Oh goodness..where to begin?
The journey here…
As some of you may already know, getting to Kenya took us a bit longer than we expected. For those who don’t know..here’s what happened. We arrived at the Indy airport at 3 on Tuesday to catch our 6:30 flight to Chicago, only to find out at 6 our flight was canceled due to maintenance problems (counting that as a blessing from God that they found that out before). Anyways, thanks to one of our awesome team leaders, Scott, we were able to get a flight to Chicago later that night…but we would still miss our connecting flight to London so we had to stay the night in Chicago. The airline put us up in a hotel in Chicago and I got to have my first real deep dish pizza. 🙂 The next day we flew out bright and early to London only to miss our connecting flight to Kenya…so again the airline put us up in a hotel and we got to spend a whole extra day in London. After 3 days of travel and 3 different time changes we finally arrived in Nairobi, Kenya at 8 am Friday..it felt good to be on solid ground.
We didn’t slow down…
To help us adjust to Kenyan time, which is 10 hours difference from Oregon, they wanted to keep us awake all day. Well…that didn’t work.. at lunch I fell asleep at the lunch table while orientation was going on. Once we got up and moving to see the different departments and kids I was awake. MOHI is incredible!! All the kids want to say hi or give you a high-five. Everyone is so welcoming and loving. We got a chance to go out and do some home visits in the slums. I was introduced to a woman named Nancy who lived in a small house with 10 other people (mainly children). She was so appreciative of us visiting and she was so proud of all that she was blessed with such as food, shelter, and God…this was humbling because it’s all things I take for granted. She has so much strength, faith, and trust in the Lord..it’s beautiful. After visiting her, I honestly wondered who was going to be taught more this summer, me or them? Guys, their love for the Lord is incredible and inspiring! They are grateful for everything! Yes, there are some who are not…but for those who have Christ..you see where their joy is. They see things as eternal…these struggles are only temporary to them. This gave our team a lot to think about as we headed back to our dorms.
This week in a nutshell…
Last weekend we enjoyed a wonderful day out with some of the locals who work at MOHI. They took us by all the areas we could go..and those few areas we should avoid. We enjoyed the sunny weather and the local market. Later on that evening, we all went to Mary’s house for a delicious dinner ( I think chapati may be my new favorite food). David, their son, was wonderful entertainment. He was singing and dancing for us..such a ham! The following day we went out to Joska to church. SO many kids there…heaven. We got to sing, dance, and praise Jesus with them! 🙂 They worship so freely..with their entire body. Doesn’t matter if you can’t sing or dance you do it anyways. I love it. We spent most of Sunday looking at the school’s new additions and taking pictures with the kids. I got hold the sweetest/calmest baby – such a bundle of love. After Joska, we got some much-needed down time to catch up on journaling and sleep before we started work Monday. I could already tell then this summer is going to be one of incredible growth and understanding in Christ.
So Monday/Tuesday were orientation days. Monday was incredible. My group got to tour around the slums with the spiritual development department and talk to new believers. Again my heart broke because these women have so little and moving up to them in the slums meant not living near sewer. They all say the same thing…God must have a reason for this and they are going to trust in His plan.
Sidenote: You can see the positive impact MOHI has had on the slums. They have brought hope for a better future to the children and faith to the adults. They even have a clinic set up that is free for families to come get medical attention as well as provide information on HIV/AIDS.
…so by Monday evening many of us were emotionally drained. I also started to feel a little under the weather and by the time Tuesday came I was really sick..I’m not sure if it is due to lack of sleep and poor adjustment or nuzzling those kiddos at Joska (I’m going to go with the first)..but I was down. Wednesday came and went..and I was still sick along with 6 other team members. By Thursday I was done letting my body get the best of me so I went..best decision! Emily and I got to go work at another school teaching different grades. She worked with 4th grade (called class here) and I worked with nursery (kindergarten) and first grade. LOVE IT!!! I taught the first grade cursive and helped them with math. I also got to correct their work books and they all swarmed to show me their work, so I had to sit down. While sitting down I had a little girl become intrigued with my hair and when she thought I wasn’t looking she touched my hair. I couldn’t help but laugh and grin at her. I honestly could have stayed there all day…they were sweet and loving…and they WANT to learn…it’s a privilege to go to school here. Some classrooms have no lights and so the kids have to hold up their homework to try to get some natural light to do their work. Multiple kids were sharing pencils and there was one eraser for every five kids. These young kids are learning multiple languages and travel far distances to get an education.
They honest to goodness WANT to learn and because they want to, I’m motivated to teach them to the best of my abilities. I ended my afternoon working with kindergarten..what a hoot! There was this girl that I kid you not was me as a child. Such a riot. She was all smiles and cracking jokes during drawing time. She kept talking to me in Swahili and giggling. The teacher said she was telling me that she liked my drawings. Oh yes..I drew for the entire class. I drew a beach scene then I drew in 20 little drawing books a picture of a table, chair, and bed for kids to color. While I drew on the board the entire class starting singing..the song went like this…
I am coloring
I am coloring
Look at me
Look at me
Can you do what I do?
Can you do what I do?
Color Color Color
Color Color Color
Well I’m sorry to cut off right now..but the internet cafe that I am at is closing, so I must go. I shall try to finish this sometime in the next few days. I LOVE and MISS you all!! Mungu Akubariki