Monday, January 21, 2013

After over 4 years in Kenya...

...I am finally moving home.

Let me rephrase that.

We are moving home. To Canada. Kelvin and me. We.

Let me fill you in.

When we got married, we had no intention of leaving Kenya anytime soon. We were comfortable and we were thankful for the work we had. Slowly, we began to realize that it is incredibly hard to make ends meat in Kenya. I, for one, cannot legally work in Kenya. Even if I did manage to find a job, the cost of the work permit would probably suck up all my income. Kelvin has been involved in ministry since he finished high school and never got the opportunity to pursue secondary education. And running a successful business in a slum area turned out to be harder than we thought.

Around April, we started kicking around the idea of going back to Canada. I was against it at first. The thought of leaving Kenya broke my heart. But as we continued to pray, seek God, and see what is going on around us, we decided that going to Canada for a season would be the best option. What is in Canada? Opportunity.  Opportunity to go to school, to work, to start a family, to have decent health care, to save money, etc. It's a funny thing when you get married. You start thinking about the future like babies and careers and retirement and so on.

Let me just say that Canadian Immigration in no walk in the park. It is a journey in itself.

Upon researching the best option for immigration, we decided to pursue Permanent Residency for Kelvin. On the official Immigration website, it says that the average processing time in Kenya is 34 months. We had heard that over 80% of people are processed in 15 months. Yikes! That would mean we wouldn't be in Canada till 2014.

We began filling out forms and getting all stuff together. Finally, we sent the application in on September 17th.

December 6th, we get a letter requesting for Kelvin's passport. His online status said a decision has been made.

January 15th, Kelvin's passport arrives in the mail WITH A VISA TO CANADA!

People, that is less than 4 months!

We are leaving Kenya at the end of February! Why so soon? Well, Kenya is having it's elections on March 4th. It is really uncertain on how all will play out but if it turns out to be anything like last time, we definitely don't want to be here. It would mean a lot of staying in the house and waiting for weeks for things to calm down. Kelvin thought it would be best if we rushed a little to get out before elections.

Crazy, eh? We must thank God. Our Heavenly Father who surprised us with His timing but we are so so grateful.

We are excited and nervous and sad and anxious and ecstatic and all sorts of other feelings. I am not sure what awaits us or how we will deal with being in a different culture. Kelvin will go through culture shock and so will I. We will feel lost and scared and uncertain. But we will also feel loved and taken care of and hopeful. Kenya has hugely shaped the woman I am today and I am leaving a big piece of my heart here. Kelvin is leaving everything that he knows and has grown up with and entering a completely foreign place. I am getting all teary-eyed just thinking about all our amazing youth, family, and friends who we LOVE so dearly. Saying Goodbye sucks. It just downright sucks. There. I said it.

Once we arrive in Canada, we will be living in Castlegar for a while to get our feet planted. We are still praying about work and school and babies. We don't plan to be in Canada forever. Our hearts are still here in Africa. But we feel the need to get better equipped and supported to do the work God has placed on our hearts.

What will happen with the Rehma Family??

Because this has been something we have been planning for a while, we started a while ago to step back and allow the youth to take more initiative in their own programs. Of course some things will stop, but the majority of what we have set up will keep going. We still need a bit more finances before we leave. Currently, we have sponsored 7 youth to go to college and high school. Both the boys and the girls are starting small businesses as a group and need the capital to begin. If you would like to make a donation to help us ensure that all will finish school and businesses will be started, please click the donate button on the left hand side of this blog.

We cannot express your gratitude for all your support over the years. Kelvin is SO SO excited to meet all the people who have loved on us from afar. We will be seeing you all soon!

Tunawapenda sana sana sana!
We love you all so so much!


  1. We The Makaus are happy for you guys, my wife was happy to read this !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.To God be the glory

  2. I am SOOOOO excited for you darling!! Change is so good. I have some exciting news for you too, but i'll email you! Don't worry, no babies! haha, something cool though!

    1. haha i was totally thinking babies. Thanks for clearing that up! Can't wait for your email!

    2. And so another adventure begins...

    3. God bless you guys in every way. My cousin Kevin and Nikole. May the Lord go before you guys.

  3. not more i can do but pray for you both to have a purposeful life as you've had back here.God bless,Tj

  4. Hi Nikole,

    Thanks for including us in your mailings.

    We are wondering if you would mind if we included this blog in ISKRA as a follow-up to the story that you submitted for our April 2012 issue.

    Best Wishes,

    Stephanie Swetlishoff

    Editor, ISKRA Publications

    Union of Spiritual Communities of Christ