This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not
that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:9-10

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Shoes for Souls

I wanted to share a video that Jay made for Howie and Kenya's elementary school. If you're interested in giving towards this cause, you can donate on the cause's facebook page or get in touch with me! 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Your Love Never Fails

Easter Sunday is coming to an end here in Kitale and I have to admit that today was a little more difficult than I anticipated. I knew it would be hard to handle being away from my family on this holiday. The Butler family is all about Easter. For as long as I can remember we've always celebrated Easter with more enthusiasm and spunk than most families. It's the time of the year we all gather together to both celebrate and remember. It's a time to rest in the knowledge that in death comes life. That's the story of Jesus, and a theme that's been more prominent in my family over the last few years than I ever imagined possible. (That's an entirely different blog post if I ever feel confident enough to gush about that portion of my life online, but that's not very likely. This subject is much more of a one-on-one conversation kind of thing.) Over and over again, God has shown me that in the midst of death He brings forth life. I am so thankful for the life God has given me through Jesus Christ. That he has relentlessly chosen to love me, despite all things, because that's who God is. I want to share with you the lyrics to one of the songs I've grown attached to during my time in Kitale. It's called Your Love Never Fails. I love singing these words to God because he's shown me that His love is tenacious.

Nothing can separate
Even if I ran away
Your love never fails

I know I still make mistakes
But You have new mercies for me everyday
Your love never fails

You stay the same through the ages
Your love never changes
There may be pain in the night but joy comes in the morning

And when the oceans rage
I don't have to be afraid
Because I know that You love me
Your love never fails

The wind is strong and the water's deep
But I'm not alone in these open seas
Cause Your love never fails

The chasm is far too wide
I never thought I'd reach the other side
But Your love never fails

You make all things work together for my good

I'd like to encourage you to take some time to meditate on these words, remembering that His love never fails. It never fails.

On a different note, here's something my mom wrote a few years ago about our family's Easter tradition:

If you’ve joined the Butler family at Easter, you know that we are big fans of gathering together to celebrate. I’m positive the kids in our family would surely call Easter our family’s biggest tradition. We love gathering family and friends and having a big day of food, fun and fellowship. 

This year, as I’m putting away the plastic eggs and continuing to clean colorful confetti out of the house and sidewalks, I find myself wanting to acknowledge the inspiration for this annual family holiday. Her name was Shirley Butler, my mother in law. Ed and I both have fond memories of family Easters as children; however, neither celebrated Easter as grandly as we do now. We wouldn’t miss it. I’ve often said that sometimes two plus two equals five . . . it’s momentum that often blossoms something normal into something much larger. 

Granny’s first granddaughter, Lauren, was born on Thursday, March 31st. That year, in 1983, Lauren’s first full day on earth was Good Friday and we came home from the hospital just in time for Easter Sunday lunch. Thanks to a capable, loving husband and excited brand new father, who could then, and 26 years later still can enlist the troops, our first family Easter lunch came off as a big hit. Grandparents, aunts and uncles arrived that Easter morning to be on the “Welcome Home” and “Happy Easter” fun committee. Each Easter just grew from that big day forward in our lives. 

Grandma Moore, Aunt Peggy, and Aunt Linda particularly jumped right in and helped us celebrate. The next year, Lauren was just old enough to venture out to the backyard and proclaim with each and every colorful egg: “UH OH!” - and now years later our family has another set of little girls to share the excitement.

My favorite moment of this Easter actually came the morning after the big egg hunt in our front yard. I was tipped off that the Easter bunny might have visited our mailbox and there might be something hidden there still. I ventured out with Olivia, the youngest of the great granddaughters, to investigate the mailbox. We pulled open the door together and both looked inside. Olivia looked at me with surprise on her face and reaching in she pulled out not one but two confetti eggs! Giving me one and keeping the other for herself, Olivia knew just what to do. She deliberately poked one of her tiny little fingers into the pastel tissue and turned the egg upside down. She and I left a thin trail of confetti all the way back up the driveway. And, I thought, mission accomplished. My family loves Easter just like this little girl’s great grandmother did]\ Shirley hadn’t been with us on Easter for eleven years now. She died in March 1999 just before Easter. 

And now, instead of letting Easter take a back seat to other holidays, I cherish the tradition that my husband, Shirley’s youngest son, and she began.

Easter egg hunt (confetti eggs and all!) with my Kitale family!

Love these girls so much! 

 Singing under the stars- perfect way to end a day spent celebrating the resurrection of our Lord! 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Removing jiggers at a village of Turkana people who live just outside of Kitale

Jay pole vaulting on our compound

The girls putting up streamers for Jay's birthday!

Monkeys playing on the fairway at the Kitale Club golf course 

Little Nancy

Jade, Leila and I - love these girls!
            family workouts
International dinner- Americans, Rwandans, Kenyans and Ukrainians! 

   Cody skillfully making samosas!                                           Jade, our expert tea maker!

Medical clinics with Sister Freda

Hannah, our expert golfer!

Hannah playing in her golf tournament 

Making chapati in the dark because the electricity went out (againnn)

Dress like an African day!

Cody soaking Lucy's jigger-free feet to prevent them from coming back

Elizabeth :)

Oasis of Hope

girls versus boys volleyball at Oasis

Helping Hands

Pizza night! 

Jay using a neti pot for the first time!

the boys playing matchstick poker

Cody and his best friend, Boaz!

walking home from church 

Our favorite piki piki driver, Elisha

Amy's Birthday!

Jam session with our friend Alan, a patient at Sister Freda's Hospital

Shimo La Tewa High School (no window panes- typical of Kenyan schools)

Jay playing music for piki piki drivers on our walk home from Shimo

Jay joining in on the brick making fun!

A village of Trukana people just outside Kitale

This area is called "Section 6"

singing praise songs after a medical clinic with Sister Freda

Margaret's first Bible!

Soccer at Shimo La Tewa High School

Liberty Sports Club's girl's soccer team (yes, Jade and I played on their team!)

Jade and I with coach

Liberty Sports Club's boy's soccer team

game time!

admitted to the hospital for typhoid and pneumonia- Kenyan IV 

Jade looking cute in our bed on the first night of my hospital stay 

movie night at Oasis!

Peter, aka P.I.G. - love him, even if he's a Barcelona fan

coloring with the first grade class at Oasis