Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Kenya: First Full Day
July 18, 2012 This morning Crew and I both woke up about an hour before the sun. We waited patiently in our beds reading until we heard the first voices of little children outside. It felt like Christmas morning. We hurried and got dressed and ran down to meet all the children. We realized we were saying goodbye to about 14 school aged kids. We then went and had English muffins with the babies and toddlers. We couldn’t meet them fast enough. After breakfast Crew ran around with a few of the boys outside and I went to help the little girls brush their teeth. I happened to look over and see one little girl who is maybe 4 years old, gagging. I quickly picked her up and ran her to the sink and found myself rubbing her back and head as she continuously vomited. Another little girl, who could be no older than four was brushing her teeth next to us. She reached over and rubbed her sick friends back and said over and over “So sorry, friend.” Later that day we learned that sick little girl had watched her mom burn to death from a gas pipeline explosion. The government had been warned that there was major danger with this pipeline, but did nothing about it. The death toll from the explosion was right over 100. Naomi’s Village received five children through this tragedy. Even though it’s such a tiny thing, I felt such a huge responsibility as a mom to her in that moment. She no longer had a mom to rub her back as she threw up. Praise the LORD she has moms at Naomi’s Village who step in and provide this. We wasted no time and quickly found ourselves meeting a sweet man named Joseph who lived in the IDP camp here. IDP stands for Internally Displaced Persons. The people in the IDP camp (about 1500) have been living in tents since 2007. The government makes promises to help and build them houses, but they have never done anything. In the last year, Habitat for Humanity took notice of them and have begun building them square stone houses with a tin roof and no electricity or plumbing. They must still walk and fetch their own water. Joseph took us to two houses where they were in great need. The first house we met a mother, Eunice, and two small boys Sami and Joe. Joe had been cut on the face and then his cut got infected. The infection is now spreading across his face. Of course he has had no vaccinations so he is in desperate need of a tetanus shot as well as medical attention for the infection. The mother has absolutely no income and the father is away for weeks at a time searching for any day labor work he might find, which is few and far between. Eunice used to have a sewing machine and made dresses that she sold for a good profit at the market. Since her house burned in the post election riots, she has not had a sewing machine or any way of making an income. Finally we asked how much it would cost Eunice to get the hospital card to get Joe the help he needs, our friend told us it would cost 1 US dollar. My heart immediately dropped and I understood truly the state of poverty these people were in. The best part of this visit for me was that Crew had pastor Isaac interpret for him as he asked both of the boys if they knew who Jesus was. They answered him no. He proceeded to share the gospel with these boys and how Jesus died on the cross for their sins. He also shared his whole story of how he came to know Christ himself. The boys were so encouraged and loved having time to talk with Crew. Crew also prayed for them and taught them how to give hugs. The children have little to no affection because their parents are still in shock and basically are just trying to survive. We moved on to an elderly lady, probably in her late seventies. Jane finally had a house built, but there was nothing in it besides a small water bucket. We asked what she slept on and she said she has one blanket that was issued to her shortly after she was displaced in 2007 and that she slept on the concrete floor, rolled up into her blanket. June had also lost all three of her children within the last two years and was left to take care of one grandson, she smiled from ear to ear the whole time we visited with her. She talked about how GOD had been her great comfort through each step of this massive storm and how much she loved Him. We were all blown away about how God truly is who He says He is. He can get us through anything. He truly will be enough. Our team, finally pulled together and realized for very little US money, we could provide Joe all the medical attention he needed, Eunice and new sewing machine and sewing supplies, as well as Jane and her grandson a huge water drum to store their water, and two mattresses with all the bedding they will need to stay warm. The church planters who drove us to the camp will be buying those things with the money we gave them and we get to actually give them those things on Friday. Joe will get medical attention even sooner than that. We all talked about how thankful we were to our financial supporters. Literally their money given is immediately helping some of the most needy people in our world. For lunch we ate a great Kenyan dish called Ugali. The Kenyan food is actually really delicious and it has been fun to try all the different food. After dinner, with more great Kenyan food, we ended the night by saying bed time prayers with each one of the boys in their dorm beds. Crew and I laid hands on each one and echoed the same prayers over and over. Crew told me he wanted to lead out so he prayed first and then me. We prayed first that these boys would know the salvation of the LORD and that they would be saved. We also prayed they would develop a great love for Him and follow Him all the days of their life. We asked that they might grow up into great men who were leaders as awesome husbands and fathers.Thank you for praying for us. Please continue as we pour out to these Kenyan people as well as the staff here. Jet lag is starting to set in a bit as well, especially for these kids, so please pray for strength that we will persevere and seize every moment. What an honor and a privilege to serve our Great God! I am truly overwhelmed and we have just begun this journey. I miss my babies left behind at home, but I am absolutely assured there is no where else I should be, but here. It’s been amazing sharing these moments with Crew and seeing what an amazing man of God he already is. Thank you for praying for us. Please continue as we pour out to these Kenyan people as well as the staff here. Jet lag is starting to set in a bit as well, especially for these kids, so please pray for strength that we will persevere and seize every moment. What an honor and a privilege to serve our Great God!