July 20, 2012
This morning started out early again. Maury and I led the 6:30a.m. devotional for the school aged children. It was a really sweet time and we had lots of laughs as we butchered the song that went along with their memory verse for the week.
One of the things I prayed for right when I went to bed last night was that I could possibly sit face to face with one of the almost 600 prostitutes in Maai Mahiu, who live on what is called the HIV Highway here, and is five minutes from where we are staying. This morning we knew we were headed back to the IDP camp so we waited for our ride from Esther and Paul, our driver. Our purpose in going back was that we had gathered money among our team, from the money our supporters so generously gave us, and we were going back to deliver a sewing machine and table to Eunice, a mother of seven with absolutely no way of income, since her sewing machine burned in the post election terror. She is also the mom of Joe, the boy we took to the hospital to get the cuts all along his face cleaned up and treated. We also were going to deliver two mattresses, with several blankets and sheet sets, along with a large water tank to store water for the 93 year old woman we met the other day, named Jane. We waited for a couple of hours before our ride showed up, but luckily in that time we were able to help the Naomi’s Village housekeepers and fold, what felt like, one million loads of laundry they had hung out to dry.
As soon as Esther and our driver Paul picked us up, Esther said she wanted to take us into the heart of Maai Mahiu to meet with some of the wives of the partners of the Rift Valley Fellowship church that she does bible study with. We also took Margaret with us who works on site here at Naomi’s Village. We quickly picked up two ladies, Ann and Dorcus, and then Esther told us she wanted to take us to a house of three sisters who took care of their grandmother. When we arrived we quickly realized these ladies were prostitutes and lived in a lot of shame, not only at their work, but at the condition of their house and their inability to feed us a meal or offer us anything upon our visit. I was in awe. I leaned over to Carri and told her what I had prayed the night before and not only did I meet one of these prostitutes, I was sitting inside their house, on their couch, praying and singing Life over them. There were several teary eyes and the ladies made it clear they were shocked that a Christian would come in their house, and that prayer had not ever had a place in their home. Esther is a faithful woman here and told them she was in this for the long haul with them and would not be leaving. I am so grateful for the work she does here in Kenya as a pastor’s wife. So thankful she doesn’t sit back and let her husband do the ministry, but that she has her own passion and heart to serve. We took several photos with all the sweet ladies. We had lots of laughs and hugged lots with tears in their eyes. How faithful is God that he answered my prayers so quickly?
Since we were already in Maai Mahiu, we stopped at a local store and bought two huge bags of corn and beans to bring along with our gifts to the two houses at the IDP camp we would be visiting. We arrived first at Eunice’s house and she invited us in. She opened the box with the sewing machine in it and she could not believe her eyes. She was overwhelmed with joy and there was a peacefulness that filled the room. Esther told her she would be picking her up to take her to buy the fabric and supplies that would be the most helpful in helping her start making dresses to sale again. We were so blessed by our experience with her.
Next we went to Jane’s house. As soon as we pulled up she started walking down the path from her house to the road and when she saw us piling out of a truck with two mattresses, bedding, a huge bag of food and a large water container she lifted her hands to the sky, immediately began weeping and praying in Swahili, praising the LORD. She laid her head on each of our shoulders and just wept and wept. There was not one dry eye there. Not one. We went into her tiny house and made up the two beds with the sheets and the warm blankets. We then went down to where you get water and fetched several buckets of water to fill the large water bin we got her. Lauren was able to let her know how much we were encouraged by her great faith in the Lord through such major losses. This was one of the most moving things were were able to be a part of. What an amazing experience.
We finally came back and had dinner with the kids and learned about what our own children did here all day at Naomi’s Village while we were away. They played a lot of soccer and also we packed food to make trail mix for all the children this afternoon. All of our kids led out incredibly in this and served the children here. Crew took several silly pictures with the kids here at dinner and after dinner we had our evening devotion with the kids. Gracie, Courtlyn and Audrey led out in a play about Jonah and the Whale. It was so cute and the kids loved it! They did so awesome.
We closed the night by again praying for the boys before bed. It was such a sweet time and Crew is who everyone wants to pray for them at night. Even the youngest Quincy asked Crew to pray for him and when I asked if he wanted me to pray for him he said NO! We laughed so much.
Again, please continue to pray for us. We have had an incredible time here. Tomorrow we are taking the school aged children to Crescent Island on a field trip. We have heard it is absolutely beautiful. We are very excited. On Monday we will be going into the slums at Lunga Lunga. We have heard that it is a very devastating thing to witness, but our hope is that we will be able to listen to the stories of the people there and as they share, hopefully more and more healing will come. Thank you so much for all the encouragements and prayers! We are soaking up every minute here!