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Rurup Family
ted | liisa | jonathan | collin | teah | timothy

Journaling the Journey

August 12, 2013 by Ted Rurup

Been a long time since I posted any journaling’s. I apologize for my silence during a deeply felt part of our lives.

We savored Kenya with our colleagues and friends, in work and home. Ted was able to plug back in immediately with the Distant Boat. He felt deeply the cohesiveness and camaraderie of the OFM team, the sense of belonging and capacity to do more together as a team than as individuals. We were impressed at God’s goodness in giving OFM unity and creativity, humility, joy, and friendship. Very special summer. Ted returned to work the same day we landed, end of May; and in June Ted traveled to the coast and did reshoots and shot lists for gap filling in the movie’s visual storyline. He worked hard hours, long days, and loved every minute.

June 29th was a Multi-Family Garage Sale where we sold our things. Our dog Mitch stopped eating after the sale. African friends told us that he wanted to “go with us.” He was old and faithful, beloved and now gone. Even in his going, he was Old Faithful, and helper to the kids. His going forced them to deal with us going. And they can already speak of him, as all good memories can be spoken freely and often about.

Mitch

July 2 was our goodbye time at the AIM AIR hangar. July 6 was a goodbye with a wider missionary community. At both, friends made us cry with speeches. Then they snapped the movie slate in front of our whole family and said “Take Two: Rurup Family Adventure” and prayed for us.

July 12-15 OFM retreated to a farm and cabins in Eldama Ravine. Millions of pink flamingos, games of horseshoe, cows Teah milked, and icecream from the same, the whole experience was spooned out of shared bucketfuls and overloaded our minds and hearts with gratefulness. And surrounded by all the families of OFM, Ted baptized our littlest son Timothy in the waters of the Bogoria hot springs.

Timmy BaptismJoy all mixed together with sadness trying to say goodbye to Africa. July 17 friends from Gatab village arrived, after days on the tops of semitruck, in the backs of pickups, in crowded minivans, or waiting in between each leg of the journey. It was a lovely generous African goodbye and lingered a few days. They began traveling back north again July 20.

July 20 we ate dinner with the Komens, a huge and lavish goodbye feast Mama Kip had cooked, food enough as if we had twenty children instead of only 4. Remember Simon and Lydia Komen took us in to live in their home with their family back at the start of our life in Africa, January, February, March 2001. Long-time friend Daniel Kiprop drove in from the city of Eldoret to be with us there as well. July 21 our Nairobi church prayed us out. July 23 we left Africa.

It was a time of a million decisions, and most of us feel like we need to sleep until next year now. We absorbed the visceral differences of being in Africa:  a feeling in the air, the constant summer even in cold season, the smell of smoke that lingers through the city, the broken roads, the beautiful children, the warmth in the greetings and emphasis on hello and goodbye every day, the caring of African friends.  The children each packed a locker and sorted through their things trying to find appropriate gifts to give to their friends to remember them by.

Aunt Bev & Teah

OFM’s core Distant Boat team achieved “picture lock” with marathon (all day and all night) sessions of work. Mid-July, the Distant Boat moved into finalizing post-production:  song scoring, color correction, graphics, etc. Mission leadership decided they want to fly Ted out for the premiere and release of the movie. This meant a great deal to all of our family.

Many things the Lord brought together in ways we could not have. God helped 2 of our Samburu friends to make the horrendous journey from Gatab to Nairobi without a vehicle. They rode on the tops of semitrucks. They got stuck in villages with no food and only tea to drink. They traveled for several days working their way down. This was extremely loving and helpful especially since we could not make it up to Gatab this summer.

teamretreat 13Another gift was who moved into our house after us- longtime friends. Handing over a lot of our things to them and imagining them in our dear little home made it all easier. It does not feel like we have abandoned ship. We left the work in very capable hands and left loved ones in warm embraces.

