The Dynamic Duo is Back!!

When we think about returning to Kitale town in a couple days, we are overcome with emotions. Like completely overcome. Going back to Africa has so many feelings attached to it, feelings of love, hope, faith, peace, and home.

These next 6 weeks are going to be great. When were discussing what we want this summer to look like, (in addition to working on a few projects we are SO excited about) we both agreed this summer should be joyful. There has been a lot of sorrow in the last couple of summers for everyone associated with MAF, but there has also been a lot of joy and prayers answered. So this summer, we are choosing to focus on the joy. We’re praying and hoping that this summer can just be happy; that things go well while we’re over there, with as little hiccups as possible while in a third world country. Traveling to Kenya takes a lot of preparation; mentally, physically, and spiritually and as we have been preparing to go to Kenya, God has placed Isaiah 6:8 on our hearts. We feel God has chosen us to love on the people there and pour out all that we are to them. When we see the joy on the children there and as we get to love on them every day, that’s where we see Jesus. He was a man that wandered into places where there were sick, unloved, hungry, and unwanted people and he showed them that they were more precious than any gold or silver. That to his eyes and God’s eyes, they mattered and were worthy of love, care, and compassion. When we go to Kenya, we get a little glimpse of how God sees us; to the world, the widow on the street or the orphan asking for food means so little, but to us they are like family. We care so deeply about the people of Kenya, and it gives us such a sense of purpose to be with them.

 Showing the people of Kitale love and being able to pour into them for the next six weeks is a prayer answered. We know God goes before us and he has our path laid out for us. All there is left for us to do is say is “here I am God, send me,” and to have the faith to step out of the boat and let God direct our steps. The next six weeks will be full of joy and love. God has a bigger plan for our time there then we know. But isn’t that the whole point of faith, to believe that there will be good coming out of the unknown?

We are so excited, to say the least. WE LEAVE TOMORROW. How did that get here so fast? Over the past few days we have been going through cycles of emotions: “I just want to be there already and hug on everyone!,” “I have so much to do before I leave and I just don’t have enough time.,” and “AHHHHHHHH!’ We not really too sure about the last part, but it’s in there. Like we said, ALL OF THE FEELS.

With all of these ‘feels’, we are so READY!!!!  Every time we’re in Kenya we leave a piece of our hearts there. So much of us is in that stubborn red dirt that refuses to come out of any clothing, in those breath-taking sunsets over the fields peeking through the acacia trees, and in those beautiful little brown smiling faces that have so much hope and aspiration and strength in their eyes. But to be honest, Kitale has left itself in us.

We are so grateful to be going back to the place our hearts feel so at home. We are so ready to share our journey with all of you and we are beyond excited to see how God uses us. And most of all, we are overjoyed at the thought of spending time with all 237 amazing children. So, here we go! Get ready, get set, the dynamic duo is back and as ready as ever!!! It’s going to be an amazing journey!

Much love,

S + K

 

Lois Leeds

I know the 2 of you are going to do great things this summer in Kitale. We are all so proud of you and so happy to know you will be there on the ground for the Mighty Acorn Foundation. Safe travels love you both and can’t wait to read your blogs over the ext few weeks.
Love,
Lois

WAZIMU!!

IMG_3390All the crazy, fun, and interesting things that happened to us during our seven weeks. So, we had our fair share of excitement while we were in Kitale. Everything from marriage proposals to “hospital” visits. We figured we should let you catch a glimpse into the behind the scene stories and adventures of our life it Kitale Town.

