Surviving on Faith & Avocado Sandwiches

I will never forget standing at the “stage”(bus station) in Nairobi Kenya, May of 2012.

Everything was different and new. And I mean everything!

Willie, me and our 3 kids ages 1.5 years old 3 and 5 had just moved to Africa. We also had our good friend Michael Smart there to help us get settled. It was only our first week in Africa and I had no idea what to expect. Willie had been here a month earlier. But even he had only been out in the bush for about 2-3 weeks. We had a lot to learn.

It was time to get on the bus. At that time we didn’t have our own transportation so we used public transport for the first 6 months.  Let’s just say using public transit made things very interesting. We were taking the bus about 8 hours outside of Nairobi to a place called Rongo to minister. It was a long ride! We did get to see some Zebras and beautiful country though. It was straight out of National Geographic.

IMG_1603( Willie & Samara on the streets in Rongo)

They dropped us at the bus stop in Rongo which was the nicest hotel in “town”. 

We were all just standing there with all our bags around us. The kids were wore out and so were we.

We hadn’t totally adjusted to the time change.  Jet Lag was still working its power on us. We went and talked to the Hotel to find out about rooms. So you can relate, it wasn’t even anything like a motel 6.

Here was the thing, it was $20.00 a night. We were on a tight budget. When I say tight I mean TIGHT! We could NOT afford it. We had to budget for the next few weeks and that was just to much for us. We gathered all our stuff up found a taxi and went to the “hotel” Willie had stayed at earlier when he had come. It was the “Classic Hotel”. They gave us 2 rooms for $6.00 a night. Much more in our price range.

One room for Michael and one for Us. They said that our room had “2 big beds”. The boys could share and Samara with us. Although we had lugged a stupid play pen across the world we couldn’t use it because she needed a mosquito net and we didn’t have one. So she slept with us, for months.

The beds were the size of a full matters. What they failed to tell us was that they had put the bed on a smaller frame. The mattress didn’t fit in the frame. So every night the boys just rolled into each other. They would wake up on top of each other fussing.

Welcome To Africa!

Along with the Jacked up bed frame, the smell of the pillows and blankets were like nothing I had ever smelled before.

They washed them by hand with bar soap. That didn’t take out the body oder smell.

It’s a good thing I was raised like a tom-girl, camping and  outdoorsy! It helped prepare me for my future. You really appreciate the smell of bleach on your sheets in hotels in America if you’ve slept on what we’ve slept on!

Besides that there was a power surge and it blew the light in our room like a grenade. It never got fixed so we didn’t have electricity for the whole 8 days we were there. The toilet leaked all over the floor in the bathroom when it flushed accompanied with a lovely smell. Plus they had been doing work on the water so the shower didn’t work for a few days, then when it did it was filled with dirt. We made it work though.

But of all the the things I’ve mentioned it was the food that was the biggest challenge…

There were no restaurants or grocery stores.

I had no idea what to cook or even how to cook anything. We walked around the little town. What we  found was amazing avocados, tomatoes, green peppers, a couple loaves of white bread and packages of potato chips. So I kid you not when I say, that is what we ate everyday, EVERY meal for 8 days! Lets not forget we had some bananas as well.

DSC04365(First Time to walk around a small Kenyan market in Rongo)

You may be asking, “why in the world would we do this” and especially with our little children!

Some people might say its reckless, irresponsible or even careless! However, there are those of you that know why.

Because we chose to listen to a WORD from God. A word that said, “GO”.

We chose and still choose to live out on the rugged edge of faith. Where you put everything on the line and step out of the boat, despite the wind and the waves. You dare to put all your trust on a word from God and walk on water. You put aside fear, fix your eyes on Jesus and bet everything on what He has called you to.

We had known we were called to full time ministry. We knew we were called to the Nations. We knew we had heard God say go. So that is what we did. We gave away everything we owned, got a small partner list together, and bought our plane tickets with the money we had totally debt free. We didn’t have an exact plan but we had a word.

