Tag Archives: mission trip

Inside in a Green Desert

Sometimes I wondered why I had come. It was a last minute decision. I missed my kids. I was surrounded by doctors, nurses, dentists, and evangelists who spoke the language way better than I did and who had skills to offer that I could never come close to offering. It was me, a team of 80 Kenyans, and one other American. Sometimes I wondered why I had been invited, but I came, observed, tried to communicate, and helped were I could.

The jobs were never glamorous jobs counting out pills in the pharmacy and helping peel a literal mountain of carrots. But, I was happy to be apart of a team ministering in the remote mountains of Kenya no matter how small the job.

Pokot reminded me of a desert, cactus, camels, and thorns everywhere. But, this desert was a green one with leaves mixed in with the thorns and a muddy river nearby. The people dressed more like the remote Maasi tribes of Kenya—large beaded necklaces, gauged ears, and men and boys in plaid wrap around skirts. Small boys with walking sticks in hand herded scattered flocks of goats. Camels rambled through our makeshift dwellings. It felt at times like a whole other world tucked peacefully in the mountains untouched by the stresses and noise of modern life.

Green Desert

Over 500 people showed up the first day for medical and dental care. Councilors were on hand to provide spiritual help to those who wanted it. Evangelism teams walked miles to talk to people in their homes and were greeted by receptive listeners seeking a relationship with God.

 

I joined the Sunday school team. We taught the children Bible lessons while they and their parents waited to see a doctor. The first day we had a small group. The second days we were mobbed with children. I still felt more like an observer than an actual teacher as our translator seemed to be doing such an excellent job of teaching the kids that I  didn’t want to interrupt her flow.

 

Bible story time

Bible story time

Then I met Kipilat. I had seen him come in that morning a slender boy on crutches. He was nimble despite only having one leg, but when all the other kids trooped up the hill to hear a Bible story and to play games he shyly stayed behind. I invited him to come join us in the little broken Swahili that I know. He answered me in Pokot and stayed right where he was. I went to get Elizabeth the other American on the team she works with people who need artificial limbs so she sat with Kipilat for awhile and with the help of a translator they talked for awhile. He was still hesitant to join the other kids. Elizabeth told me that many children born without limbs are seen as having been cursed, so they are often afraid to be around other kids their age. Kipilat seemed to have one good friend a little boy around his age who would come and check on him and hang out with him. We finally convinced him to join us. He still sat away from the other kids, but near enough to hear the story. I gave him a pen and some paper to draw, and he seemed to do well as long as he wasn’t getting too much attention.

 

Elizabeth and Kipilat

Elizabeth and Kipilat

Elizabeth has taken it upon herself to help get Kipilat get an artificial leg so that he can walk to school (right now he is attending nursery school even thought he is 12 years old) and have a more normal life. The boy has been living with an uncle so getting the leg paid for is going to take awhile, but the doctors have agreed to do the surgery now and then raise the money to pay for it. The cost of the leg is only $500 and the cost of the surgery is $800. I’ve asked Elizabeth how I can help because this little boy touched my heart. She told me that for those living outside of Kenya money can be given to

AIC-CURE International Children Hospital
Account Number: 7336323
Bank name: Barclays Bank of Kenya Limited
Bank address: PO Box 14403-00800 Nairobi, Kenya
                      Tel: +254-20-4442685; Fax:+254-20-4453164
Branch: Westlands-Nairobi
Swift code: BARCKENX
Branch code: 022

and for those in Kenya money can go through a pay bill account or brought in person to Cure Children’s Hospital in Kijabe.

 

Kipilat and his friend

Kipilat and his friend

I am excited to see how God will provide for Kipilat. He is scheduled to come on Thursday to begin preparations for surgery. He is such a sweet boy, and I hope I get to see his face when he takes his first step on his new leg.

Kipilat

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Kenya, Travel

Please Send Me to Africa…

Africa

It’s a little bit scary seeing a dream come together. Part of me is so excited it feels like a dream and the other side of me is scared out of my mind wondering if everything is really going to work out.

I’m excited about moving to Kenya and working at the Riziki Children’s Home. I can’t wait to begin working with Kenyans who are building into their communities and tackling tough problems. I don’t want to be the pushy American who thinks they have all the answers. I want to support the work that is already going on. I want to learn. I want to help where I can and be a part of something bigger than myself.

The plane tickets are purchased which is so exciting. This trip is something I have wanted to do for so long. Now it is finally starting to feel real, and that is an incredible feeling. I get to travel on the way out with one of my best friends who is coming out for a short term trip to also work at the orphanage. My friend has always wanted to do an overseas mission trip, and it’s been such a pleasure doing trip planning together. Well, except for the shots which are scheduled for a week from next Friday. That part I’m not looking forward to, but I told my friend that if she gets me through the shots. I’ll get her through customs and airport security.

So we’re going to Kenya with an eleven day stop in Europe. I’m so blessed to have friends who are willing to host my friend and me. If everything goes right we will be able to spend time in London, France, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland, and possibly Germany. Even writing that sentence scares me a bit because at this point I don’t really know how I am going to pay for everything. But this is such a once in a lifetime experience, so I’m just praying that everything works out.

I’m scared because I’m the type of person who likes to have everything planned out. I budget, I write lists, I want every detail set before I take the first step, but at this point I can’t have that. It’s a one day at a time thing. Planning what I can but learning to let go at the same time which is something I’m not very good at.

So…. I especially appreciate prayers right now. Prayers for wisdom with trip planning. Prayers for finances, prayers for time management and prayer for just a sense of peace because so many times I just don’t have a clue what I’m doing.

But, as I think about going to Africa for 6 months to a year, my heart feels truly happy something I haven’t felt in a long, long time. I feel like in away I am returning home. It’s where I grew up, it’s where I feel comfortable and welcome. As they say, “you can take the girl out of Africa, but you can’t take Africa out of the girl.” I know I’m American, but a piece of me still feels very at home in Africa. Growing up, the song Please Don’t Send Me to Africa had it’s popular streak to the point of being annoying. In the song the songwriter pleads with God to honor his one request and never send him to the continent of Africa. My siblings and I wrote our own version of the song, “please send me to Africa I don’t think I have what it takes to live in suburban America I miss my spiders and snakes.”

8 Comments

Filed under Travel