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One day we REALLY needed a car wash. Going to a Kenyan car wash as two little white girls for 2 hours probably wasn’t the best idea…the car washes are all done by hand (inside and out) so to pass the time we decided to get out of the car and play cards. All of a sudden, while we were minding our own business, the mechanics showed up…and it all went down hill from there. They asked up to teach them how to play a card game and this one man, Jeffry who was old enough to be our father, was extremely friendly to us. After playing go fish for a while he started to ask us some very funny questions, like if we were single, he asked us about our husbands after we told him we were both married (fake wedding rings, we are not really married) how old we were, what he has to do to get an American wife, and If we would marry him in addition to having American husbands. After some very firm but polite denials he started to ask us if we were Christians and if God were to send us to preach The Gospel, what would we say? He had a very skewed view on what The Gospel was about and just kept repeating “honor your father and mother”, It literally made no sense. After that conversation he picked right back up to the proposals. We were playing with our wedding rings the entire time but he didn’t catch the hint. The entire situation was extremely uncomfortable and we were trapped there because our car wasn’t finished being washed. Needless to say, we never went back to that car wash again. That guy was a little loose in the head

Mama Hellen taught us how to make delicious chapati on one of our days off! We are planning on having a chapati party here in the states and using our new chapati pan we bought in Kenya!

IMG_0978Almost got killed by a bulldozer! KIDDING! But really there was four different construction and demolition vehicles  in front of the post office one day and a ton of people screaming and hollering about politics. We were very confused and kind of scared.

IMG_4029WE MET THE FREAKING POPE! He was so nice and smiled the entire time — he didn’t say much though. What a great guy!

IMG_4098Our daily office giggles with our pal Mikey! He always came to see us and we gave him Fruit Snacks or as he calls them Fruit Snicks.

DSC_0817Fruit Snicks for EVERYONE!!!! Just call Sarah the candy queen.

DSC_0756Weekly Saturday dance parties. Cha Cha slide anyone??? The kids loved this. We have so many great videos and pictures. These Kenyans have MOVES!

DSC_0594We literally turn into giant kids when we are around 220 of them! Jump rope is exhausting though!

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Sarah is always being goofy but when she has her weird moments of seriousness she picked up a brush and cleaned shoes with the kiddos.

DSC_0193The kids loved playing with our hair….one day they took it to a whole new level though. Pollen for dayz!

Slap bets and head stands, what could go wrong?!? UMMMMM……

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Kylee had a little army that tackled anyone at her command…Sarah wasn’t so lucky one day….but the kids love her anyway and snuggled up next to her to hear bible stories,
so precious.

IMG_4160We HATED Sunday night because that meant Sarah had to refill her pill box, which also meant we had one less week in Kitale. It was very depressing.

IMG_4182We became monkeys in Kitale. Why not right?

Attachment-1-1It all started with a little friendly competition. Some of the boys, specifically Amos and Alfred, kept coming up to us and pushing in the back of our knees so that we would buckle over. So of course we began doing the same to them. We all (jokingly) threatened each other that we would put the other “on the ground!!!!” That turned into all of us picking one another up and tackling them to the ground and chanting “ON THE GROUND! ON THE GROUND!” Well… one of the times Amos and Alfred put Sarah on the ground, things didn’t go so well. Her pants ripped right down the back, revealing a liiiiitle too much, in front of about 50 of the kids. Whoops. Thank goodness Brian Wachilonga was standing by with a spare pair of sweat pants.

We had to plan our revenge.

Sooo, we came up with a plan to dump buckets of water on Amos and Alfred one day after devotions. We stood on the bus and gathered a group of the boys below us and dumped full gallon buckets of water on top of their heads. Amos later wrote us a letter saying that he knew it was all in good fun, but that God would get revenge on us for him later. They should have known not to mess with girls who grew up with only brothers.

DSC_0054We made 312 cupcakes to celebrate Jimmy and Melody’s birthday, made from scratch and with lots of love!!

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We had an entire day of fun and games! Red rover and Duck, Duck, Goose where a huge hit!

