared to leave Mt. Elgon National Park, Hannah thanked God for the splendor of His creation and how blessed we are to catch just a glimpse of it.  My kids know that despite the hardships of being missionary kids and losing their father, they are incredibly blessed to see so much of the world, a privilege that many people never have the chance to see.

Since arriving in Kenya, we have traveled from Nairobi to the far western part of Kenya, catching a glimpse of Uganda.  We have visited Lake Naivasha, Lake Nukuru, and Mt. Elgon; we have seen countless animals and incredible views.  Kenya is a beautiful country.  I will let the pictures tell the story:
The view outside of Nairobi, on the way to Western Kenya
Zebras along the road in Naivasha
Boat ride to see some of the 1500 hippos that call Lake Naivasha home.  Note Hannah's excited expression.  :)
Our friend and colleague, Greg Snell, put us up at his amazing house.  This is their deck.  Quite the view!
Some of the aforementioned hippos.
A fish-eagle grabbing a fish...pretty cool.
Lake Naivasha is home to 450 different types of birds - some of them pretty amazing.
Hannah's picture, capturing the beauty of the sun through the clouds.
The beautiful and stately giraffe.
Next to Lake Nakuru National Park, which has experienced a lot of flooding of late.
The buffalo seemed happy to see us.
A sighting of a black rhino.
Lake Nakuru National Park is home to about 200 rhino.  There are several white rhinos resting in this picture.
Lake Nakuru is known for being home to many, many flamingos.  However, the flamingos have been leaving with the rising water and the changing habitat.
Two male implalas fighting over who would get the available group of 30-50 female impalas.  We witnessed the fight and saw the winner.
The lovable but forgetful warthog. 
Further view of flood damage at the lake.
A waterfall found within the park.  And a good looking and lovable son next to it.
Lots of baboons seen at Lake Nakuru and at Mt. Elgon.
Hannah and Noah are amazed by the amount of cows, sheep, and goats in Kenya.  Quite a difference from West Africa. 

After hiking six kms uphill when our car broke down at Mt. Elgon, we finally reached the top of the Endibiss bluff.  Unfortunately, Hannah got too close to the edge and we almost lost her!!!
Just kidding.  :)
Christmas morning - they both clean up pretty well, don't they?  Noah loves to wear suits - yes, you heard me right...the same Noah whom you have seen day after day in black t-shirts and jeans - and I love that he loves it!
Happy New Year to all and may God bless and keep you in 2014!

Monday, December 23, 2013

(sigh)...Access to Capital

In my work with Partners Worldwide, I implemented the four strategic activities believed to cause long-term change for small and medium size businesses:  training, mentoring, advocacy, and access to capital.  Three of these activities are internally focused on the business, and one is external (advocacy).  I continue to use that strategy in the ICM Marketplace Ministry, and have talked a fair bit of three of the activities in recent months but haven't said much on the blog about access to capital.

Of the four activities, it is the one that I like the least.  But, of course, it is the one that businesses want the most.  It is a necessary evil in my work.  I say "evil" loosely, of course, because it is considered necessary for most business in the world to receive between three-five loans in order to help them increase their business and be able to compete in the market. We often say, "If you give a man to fish, he eats for the day; if you teach him to fish, he eats for a lifetime."  But that is not true.  There are many, many
training programs around here that teach people to sew or bake, but without access to capital...without having "access to the pond, or the ability to buy the fishing boat or net" (to continue the analogy further) the teaching to fish does not do much good.  We are watching "Africa rising" and multi-national companies moving into Africa with their large capital and resources, and at the same time, we see Africans lose contract bid after contract bid to these international corporations.  The profits made by these international corporations often do not remain in Africa but are sent home to the native country.  Africans need to be able to own their own resources and win their own contracts to do the work in their country.  So access to capital is a good and necessary thing.

But it is so complex.  In a warm culture, the lure of a loan brings many temptations from family, friends, church, and community.  In a developing country, the need for school fees, paying for funerals, and paying out of pocket for medical, can hamper the success of a business loan.  People often take a business loan that ends up having no positive impact on the business, as basic business principles or boundaries have not been applied.  So the loan becomes something that can destroy the business.  As Christians involved in loan programs, the most painful thing is to give a loan, have something negative happen (often legitimate) to that person or their business, and yet the loan still needs to be repaid.  Not enforcing repayment can destroy a loan program.  So that is why I say it is a necessary evil.  I would much rather NOT be involved in access to capital.

