Sunday, January 15, 2012

Long Overdue Update!

Since the last update the school is now finished and the site has been cleaned up and is ready for the program to start, on Monday 1/16/12! The latrines and shower houses have also been finished. The roof for the dorm is up, and the foundation has been dug and concrete has been poured. The Bricks have started flying up, and will soon be ready for the lentil.

Thought that she could make a class room her home before the screens were put in.

The first mudding of the hut was finished, and dried for a few weeks. The second mudding is now complete.

Through donations from my Aunt Penny's church we delivered about twenty 90kg sacks of maize and four 90kg sacks of beans which will feed the children at the JOHABETO project for about six months!

I traveled to the coast with the interns of the TI program and and spent a week there with them before they headed back to the States. Over the past three months I was blessed to get to know these amazing people and learn and grow with them. For a week leading up to the trip my neck had been nearly immobile, there was enough pain that it actually made me rest, which I have a tendency not to do.

Mombasa was too hot for me and the sun was much more intense then I had anticipated, within a few days I was too sun burnt to get out of the shade. This was the first time I have actually gotten burnt through clothing. While there the group went snorkeling after being taken around in a “glass bottom boat.” It was one of the most interesting things that I have gotten a chance to do. We spent about three hours exploring the Indian Ocean which was just breath taking, and a bit nerve racking at first trying to convince your brain that its OK to breath underwater. All the different coral and fish made it so spectacular! On the return from the Coast we stopped in Nairobi where it was time to see the group off as they headed back home.
fish seen through the glass bottom boat

Back in Kitale it was time for me to start working out at the In Step foundation with Rehema Ministries, the home of 107 children. The first project was to make shelves for better organization and access to their storages totes. Another project that soon followed was to get ceiling boards up in the kitchen for Jeff and Carla as a surprise before they returned from a visit with their family back in the State. A few weeks ago I took another trip to Nairobi to get my passport stamped with a work permit, which lets me work in country for three years and also lets me enter and exit the country for two years. It was a crazy 24 hours to take a night bus to Nairobi then do the immigration thing and hop back on a shuttle which was hard to find because with everyone traveling for the holiday season. After a few hours of looking and waiting we finally got a shuttle and headed back to Kitale.

Here in Kenya things seem to happen giving one an opportunity to do something that they never thought that they would have to do. On Sunday the 18th of December I received a call informing me that Cindy Lou a barley eight month old baby girl had past away out at In-Step. I had been asked to make a coffin for her. This was a difficult thing to do, dealing with the death of such a small child is never easy. I didn't know Cindy very well, just when I have been there I would have lunch with Meredith and Sean and Cindy would be there in Mere's arms staring at me with her big eyes as I ate. I know is that she was very loved by everyone at In Step. A kind of love that she never would have received if she wasn't brought into that family. This unconditional love that she received was the only thing that made her passing bearable to me.

Over the next few weeks came Christmas and New Years which was the first that I spent away from family and friends in the US. I thank God for the family here that I have become so close to, with the lack of the western cultures marketing of the season here I felt more true to the meaning of Christmas. Of course with the help of technology I was able to see family on Christmas with the help of the internet and video chat, which was also great!

I have spent almost eight months here in Kenya and not a day goes by without a challenge. These challenges have forced me to grow and learn what it is to be a servant. It has been great experience living in the Kingdom that has been brought here by living the way the Bible has taught us. The challenges that we face is how our Father teaches us who He is and who He wants us to be. We are never faced with something that He knows that we cant handle, but He pushes us right to the limit of our comfort zone. He builds us up for the next step in His plan, and we have the choice to follow or to try to go about our own plan which usually looks like it will be the easy way.

I originally came here thinking that I would be making a difference for the people here, which in a lot of respects is true, but its not me thats making the difference I am just a tool or messenger. Honestly the biggest difference that has been made has been made in my life and how I think. I have seen this change for just about everyone who has past through here during the past eight months, they return home changed both in heart and mind. For the churches back home I think that this change in heart and mind will renew how we see grace and live in faith. Its not what you can do but it who you are, its why we were created to share in one another's joys and burdens.