DSC04439(The kids playing in Rongo with the kids there)

Many believers want to see God move in there life.

Want to see His power working. Want to step into their called place and know their doing what they were put on the earth to do. But if we want to walk on water we have to get out of the boat! We have to take a step, we have to move in the direction God has given us.

Fixing our eyes on Christ and following His word.

Many of you aren’t called to do what we did/doing. You may feel called to start a business, go to Bible college, switch careers maybe your called to ministry or possibly keep doing exactly what you are doing.

Let me encourage you,

the word God has spoken to you or is desiring for you to hear is filled with GRACE and POWER. That word has everything you need to succeed. That word Jesus spoke to Peter in Mat 14:28 had all the power in it to turn water into pavement. It wasn’t till Peter looked around at the wind and waves that he began to sink. By the way Jesus caught him!

We were not about to look around at our avocado sandwiches, jacked up beds and let our focus falter!

We had to keep our eye on Jesus.

Then, after we had been there for 5 days, we did a deal for some materials and it went bad. We couldn’t get our money back, it was about 200.00$. Which was almost all we had at the time. It looked bleak in the natural.

We could of chose to look at the wind and wave around us. I remember we were just walking in the outside area of the hotel. Lots of thoughts were trying to enter our minds. Willie and I were walking and praying in the Spirt. Then, I just let out a SHOUT. You know a shout of triumph. Then Willie shouted. Then we both shouted and we began to run around that place. Jumping, shouting and rejoicing! Choosing to glorify God. Choosing to focus on Jesus and His promises to us in the Word! He had not called us out to Africa to fail, but succeed.

We were not about to give up and quit.But we are not of them who draw back”… Heb 10:39 

We have chose to live a life of adventure with Jesus out on the rugged edge of faith, walking in the light of his grace.

No other life will do for us now. Besides what would I say to Jesus in heaven if we had quit… “Sorry Jesus, your word wasn’t enough. Ive had enough avocado, I cant stand the smell, we didn’t have as much money as we wanted.” I just cant imagine standing before Him saying that!

Lets choose to live this life like its the only one we have; oh wait, it is the only one we have!


DSC04436(Samara’s first week in Rongo, she was 1.5 years old)

God has a great adventure for your life. No risk no reward. So lets live each day fellowshipping with our Father, letting Him deposit in us His plan. Letting His word renew our minds. Praying and praising, building ourselves up for the adventure God has for us!

Honestly, when I look back, Im thankful for that time, those precious memories.

I can look at how far God has brought us.

I can build my faith on God’s faithfulness!

Money did come in, Praise Jesus. We bought bus tickets and went to a bigger town called Kisii. There we found a pretty good hotel called Mash Park. It still has a very special place in my heart. They served a breakfast buffet in the mornings. We ate that breakfast every morning we were there and it was amazing!!! They had omelets! An omelet never tasted so good in my life. We also could order food from the restaurant they had. Rice, chicken, chapati and my favorite CHIPS (french fries).

We didn’t have all the answers on what was next. But we were ok with that. We are still ok with that. We just need a WORD.

Lots of Love Rachel

1 Life 2 Live 1 Life 2 Give

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8 thoughts on “Surviving on Faith & Avocado Sandwiches

    1. Kelly, I know that God has amazing things in store for your family and you!!! Just know that as you “go”, Ill be praying and standing with you! Love you xoxo

  1. Wow i love reading your story! I love kenya i met my husband there while on a mission trip i lived there for 6 months volunteering at an orphanage. Kenya holds a dear place in my heart i cant wait to return one day! May God bless all you and your family are doing! I feel called to missions and sometimes it feels like it will never happen but i try to wait patiently knowing Gods timing is perfect.

    1. Melissa, thank you so much! That’s awesome you met your husband here! My advice for you is to enjoy where your at now, keep your vision before your eyes and take the small steps that God gives you towards the future.
      Love and blessings, Rachel G xoxo

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