IMG_4252The day we were leaving Kitale, Sarah got a stomach bug and spent the entire morning throwing up. She managed to keep her stomach inside of her the rest of the day while traveling to Nairobi. When we got to Nairobi and sat down for dinner at our hotel, Sarah ate some fruit. She got hot, though and felt like she was going to throw up, so she stood up to walk outside; bad idea. She stood up, passed out, and then proceeded to vomit in the middle of the restaurant. I think she ruined some people’s appetites. We returned to our room and had a doctor come see her. He prescribed her five different medications and gave us to go-ahead to continue our Safari into the Mara. So into the Mara we went. She was fine for a day, and then all of the medications the doctor prescribed her in addition to the medications she was taking before caused her body to freak out and go into a state of shock. Her tongue swelled, making it difficult for her to breathe and her legs were spasming out of control — She looked like thumper. So we had to travel at 11pm across the Mara to get to a shack that they called a clinic. The doctor said that she was just having an anxiety attack, we didn’t quite believe him, but he gave her some medicine that helped to calm her and her symptoms. We promise there was no Ebola, we just though the sign was funny. All in all, a very interesting experience.

DSC_0658These past seven weeks in Kenya have given us the most unforgettable memories and experiences. We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to spend time with all of the children and love on them the best we could. We miss being in Kenya already, but we know it will only be a matter of time until we are back laughing and playing with them. We had many ups and downs throughout the trip, but we wouldn’t have changed anything for the world. We are glad we were there to comfort and love on the kids through such a hard time losing Melody. God has gifted us with the ability to love others, and we are thankful that we were able to use this gift for His Kingdom in Kitale. Thank you to all sponsors and friends of the Mighty Acorn Foundation for trusting us to love on the kids on your behalf and for following along with our journey.

-Kylee and Sarah

Lois Leeds

HOLY MOLY WHAT FUN YOU TO HAD !! I KNOW AT TIMES THE ROAD WAS VERY ROUGH BUT YOUR STORIES AND ADVENTURES LEAVE ME WANTING TO GO BACK EVEN MORE !!!! OH AND BY THE WAY SARAH MAMA LOIS IS THE CANDY QUEEN FEEDING NOT ONLY THE CHILDREN PEEPS AND LOLLYPOPS BUT THE MONKEYS TOOOO. LOL
LOVE YOU ALL

Say Hello To Stella

Stella.

She is a dreamer and a doer. She is pursuing big dreams instead of small realities. She sees every ending as a new beginning. Her light shines from her and allows others to glow along with her. She is one of a kind.

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Stella’s life before coming into the children’s home was full of difficulties and heart ache. She had to grow up so fast due to her father’s battle with AIDs. He was paralyzed from the waist down and unable to work, which left Stella’s mother as the sole provider for the family. Stella would stay home and help care for her father and her four younger siblings while her mother worked different jobs, trying to get food for the family. On the occasions that her father was well enough for her to leave, Stella would help her mom hunt for food by picking through trash. Food was always in shortage though and the family ate on rare occasions. Stella’s main source of food was school, but she was often sent home from class due to lack of school fees. Since coming into the children’s home, Stella’s father has passed away and her mother is now working two jobs to care for herself and Stella’s youngest brother, Edwin. Stella is so happy to be in the orphanage along with three of her other siblings. She is thriving in school and there is a fire ignited in her that motivates her to help those in need. She is so compassionate and ready to change Kenya. She hopes to impact the lives of people in dire situations, like her father was. Because she has been giving the opportunity to go to school and learn, there is no doubt she will make the most of her dreams.

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Do you miss anything about your life before?

I miss my younger brother Edwin. He still lives with my Mom but he is happy and my Mom has a good job. 

Do you feel different now that you are living at the orphanage?

I feel so happy to be in the orphanage. I have a bed and clothes, I get to go to school everyday and my marks have improved. I feel safe and loved by my house mums. Hellen and Richard are like a Mum and Dad to me and I love them so much.

If you could say anything to your sponsor what would you say?

I want to tell her that she has changed my life. I am grateful for her and love her very much. I pray that God keeps her safe and that she will come back to Kenya to see me.

What is your favorite thing to do?

I love to help my house moms with the younger kids and I love to jump rope and play with my friends in my free time. 

What grade are you in?

