African wall photos-I just can’t get enough!



After blogging for about a year and a half, I just discovered this handy little tool that you see above. It’s so fun! You insert pictures and it places them in order for you. I can’t get enough and wanted to show you some pictures that we’re considering framing for the living room.

If you are new to Coffee with Christine, then I need to tell you that our family loves Africa. We especially love African people. We lived in central Nigeria for a couple of years and grew to love some great Nigerian people. We learned a lot from them and appreciate many things about Nigerian culture. More about that another time. 🙂

The pics above are all from Kenya, when Danielle and I went to the Kibera slum in Nairobi in June.

Perspectives on Kenya, part 2

Christianity, Photography

Our friend showed Herschel this video last night, titled “I need Africa more than Africa needs me”. It struck a chord with me, especially so fresh from being there. The impoverished women and children that we spent time with were much more joyful than I am at times in affluent North America.

Many of the children we were with at Kibera in Kenya are poor beyond what we can imagine. Some families have received scholarships for the $5 monthly school cost at New Hope, because they are that destitute. Yet these children possess joy that surpasses circumstances.

Preschool girls are giddy about receiving a new dress

I have lots to learn about photography. I’d love to get input on how to change the lighting in the above pic so that you can see her face more clearly.

Although many of these children have suffered beyond what we can imagine, there is joy in their faces

Can you see the joy?

They love to have their picture snapped so they can see themselves on the digital screen

Let’s hear it for the Fonz!

May God help us be able to practice what Paul says to the Phillipians in chapter 4:

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry,whether living in plenty or in want.

Wanna know the secret to contentedness? Check it out in your Bible. The answer is in verse 13.

Perspectives on Kenya

Christianity, Photography

Here are our perspectives on our 11 day mission trip to Nairobi, Kenya. We were sure that God had planned this trip for us (me and our 14-year-old daughter, Danielle) and we couldn’t wait to see what would unfold during our time in Africa. Click here to read about how we knew this was the trip for us:

Beautiful sunrise the morning of our departure. Danielle and I early in the morning…not so perky but excited about the adventure ahead

Just at the crack of dawn we met up with our entire team of 17 people. We had great diversity among us, with ages ranging from 14 years old up to early 70’s, and lots in between. Our mission was to bring 100 ukuleles to the students at New Hope School to the slum, Kibera, in Nairobi. Our team planned to teach 6th through 8th grade students how to play the ukulele, ending the week with a uke concert for the community. We planned arts and crafts for the younger students. Most importantly, we would bring the good news of Jesus Christ, that He died to save us from our sins.

Here we are! All 17 of us. Our trip there was long and we had to be rerouted in the U.K. We found out pretty quick how important it was to be flexible and not grumble. This is extremely hard for me when I’m sleep-deprived, but we coped and arrived 48 hours later.

Kenya Airlines, the Pride of Africa

We were picked up in Nairobi and rode a bus to our guest house, which is similar to a bed and breakfast.

Riding the bus to and from points was one of my favorite things about our trip.

I loved the bus! On the bus, we rested, laughed, journaled, prayed, and sang. The first few days we practiced ukulele on the bus. We soon started to wear out of that and it got a little quieter. Our guest house compound was very lush and pretty, in sharp contrast to the Kibera slum, which was dry and dirty. Below are some photos from our compound, showing that there is so much beauty in the little things, if we only look for it and appreciate it.

All of the nature pics above are by Danielle. I’ll show my blossoming photography skills below and in later posts. Notice the difference in the picture quality, comparing the pics above from the ones below. Can you tell which camera is better?

Below are a few images from our first two days in Kenya.

The Kibera children greeted us from far outside their compound and escorted us each day

The children were fascinated by the ukuleles and couldn’t keep their hands from touching, even as we walked up to their compound

The entrance of the Kibera compound has a swing set, and this little boy is enjoying it!

Another view of the inside of Kibera New Hope School compound

Danielle loves the little ones

Cake for Kenya and for Jesus’ name sake

Christianity, mission, Photography

Cupcakes!! Photo by Danielle  Here’s the finished product of cupcakes we made yesterday. Yum!

The theme of my week seems to be this: Many of our mundane and everyday activities can be acts of worship that bring God pleasure. We got to experience this when a great group of ladies and teenaged girls came over for a cupcake/cake decorating class fundraiser for our upcoming mission trip to Kenya.

Look at these girls getting their icing on! It was fun learning some basic cake decorating techniques.

If you are into cake decorating, you know that it only takes a few basic tools to get started and get many different beautiful effects on your cakes and cupcakes. But that’s not the best part! Each person that attended the two-hour class generously gave a donation for our trip. We are now a couple hundred dollars closer to our goal to pay for the mission.

Cake decorating class

Here’s how it all started: Danielle, our fourteen-year-old daughter, has been telling us for months that she feels God wants her to go to Africa this year for a mission trip. We had planned to go to Nigeria in May, but due to terrorism and violence aimed at Christians, it was cancelled, and we were devastated. I’m not exaggerating; we were both pretty heartbroken. We began asking God to lead us wherever He wanted us to go. Meanwhile, Danielle began learning to play acoustic guitar and got a sudden fixation with wanting a ukulele so she could learn to play that, too. I’m not one to run out and buy new musical instruments on a whim, so she stuck with guitar for a while.

Last month when I was chatting on the phone with a friend, she told me her parents are leading a trip to Kenya this summer. The plan is to bring 100 ukuleles to an orphanage in the slums of Nairobi and teach the children how to play their new instruments. I had a surreal moment as she said the last statement. It felt like a dream or slow-motion video in my head. I think I shouted, “What?! Are you KIDDING me?! Africa? UKULELES?!” This is not only what we’d been praying for, but the desire to play ukulele, of all instruments, was already in Danielle’s heart. We are now learning to play ukulele and so excited about our trip that we can hardly stand it!

P.S. We love Africa and have a longing to care for orphans. This is perfect because it just so happens that my daughter and I love music, too.

Danielle fills icing bag. It almost makes my mouth water!

Who doesn’t love cupcakes? All you need is a star tip and icing bag for them to be this pretty. Danielle took this pic while I iced. Doesn’t she have mad photography skills?

We are learning a fun song in Swahili. It translates to “There’s no one, there’s no one like Jesus. There’s no one, there’s no one like Him”