Anyone that knows me fairly well knows that I am kind of a "stop & smell" the roses type of person. This often does me a lot of good in my chosen profession of photography. I literally stop and smell (and photograph) the roses (flowers) in almost any place I go to. As some of you know, I was graciously given the opportunity to travel to Africa for a month . I got in this past Friday night, where I got to spend a bit of time in Kijabe, Kenya (not too far away from Nairobi). Here in Kijabe lies a Christian boarding school called Rift Valley Academy. I had heard countless stories and memories from my friends all through college about this place. I was ecstatic to get to take a look around and put a picture to all of these stories from dear friends. It is a beautiful campus-- God's peace definitely overwhelms the place and you can see that His hands have definitely blessed it.
I was able to spend time with some of the girls that board there....all of them 4th thru 6th graders. They were so joyful and a blessing to be around. I was also able to get a little piki ride out to see some of the spectacular views of the valley and out to a duka, where I got to have authentic kenyan stew, chipatis and of course chai. All in all, my time in Kenya was wonderful and started off this trip in the best of ways.
The amazing thing about God's peace is that it extends beyond what our little minds can imagine. It says in His Word that His peace will surpass our understanding. It says that His peace will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Peace is something that I have thought a lot about on this trip so far. I am reminded of one of my favorite verses in Isaiah 26:3, "He will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in You." Perfect peace is a result of being steadfast. Being steadfast is a result of trusting in God. How often do we question God? How often do we not really believe that He will take care of us? Peace is not something that we ask for, but rather something we receive as a result of obedience. It is one of the rich blessings of the Holy Spirit, and is a fruit that we can bear in our lives as a result of being steadfast.
I hoped to capture the peace I felt at RVA. I know that is a result of many faithful, steadfast believers working for God's glory for over 100 years. The flowers at RVA are what grabbed my attention the most (again....surprise, surprise). They reminded me of the fruit & beauty that come with faithfulness and intentional care. Someone has to tend to these flowers-- whether it be a gardener or even God bringing the sunshine/rain needed...the beauty that comes is a result of steadfastness.