OK, I guess I am going to put it out there for everyone who reads this entry…I have a problem…I cry at really silly things! Sappy movies, girlie novels, television commercials (come on, who hasn’t gotten teary eyed when you hear Sarah MacGlaughlan on those ASPCA spots?) I also cry at more serious things like weddings, baptisms, and in the past, each time I’ve read a We Are Kenya blog update. The reason for admitting this problem to all is to explain one of my fears for coming on this trip. Our daughter, Ariel, was here in 2009. I saw her photos, and I cried.
Now we are all here as a family, up close and personal with some of the very same people that were in those photos. I want to “hold it together” and not break down and cry in front of them. You see, they are so happy, so wonderful, so welcoming, and so beautiful. But they are also so very, very, poor, and it just breaks my heart for them. I have so much that it is shameful in comparison. I want to give them the world but, our worlds are so very different. And then I realize that in many ways our worlds are the same and they have been given the world, or at least a “leg up” compared to a lot of children of the Soweto streets. We Are Kenya is mentoring the kids, loving the kids, teaching the kids and feeding the kids. They are also setting a wonderful example for all the people who surround the Provision Education Center. An amazing group of teachers, led by Principal Daniel and Pastor Samuel, spend all day with the children. Adults who love the Lord, praise Him, and pass their wisdom on. They have so little, yet they have so much. They have precious little smiles, happy giggles, and joyous laughter. I haven’t cried in front of them. I have laughed and played with them. As soon as school finishes today, we will laugh, play with them some more, and love on them. Reinforce that they matter. To us, to God, to everyone who supports We Are Kenya.
This trip is only half over, but I have already been awed at the work being done. We Are Kenya is changing the lives of these children. I only hope that upon our return to home, we can keep in mind that we can have much even if we only have a little.
I’ve just heard the school bell, I have to go back out to play and hold it together for 5 more days. No tears in front of the children. I can do it!
– Jo Burkholder