But since I know it is necessary, I have been addressing it.  This past summer I spoke with Lou Haveman (former colleague at Partners Worldwide) who has developed a program called the Solomon Funds, for people who want to invest their savings or retirement money in access to capital, allowing them to make about 5% annual interest on their investment.  He organized a few donors and was able to secure about $25,000 US for the ICM Marketplace Ministry to use as loans.  But we didn't want to manage the loans ourselves and I didn't want to put ICM in the position of giving loans (again, the giving is not the problem - it's the repayments).  So I approached two Christian micro-finance institutions - one started by the National Council of Churches in Kenya (NCCK) and one started by Food for the Hungry.  I asked them if they would take this money, distribute it to our approved groups, and handle the repayments.  However, the money that I wanted them to coordinate for us was apparently not enough to get their attention.  So after repeated attempts, proposals written, meetings had, two months passed and no positive response was received.  So I approached ICM to see if they would be willing for this small amount of loans in the pilot project to go out under their name.  We eventually worked it out to have it go that way.

I'm happy to report that on December 21, 2013, $25,000 has been disbursed to seven groups, which total 127 people (90 women, 37 men).  These are all groups who have at least one of the members that I have trained in the Training of Trainers for the basic business class, and have multiple members who have sat through the training.  These groups have a peer mentoring aspect to them, so that is helpful.  All of these groups have been in existence for at least six months and only received three times the amount of their savings.  They operate much like the Village Savings and Loans groups that I wrote about in Ghana (click here for more information on VSLs).  These loans should have gone out in October and so I feel bad that they got out so late, but we ran into roadblock after roadblock.  The people waiting were pretty gracious, but unfortunately they lost a lot of opportunity to capitalize on the Christmas busy season for their business.

They will turn this money over and over in their groups for the next six months, and then they will pay it back.  In six months, we will distribute the same money again.  We hope to have more money to distribute at that time, because our businesses in Kakamega and Eldoret will also be ready for access to capital by then, having finished the training, and started mentoring and advocacy.  After six months, the interest and principle will be paid back to the investors, through the Solomon Funds.  If we are blessed, the investors will keep their principle in for another year, and we can start again.  Hopefully by then we will have more funds and can get the attention of a qualified fiduciary to manage the loans for us.  [If you have savings or retirement funds that you would like to invest for one year, and receive about 5% earnings on it, while blessings businesses in Kenya, please email me at or email Lou Haveman at  The money will be put to good use!  I have been working with Lou to bless Ghana and Liberia for several years and we have had great success!]

So I do this part of my work with a sigh...and many, many, many prayers.  I usually lose more than a few nights of sleep over it when decisions are made as to loan disbursement.  It is my neck on the line if defaults happen as well as the reputation of ICM, so I take this very seriously.  We make commitments to the investors and we are putting our activities to the test to be sure that business will actually grow.  In many ways, it is putting other people's money where my mouth is.

At the end of 2013 though, I look back with great delight.  We were able to address all four activities.  We have seen God's hand through the provision of investors and the provision of solid businesses.  We have seen God's hand in the provision of mentors and prayer partners.  We have seen good activity in our advocacy work. And we will now wait to see what 2014 brings.  We pray that it is a year of blessings and growth for our businesses who strive to alleviate poverty and provide jobs.  We pray that it is a year where Kenya sees positive movement forward as a country.  And we continue to watch with anticipation as Africa continues to rise, economically, socially, and spiritually.  ICM calls this the "decade of the African leader."

Thank you for joining me on this journey in 2013!  I have sent out a year-end letter to those of you that I have physical addresses for.  If you did not receive it, you can see it here.  I am so thankful for all of you who continue to pray for, encourage, and support this ministry in so many ways!  I praise God for how He has made the body of Christ!

I also know this is a time of year when many people consider their blessings and chose to pass some of those blessings on to others.  If you feel led to join in this work financially, it is very easy to give by going to, click on donate, and follow the instructions there.  Or you can go to, clicking on Missionaries, then find my name and follow the instructions there.  This ministry continues to need support and we are thankful for every person who joins us in this manner. 

May God bless and keep you in 2014. May He turn His face and smile upon you, and give you His peace.  Mungu awabariki!  Amen.

