Here’s a quick blog to let you know what has been happening these past several days of silence. First, Aimee made it home without a hitch. After she left, we rested for a few days and spent some time with our friend Ruth. Over the weekend, we caught up with the family of the Director from the orphanage we adopted from.
Since Jeromy and Dana have arrived, it has been NON STOP!!! We spent Thursday doing a little sightseeing, ie feeding the giraffes, seeing Kenyan tribal dances, and shopping. We wanted Dana to enjoy a little of Kenya’s uniqueness before we put her to work. I think the restful day helped both of them cope with jet lag.
On Friday, Dana lost her heart to about 100 little kids in Soweto. They were very proud to have another white visitor come to their school. Samuel has a little car trouble, so it took him some time to pick us up. By the time we got to school, lunch had been served, afternoon prayers finished, and the kids were all busy copying their homework. Grace was preparing to wash the lunch dishes. I was very proud when Dana just walked right up and started helping. We don’t have a kitchen, a sink, or a running tap. We have a bucket, a piece of a burlap sack, and the great outdoors. However, this did not rattle Dana. She just jumped in and got to work. This really touched the people both at the school and in the nearby shacks and shops. It is unusual.
Saturday marked a very important day for us. On Saturday, we began the clean up and construction of the new property. While we have still to receive the necessary funds, we did secure enough to begin the work. So, with picks and hammers, we started to beat the wall between the property and our new building down. I truly expected this to take a long time. In fact, the wall was down in less than an hour thanks to Dan, our principal, Jeromy, Damon, and Dana. I just filmed and encouraged! Next, the gate went up. While the men were packing concrete around the new gate, the ladies helped prepare lunch. Dana and I got a lesson in cutting veggies the Kenyan way. We hacked up our fingers a bit, but as they say, when in Rome…
After washing the lunch dishes, Dana, Grace, and I began evicting the residence from the room we are preparing for the kids. This was a tough job as the various spiders and insects were quite happy and comfortable in their home! However, we explained the situation and kindly asked them to comply. Once this was accomplished, we washed the walls and floors so that we could start the painting in Monday. Loved my shower that night!
On Sunday, we dedicated ourselves as parents to raising Jasiri to be a man of God. It was cute that when Sam prayed for us and him, Jasiri held the mic. Anyway, this special day was made even more special by the presence of the new baby Neema. This was the baby I wrote about the other day. Her names means Grace from God. Her new mommy and daddy were so proud to be dedicating themselves to be her parents. While it was special for us to be able to have Jasiri dedicated here in Kenya, it was even more touching to see a little one who had been cast away to die redeemed by the sacrificial love of two people dedicated to obedience and trust.
Today, we visited Happy Life Children’s Home. Sundi was really excited when she realized where we were, however, her joy was cut a bit short when she realized that none of her classmates were remaining. While I was sympathetic to Sundi’s disappointment, I was thrilled to know that all of her little friends save one are now in new homes with forever families.
Happy Life now has a new wing just for its babies. It is a beautiful room with new beds and nice cabinets to keep their things in. However, the brightly colored walls and neatly tiled floors cannot disguise the painful reality of orphan hood. Happy Life now has 32 infants, some as young as one week. As I stared at these small, fragile little people, my stomach churned and my heart bled once more for the lives of these little ones. I bled for the poverty that drives a mother to flee the hospital without her newborn, I cried for the pain I know that little one felt when his yearnings for the touch and smell of his mother were not met, and grieved for loss. Even as I type this paragraph, I smell the sweet smell of baby…little lives…and again I grieve.
Samuel says every person’s life is a letter. As I stared at the sleeping forms of these 32 little letters, I begged for each life to be a full and beautiful letter of redemption and love.