Thursday, June 7, 2018

In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb

Dear Team,

We have just come back from mid-term break and are ready to help meet the needs of our students and staff to end the school year strong!  The month of May was full of ups and downs.  As John and I looked back on the month we decided it came in like a lion, and went out like a lamb.

The beginning of May was cold and wet!  John records the high/low temperature each day and the total rainfall.  In the first few weeks of May we had over 9 inches of rain (average is 6) and we have had over 30 inches of rain this year (average for a year is 37).  We didn't see the sun for what felt like most of May and our high temps showed it.   Since John is in his classroom most of the day teaching or preparing for math class, I am responsible for keeping the house warm and for entertaining our busy four year old girls.  My fire making skills are improving!  At first I could go through a whole box of matches and still not have the fire started.  In my defense the matches are tiny!  Now I can get the fire going with just a few matches and have learned how to keep the fire going throughout the day.  Good skill to have since the fireplace is our dryer for our laundry on these humid, cold days!
Three days a week I have help with the laundry and with the twins.  Momma Mary is a local Kenyan who comes to help us.  Her first name is Emily, but with Kenyan culture it is proper to be called Momma plus the name of your first born.  So you can call me Momma Ruth. 😃
Momma Mary helps me to rotate the wet clean clothes trying to dry in front of the fire.  She also makes yummy chai for Gracie, REALLY SWEET hot chocolate for Ruthie (or that is how Ruthie says it) and delicious bread!  She takes a chai and bread break at 10 am and 3 pm each day.  She makes it for herself, our girls, and our outside worker, Joel.  I often will make my own tea since I'm allergic to milk. Chai is warm milk with tea and LOTS of sugar (this is why Gracie loves it so).
See the pics below!

To help with the "winter blues" the high school principal declared May 23rd "Warm Winter Wednesday".  The students were encouraged to dress in winter gear and bring a warm drink to class.  Many students wore scarfs, mittens, boots, and hats.  One of John's geometry students from cold Canada wore snowflake earrings and a snowflake ring!  To help keep the students warm on this Warm Winter Wednesday, I provided hot water, tea bags, milk, and sugar to John's classes.  It was rainy most of the day, so with my umbrella in one hand and a container of boiling water in the other hand, I would walk down to John's classroom after each class and refill the carafes of warm water. His geometry students were reviewing for a test that day, so it worked out perfectly that they could get up and refill their cups whenever they wanted to.   The students appreciated the tea and many stopped me to thank me.  What a fun and easy way to reach out to the students!  While at the store last week, John and I bought small cups so we can do this again for his next review day!

The Titchie (elementary) Musical was performed on May 13.  I had been helping to direct a group of 5th and 6th graders since second term.  The students did an outstanding job!  My favorite part of the experience was praying with the students (see picture below).  Before the performance, the entire cast and crew, along with the three staff members and student director, met behind stage and prayed.  We opened it up for any student to pray has they felt prompted and I closed.  I had to keep my composure!  The students' prayers were simple, yet sincere.  Many prayed that God be the one to receive the praise and glory for the performance.  Oh, to have faith like that of a child!

The day of the performance was also my first Mother's Day without my mom.  To be honest, the week leading up to Mother's Day was harder than the actual day.  On Mother's Day, after the performance, my family took me to lunch at one of our favorite places near Nairobi.  The sun was shining and we were able to enjoy our lunch as a family outside.  There were other children that played duck, duck, goose with our girls and to keep things funny, one young boy came over several times and put his finger in John's ketchup!  We could see where is family was sitting.....he had his own ketchup but just really wanted John's!

John and I had prayed for a family and waited a long time to be parents (we both had dreamed of being parents long before we met and were married in 2013).  On this first Mother's Day with my dear Mother in Heaven, I focused on being thankful that I was a mother and tried to be with my girls in the moment.  I am one lucky Mommy!!