I am in Standard 8 and I am 14 years old. 

What do you want to be when you get older?

I want to be a traveling missionary doctor to help people who can not afford medical care. I know what it’s like to have nothing so I want to be there for others who need me.

Favorite color?

I love the color pink.

Favorite food?

Chips, soda, and chicken.

Who is your best friend?

Sherry and Jessica, they make me laugh and make me be a better person.

Say Hello To Brenda

Brenda.

Oh so smart and sweet. She always is smiling and cares for everyone around her. She is strong in her faith and kind at heart. She is one in a million and impacts the lives of those around her for the better. She is such a gift.

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 Brenda’s life before coming into the orphanage was not easy. She lived at home with her mother father, and two sisters (Jackie and Gina). They lived in a very small one room house outside of Kipsongo. Her father worked as a taxi driver but business was very bad and he lost his job leaving her mother’s vegetable shop to be the only source of income for the family of five. Brenda often has to skip school to help her mother work or take care of the home while her parents were out looking for extra jobs. Her main source of food was from the feeding center at school but if she did not have money for school fees then she wasn’t able to eat most of the time. She desperately wanted to go to school and was very sad before coming into the children’s home but now she is always happy and always smiling. She is exceeding in her classes and has huge dreams for her future. She has an amazing outlook on life and has a heart that wants to give back because she has been blessed by so many things. Thank you for changing her life.

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Do you miss anything about your life before?

I miss my mom

Do you feel different now that you are living at the orphanage?

The difference is, in the orphanage, life is better, happier. It’s like, there is electricity, which enables me to read comfortably. I am happier. I feel safer. I feel more loved, like I have a lot of people who care about me.

If you could say anything to your sponsor what would you say?

Thank you for providing for my school fees, my needs in the orphanage, and for the good care that you have provided unto me.

What is your favorite thing to do?

I love to sing. It makes me happy and I love to sing songs to God.

What grade are you in?

I am in standard 7 and I am 14 years old.

What do you want to be when you get older?

I want to be a journalist for the news so I can inform people how to help Kenya be a better place.

Favorite color?

My favorite color is pink.

Favorite food?

Corn and beans, rice and chapati.

Who is your best friend?

Gloria we like to play together and help each other with our studies. She is a very good friend. 

Start where you are, Use what you have, Do what you can.

The people come for a reason. They are desperate, and they have come to seek the only one who can help them. Their poverty is indescribable. So many are seriously sick. They have been battered by witchcraft, corrupt and immoral leaders, huge frustrations and disappointments, broken homes and a meager economy. Their living conditions and prospects for the future seem hopelessly bleak. But that’s why we are here. We preach Good News, a perfect savior, eternal hope, a Kingdom of love, peace, and joy that cannot be taken away.

-Reckless Devotion, Heidi & Rolland Baker

 

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Our hearts have been heavy since Tuesday. It’s been heavy with sadness for the tragic state that many of the children are in on Mount Elgon. But it has also been heavy with love for the Lord and all of the children that we encountered that day. We were blessed with the opportunity to do God’s work and to serve and show love to those who are oftentimes deemed unworthy. With a group of about 25 other missionaries, we spent Tuesday helping to treat and fix some physical ailments that the kids who live in remote villages on the mountain suffer from. There were so many emotions that flooded into our hearts this day. Sadness for these poor children and seeing them in pain as their feet were cut open, heart break knowing their ailments could be prevented with the right care and cleaning and all the work that were doing today was only a temporary bandaid over a much bigger problem, frustration at the government for not having a heart after their own people who are suffering and in so much need, disappointment knowing we only had so many hands to help and shoes to give out and the 300+ children waiting to be seen were going to have to be turned away because of our schedule and limited supplies, readiness to do God’s work wherever He needed us, and most of all immense love for everyone we encountered that we knew they were desperately hungry for.