MY grace is sufficient for you, the LORD wrote in his word and a friend reminded me today. She read from Streams in the Desert,  “Don’t make the facts of God into hopes and prayers. This is a fact. His grace is sufficient for us.”  We were welcomed by a loving group at the airport. My mom brought 30 to 50 pounds of food. Mr. and Mrs. Frank Brown came with a vehicle to carry our 12 pieces of luggage. My old college roommate, her husband, and their 7 children drove up to the glass doors in front of Baggage Claim with a minivan for us to use, and a whole laundry basket full of food including 3 glass baking pans. She said, “You keep the glass baking pans!”  They all not only welcomed us but drove us all the way from the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport to Wisconsin where Mr. and Mrs. Brown have welcomed us to stay indefinitely in their home. Generous, generous, loving, soft landing.

We have visited 2 churches since we landed, slowly exploring, finding a new church home. Jonathan and Collin will be attending Liberty Classical Academy in Maplewood, MN, and we are looking to buy a home near that school. Within a week, or actually on the eighth day of being in America, we made an offer on a little home very near the school. Last week that home was inspected and tomorrow it will be appraised. Maybe this is the home the LORD would have us in for the next “while”. My mom is doing well and my dad is doing well and uneventful summers behind them both. We are grateful to be in daily phone contact and frequently being able to be within arm’s reach of mom, being part of each other’s life.

Ted’s new work begins this week. He is studying how best to represent AIM and how to be an encourager for those God is calling into missions. We both need to learn to use a PC, and a new computer software, and we will set for ourselves a course of reading and learning on mentoring and management, spiritual leadership and discipleship training. I am really excited to work with Ted as much as can fit with the needs of home and family and homeschooling Teah and Timothy. Close friends and my mom maybe would advise that the first book I study is the one on time management? My start date is flexible and may need to wait until we get the children settled in school and a home.

I am really excited though to learn these things and to meet the people God brings into our lives. Working together with Ted is something that reminds me of Gatab. In Gatab our whole family was involved with the work of living and serving. He flew, we flight-followed, helped ambulance the injured or sick, or even gave blood to someone Ted had just flown in.

The precious life of Christ we see in the Bible, in our prayer life, and in other Christians inspires our tender heart for missions. African Christians became eternal friends; and we made missionary friends from every continent who have given up many things and found that it was not a sacrifice because of the worthiness of Christ. A missionary colleague wrote to me today about inviting people to know that if they accept Christ today and die tomorrow because of it, HE is that much of a treasure; that it is worth it.

The homemade acronym I have been pondering is attached the letters in the word VISION.
V…irtue- God working out the image of Christ in my life and daily situations
I…nspiration- trusting the Holy Spirit to energize the native territory of who I am
S…piritual Pursuit- prioritizing my first love
I…ntentionality- supporting flexibility with purposefulness
O…ld Friendships -honoring the gifts God has given
N…ew Friendships -opening my heart and time to strangers who may become friends

Right now we see through a glass dimly, but nothing is cloudy for God. “His eye sees” -Psalm 11. And as we come “home” to America, we are trusting in His vision. It is the Rurup family grand adventure.
-Liisa

Published in: Uncategorized    |       Discuss this article »

The Distant Boat

July 13, 2012 by Ted Rurup

 

 

This is the start of our fund raising campaign to begin shooting our feature film we’ve been preparing for.  To see the site click on this link:  distantboat.com And share it with as many as you think might be interested.

-Ted

Pedaling in Time

July 4, 2012 by Ted Rurup

He was going fast but going nowhere. Timmy pedaled hard in our drive, little training wheels stuck and slightly lifted on a tree root.  The back tire spun freely, and he grinned as he sped up without moving at all.  Life in Nairobi can be like that, minus the grins -a city renowned for traffic and rush. A friend living in Northern Kenya laughingly says we have the watches but they have the time.

Marcus and Quinetta Thomas visited from Texas for two weeks in June, and we traveled with them to the North of Kenya.  And we took time.  Every day we got time to pray with other Christians. It seemed rare to me. Time lay like treasure there on the surface of the ground, it needed only to be taken, chosen, grabbed, palmed, pocketed.  I read Hebrews chapter 10 just yesterday and heard verse 25 as “be together and pray together more and more often as the Day approaches.”

