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Guest blogger Kristine Ndirangu has been visiting Summit from Nairobi Chapel for three months as part of a church staff exchange program. Today is her last day in the office, and she heads back to Kenya on Sunday. The staff, particularly the Communications team, has loved having her here these last few months, and we are going to miss her! In today’s post, she shares about what her time in Orlando has meant and bids us farewell... for now!   

It’s been three months… three months… that I have been part of the Summit and the greater Orlando community. It is unbelievable indeed how fast the time has zoomed by. I remember clearly the first day that I stepped outside the Orlando International Airport; it feels like yesterday. In short, the saying is true that time does fly when you are having fun.

Summit has been home for me these past three months, from its people to the ministries and all the relationships that I have developed. I came in with one goal in mind, and that was to further the relationship that exists between Nairobi Chapel and Summit Church, but I leave here with my own new relationships and amazing experiences. During my time here, I have been able to work hand-in-hand with the Communications team at Summit, who I learned from, shared with, and taught about different aspects of ministry between the two churches. It has been a fair exchange. I thank the team for allowing me to be part of SUMMIT MAGAZINE, where I got firsthand experience of how they diligently work to produce the magazine. This is an amazing team, with exceptional individuals. I really wish that I could take all of them back to Nairobi Chapel as I leave.

I got to spend time and live with an amazing couple, Alan and Pam Devaul, who hosted me during these three months. I keep telling them that they are my American parents because they are exactly the same as my parents back home. They have cared for me, taught me spiritually, fed me, and made me laugh every day. I will surely miss the smell of the banana bread that Pam bakes every Sunday morning to take to Summit’s Lake Mary campus. I thank God that they opened up their home to me and welcomed me as one of their daughters.

Summit and Orlando have pleasantly surprised me. In this place I was able to grow, face my fears, and tick a few things off my bucket list. I visited places that I had only read about in magazines and seen on TV. I got to ride my first rollercoaster (which happened to be The Hulk at Universal). I got to go sky diving, which I never thought I would do in a million years, and lived to tell the tale. God is Great. I visited NASA, which made my brother eternally jealous (I now have the upper hand), but most importantly, I got to share more about my faith and love for Christ. I attended a Connect group that focused on the Bible and doing life together. I have been constantly directed to act and live in faith and in my love for Christ.

I asked John Parker the other day, “Do you feel that I have fulfilled my reason/assignment of coming to Summit?” And he answered me without hesitating that indeed I had. I hope that this is true to the rest of the staff members at Summit, that in my coming here they have learned that there is more to gain from the partnership that exists between our two churches. I pray that before the year is out, we would have someone else come from Summit and get to live and serve in Kenya and at Nairobi Chapel. I thank Summit and Chapel for this opportunity, and I thank God for keeping me and sustaining me throughout my time here.

I will not say goodbye, but I will say till next time!