Lisa captured some great moments with several of the children at Project 82’s House of Hope in Molo. Jaxon was playing soccer with some of the other kids and I was, somewhere. She picked up the camera and put her photography talents to work. These kids love having their photo taken, and seeing their faces on the screen. And then the laughter begins.
I want to share these photos in hopes that some of you will feel led to sponsor one of these beautiful children. They are so full of life and love. And, they are very generous with their smiles and hugs. Find out more at Project 82 Kenya.
We wanted to put together a video with more footage and pictures in order to show a broader overview of our trip. It’s nothing fancy, but I produced a similar video from my first trip to Kenya and someone said it really gave them a sense of being there. My hope is that you will feel a tug at your heart.
It is very difficult to condense a one-month adventure into three minutes. God showed us so many amazing things and connected us with a number of great people. Here are a few of the stories and scenes from our vision trip. This was viewed by the congregation at Rising Church on Sunday, August 2nd.
A big “Thank You!” to everyone for your support on this vision trip! It wouldn’t have been possible without you!
There are so many stories to be told here in Kenya. A lifetime could be spent trying to tell them all. One story I wanted to capture was that of Isaac.
Isaac is the watchman at the house we rented in Nanyuki. He is a good, hardworking man who became a good friend to us. His situation is heartbreaking. But it is by no means unique – he was orphaned at two years old, grew up in a corrupt children’s home and his sponsor passed away when he was a teen (if I remember correctly). He said, “At that point I knew my future was over.” Without a sponsor, he had no hope of going to college and gaining the needed education to acquire decent-paying employment.
Currently, he works for the homeowner and the homeowner’s mother at their TWO homes. He is the watchman (at one house), vegetable gardener (at both houses), he is responsible for milking five cows and tending to sheep (at both houses) and tending to the chickens (at one house). He sleeps an hour or two sporadically during the day, and sometimes the night. He never gets a day off. His salary? 5,000 shillings per month.
That’s roughly $50 per month.
He knows he is not treated fairly but said, “I pray God will open another way for me. It’s hard but I would rather do this than be a beggar or a thief.”
I set up the camera to capture his story and the owner arrived at the house. Isaac said we could not continue. For a number of reasons he didn’t want the owner to know he was telling others about his life and situation. If he found out, the owner (his boss) might fire him. Isaac whispered to me, “We can’t record my story on camera, but you go back and tell people at home the truth about me and the people here.”
Isaac is treated unfairly in a multitude of ways. His situation seems to be hopeless. But he has a huge heart. And believes in an even bigger God. We prayed with him and he cried. And we will continue to pray for him.
As I stated, his situation is heartbreaking. And I am so disappointed I wasn’t able to get his story on camera. But he will never be forgotten.
It’s 6:45am the day before we head back to Nairobi to wait for our departing flight. We’ve gotten into a pretty good groove here of planning our days, getting around via taxis and tuk tuks, making friends of complete strangers. Part of the goal for this trip was to see if we could live this life. I know it’s just a small taste of what it will be like, but we have a good idea of what we’ll be getting into.
There were several days when I didn’t feel like getting up to go meet someone new or videotape another heart wrenching story of an abandoned and/or abused child. I just wanted to stay at home with my little family and enjoy this new place on the other side of the world. But at the end of those days my heart was full and thankful for the encounters we experienced.
There were days when I was just out of sorts. Grumpy. And for no apparent reason. When I look back (and admit to myself) those were the times I was slapped in the face with my inadequacy. “I can’t do this. God is calling us to something bigger than I can handle in the future. I don’t even know what ‘this‘ is but I’m not qualified, equipped, smart enough, bold enough or spiritually prepared.” These were times when I was in situations where I didn’t know what to do or what was expected of me. And I really, really hate feeling like that. Even at home I’ve never liked being in that situation. And here it was just multiplied tenfold. I like going into situations where I know what to expect, and what’s expected of me.
Also, being an introvert I need time to process through things I’ve experienced. I haven’t been diligent about doing that. So, some of the frustrations had been building up inside. When I make that time to process and pray, usually early in the morning, it makes a world of difference.
I’ve come to feel a little more comfortable in those unexpected situations. And come to realize God is all I need. He is sufficient. I can’t look to my family to make me comfortable and feel adequate. I need only look to God. And he alone makes up for everything and anything that I lack.
My feelings were accurate: I’m not qualified, equipped, smart or bold enough. But my God is. And that’s all I need to remember.
We are twenty two days into this adventure. Nairobi is our destination tomorrow. We are scheduled to fly out Friday the 24th. President Obama is visiting Kenya and is to arrive that same day. (I may have said all this in a previous post…) There’s a chance the airport will be closed for hours or days before. If so, we will depart earlier. We shall see. The unknown is all part of this adventure. :)
It’s always good to be flexible when on a mission trip… so I’m told.
We had a fantastic time in Nanyuki. It was really feeling like home. We had a hard time saying goodbye to our new friends. Really was hard. As we started our drive to Molo we all wished we could stay longer.
Today we met several Project 82 sponsored students at their schools. What a blessing to hear their stories and shake their hands! We also found out that President Obama will be arriving in Nairobi the day we are to leave. And the airport may close anywhere from 12 to 72 hours before his arrival, canceling all flights. So, the change: we will head back to Nanyuki later this week for a few more days, then go to Nairobi to fly out a few days early. That’s the plan for now, and could change at any moment. Prayers are appreciated as we work all this out while still seeking God’s plan for us here in Kenya.
I haven’t been able to post updates as often as I would have liked because internet access has been spotty. And, we have been meeting people and visiting so many places the time just gets away from me.
It’s hard to believe our trip is half over! We absolutely loved our time in Nanyuki. Getting the opportunity to meet new people (Kenyans and Americans) has been such a blessing. I’ll give a quick rundown of what we’ve even doing…
- Visited a number of children’s homes (some were well-funded, others not so much).
- Interviewed two ladies who are assisted by Project 82 to help care for their baby and grandbaby.
- Helped to feed, hold and play with lots of babies and toddlers at the Neema houses. They have their own stories of tragedy and hope.
- Received hugs from street kids that were so full of joy that it makes my heart melt.
- Met an American woman that founded a home for teen mothers and an American man that runs a home for street kids. Both are very passionate about their work.
- Got to know the watchman of our rental house in Nanyuki. A good man with a big heart. The story of his life is heart-wrenching.
- Doing laundry by hand. Yes, it can be done! And because we have to do it by hand, we could have left 3/4 of our clothes at home.
- So many more stories…
Yesterday we came to Thomson Falls in Nyahururu and spent the night. We will leave shortly for Nakuru to pick up Mary and end in Molo. Most of the remainder of our trip will be in Molo at the House of Hope. Jax and Lisa will get to meet Clinton, the boy we sponsor who I met last time. Jax calls him his Kenyan baby brother.
We will update more as we have access. Thanks to all those supporting us through prayer while we are gone. Can’t wait to share our trip with everyone once we are back in the States!