As the month went on, the sun started to shine again and the last week of May brought the anticipation of mid-term break.  We spent the break doing fun things as a family!  We visited the Giraffe Center (click on the words to learn more about the giraffe center), went swimming at a hotel in Naivasha, and ate at Amani ya Juu, Cafe Ubuntu, Curry On, and Java House.  I have included pictures and more details below.

At the start of June, we have several prayer requests:
*Please pray for the heath of our students and staff.  Several students returned from mid-term with colds.  I specifically could use prayers for my medicine to help fight off a bacterial infection. I may have eaten or drank something over break that has made me ill.  I am getting better!!
*Please pray for the students to stay focused on their school work and to finish the year strong!
*Please pray for the staff coming next year.  There are some dorm parents who still need to be fully supported and there is a need for a few more teachers.

Please let us know how we can be praying for you.

In the love of the Savior we serve,
Momma Ruth for the Myricks
Gracie and Momma Mary enjoying Chai
Momma Mary
The girls are helping Momma Mary make naan.

Praying with the Good News Cruise cast and crew before the performance.

The Titchie Musical

Mother's Day at Brackenhurst

Enjoying the start of mid-term and May going out like a lamb.

Amani ya Juu in Nairobi.  The girls loved the pizza and playground.  John and I loved the relaxing atmosphere.  I was excited to have a delicious glass of iced tea, but it may have been the ice that caused my illness. 

The Giraffe Center in Nairobi.  The girls discovered that if they worked together, one could feed the giraffe while the other one petted the timid and soft animal.

This giraffe was so tall we had to feed him from the deck.  You can see from the look on the girls faces that they loved meeting the giraffes.

John loved the giraffes so much he tried to kiss one.  The girls said, "YUCK"

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

I Love A Rainy Night

Our backyard with a foggy, rain.
Our front yard with a foggy, rain.
It is 6:47 in the evening here in a cool, wet Kijabe.  Supper is finished and the dishes are done. My wife is on the couch reading a book while fighting a fever that seems to be going around campus, Ruthie is in the kitchen, standing on a stool and pretending to wash the dishes, and Gracie is painting a water picture at the table. John is sitting on a stool enjoying the fire.  We are enjoying the last few days of break and preparing for the return of the students for the start of term three in just a few days. 

The second term at Rift Valley Academy went well for the students and the teachers.  John continued in his role of Geometry and 8th grade Math teacher, and Becky continued in her role of mother of twins, class sponsor, preschool teacher, and general manager of the household.  Although the substitute for John during the end of the first term was excellent, “Mr. Myrick” was welcomed back by his students.

Life at RVA is always busy, and second term was no exception.  John worked hard to stay ahead of his hard working Geometry students, and Becky took the leading role of teaching the preschool program. Normally, the parents divide up the teaching responsibilities, but after teaching the first two weeks of the term, Becky decided to stay on as the lead teacher to give the kids some normalcy in the program, establishing routines for the classroom.  Other parents helped out throughout the term.  Becky also took on the directing of the acting part of the elementary musical, which will be performed the third weekend of this coming term.

We were able to buy a car here at the end of first term, taking possession of it when we returned in late December. The car has proven its worth in taking us back and forth to Nairobi for shopping and dentist appointments. This last weekend, we took another family with us to Ol Pajeta, a private game reserve close to the base of Mt. Kenya. The rains have come to Mt. Kenya and the roads were exceptionally muddy. John enjoyed navigating the park in his four-wheel drive Toyota Prado. The car has some age on it, it’s a 1995 model, but had been refurbished well by the previous owner.
John is teaching G about lions as
one rests by the road.

On the left, John has help while driving slowly through the game park.  The sunroof made a great extra window to watch the animals from.  We will post another blog with more pictures and stories from our safari!

A savanna elephant.  We saw over 50 adult and baby elephants
In our effort to bring a blessing to the people around us, we will often stop and pick up passengers heading up or down our road from the main road.  We had a new adventure the other day when John stopped to pick up a few RVA workers heading up the hill for home after work one day.  Those workers called to some friends, and before we knew it, we had ten people in the back of the Prado, and area the size of the back of a station wagon. They chatted happily with each other and the girls as we took them a couple of kilometers up the hill. Grateful for the ride, there was not one word of complaint as they unpacked themselves to unload at their various destinations. 