PS.  My children did arrive safe and sound in Kenya to spend Christmas with me.  So thankful for that too!
This is how they appeared when arriving at the airport after the cold winter in Michigan, exams at Calvin, and long flight to Kenya.
After a couple days of love and pampering from Mom and enjoying the beauty of Kenya, they began to look normal again.

Monday, December 16, 2013


It is a great joy to sit by still water, on a quiet summer day, and drop something in the water to watch the ripples; and it is fascinating to watch rain hit a puddle and see the multiple ripples going out and touching each other.

In the past couple of weeks, I feel like I have been watching ripples going out in the Marketplace Ministry.  And it has been a great joy, as well as fascinating.

Friends Women Conference, sitting out in the hot sun.
While the pilot project that I am working on is to work specifically with three churches from three denominations, one of the outlying factors we are monitoring is how this will impact denominations.  The Friends/Quakers Church has written Marketplace Ministries into their strategic plan and are beginning to push it out to their churches.  Two weeks ago, I was asked to speak at the Friends Women's conference, with over 500 women in attendance, regarding Business as Mission.  Then, this past week, I was contacted by the Friends Youth Conference to speak to 1100 youth (youth being defined as up to 35 years of age) regarding Business as Mission.  Apparently the youth heard good things about the talk with the women and wanted to have me present at their conference.  I traveled there with the General-Secretary of the Friends Yearly Meeting for Western Kenya and heard him speak of how this is gaining excitement throughout the region.  They want to send another group of trainers to the next Training of Trainers in February, including from their newest region of Lodwar.  Lodwar is the region where both oil and water were just discovered.  It was so exciting to hear the talk after the presentation amongst business men from the church as they debated how best to roll this out and get the church engaged.  They really own this work and continue to push forward to make it happen!  I sat back and watched the ripples with joy.
Friends Youth Conference

Additionally, last Sunday I had the opportunity to invite the newly hired Marketplace Ministry Coordinator, Alfred Kibairu, to teach the class in Kakamega on Cost Analysis (which has been historically one of the more difficult classes for people to feel comfortable teaching).  He rocked it!  He did a better job than I would have done!  More ripples.

Then on Friday, we had a mentoring meeting with the Kitale group, but we also had a farewell lunch for the principal of the Africa Theological Seminary (ATS).  So, I sent Alfred and Jeff ahead to the meeting and I remained behind to say a few words at the lunch.  When the lunch was over, I texted Alfred and Jeff to see how it was going and decide if I should still go, even though the time was almost up.  They both said that everything was going great and there was no need for me to come.  That felt great! More ripples.

There are multiple drops in the pool.  And as the ripples are spreading out, there are equipped people to carry it forward.  Considering that when I started this work in January I was by myself, I am encouraged that just 11 months later, there is a team and a denomination pushing this forward.  And not just pushing it forward through me, but pushing it forward on their own.

Watching the ripples go out, quietly, on their own, growing wider as they go.  A great joy.  Fascinating to watch.
This is a singing group from the newest Friends Church in Northern Kenya, made up of refugees from Sudan, DRC, and Somalia, as well as Kenyans.  It was beautiful! (If you don't have time to watch the whole 1.5 minutes, skip to about one minute in.  Great voices praising God!)

Another great joy is that my children are coming to Kenya tomorrow and will be here for a month!  We will celebrate Christmas and New Years together.  They will then take a class at ATS which will count for their interim class at Calvin.  I get them all to myself - with no jobs to distract them, or friends, or even TV!  I can't wait to see them and pamper them for a bit. Plus I think they are ready for some warm weather!

Monday, December 9, 2013

A Visit from a Hawk

Two weeks ago, when I wrote about my silent retreat, I included a picture of a hawk with the caption that this hawk had circled over me a couple of times.

It felt significant to me at the time but it wasn't until I was talking with my dear Ghanaian sister, Fanny Atta-Peters that I began to consider it again.

This is what happened:  I was sitting on a bench at the top of bluff after having had a few hours of silence and listening.  I was preparing to leave the area and had moved away from the precipice to sit on a bench.  I was looking out at the country side of both Kenya and Uganda and was reflecting on the activity down there that was not visible to the naked eye from this distance.  I thought about how insignificant my life is - how vast this world is - how my life is such a blip in the history and future of this world.