We came home and “pedaled.” Laundry piled up from sickness and travel and little city water for the past 8 weeks. Internet went out for 2 or 3 days and then came on slowly.  Email would hardly go. Health insurance claims waited in nebulous unresolution from March and April’s trips to the ER with Teah for IV and nebulizer.  We helped some friends sell and give their things away as they close their time in Kenya.  We made a curriculum order for homeschooling Teah and Timothy this fall and prayed about how things will work out for Jonathan and Collin to go to Rosslyn.  Ted and team wrestled over logistics and financing for possibly doing a movie this fall -a missions movie for the African Church.  Ted finished a video for Shalom University in Bunia, and the team began post-production on the 2 videos shot in Marallal, one for multichurch pastors and one for emergency medical evacuations done by AIM Air.  We studied the calendar knowing it will be some time before Ted can actually put together the Tirrim video.  (We cannot wait.)

But daily prayer together, and with our children, and with others, is something gained from our time with Marcus and Quinetta and not to be lost but continued.  Not part of pedaling faster, prayer humbles our wheels to the point of connection with the ground.  Feelings change about the experience of prayer -a shot in the dark, or an intimate date with someone admired and enjoyed, or an audience with an authority.  But Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  He is the reality underneath any true momentum.

-Liisa

Published in: Events,Family Tags: , ,    |       Discuss this article »

For the Children

March 3, 2012 by Ted Rurup

The men, I am told, were on their knees in the gravel, hunting each bit of maize that had fallen from the broken relief food bag.  They didn’t neglect even one kernel, but collected it all, saying the Borana word for “the children” each time they picked up another piece of the scattered maize.  “The children.”  “For the children.”  I imagine it was almost a quiet chant inspiring “Think of the children.” “The children.” “Get it all; don’t miss one that could help to feed our children.”

I was in my little tiny kitchen in our otherwise spacious Nairobi home.  Friends were coming for dinner but weren’t there yet.  I still had time.  But clumsy or hurrying, I spilled the rice across the kitchen countertop.  I returned the bulk of it to a glass jar, and I was tempted to sweep the remaining bits into the handy icecream bucket that doubles as the composter for the garden.

But suddenly it seemed like I was on that far north Kenya mountain top, standing quietly behind those men I had heard of.  I was watching them determined to pick the maize from crevices in the trailer and the gravel, and I was listening to the urgency inside their patient perseverance as they intoned their word for “the children.”  I imitated what my mind saw them doing; picking my kitchen countertop rice grain by grain, stony bits of sustenance met their companions in a prayer for children here in Kenya.  I wanted there not to pass one more generation without a sweeping realization of the
thirst quenching draught that is Christ, and of the parching heat and brackish water that is any other way.  And i was praying for myself too, to drink more often and more deeply.

Prayers came for the children to be fed spiritually as well as physically.  Another pinched rice grain synchronized its sweep toward the kettle with an asking that the children of north Kenya would not let another generation pass without revival.  Let the little children come; let them be coming en masse to love Jesus, drink of His living water, and feed on God’s word in a way that provides strength even in hungry times.

I was in my little tiny kitchen in an otherwise spacious land full of beautiful people, many of whom are desperate in a way I can hardly know or address.  But God is familiar with each person’s entirety, including their suffering.  Scripture says each one can cast all their cares on Him because He cares.  May Kenya’s children not be robbed permanently of the ability to perceive this tremendous glory of God.  May this be a generation who is given the Lord as their portion.
-Liisa

Published in: Family    |       Discuss this article (1) »

Turning 40 in the Congo

January 31, 2012 by Ted Rurup

Birthdays in our family are pretty sacred, but we won’t manage to hold this one true to the day.  Tomorrow early morning I leave for a 9 day trip to Bunia, Democratic Republic of Congo. I leave with two others of our OFM team, and we get to tell the story of Shalom University, the last man standing, so to speak, of higher education in NE Congo.

But before we can tell their story we have to discover it.  We have to find out why this school can grow from 60 students to 860 students in four years, while being in a town so full of conflict it takes the continuous presence of the world’s largest UN peacekeeping force to hold off the violence. Shalom University, the irony of its name is hard to miss. Yet this place can be described as no less than a catalyst for the transformation of Congo. What a story to tell, and what a way to turn 40!                  -Ted



The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily
reflect those of Africa Inland Mission International