Hi y'all, long time again! Without wasting time, grab some coffee (or tea... Or chocolate....) and let us share with you a few updates from this side of the world....
I'll jump right into the biggest news for our little fam lately. Over the past year God has really been moving in our hearts to move out on site to the Mattaw Children's Village site. We've been renting a house in a neighborhood closer to town for the past 7 1/2 years.
We started our marriage there, have raised our kids as babies and preschoolers there and hosted many friends and family there. It was a beautiful and homey place that we have endless memories in. I cherish them deeply. For us, we felt there was much wisdom in establishing Mattaw and the current families living there, without us living there first. It helped to empower them rather than depending on us for everything. They've done excellent in forming families out of children once orphaned or abandoned. Children that had no parents and no relatives that wanted them, now do. It's only something God can do! He truly places the lonely in family just as His word promises.
Part of our long term vision for Mattaw is to expand and have a full and flourishing branch that stems from our current site. This branch would be for babies and a girls home. They will be on the same plot but two different compounds. We currently have a small baby home called Sprouts at the current Mattaw Children's home. We have brought in five precious little treasures in the last year. We also have a girls rescue home on its own compound away from Mattaw. This home is called Kimbilio meaning "refuge". We rent this site currently. When the new land is bought, we will transfer the home to the new site. We currently are at max capacity for the house they live in. We've had 15 girls placed in our care so far. This home is for girls that have endured so much abuse and neglect that they needed a place of refuge of their own where they could heal and have their childhood restored. Most of our Mattaw children have pretty wretched backgrounds but these girls are even worse. If I could tell ya, I would! But to protect them, we do not post their faces and limit information on their stories. But I can tell you what God has to say about them....
More stories to come on this :).
With all that said, in order to develop the current Mattaw site to the place we fully desire it to be and to strengthen what's already established, we felt it was best to move there for a period of time before expanding. Once new land is bought and the new branch started, we plan to have our own separate compound and home on that site to help oversee it. This will be in another region from where we currently are. We also wanted to be able to travel to Turkana more often to keep doing ministry we started there. Having our own compound to maintain and rent to pay was limiting that. We also desired to put the funds going into rent and such, to be put into the many needs we have at mattaw. (More on this too and ways you can help!)
So back to this new move :).
We prayed, God said move and we did. Ok, so it wasn't that simple. Bud was ready and it was easier for him. For me, I grew up a daughter to a (American) football coach. This means you move. A lot. I had about 10 different cheerleading outfits that my grandma made for each team I would cheer for in my younger years. I'm thankful for moving often because it helped me to learn to adjust to new people and places easily. I'm such a nomad at heart. But this was the first home I've lived in longer than two years. SO ironic is would happen on the mission field. It was great and needed for a time but it was very clear God was directing us to move. He was oh so sweet and gentle in the ways he moved my heart to say yes and obey. Delight yourself in The Lord and he really will give you the desires of your heart so that they align with his proposes. I was able to grieve and let it go and move on fully in my heart. So it wasn't easy but, wow, so worth it. We moved a little over two weeks ago. Once getting in our new home, there's not much I can say to describe the depths of my heart except there's so much peace. I did not at all expect to feel so much peace. I didn't actually have much expectations but once settling in, peace flooded in. Our family out here has welcomed us. We really longed to live with them more as we continue to grow together. I couldn't of asked for cuter neighbors, that's for sure!
So that's the short version :). Here's our new home.
And our dogs are adjusting well too and making new friends :).
I'm in the midst of typing up the story of our newest two Sprouts babies and want to share more there ASAP. We are currently updating our website and getting a few more ducks in a row when it comes to admin (not my strong suit but praise God for supernatural abilities and for sending us people who enjoy it!).
Here's updated pics of our babies, to hold ya over until I can share more :).
And here's Moses. Or lil' mo as I like to call him and then he gives me this big smile. Last month he was hospitalized, had a feeding tube and honestly, did not look good. Like we had to pray resurrection life in Jesus' name because he looked as if death could happen at any moment. Praise our God who heals. He had fully recovered and well, this pic taken a few days ago will tell the rest...