Monthly Archives: July 2013

They’ve Come from Far

“They’ve come from far,” she said. It was 4 a.m. We were sitting on the couch drinking ginger tea and talking until the sunlight slowly crept through the windows. The caretaker’s wife had had an asthma attack in the middle of the night and had knocked on the window of the children’s home asking to borrow money so that he could take his wife to the hospital.

I was glad Margaret had decided to spend a couple days at the home. She and her husband had started the Crying Children of Africa project after growing attached to a group of children living in IDP camps. Most of the kids lost their parents after the political violence which took place in Kenya back in 2007. It has been a long time coming, but the children were able to move into their new home in January.

Abba’s House, a beautiful home with a bright red roof and seventeen precious children living together as a family. Most of the children lost their parents during the political violence. A couple of them had parents died from AIDS. Two of the kids are from Picot a very remote area in Kenya. They were found abandoned after their fathers were believed to have killed their mothers. The one little boy was found trying to nurse on his dead mother. Stories that break my heart and make me squeeze the kids just a little bit tighter when they want a hug.

With the caretaker and his wife safely on their way to the hospital, Margaret and I stayed up just talking. She told story after story about how God had lead her and her husband through the process of starting this children’s home. I listened amazed at how God has worked through this Kenyan couple bringing people along the way to help them during the journey and providing what was needed at just the right time.

“They have come from far,” she said telling me about how James used to take off his gum boots and hug them to his chest when he walked through mud because he didn’t want to get his precious shoes dirty.

Later in the week Alyssa and I took on the project of organizing the kids shoes. Charity still has the shoes she came with. A pair of sandals made out of an old tire. Now when I look at their shoe shelf I see rows of neatly stacked shoes with polished black shoes for school and a variety of gym shoes in various stages of disrepair. Now our project is to get all of the kids gym shoes that fit, have laces, and are in good condition so that when they play outside they will not get any foot injuries (we had four foot injuries just last week). My church back in the states just collected shoes and is sending out two suitcases this week stuffed with shoes, clothes, and other goodies.

It makes my heart happy just being able to be a part of these 17 kids lives, and I’m so thankful for everyone else who has taken an interest in them as well. These kids are going to go even farther in life. I see it in their eyes and in their love for God. I’m just thankful that I get to walk along side them on this incredible journey.

Charity and her tire shoes

Charity and her tire shoes

Washing shoes

Washing shoes

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Filed under Contemplations, Kenya, Travel

Some Times it Pours

I’m sitting on my bed listening to the soothing sound of falling rain and wondering how to even start this blog post. It’s been a week—ups downs and everything in between. I’ve been in Kenya just over a month now and overall it just feels right, but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been some bumps. Two weeks ago Ruthann, who has been working at the children’s home for over a year, left to spend four weeks with her family. The same day she left the kids’ teachers decided to go on strike (of course). I wasn’t left by myself though. Vicky, who is Kenyan, works at the children’s home five days a week and does an amazing job cooking. A couple days after Ruthann left Alyssa, who is a new volunteer, arrived.

The best part about the strike is not having to get up at 5:30 am to get the kids ready for school. The four youngest kids are still going to school because they go to nursery school (kindergarten) which is still in session because the teachers are paid by the parents and not by the government. But, getting up at 7 am to get them off to school is much easier than getting up at 5:30am.

Fast forward to Thursday. I walked to get the littlest kids from school and James, the tiniest one of the group, was drooping as he walked. He said his eyes hurt and he was hot all over. I carried him home on my back and checked his temperature when we got to the house. He had a fever of 102 which really worried me because he is so tiny. I can literally put my thumb and middle finger around the bottom of his leg he is so small. Vicky and I took James and two of the other girls who were not feeling well to the hospital. After several hours of waiting the doctor finally saw the kids and sent us home with a bag full of meds.

Friday I woke up with a sore throat. I didn’t think to much of it but as the day went on I keep feeling worse and worse. By the time I went to bed I knew I was sick, and I spent the weekend either in bed or on the couch helping when I could but feeling pretty useless. I blew through my only box of Kleenex and my nose was not happy with my when I had to switch to toilet paper. Every day I would go to bed hoping to feel better in the morning but wake up only feeling worse. The nights were the hardest. I would wake up at crazy hours of the night with a fever and a sore throat that hurt so bad that it would take me forever to fall back to sleep. By Monday, I starting feeling a little better and by Tuesday I was able to function again.

The rest of the week went fairly smoothly. Most of the kids ended up getting sick as well but didn’t stay sick for long. On Wednesday Alyssa and Vicky took one of the older boys to the doctor, but the rest of the kids seemed to get better on their own. Alyssa and I started doing school at home with the kids and for the most part that has gone well.

We’ve taken a lot of walks, gone to a nearby field to play football (soccer), and enjoyed movie night on Fridays. The kids have really been great. They work hard, play together well (for the most part), and are a pleasure to be around.

On Monday afternoon I was starting to feel worn out again. I was sitting on the couch listening to one of the kids read and started thinking about how much I wanted to take a nap. Just as things were starting to look a bit over whelming, Pastor Simon and his wife drove up and gave Alyssa and me the chance to go to Kijabe for a couple days rest. It’s been wonderful- a hot shower, electricity, and good Internet access. Today we headed over to my aunt and uncle’s house where we baked some chocolate chip cookies and just hung out. It’s been nice being able to rest, eat something besides rice and beans, and just take a little breather.

I already miss the kids though. They have such a big piece of my heart, and I’m already ready to go back. Here’s just a taste of my life here. Enjoy and pray that what they are now calling the endless strike will come to an end.

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Filed under Contemplations, Kenya