I’ve been wrestling a lot with my desire to be known. For my entire life I’ve been Kylie Kastens… Daughter of Rob and Kelly Kastens. Blaine’s older sister. A red-head. A singer. A student. A children’s ministry volunteer. A Milligan College Buffalo. A disciple of Jesus. I’ve been strong-willed. I’ve been a leader. I’ve been a part of great communities of people. Now, I’m a CMF missionary in Kenya. And that’s shaken up a lot of how I’m known.
For the first time in my life, I am establishing an identity that isn’t based on the ways I’ve been known before. You might say that’s freedom and a fresh start…but it’s been hard for me! I’m still all of those things I have been known for in the past. But no one here knows those things about me. So I have really been reevaluating myself and why I have such a strong desire to be known.
I think it is instilled in all of us to be known by someone. We want to be completely able to be our true and real self with people. When starting all over in a new community with all new relationships, it takes time to find these kinds of people. I’m getting there. But along the way, God has been teaching me that the most important person to be known by is God. And he already knows me better than anyone else. He knows everything there is to know about me. It’s constant through a change in community. It’s constant through any and all of the changes in my life. There is no person in the entire world who can know me better than I am known by God. And what a relief that is! I’ve spent three months wanting so badly to be known by people and God has been patiently waiting for me to realize that he knows me and he knows me best.
The more I have become aware of this, the stronger my desire has become to really know God. I’ve been following him for a long time but never before has my desire been this strong to know him. Sure, I know about his character from the thousands of Sunday school lessons I heard as a child or from moments in my life when he’s revealed himself to me. But now, I just really really want to go after him. I want to be in sync with him and be moved with him like being moved with an ocean wave. I’ve been focusing so much on his presence and trying to always be in his presence. What better way is there to get to know someone than being with them, right? I recently read about a guy who sought God’s presence once every single minute. I’ve been trying this for the last couple of weeks and it has already been life changing. I don’t think I’ve actually thought of him every minute but I have been inviting God to participate in every element of my day. And I’ve seen him in so many places. I’ve seen him in the faces of the many children I’ve seen in the community or at MOHI. I’ve seen him in conversations I’ve had with roommates. I’ve seen him in conversations I’ve had with friends and family in the US. I’ve seen him through the students in the Bible classes I’ve been teaching. I’ve been wanting to know God better and when I’ve looked for him, he’s revealed himself in so many ways.
The past month has been excellent! I’ve been working in the Spiritual Department doing various things. I’ve been working with Pastor Jane, the MOHI Chaplain, by doing some staff devotions, planning events for students, and developing training and curriculum for discipleship and mentoring initiatives. I’ve also had the privilege of working alongside Rahab in teaching a Bible survey course to the students in classes 6 and 7 at the various MOHI centers. I am beginning to establish true relationships with people now that I’ve been in the same department for a solid month and that is a huge blessing. I’ve loved spending the afternoons with Rahab as we’ve taught these Bible classes. Traveling to and from different centers every day has given us lots of opportunities to know each other and I am so thankful for that. She’s even been giving me Swahili lessons! And teaching these Bible classes has been awesome! Thank you Milligan College for giving me a solid Bible education! I never thought I’d be using that education in a classroom setting but I’m thankful and I’ve been so impressed with the Bible knowledge these students have. They have a hunger to learn that I have never seen before. It has been extremely encouraging to me.
The wazungu had a party for the Super Bowl. It was on at 2 a.m. Nairobi time so we stayed up all night to watch the game. Unfortunately, none of the U.S. commercials were broadcasted here. We did get to watch the same rugby commercial over and over again, though.
Sunday, my church, Outreach Hope Church (OHC) Kiamaiko celebrated it’s second anniversary. It was awesome to get to celebrate this milestone with the church! Like any celebration, there were many presentations, lots of worship, and a short sermon. We finished off the day with some cake and sodas. We’re praying for God to keep blessing OHC Kiamaiko, just as he has been for the last two years.