Monday, August 6, 2012
Since our first full team meeting with Gracers (Grace Community Church) and SPaCers (South Potomac Church) in early May, I have been referring to this process of preparation and actual missions trip as our adventure. The events of the past few days have not failed to live up to that characterization.
We landed in Nairobi, Kenya, early Sunday morning (their time). Upon getting visas, grabbing our many, many bags and clearing customs, we were greeted by our gracious hosts, who were genuinely excited for our arrival. We worshipped at Pastor Samuel’s church, then briefly fellowshipped with everybody before being wisked off to our hotel. While Sunday was relatively calm, it was not without controversy. When Nicolas dropped off some of the team at the church in the van, he double parked in front of the hotel. Upon doing so, he was immediately placed under arrest by two police officers. Despite the best efforts of Jeromy, Pastor Samuel and Pastor George, the officers insisted that he proceed to the police station. As we prayed inside for a speedy resolution, Nicolas drove himself and the two officers away, presumably to the police station. Within minutes, however, Nick returned. The police had taken note of his confident demeanor, questioning whether he had been arrested previously. Accepting his truthful negative response, he was allowed to return to the hotel.
Now today, our morning adventure was a trip to Happy Life Children’s Home. After a very brief meeting with the director and other volunteers (who just happened to be leaving), we entered the courtyard. In the center was a very large metal cage (for lack of a better description), which was open at the top. It struck me immediately, reminding me of an animal enclosure at the zoo. It was so unexpected that I was unable to take pictures, though my camera was already on my neck with the cover removed. Some team members were moved to tears. We quickly regrouped and begin interacting with the kids inside the enclosure. We sang and as they slowly came out, some team members played football (soccer). We found our footing and made moves all over the orphanage which had several floors and several rooms. I chose to help move infants and toddlers from their rooms, with cribs, into a playroom type area. We had an absolutely wonderful time loving on the children, hugging them, soothing them and giving them much needed attention. We were also able to feed them lunch, which presented another opportunity to love on the children and to help the staff. Throughout the morning, it was so gratifying to see the staff interact with the children. You can see their immense love, so much so that they know each of the 65 children’s names.
With less than 48 hours in Kenya, God has truly shown His face and we await expectantly to experience His awesome power through His people.
– Tashia Abdullah