|With Njeri in 2007.|
Our families had lost touch, but sometime in the mid-90's my Aunt Jeri was visiting Kenya and asked someone how she might go about finding Njeri. The local asked her what her maiden name was, and when he heard, he exclaimed, "There's an Njeri Miller living up on that hill." Aunt Jeri knocked on the door, and Njeri invited her into her home, where Aunt Jeri saw photos of herself, Mom, and my grandparents. We've stayed in touch over the years, and though I haven't made it to Kenya yet, I have had two miraculous connections with Njeri!
|Njeri in 1999.|
|With Mom and Alice in 1999.|
Then, in 2007 I was back in England, where I got to perform "Lazarus" with some Swahili translations for Alice's church. I learned the start of a Swahili praise song, and opened the piece with that. They all joined in and went way past what I had memorized! I can still sing some of it: "Sifu bwana, sifu bwana, dayama. Moyuwangu, sifu bwana, dayama."
Later I was at Eltham College, where Eric Liddell had attended school. I was interviewing the headmaster and had an idea for a shot of their choir singing a song which was written about Liddell for the documentary Olympic Hero in China: The Eric Liddell Story. In the midst of scouting for the documentary I got a text from Mom saying she couldn't get to Heathrow in time to greet Njeri. So I hopped on the next train... the wrong way! I turned around, got off at Piccadilly and transferred to the metro bound for Heathrow. As soon as the door opened I sprinted for Arrivals. Just as I came bounding up, someone was pushing Njeri out in a wheelchair. I calmed my breathing, walked up like I'd been there for a good long while, gave her a Kenyan handshake (flying down from up above), and said, "Jambo!" That's a Swahili greeting. I also know a few phrases of her tribal language, Kikuyu, so I was also able to say, "Wimwega." That was about it until Mom was able to arrive with Alice who was able to take over the translations.
In my post from December 14, 2007 I wrote:
What are the chances my trips corresponded with hers without either of us knowing of the others' schedule either time? Only the One who set up both visits knows.Njeri "Miller" Gitonga went to be with the Lord earlier this month. My heart is filled to the brim with gratitude for how she cared for my mom and how the Lord allowed our schedules to connect in England twice!!
Our prayers are with her whole family!
|With Njeri, her son, Kamau, and Mom.|