In Kenya if you haven’t seen someone or talked to them in a long time, they say “you’ve been lost!” I feel like we’ve been a little lost as far as posting is concerned. We had a lovely time at Ruth’s. Mama Matt especially loved feeding the giraffes. She misses her dogs, so it gave her opportunity to “bond” a little with nature! We enjoyed watching the African dances, but mostly we enjoyed spending time with Ruth. For those of you who do not know of Ruth, she is the friend we lived with while we were here in Kenya. Her husband, who was an American, passed away the Christmas we returned to the US. It touched us all deeply to lose Rick, and is always a rather emotional time being with Ruth without Rick. Ruth is healing, although I think that while one can heal from losing the one you love the dearest, there are always memories, like scars that remind of the pain and the joy. I am proud of Ruth for her strength in the midst of her pain, and I thankful that she has Christ.
As we prepare to leave Kenya, my mind is racing and my heart is beginning to bleed a little. Coming to Kenya is always somewhat surreal for me. It’s like you fly for almost a day, almost half way around the world, only to find you feel like you are home. You know how it is when you have that one or two friends in a lifetime that no matter how long it has been since you have spoken or seen one another, you just pick up as if you were together just the day before? That is Kenya to me. It is the people that when you join back together, it is as if you had never left. The other day, they told me that they had voted me in as their “Mother Theresa.” I laughed so hard, but deep inside, I was struck again with the realization of the gift I have been given to be a part of this very amazing work that God is doing. I firmly believe that whatever it is that God wants to do, He will do with or without us. I think back that “chance” encounter that Jeromy and Sam had over five years ago. Who knew that two men, one far away from home, one in his own land, would form a bond that would be used to unite two continents in the effort to change the world for some precious children, some who were not even born yet!
I often sit back and wonder, why us? Why Sam? Why Soweto? Why now? What if we had chosen to support someone else? Certainly the needs were there and the causes all as deserving as the other. While I don’t pretend to understand the detailed workings of God’s plans, I do believe that if God had determined to do a work through Sam, He would have found someone else had we not been willing. But what a ride we would have missed out on! I wonder if you feel the same. Those of you who have partnered with us, are you loving the ride??? Isn’t it CRAZY to be a part of His plan to bring fresh, clean water to thirsty, sick people? Isn’t it CRAZY that 130 children, many of whom have gone days without food, eat a good, headed toward nutritious, meal every day! How about the fact that children who have been abandoned, beaten, abused, and neglected, now have the opportunity to just be kids again? To know safe love, to know friendship, to know Christ! It’s a ride-one I would hate to miss out on. I’m no Mother Theresa, and the truth is that this is not my work, it is ours. That is why we chose the name WE ARE KENYA. We feel that everyone who partners with us, whether it is to pray, donate needed items, contribute financially, volunteer at our fundraisers, or contribute financially, everyone of you becomes a part of Kenya. Not really the physical country, but the “Kenya” that we embrace as a part of our beings. The smiles that melt your heart, the hands that hold yours and refuse to let go, those arms that grab you in these hugs that almost knock you down, and the constant song as you enter and leave…That is who we all become. We become food for the hungry, water for the thirsty, love for the unloved, protection for those in danger-in a word we become hope. We are no longer just us, we are Kenya. We are men and women who have seen that the world is bigger than our houses, our cars, and our vacations. We are a people who believe that we can make a difference. We understand that we cannot change the whole world, but we can change the world for one child. It’s an awesome ride. Glad you came along.