Since arriving in Kitale late last Tuesday, so much has happened to us. To say that we are loving every second is an understatement. Being with the kids and loving on all of them for a month and a half is more than we could ever want. The first couple of days were definitely a period of adjusting for us; adjusting to the time difference and the jet-lag, adjusting to our new humble abode at the Karibuni (The Buni as we so lovingly call it) and all the little critters that came with it (spider, slugs, unidentified scary bugs, termites, geckos, annoying roosters at 6am, and these bird called Hadada Ibis that make this sound like a kazoo), adjusting to the red dirt and mud (which is officially all over every single article of clothing and shoes we packed…we need to do laundry…), adjusting to power that comes and goes as often as the rain does (very often – it’s currently out as we are typing this), and so much more. As I’m sure you all can imagine, life is VERY different here. But after a week and a half of being here, We can officially say that the period of adjustment is over and we are so completely in awe and in love.
Being in Kenya, the way of life is so different. No one is in a hurry and everything just seems to slow down. As we have continued these past weeks, we have tried to adapt to this way as well. Not in our pace because we have so much to get done, but taking time to truly listen to what God is instructing us to do. God has been reminding us to listen and wait on Him to answer. We have been getting up in the morning and getting ready for the day (that is if we don’t over sleep our alarms…ooopsss) and when we sit down for breakfast we both read a devotional and scriptures together. Last week, Scott, Wendy and the both of us began our day with a reading from John 17:20-26. The meditation on that reading really stuck with us and had profound meaning for all of us. A portion of it read, “One of the best ways to find Jesus is to look for opportunities to serve. Look for situations in which you can offer a helping hand. As you give of yourself, try to keep your ears and your eyes open. Look for Him in their voices. Try to sense His love and His glory right there in that moment.”
Every minute that we spend with the kids, we are amazed by how present Jesus is in all of them. In their voices when they sing and praise him and when they laugh. In the sweetness of their smiles and their hugs. In the way they lovingly hold your hand and look at you. We are honored and humbled to be able to spend time with them and show them love. Being in the presence of The Holy Spirit and just being still allowing Christ to give us a new word for that day and reflect on the days behind us, allows us to be a better steward for Him here in Kenya. It shows us the best way to encourage and love on these amazing children.
As God continues to grow and work in us while we are here, we are trying to accomplish so many things.
We are all settled in to out little home away from home and have really made it our own. We put up curtains and changed the bedding to something a little cuter and have so many smell good candles lit that our room smells like heaven.
(A little shout out from Kylee) I love having Sarah as my intern. She works just as hard as I do and is always up for something new. We gel together and really are not only great co workers but I think its safe to say we are great new friends. I am so thankful to have her here to help connect all your precious children with you and to get some other fun projects done here as well.
We have started getting into our daily/weekly routine. We spend our days at the school from 9:30am to 3pm. As soon as we arrive to school there is a swarm of littles that run up to the car yelling, “Jambo!” “Hello!” “How are you?!” and “Kylee and Sarah!!.” We could barely get out of the car today, let alone walk to the office where we were working because we were swarmed with hugs, high fives, and handshakes. While at the school we work on projects with the kids, spending time with each of them, getting to know them better and hear their stories of how they grew up and where they came from. It’s hard for the both of us. Many tears are shed and hugs are given as the kids talk about their lives before coming to the orphanage; it’s incredibly humbling. To listen to each of them share where they’ve come from and what they’ve overcome come, and to see where they are now, and to hear where they want to go in their futures. Their faith, their perseverance, their joy and their laughter despite all of the unimaginable things that have happened to them, is inspiring. Every single one of them is an inspiration to us. We are trying to interview all the MAF children before our seven week trip is over so we can continue posting the “SAY HELLO” blogs while back in the states. We want to continue showing you who these amazing children are. They have touched our hearts and hopefully through our posts and blogs they get to touch yours.
After we’ve finished our work at the school for the day, we usually run errands. We pick things up that we need for our house, check the post office, get supplies to make dinner, you know, errand type stuff. Then we head to the orphanage! Being around the kids at the children’s home is the BEST!!! We sing and dance and laugh with them (and snap lots of cute pictures for all you to see) until it’s time for them to eat dinner.
After dinner is our favorite time of the day with the kids…Devotions. Its a time for all 215 children to gather around and worship Jesus. They sing songs both in English and Swahili and pour their hearts out in thanks for all they have been given. Witnessing this and being apart of it with them is a breathtaking experience. As we are all joining hands and singing to Christ, God’s presence is so overwhelming. After praise and worship someone reads a verse from the bible and teaches the entire group what it means and why it is important for them to know and understand. They truly dedicate the time to get to KNOW Jesus on a personal level. Following that they pray The Lord’s Prayer and a personal prayer and close with announcements for the night. It is an amazing and beautiful part of the night. We hope one day all you sponsors can be here to truly grasp what it feels like to participate in it. God is going to move mountains with these children…there is no doubt in our minds.
APART we can only do so much, but TOGETHER we can climb mountains.