Each child that walked through our doors were terrified knowing that they were about to go through so much pain. Some of them were terrified just by the color of our skin and the language barrier, everything was so foreign to them. We were terrified knowing that God was taking us out of our comfort zones, but as the first child walked in we prayed that God would give us the strength we needed to get through this day and to impact these children the most we could. God was guiding our steps and us giving the power to do His work.

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Sarah and I started off cleaning and checking children’s’ skin for rashes on their bodies and ring worm on their heads. This tiny girl I treated had a rash covering her entire body, which required me to lather her with antibiotic ointment. She seemed so scared and unsure of what was happening to her. She watched me put the ointment on her skin and tears were in her eyes. I began to sing a song in Swahili to her to comfort her and let her know I was there to help. Being there in that moment with this little one is something I will never forget. To see her suffering and sick and me being there to show her love and help her heal, I could feel God preparing me for bigger obstacles later that day. She listened to me sing and I prayed over her as I gave her the medicine on her skin. For what came next there are no words.

Removing the jiggers takes a long time depending on the severity of the case and we were washing feet faster then the team was removing jiggers. There was this heaviness on my heart knowing if only there were more people cutting the jiggers out more children could be seen. I looked outside at the line of children that wrapped around the building and I had to take a step back and catch my breath to keep from losing myself to tears. In that moment of overwhelming desperation I felt God tug on my heart. I knew I could do something to get the line going faster even if it meant only by a few children.

 I walked into the clinic room and got a surgical gown, gloves, scalpels, forceps, Betadine, and peroxide and sat down to work on my first child. I had never done anything like this before and wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. I had only been around jigger removal once and I was just comforting the child as someone else cut at their feet. I took a deep breath and said a short prayer for God to give me strength to do the task at hand. As I looked up I saw a little boy with tattered clothes and a terrified face sitting in font of me. His name was Mercy; he looked just as scared as I felt so I had to try to be brave for the both of us. I smiled at him and gave him a sucker to distract him as I pulled out my scalpel. I braced myself for the worst as I looked over his left foot. I thanked God because it seemed pretty clean, only one or two spots that needed attention. My first patient was going to be easy. I took the knife to the areas that needed attention and he barely flinched. We seemed to make a pretty good team, me not wanting to hurt him and obviously him not wanting to be hurt by my blade. Once that foot was finished I looked over his right foot and my heart sunk, I had to try and fight back tears. The realization that this boy had been walking around with a hole in his arch of his foot from the jigger larva living on his flesh, for what looked like several months, made me want to hold him and hug him and tell him everything was going to be okay. I knew he was going to have to go through a lot of pain to remove the rotten flesh and larva that was living inside his foot. I looked up at Mercy and I smiled as best I could. I turned his foot so he could see what I was seeing and tried to tell him to brace himself. His face became stern and strong as if to say he was ready.  I knew this would be a long process to remove and it was going to be very painful for the both of us. I began my first Incision into his rock solid flesh and tried to breath and keep a steady hand. He was so brave and didn’t move an inch. I heard wincing every once in a while and I kept looking at him after every cut to see how he was doing. He was such a champ. About half way through however Mercy started to kick his foot and cry. I think the general shock was wearing off and the pain was setting in. The more he kicked the harder it was for me to see and have a steady hand. I kept counting to him, in Swahili, to tell him when I was going to cut and how many more larva I had to remove, but the pain was getting the worst of him.

