kenya 2011, refuge-es=yes, me=no

africa 2010next week i was supposed to be leaving for kenya, taking a team from the refuge who caught the africa bug after our family trip a year ago.  it is a very sad and hard thing to let go of but it was a clear & yeah-pretty-much-no-choice-in-the-matter decision because of how healing has been going with my back post-surgery.  my doctor told me at my post-op visit “oh, you’ll be fine to go in january” but things haven’t been going quite the way we had hoped & i have a second MRI scheduled this saturday to see what’s going on in this wacked-out-back-of-mine.

this is one of those really-annoying-and-there’s-no-option-really-but-to-let-go-and-trust-God moments in my journey.  for 9 months now i have been cultivating this fun group of 8  from the refuge & 3 others who are friends of the refuge here in denver and have a heart for africa.  we have been meeting monthly since last spring–laughing, praying, learning, dreaming, and preparing.  i knew me not going was a possibility after things went downhill this fall, but the reality of it has really sunk in now that it’s clear i won’t be leaving next tuesday.  there is one really bright spot for me, though.  my 14-year old son who was coming with me decided to still go.  we fly stand-by & fortunately one of my friends going on the trip is a united pilot, too, and one of our dearest family friends so he can travel with him. jamison is beyond amazing with the kids at the orphanage & i am really excited for him to get a chance to go back and see everyone & not have to miss out on account of me.

this not a “mission” trip but rather a friendship & relationship building one, where hopefully some others can see & taste & fall-in-love, too.  the community center/orphanage/school where the team will be staying has no power, no water, and no solid ongoing support or infrastructure. they are very refuge-like in many ways & over the past several years we have built a really lovely friendship.  our group is bringing some love & diverse gifts with them & will be doing some fun stuff with the kids, providing some relief for the teachers, contracting the building of bunk beds, creating a new children’s library that can be protected from the elements (below is a picture of their current one), teaching at the bible college, training some staff on CPR and basic first aid & making new friends.  my friend from Hope2Others is working on some water stuff, too. it’s going to be a wild & beautiful adventure, that’s for sure, and i would so appreciate your prayers for their journey.  i am sad to not be with them physically but i will be with them every day of the journey in spirit and in love.

i’ll share some fun stories & pictures when they return.  for now, just feel sorry for me, ha ha.

here’s their library now.  i am really excited to see the new one, stocked with books for the kids. that makes me happy and is the one gift i really wanted to bring.

* * * * *

ps: some other posts i wrote about our africa adventure last year are: africa loveafrica, in all its beauty & all its chaos, the church of the 99 or the 1, asante, africa & a little bit about this year’s trip is on the refuge blog–friendship vs. mission.

ppss: this wednesday is the january synchroblog if you want to participate.  the topic, in the spirit of epiphany–the manifestation of God.

ppsss:  i wrote a short post for the refuge blog today called the year of living dangerously.

Posted in

Kathy Escobar

Kathy Escobar is dedicated to creating safe and brave spaces for transformation and healing in real life, online, and outside. She co-pastors at The Refuge, a hub for healing community, social action, and creative collaboration in North Denver, co-directs #communityheals, a non-profit organization dedicated to making spaces for transformation accessible for all, and is the author of Practicing: Changing Yourself to Change the World, Faith Shift: Finding Your Way Forward When Everything You Believe is Coming Apart and several other books.


  • I’m broken-hearted for you Kathy but I know everything you poured into your team is going to pour into that community and they will feel your love as much as you feel theirs. I’m really hoping you find permanent relief from this back problem. HUGS

    • thanks mak, for caring and for knowing how hard it is. it sucks. i know it will be really beautiful for them, though. i hope some pain/back relief comes soon, too, this goes down in history as one of the worst-seasons-ever.

  • Oh Kathy, friend. I’m so sorry it has worked out this way — I know it meant a lot to you. I hope you find some peace with it. I’m also sorry to hear you’re not mending like you had hoped. I wish you healing and comfort.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.