We were grateful to everyone for the encouragement and support during the unexpected passing of Becky’s mother, Sandy.  Our home church, Lone Jack Baptist, gave us tremendous support, conducting Sandy’s funeral, providing the meal for family and friends, and encouraging us as a family. They also gave financially above all we could ask or imagine. Their financial gifts covered the entire cost of the unexpected trip home. God is good, and He used many of you to bless us during this difficult time. 

The long rains have started in Kenya, so we are having cool temperatures, with a high of about 60 yesterday, and wet days, with nearly 4 inches of rain in the last four days. This is a good start to the rainy season and, God willing, the people around us will be able to grow enough food this year.  Hunger is a constant concern to the poor in Kenya and the blessing of a successful rainy season is important to their health.

As we look forward to the start of third term classes on Monday, please pray for the following:
       1.  Pray for the rainy season to bring enough water over the next six weeks or so without flooding out the shambas (gardens).
       2.  Pray for the students as they prepare for the third and final term of the school year. Pray for the many who must say good-bye to their parents as they settle into boarding school again.
       3.  Pray for John as he seeks to share Christ and teach the principles of God in the mathematics classroom.
       4.  Pray for Becky as she works with the students acting in the Titchie musical  (5th and 6th grade).
       5.  Pray for Christ to be shared liberally with those who do not know him, both here in Kenya and at home where you live.

Thank you for your prayers, love, and support.  Please let us know how we can pray for you!

In the love of the Savior we serve,
John, Becky, Ruthie, and Gracie Myrick

We celebrated the twins' 4th birthday at Turtle Bay Resort on the Indian Ocean!
We took a 6 hour train ride and
 two hour taxi ride to travel to Watamu, Kenya.

The girls enjoyed drinking hot chocolate and chai by the pool!

We went looking for shells during low tide.
We found many beautiful shells!

A local showed us where to find sea urchins and eels during low tide.

The Indian Ocean!  The water was extremely warm!

R and G enjoy a Traffic Light drink by the pool!  What a fun and relaxing way to start our break! 


Sunday, February 25, 2018

Soaking Up the Son!

Hello Team!  We wanted to send out a quick update!  In four weeks second term will be completed and we will enjoy a four week break!
John has been busy teaching geometry and 8th grade math.  He is working on improving his speed while running on and off campus.  This past weekend he taught Sunday School for 8th grade boys and is waiting on the government to process his paper work to begin driving the school buses.  He will be able to drive students to sporting events, special activities, and to the airport.

Becky has been teaching preschool on Monday and Friday mornings.  This keeps her busy!  She is also helping to direct the elementary musical, Soaking Up the Son, which will be preformed the third week of third term.
Becky reading to all ten students.

We are enjoying sponsoring the 8th grade class and are starting to plan for our big event, 8th Grade Celebration, third term.  We also have hosted our caring community several times this term.  This past Friday the boys rolled out their own dough and made personal pizzas.  They also loved winning prizes as they tried to unroll them from a saran wrapped ball.  We had filled the ball with candy from Halloween and Christmas!  The favorite prize was a coupon to have dinner with our family!  I'm sure they will want pizza!

In the last four weeks of second term we have several prayer requests.
Please pray...
- for the students' health.  We have had many students in the past 48 hours become sick with fevers and colds.

-our enderance, wisdom, and strength these last four weeks.  We want the staff and students to finish the term well.

-our administration.  Please pray for wisdom and compassion for the needs of the staff and students.

-for Becky's Dad, Jerry.  He is having a medical procedure on Thursday.  Please pray that everything goes well, wisdom for the doctors, and pray for the family helping to care for her Dad during and after the procedure.

-for our family as we continue to grieve the loss of Becky's mother.

-for Ruthie and Gracie as they celebrate their 4th birthday on March 26!   