Sarah had been helping care for another boy by holding him as Helen and Pastor Sam worked on his feet and was finished so I called her over. She sat on the chair and placed Mercy in her lap. Tears ran down his face as pain was rocking throughout his body. Sarah strained to keep Mercy still and did her best to help the process go smoother. I showed Mercy his foot and all I had done to it, the hard part was over. His heal needed some attention in some larger spots but not as bad as what we had just accomplished together. I counted to him, told Sarah to do her best to keep him still, and started on his heal. As I cut he kept kicking and kicking. I did my best to not cry along with him and to be strong for the both of us. The poor boy had to have a third of his entire bottom of his foot removed and had been sitting there for over an hour. It was obvious that on the last incision I had to do he was beyond finished. Sarah was sweating as she tried to use all her strength to keep him still, He was sweating both from the pain and from straining to fight off Sarah and I and tears flooded down his face. All I wanted to do was love on him and hug him and tell him he was all better and we were done but I couldn’t. I had one more spot to cut. Mercy had no more strength in him to finish, the stern statue of a boy that started off was now a hurting, weeping, child. I said, “Moja Bili, Tatu” to him and tried to make my last cut. I got most of it off but he made a giant kick and I knew he was done. I put down my knife and said Sowa (Okay) to him to tell him I was finished. The last part was the peroxide on his wounds to kill all germs and help prevent future infection. I felt like I was torturing  him. I gave him a smile showed him the bottle and said “Brace yourself, it will sting,” and made a face so he knew it would hurt. He prepared for the worst and I began to spray. With every drop that hit his wound he cried harder and my heart hurt deeper. There was nothing I could do to take away his pain, no matter how badly I wanted to. I grabbed bandages and wrapped his feet. As I finished I couldn’t help think, what if all I did was cut open his skin and more larva would find its way in, or worse what if all that I just did became infected because he had no way to clean it and he would get sick from having an infection in his foot? I Stopped thinking, I knew the enemy was telling me lies, I just healed this boy from a horrible infestation and spoke truth that his foot would heal and become whole again because God loves and cares for the weak and the hurting.

God guided my hand through the entire process, every incision, every tear, every moment of weakness God stood by me. He was my strength through the entire thing. Without Him I could not have done anything, but with him I became someone who could heal others and impact a sick child’s life. I couldn’t help but think of Gods sovereignty and faithfulness to his sons and daughters and how blessed I was to be able to be His hands and feet at that moment in time. As God was filling me up with His love and peace again after being drained the next child sat at my seat and was ready for me to work on her feet. God continued to guide my hand on her and the next five children I tended to. I will always remember this day as a day God gave me to lean and learn from Him as He showed me how to love deeper and how to stretch my dependence on Him. I was realizing more and more my own strength was not going to get me through this day. And the more I relied on Him I could do anything. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

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Throughout the day, I switched from job to job, hopping in where someone was needed. I began with treating children’s ringworm and rashes with ointment. There were a couple of them with rashes all over the entirety of their bodies. I spent about 30 minutes putting ointment on one young girl’s rash which had spread all over her head, neck, chest, stomach, and back, and that was when it first hit me. I was taken aback by a flood of emotions due to how much these kids, specifically this one young girl was suffering. I couldn’t even begin to imagine. I still can’t. Shortly after I treated her, I treated a young boy with mud so matted into his hair and his scalp, I couldn’t tell at first if his head was covered in scabs or mud. When I realized it was mud, I couldn’t tell where the mud ended and his scalp began. I tried my best to wash it out, but there was only so much I could do with water and a sponge. That was incredibly frustrating to me. I just wanted to give him a bath and scrub out his hair with shampoo. It required such an easy solution, but I didn’t have the means to do it. It was something that was so easily preventable as well. If only someone had washed his head on a regular basis, then he wouldn’t have had mud caked on to the point of discomfort. That was a reoccurring frustration for me throughout the day. So much of what we treated: rashes, dirtiness, jiggers even, is easily preventable. They just need access to basic things like clean water, soap, and shoes; things that I was/am aware some people lack, but nevertheless I take for granted in my own life.

After that, I moved on to my next job and without a doubt the hardest job I did that day. There was one young boy that Mama Hellen had been working on for an hour to remove the jiggers from his feet. He was screaming and crying and in so much pain that he wouldn’t hold still so that she could continue working. Pastor Sam was holding the boy trying to comfort him and keep him from moving, but he was struggling to keep the boy from squirming, so I went over to help. I held the boy’s upper torso while he laid his head on my chest. I held this boy, who couldn’t have been more than 10 years old, while he was sobbing and cringing in pain, while Mama Hellen worked to cut jiggers out of his feet with a scalpel. It took 5 of us to hold him still.