You can see how close it came to me in this picture.
Suddenly, from below, a hawk flew up and over me.  I remember spontaneously saying out-loud (I was by myself), "Wow.  I'd like to see that again."  As I watched, the hawk circled around broadly, came up behind me and hovered right over my head for probably ten seconds.  Then it flew off, circled around and stopped right over my head again, hovering for another ten seconds or so.  Then it flew off, circled around for one last time and hovered over me again.  Three times.  I remember thinking that this felt like God in some way, reminding me that while it is true my life is a blip and insignificant in the big picture, that my life matters to Him and He is aware of my life.  The three times felt like the Trinity - being visited by Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  It felt very holy (even as I tried to catch a picture or two).

My dear sister in Christ, Fanny Atta-Peters.
Fanny went on a silent retreat shortly after I came back from mine, and I had shared with her some of my reflections before she went.  We spoke the other day and shared how God had shown up in each of our retreats.  When Fanny heard about the hawk though, her response was, "Wow. Wow. Wow.  You have been blessed by God through this hawk."  She really felt that this had been sent by God. Fanny is a very close spiritual sister to me; we have known each other for almost four years now and I love how close she is to God and how important prayer is to her.  So I started wondering about this a bit more - and I wondered what symbolism folklore has about hawks.  After a quick Google search, I came up with the following quotes:

Trying to catch a good picture
“The hawk is a messenger bird. Usually when we see a hawk it means to pay attention because a message is coming to you. Hawks represent clear sightedness, being observant, our far memory and guardianship. They also bring courage, wisdom, illumination, creativity and truth. Hawks give us the ability to see the larger picture in life. They can help you to overcome problems and make wise use of opportunities. How does this all happen? Each animal carries what we call ‘medicine’. What I have written above is the hawks medicine. When the same animal keeps coming to you in real life or in a dream, it is bringing it’s medicine to you. You will be brought a message soon, a good one, to let you know you are on the right path. And whatever problems you are wrestling with, you will solve because hawks medicine has been given to you. I know this because I am a traditional Shawnee (American Indian) and I’ve learned these things are true.

Another person said in response to a hovering hawk,
"Blessings, blessings and more blessings. You have been blessed. Give thanks. . . . Hawk is a messenger of the Creator/God. The Hawk wants you to be aware the Creator is speaking to you. Take notice. Only you know what the message is. . . in fact, you already know (even if you don’t realize it yet). God is sending you a message. . . but it is for you. Be aware; take notice. (People often think this is a negative, as if “awareness” is negative; it simply means not to be oblivious to your surroundings, dreams, etc). Personally, I have always given thanks to the hawk whenever  I see him/her."

Not sure about this but I do find it interesting.  God has always shown up in one way or another during a silent retreat, and I love His intimate love that is tangible and specific, while also knowing His corporate and general love on the world!
Fanny, her husband Dennis, and their two lovely boys:  Nhyi and Zion.

Monday, December 2, 2013

What's the point?

When one starts on a trip, the destination can sometimes be unclear.  Where are we going?  What is going to happen when we get there?  How exactly will we travel?  What will the route be like?  Who will accompany us?  What will the weather be like on the journey?  How will this journey be funded? and the all important question, What is the point of the journey?

While I know I have written about West African roads and Kenyan roads, this time I am actually referring to the theoretical road or journey of the ICM Marketplace Ministry.  This journey began when I was still in Ghana (May 2012) and had begun to recognize the need for business development work that was being done through NGOs (non-profits) to be brought under the umbrella of the Church.  I came to believe that was the route or the road, but the rest of the questions were still very much unclear.  The last eighteen months have brought a bit more clarity, as we [International Christian Ministries (ICM) and I] have started down this path, but there is still a good deal of fog and unknowns.
When you look at all the pieces that need to come together to make this journey possible, it can feel overwhelming.  But day by day, with thanksgiving and trust, things start to come together.

Who is on the journey is becoming more clear. The Church, made up of many denominations and pastors, is the body of the vehicle. ICM and the Africa Theological Seminary are the front tires (this car happens to be front wheel drive), and joining that partnership are Partners Worldwide and the Christian Reformed World Missions, as the back tires.  Jeff Bloem, as research assistant and Alfred Kibairu as Marketplace Ministry Coordinator, join me as part of the engine, making this vehicle run on a daily basis; a team of people from Grand Rapids who pray with me weekly for this work and support the ministry in a number of different ways:  David Graf, Jackie Venegas, James Nowell, Judy King , Michael Thomson, Mary Springer, Mary Katerberg - these people help to keep the engined oiled and running well, with the help of the Holy Spirit; then there are many individual supporters and several churches who pray regularly or give monthly/annually to this work - this is what puts the gas in the vehicle to keep it going.  Without any of these components, this work would grind to a halt quickly.