We appreciate your prayers!  
Thank you for the Christmas Cards and Valentine's Day cards we recieved!  Mail has been taking 2-4 weeks to arrive at RVA from the states.  There is plenty of time to send a birthday card to the girls!  If you want to add something flat to their card, then stickers, bandaids, a DVD, and pictures can be sent with the international stamp.  Our address is:
P.O. Box 80
Kijabe 00220


We know that many people in our home town have been battling ice.  Here in Kijabe we have been soaking up the sun!  Today the temperature was about 80 degrees in the shade.  We will enjoy this weather while we can.  We pray that the rainy season will come soon.  But once the rains begin, we lose our warmer temperatures.  So we will be thankful for the rain and will soak up the SON as we preapre to celebrate Easter!

Please let us know how we can pray for you!

In the Love of the Savior We Serve,
The Myricks

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Community, Cookies, and Rain

Multiple times a term, we open our house to students for an activity called Caring Community.  John and I have a group of six 8th grade boys in our group, and they love to be active and do active things.  Soccer and Dodge ball against other groups are always hits, but this last Friday night, we did a different activity.  We had the guys in for a night of playing Wii and making Hand Cookies.  Hand Cookies are just like they sound.  You roll out dough, place your hand on it, and then cut around it, creating a hand cookie. The boys had a blast making and decorating cookies and racing Mario Cart over and over again.  By the time it was time to go, the boys were full of cookies, poor Mario was worn out, and it was pouring rain.  After praying over the boys, we sent them back to their dorms with a few more cookies for the road, and in true missionary kid fashion, they never batted an eye at the rain.  They fun group and we enjoy having them in our home!!

John cutting out Gracie's hand cookie after he traced her hand.  Hand Cookies are a family holiday tradition that Uncle Dan Dixon shared with us.

Guys playing Wii in our living room.

Ruth decorating her hand cookie.  Since we were limited on time, we added chocolate chips and chocolate smarties before we baked the cookies.  We usually add icing and candy after the cookie is baked and cooled.

Gracie and her hand cookie.

One of the guys enjoying his cookie.  We used Aunt Shelly's recipe and they were delicious!!

Hand cookies ready to bake.

I took this picture from our kitchen.  You can see our kitchen table and the guys playing Mario Cart Wii in our living room.
Speaking of rain, the rains seem to have come, even though it is not the rainy season.  We have been having rain in the afternoons the last several days, with brief showers of maybe .05 inches, but over the last 36 hours or so, we have gotten more than an inch and a half. Rain is always considered a blessing, even when it comes out of season.
The girls trying out their new raincoats and boots!

 Please pray for our students, for the rains, and for God's blessing to remain on us and on Rift Valley Academy as we seek to serve God.

In the love of the Savior we serve,

John and Becky, Ruthie and Gracie

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  Since we still have jet lag, we celebrated the New Year with Missouri's time! Midnight in MO was 9 am here.  It seemed strange knowing we were already in 2018 and the family we were face timing with were still in the year 2017!!  

The past few months have gone by quickly and there are moments that are still blurry to me.  At the start of the trip we quickly began planning my mother's celebration of life and ended our trip with the celebration of our Savior's birth.  Both events included time with friends and family, which was just what we needed!  We didn't get to see everyone we wanted to see and do everything we wanted to do, but we were thankful for the time we had.

We are grateful for your prayers and support!  In our earlier blog we listed several prayer requests.  On a personal note, we could still use prayers for our transition back to Kijabe, Kenya.  I have had a bad case of jet lag that has caused me to rest more in bed and on the couch.  I pray the dizzy spells will end soon.  We are slowly catching up with our sleep and the girls were only up 3-4 times each this past night.  Students start arriving on campus Tuesday and John starts teaching on Wednesday.  We still have a lot of unpacking to do and are being creative with meals since our deep freeze quit working while we were gone.  I'm thankful my friend Kate offered to pick up some grocery items for our family when she is in town today.  I was too dizzy to go with her.  We have had neighbors bring us bread and snacks, so we are thankful those things too!

