Say Hello to Cynthia

Cynthia

 She walks with pride and wisdom, she laughs without care, and loves deeply towards everyone she knows, and she lives with the faith that with God anything is possible.

Cynthia is an amazing and special girl. She, like a lot of the kids in our orphanage, had to grow up way too quickly. When she was only ten years old, her father was tragically murdered in the lawless slum of Kipsongo. Along with her older brother, Cynthia was forced into the role of caretaker for her baby brother, her mother, and the household. Her mother was sick with HIV and was very weak, so within two years of her father’s death, they were forced to move into her aunt’s house for extra support. As the years passed, her mother became very unwell and started showing signs of organ failure. Cynthia’s aunt became the main care taker of her and her siblings and she became extremely abusive – beating the children for getting their clothes dirty and requiring them to work and neglect their studies. She forced Cynthia and her siblings to be laborers and earn money for the family. As a result, Cynthia was doing very poorly in school. She worried constantly about her mother and was doing all she could to help her and her siblings. Cynthia prayed her and her siblings would be rescued from their situation, and God answered. He gave all three of them a way out through sponsorship and they moved into the orphanage. Since coming to the children’s home, Cynthia has become her happy, bright self again. She is working so hard in school and has huge dreams of being a doctor so she can help people like her parents. She wants to be a world changer and be the hands and feet of Jesus. She is clothed in dignity and laughs without fear of the future because she knows God is on her side.

Do you miss anything from your life before moving into the orphanage?

I don’t miss anything, I am grateful to God for where I am now.

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

I feel happy because I get to learn and my grades are improving. I want to be able to go to university one day.

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

Thank you because she has shown me kindness and love by saving my life from Kipsongo.

What is your favorite thing to do?

I love to dance it makes me happy.

What grade are you in?

Standard 8 and I am 14 years old.

What do you want to be when you get older?

I want to be a heart surgeon on children so I can help save their lives.

Favorite color?

Pink

Favorite food?

Ugali and chicken

Who is your best friend?

Naomi Wamalwa, we like to read story books and study together.

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.