Well today is October 8th. We leave Kenya to go back to the States on November 1st to have our sweet baby around Christmas time! So we only have less than four weeks in Kenya this go ’round. Although we will be back in August, I can feel how hard its going to be to leave already. We are leaving the orphanage on the 15th… in just 7 short days to go to Nairobi for our last two weeks. That one will be the hardest. I have grown so attached to these sweet children. I am going to feel so lost being away. AHHH! I can already feel the tears building up! BUT we will be back! But those 9 months that we will be gone… it just seems long. Who will take care of their boo boos and treat them for Malaria and who will give them kisses and tickles and say I love you all the day long? Don’t get me wrong, now, the four care takers plus Willis and Maureen do a good job taking care of the children, but they are also so busy with other things, and its hard for the kids to get the love and affection and attention that they so much deserve. I just with I could be here for them more.
Well anyways… This week was crazy busy. We were in town every single day doing early Christmas shopping! Buying clothes, shoes, books, Bibles, toy trucks, toy cook sets, water bottles, nail polish, lotions, drums, toothpaste, sweets, and more!! I never knew how hard it could be to do Christmas shopping for 40 something children! Now I know how my Grandma must feel at Christmas time! We finally finished the shopping after 6 days, and got all the Christmas trunks packed and filled half way through day 7. Not too bad! So Sunday evening we gathered ’em all and sat the trunks out for them. Tim talked to them for a few minutes about the meaning of Christmas, the birth of our Lord and Savoir, and His gift to us. Then it was time, and as soon as the words were said, the boxes flung open, and the kids screamed and clapped their hands with joy! They were so excited. Never seen such a thing! I wish we had in on video, but our video camera was dead! But we got some pictures! You’ll have to look on Facebook (the blog is too slow to upload pics on here). They all tried on their new outfits, and danced around giggling. It was a fun time. Then tonight, we are having them a “Christmas Dinner”. They usually have the same 2 or 3 things every day for lunch and dinner. Usually Ugali (Boiled corn mean) and collard greens, or corn and beans, or rice and beans. So tonight we got them some beef and fish! Mmm!! Oh and sodas!!! this will only be the second time they’ve had sodas in the 3 months we’ve been here. Can you imagine not having a soda but a couple times a year! Haha. I feel bad saying this, but the other day Tim and I were eating in town taking a lunch break from shopping, and I said “One thing I really miss about being home is free soda refills!!” How spoiled am I? Really. But anyway, we are about to have some good dinner here in about an hour with all the kids! Yay!
As for this week, we wrap up things at the orphanage, we are going to visit the widows and give out prayer cloths. Also we plan on meeting with a widow a few hours from here to teach some of the women how to make the magazine african beads so they can begin making them, and we’ll bring them home to sell for them, so they can have a business and provide for their families! Other than that, I plan on spending some precious time with the kids. Did I mention it makes me so sad to think about leaving them. The other night Tim and I were sitting in the boys dorm, Tim was talking to them and I was sitting on one of the boys beds and two of them had their heads in my lap as I rubbed their heads and back, and they fell asleep. It was just a precious moment to me. I have many memories like this that I will always treasure in my heart, but gosh I don’t want to leave them.
So moving on, Ugh. So its been a while since I posted anything so let me mention a few other things. We went to Kitale (about 3 hours from here) a couple weeks ago with Pastor Fred. I had stayed with Pastor Fred and his family for 2 months in Nairobi my first trip to Kenya. I love them! Anyways, he had always told me that he wanted to take me to Kitale, because it is partially known for the large number of street children there. Tim and I eventually want to start or be a part of a ministry that works on taking in and rehabilitating street children and either adopting them in to a children’s home or getting them back in with some of their family. A lot of street children are either orphaned, or maybe their family can’t afford to feed them and send them to school so they send them to the streets to beg or they run away to the streets and join with the street children, or they just have a bad home life and are neglected or abused so they run to the only place to go, the streets. So anyways we got to see some of the street kids and its still so heavy on our hearts to work with them some time soon. But for now we still have a lot of work to do in Kisumu here at the children’s home and with the local pastors. We are just praying about what to do and when to do it. While in Kitale, we also got to visit the farms that Fred is over, which helps to feed many of the schools they are partnered with back in Nairobi. Pretty neat! And also see the foundation and first bricks being laid that will be their new safe house/children’s home. They are moving from Nairobi to Kitale this December. Oh,and the brick making process is pretty neat! On the farm, there are some HUGE ant hills, and they take the dirt/mud from the aunt hills and mix it with water and let it sit for so many days, and then they form the bricks and sit them in the sun to dry for so many days, and then eventually they stack them up and make a fire in the middle and bake the bricks. So neat!
One more thing I want to mention, we had been trying to get sponsors for each child, but realized that it is really difficult to have sponsors for just a few kids and not the rest? How can you give the few new clothes and toothpaste and send them to school, while the others sit and watch and not receive these things and get sent home from schools because their school fees weren’t paid. Its just not really fair. And its hard for the kids! So we decided we wanted to change things up so that each and every child could benefit rather than just a select few!
Additionally, we have recently discovered that with individual children getting sponsored, parts of the sponsorship money sent in the past was not being used totally for its designated child. After being here and seeing things for our selves and talking things through with Willis, who started the United Hope orphanage, we are understanding of why this happened and he simply wanted to be fair to all the kids. Out of the desire to be fair and not cause hurt feelings, rather than money being spent for one child to have soap, the money was applied to help provide soap for all the children. Or instead of sponsorship money being spent on one child’s school fees, the money was spent to help pay the teachers here at Trans Star School so the teacher would stay and teach all the children. So while its nice that the money is used to help benefit each child, it is misleading and dishonest to any sponsor to say that you are sponsoring a child, because the money was being used differently but in ways to make it fair to all the children.
So to make things open and true, what we are wanting to do, is instead of having people sponsor a child, have them sponsor a teacher, project, or item. It is a lot easier to sponsor one teacher rather than 42 children. Also, we would like to have a sponsor for like soap and toothpaste each month, a sponsor to feed all the kids beef about 4 times a month, a sponsor to feed all the kids fish about 4 times a month, a sponsor to buy school supplies each month, a sponsor for medical expenses (which God has already blessed us with!), a sponsor for electricity, sponsors for school fees for St. Luke to be evenly applied to the children’s bills, and so on and so forth. That way, each child receives benefit and not just one.
We put together a list of staff, items, and projects that could really use sponsors, and figured up about how much each costs. You can find it here on the website under the support tab. Feel free to check it out!
Well we better go spend some time with the kids and have some good dinner!
As always, thanks for the prayers and support and keeping up with us!