We know you have been praying for our family to find a vehicle, and our prayers have been answered!  We were able to buy one from a family who left in December.  We had a lot of help from friends at RVA since we were taking care of the purchase while we were in the US.  Once we have our insurance sticker we will be able to drive it off campus.  Our first big trip will be to purchase a new deep freeze!!

Again, we wish you a Happy New Year!  Please let us know how we can be praying for you!


The Myricks

PS- Thank you for the Christmas cards sent to our Kijabe address!  We have enjoyed opening them and will hang the pictures around our house!!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas

..."Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."

Luke 2:10b-11

The coming of Jesus was indeed "good news of great joy" for the world. Mankind was lost and without hope, but Jesus, our Savior changed all of that, and through Jesus, there is hope and peace with God.  Becky and I hope your Christmas celebration was a time of healing and and a time of hope and celebration of the gift of Jesus. 

Becky and I are preparing to return to Kenya after the passing of Becky's mother brought us home at the end of October. We have been able to spend a good amount of time with Becky's father, and have been able to enjoy the holidays with family. Although death is inevitable for us all, it is always unexpected, and it always reminds us of the things that are really important: faith, family, and love for one another. 

We were able to witness God's hand at work in many places as we returned to the states.  From the time we recieved the news of Sandy's illness until today, we have recieved blessing after blessing. From the support we recieved from our teammates and friends in Kijabe, to seats togther on the flights home, to God providing experienced teachers to fill in for the last month of the first term, to us arriving home before Sandy passed, allowing for final good-byes to be said. We were able to see many people and able to reconnect with some of our supporters.  Our home church informed us a little over a week ago that they were covering all of our traveling expenses including the round trip tickets, taxi expenses, and food while in transit.  This has been a tremendous blessing to our family.  

Please keep us in your prayers as we return to Rift Valley Academy on the 28th of December.  Pray for the students as they prepare to return to school. Pray for safe tavels for families as the travel during the first week of January for the start of school on January 3rd. And remeber to keep Becky's family, and all of us in your prayers as we mourn and heal from the loss of Sandy. 

In the love of the Savior we serve, 

John and Becky, Ruthie and Gracie 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

October Update and Prayer Requests

It is now October and our families in America are starting to enjoy the beauty of Autumn.  Here in Kijabi the days seem warmer as we wait for the short rains.  It is dry since we had little rain in September.

Mid-Term break begins this Friday after lunch and the students return on Tuesday, Oct. 10.  Our family is checking out one of the school's cars and traveling to Nairobi to stay at a missionary guest house for two nights.  Please pray that we will be safe while we travel (John's first time driving since he returned to Kenya) and that we will be able to rest over the break.

During Mid-Term the boarding students return to their families or spend time with their guardians off campus.  Please pray that the students' have a safe and positive break.  Some of the students may travel a great distance, so please pray for their safety while traveling.  As they return, please pray that their hearts will be guarded from homesickness.  This will be the only break before term ends on November 25.  Returning to school can be a tough transition for some of the students.

Next week (Oct. 11-15) is Spiritual Emphasis Week.  Please pray for the speakers, band, and students. 

The girls continue to attend preschool on Mondays and Fridays.  There were 14 kids in the class, so the class was split in two.  The groups take turns using the indoor classroom.  The other class meets in the elementary library and does other outdoor activities.  Becky will be teaching five times starting the end of October.  Please continue to pray for wisdom and patience for the teachers and growth for the preschoolers.

Our family is looking for a vehicle.  Please pray that we will have patience for God's timing and that we will have wisdom while making decisions. We want to find a car that will be safe and reliable for our family.

Thank you for your prayers and support!!
Please let us know how we can pray for you!!

In the love of the Savior we serve,
John, Becky, Ruthie, and Gracie
Ruthie and I made Bear a car.  I love how the girls use their imaginations!
We gets some interesting looks from the workers on campus when I'm pushing the girls.
 I don't think they are used to seeing a double stroller.
Girls are playing on a unique swing here on campus.
The seat from the swing has an incredible view!!
Playing in the leaves!
Autumn 2016