So the car has come together and is moving down the road toward the destination.  But the destination has been a bit fuzzy.  We know that the calling is to reclaim the redeemed Marketplace and to do it through the Church, the bride of Christ.  We (we being ICM but also the Business as Mission Mandate as written by the Lausanne Commission) believe that the Church is to take the first step in this, by affirming, equipping, encouraging, and sending out business people as Marketplace Ministers. 

But what does a redeemed Marketplace look like?  How will we recognize or measure success?  What is the point?

There are those who measure success in business development by counting the number of jobs created or sustained.  There are those who measure success in business development by measuring an increase in business profit.  But those, in and of themselves, can occur without having ANY impact on reclaiming the Marketplace for Christ.  People can create jobs and yet pay inadequate wages or exploit workers.  People can increase their profits through all sorts of "creative" (read "crooked") ways.  How do we measure success through the work of Marketplace Ministry in the Church?

As we are engaged in a research project, we have been wrestling with these questions for a number of months now.  And finally, as we wrestle and talk, and talk and wrestle, a destination emerges for a moment that is clear.  The point lies in the motivation for doing business.  The measurement is job satisfaction or joy in the work.

"Huh?" you might ask?  I'm glad you did.  Let me tell you how we got here.  For years I have been interviewing business people.  One of the questions that I ask them is, "What do you love about your business?"  The most common answer, that occurs probably about 95% of the time, is this:  "I love my business because it puts food on my table and keeps me busy."  Neither of these activities connotes any joy or satisfaction in the work.  I have been teaching a Business as Mission class for about eight months now.  I use the definition of the purpose of doing business from God's perspective from Jeff VanDuzer in his book, Why Business Matters to God (and what still needs to be fixed).  He says that the two main purposes for doing business are 1) to provide goods and services that allow individuals and communities to flourish, and 2) to provide jobs that allow the creativity of God in each one of us to come out.  He notes that profit is NOT part of the purpose for doing business.  It is necessary, yes, even critical to the survival of the business.  But he notes this:  we need to eat in order to live.  But if we begin to live to eat, it becomes a problem.  The same with business:  Business needs a profit in order to survive.  But if a business survives to make a profit, it becomes a problem.  The end now justifies the means.  And it negates the very important calling that we have been given in the Creational Mandate to be fruitful and multiply - to fill the earth and subdue it.  The reason we do business is because God has called us to do it!  We are gifted with His creativity, being made in His image and likeness to take the resources, generously provided by the Creator, and make good things from it, to support a world of seven billion people!  That is what motivates us!  That is what should drive us in doing business!

When we reach our destination, I want to be able to ask business people, who when they started this journey with stated that they do business to put food on the table, to now say something like this, "I love my because it is what God made me made to do, and I get so much joy and satisfaction in it!  My work is my act of worship!"

I believe that when that shift in perspective happens, meaningful jobs will be created.  Businesses will grow - they will become light in a dark place.  When God is the owner and is kept on the throne, and money and wealth are kept in their proper place, the Marketplace will be reclaimed and Churches will be transformed.  But do you know what I've realized?  Even if profits are not increased or jobs are not created, it doesn't mean failure because people will be affirmed in their calling, find joy in it, and do it to the glory of God. 

I know the picture will get cloudy again.  I know there are road hazards that must be avoided.  And as we approach the year-end, there is always the call for the necessary gas to keep this vehicle running.  But I am thankful for those glimpses...and for getting the point of the journey.

For those of you who have joined this journey with me, even just by reading the blog, I am truly thankful.  