I can’t even begin to explain.

I wanted to start sobbing with him. I wanted to tell Mama Hellen to stop. I didn’t want him to be in that much pain anymore. But I knew that if she didn’t get the jiggers out now, they would cause him more pain in the long run. They needed to come out. She worked on him for another half hour. All the while, I held this screaming boy’s head on my chest and did my best to comfort him and distract him from the pain. She didn’t even try to remove the jiggers from his hands. Two of his fingers were permanently bent because of them, but after having worked to remove the jiggers from his feet for an hour and a half, I think everyone was done and just ready to give the kid a break from the pain.

As soon as I finished holding him, Kylee asked me to come hold a boy that she was working on. His name was Mercy. While I sat and held Mercy, while Kylee removed essentially the entire middle part of the bottom of his foot because it was covered in jiggers, he didn’t say a word, he tried his hardest not to flinch or move or make a sound, but he had a steady stream of tears running down his face. He was trying so hard to be brave, strong, and tough despite being in so much pain. He was trying his best to let us help him. That’s what I had to keep reminding myself of as I sat there and held Mercy: we were helping him. It sure didn’t seem like it with blood dripping from his feet and with him silently weeping. It seemed like we were just hurting him and making it worse. I really struggled with that. I hated seeing him in pain. I hated seeing all of the children in pain. It was a constant battle between wanting to just stop – to stop cutting out the jiggers and to stop making the children cry – and reminding myself that that’s what was necessary. We needed to help these kids, and in order to do that, we needed to get the jiggers out, and that involves causing them a little pain and that involves making some of them cry.

This internal battle continued when I was helping Patience. Patience has been on my heart and on my mind consistently since Tuesday. The sound of her crying will not leave my head. She’s a young girl, no more than 10 years old, and she has an abscess on her foot. I sat with Patience and held her as Darla, one of the other missionaries who is a surgical nurse, worked to drain it. Every time Darla even touched Patience’s foot, Patience screamed out in pain. She was shaking. The abscess wouldn’t drain, so we ended up having to just put a thick wrap on her foot and hope that her abscess would drain soon on its own. I carried Patience to get shoes and socks, and then I carried her to find her parents; Pastor Richard accompanied us. When we got outside we discovered that Patience doesn’t actually have parents. She has never known her father, and her mother passed away. One of her relatives, who is young herself, takes care of Patience the best she can, but it’s hard, especially because Patience can’t walk well on her foot.

 I had to go sit on my own for a little bit. It was all I could do to keep from crying. I was angry. I was angry that despite our best efforts, we couldn’t drain Patience’s abscess. I felt like we did nothing for her. Sure she got a new pair of shoes, but what good does that do? She can’t even fit her foot into a shoe. I was angry that in addition to having the abscess, she doesn’t have parents to love and care for her. She doesn’t have parents to help try and keep her healthy or to take her to a doctor to get her foot fixed. But more than being angry, I was sad. Sad seems so cliché though, and I feel like it doesn’t do what I was feeling justice. I can’t explain how much my heart hurt for her. I started praying. I hated that I was angry and I knew that I just needed to re-center myself. I needed to spend time with God, after all, He was the reason that I was there. He’s the reason I’m in Kenya. He’s the reason that Patience walked into my life and He’s the reason that I was so affected by her and her story. I opened my Bible app on my phone, and it opened to Psalms 56:3.

 “I put my trust in you: In God, whose word I praise.”

I trust that my entire day at the clinic, all of the hard things I witnessed, all of the people that I met who had such a deep impact on my heart, was for a reason and I trust that God will help me to help them, to serve them, and to make a difference in their lives.

jigger2

With every breath I breathe, with every song I sing, I want to shout it out

Lord I am listening to every word You speak. I’ll go where You will lead.

 To love the least of these is my greatest offering.

-All sons and daughters