The Barron family: A day in our life in Kenya
What’s it like to be missionary in Africa? For Joshua and Ruth Barron, who serve with CMF’s Church Catalyst Team in Kenya, their days revolve around teaching national Christians and their own six children, whom they homeschool. Here’s a glimpse into a typical day in their family’s life, written by Ruth.
Today is Tuesday. That means Joshua is gone when I get up, off to a men’s prayer breakfast. Meal planning is easy. At the beginning of each quarter, each child plans four menus complete with shopping lists. Hannahgail cooks on Tuesday. Alitzah is already up and working on her first fantasy book when I go into their room to get Hannahgail. Hannahgail is still asleep. I get her up and then awaken the others.
Joshua will be meeting with Sam Tome, the principal of the Bible Training Institute, after breakfast. Tuesdays are good days for meetings, so he doesn’t have to drive the half hour into town extra times. The children and I do group work in the mornings. They do quiet activities while I read history aloud. On Tuesday, they paint, but Alitzah wants to finish sewing her dress. Eliana is painting the dollhouse her daddy made for her. Hannahgail is the craft queen and is on yet another new project. Today, Zerachiah has a toy train to paint, and “the littles” paint pictures. We are studying ancient Egypt right now. Next, we work on anatomy, where we are studying the heart. In read-alouds, we are working on “Island of the Blue Dolphins” and “Twelfth Night.”
After lunch, I remind the children of which independent work they need to complete that day in math, spelling, handwriting, etc. The piano teacher is coming today. I am available to help with schoolwork but not to nag.
Every night has an activity for those who have done their work. The children know that if they do not complete their work, they won’t watch the second half of the movie we started last night. Now, it’s “littles” time. We read books together.
While Shalviah naps, I work on my writing projects. I am currently working on a math storybook set in Kenya. Moloi, the Maasai leader with whom I work closely in my writing, is working on a master’s in education, focusing on math. He hopes to change how math is taught here.
Joshua is back in his home office, working on his lessons for the Discipleship Training Institute class he’ll be teaching next week. When Shalviah awakens, it is time to push her and Ahaviah on the swing, review school, and listen to the “bigs” and “middles” tell me about their latest projects.
After evening activities, we head to bed. Tomorrow, there will be more school and writing for me, more office work for Joshua. Each day has its own events. Sunday and Wednesday afternoons includes sports. Thursday is homeschool co-op day for the children, research for Joshua, and prayer ministry for me. Each week has its special events — classes, meetings, travels. For me, the focus is school, writing, and prayer.
Though many picture Africa as an arid place, I have found that God has been faithful to His promises and has planted us in a rich soil in which our family is able to grow and bear fruit.