Monday, November 25, 2013

It Would Be Easier to Pray if I were Clear

On Wednesday morning, I left for a short silent retreat at Mt. Elgon National Park.  If you have read this blog for some time, you know that I try to take a silent retreat annually.  A silent retreat, as the name implies, is no talking, no reading (not even the Bible, except for one text), usually not even praying (although communication with God helps to center, as the prayers below indicate)...just quieting myself (usually through lots of journaling) and listening for the voice of God.  I often spend much time praying and not much time listening, so this is an intensive attempt to listen.  I had not had a chance yet this year to do this, but I was able to grab a couple of days last week.  I usually take about five days, as I need two days to empty myself before really being able to hear God's voice; I am then able to spend a couple of delightful, heavenly days in His presence, and then one day to adjust to being back on earth.  This time, however, I would have Wednesday to drive and settle in, Thursday as a full day of quiet, and then have to leave by Friday morning; so basically one full day.  Naturally, I was a bit nervous about whether or not I would be able to quiet myself quickly enough to hear Him.  And, often, as I try to hear or strain to be quiet, I can sometimes get noisier.  I found this prayer by Ted Loder to be helpful (from Guerrillas of Grace):
O Eternal One, it would be easier for me to pray if I were clear
and of a single mind and a pure heart;
Sitting upon a bluff within the park.
if I could be done hiding from myself and from you, 
even in my prayers,
But, I am who I am,
mixture of motives and excuses,
blur of memories,
quiver of hopes,
knot of fear,
tangle of confusion,
and restless with love, for love.

I wander somewhere between
gratitude and grievance,
wonder and routine,
high resolve and undone dreams,
This hawk circled and hovered over me several times.
generous impulses and unpaid bills.

Come, find me, Lord.

Be with me exactly as I am.
Help me find me, Lord.
Help me accept what I am,
so I can begin to be yours.

Make of me something small enough to snuggle,
young enough to question,
simple enough to giggle,
old enough to forget,
foolish enough to act for peace; 
skeptical enough to doubt the sufficiency of anything but you,
and attentive enough to listen as you call me out of the tomb of my timidity
into the chancy glory of my possibilities
and the power of your presence.
As I gave myself permission to just be me and to stop striving, I began to hear again.  The initial message, as it always is, is one of the delight of my Heavenly Father in me - His daughter, His child.  I begin to relax.  I'm reminded that James 4:8 says, "Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you." He meets us halfway - or oftentimes even more than halfway.  He doesn't need me to line things up a certain way or behave a certain way in order for Him to meet me.  He longs to meet with me, desires to be with me.

So now I get a bit bolder in my prayer.  Another prayer from Ted Loder (this one from My Heart in My Mouth), called "Crazed Into Awareness" summarizes where I am next during my retreat:

Come, Lord Jesus,
confront me as a prophet:
disturb my indifference,
expose my practiced phoniness,
shatter my brittle certainties,
deflate my arrogant sophistries
and craze my holy awareness
of my common humanity

Right outside the banda or house I stayed in.
and so of my bony, blood need

to love mercy,
do justly,
and walk humbly with You
       -and with myself,

trusting that whatever things it may be too late for
prayer is not one of them,
nor a chance,
nor change,
nor passion,
nor laughter,
nor starting yet again
to risk a way to be together
nor a wild, far-sighted claim
that this human stuff of yours
is stronger still than fail or time,
graced to share a Kingdom,
and spirited for you.
I love the line that says whatever it might be too late for - whatever I may have missed - it is not too late for prayer or another chance or starting again.  What a great God!

Lastly, as I prepare to leave, I have the audacity to ask God for a few things.  Again, Ted Loder's prayer, "We Dare to Ask" is helpful:

We ask only a few things more, O God,
The bluff I climbed after a 6K uphill hike to get here.
a few small, mustard-seed size, faithful, saving things:

to walk with you each moment
without plotting for tomorrow,
and so to really consider the birds of the air, 
the lilies of the field,
and find the treasures hidden in the round of the daily,

to learn by leaning into your Spirit
to be present to others without preoccupation,
to engage without having to win,
to disagree without being judgmental
to accept outcomes without despair,
If that gives you a perspective on the height.

to succeed or fail without misplacing hope,
to tune to the bracing hum of the stars,

to fathom enough
without dismissing fathomless mystery
of your creation
our brothers and sisters,
and the grace and mercy and power
of your embrace that holds close
each small one of us,
and everything all together;
in Jesus name,

In addition to the zebras, waterbucks, bushbucks, blue monkeys, baboons, colobus monkeys, duikers, and impalas, there are other animals at the park that are not as easy to find:  elephants, giraffes, leopards, and hyenas.

Anyone want to come for a silent retreat?