28 July 2008

Our Children

This past week we've been visiting possible children that we'll be putting into Mattaw. To meet them, hug them, and hear their stories has been a blessing. I've gone home in tears from some of them, wishing I could bring them home and let them stay with us for the time being, but we want to be above reproach in all we do, making sure our t's are crossed and i's are dotted. We met with the District Children's Officer this past week. It went really well. Him seeing what we're really about and wanting to do everything according to the Kenyan regulations made a huge impact. Him knowing we want to do everything through the Children's Department makes both of our lives easier. He can give an answer to Nairobi people on whats going on and we can run the children's home with no interferance and keep a good standing with the government. We really wanted to put children in while the team was here but after talking with the DCO he said to wait a few weeks till he can come out and see the home. He said we've waited a year, why not wait a few weeks... good point. So we've been staying super busy getting files together, hiring a social worker, and doing finishing touches on Penda house.

Last week we went with a social worker, Lucy, from Kitale Aids Program. It is run by a group of catholic sisters. They are leaving in December after being here over 40 years. So some of the desperate cases in their program, they're looking for homes. Lucy took us to Bekeke village, right outside of Kitale. There are two children, Eunice age 11 and John age 9. Their size though looks like they're both 6. I absolutely fell in love with Eunice. Their parents died of aids when they were really young. Their grandmother took them in and the rest of the family thought she shouldn't of. The family saw these children as a real burden. The grandmother has always been very hard working. She would go and plow in peoples farms in order to make enough money to support herself and the two children. Eunice was born with a physical disability in her arm and leg. She wasnt able to walk but because the grandmother took her to a doctor and gave her therapy she is now able to. A few months ago in the night the grandmother woke up and her entire left side went paralyzed (stroke probably). She has no money to go to Eldoret to get medical attention and none of the family members would help. Now she is unable to work in the farm to take care of Eunice and John. Ampath is a NGO here in Kenya that gives free aids testing and medicine. The grandmother would take Eunice and John once a month to get medication and tested to see what their arv count was. She would put Eunice on her back and carry her to the tarmac road since Eunice cant walk very well for a long distance. If you've seen the movie Simon Birch, that who Eunice reminded me of! Just sweet as can be, and cute as a doll. She wasn't scared of us at all and was ready to leave with us. We found Eunice at home but John was at school. Some days Eunice doesnt have the strength to walk to school. We went and searched out John at his school. He was a bit timid but friendly when he met us. The social worker said he'd be mr. popular of the day since he got to meet and talk with white people. Here's a picture of Eunice, when she saw us pull up she went and put on her best outfit... (my camera went dead by the time we met John)

We hope to be welcoming them home in a few weeks. Please pray for them and also for their grandmother. This past week a group from saddleback church in California came in. There's a lot of medical people on the team and they've been doing clinics. Hollie has joined them and I think she's learning a lot. There's an eye doctor on the team so this week they'll be having an eye check clinic. Eunice has problems with her eyes so we'll be taking her. Things like this is what I live for. To find children with no hope, and in Jesus give them hope and a future. When I hug these children, its as though I'm hugging the very heart of God. I desire to do this the rest of my life. These are things i truly was created to do. We each have something that really stirs us and satisfies us wherever we are. Just because im in africa and you might be in america doesnt mean you cant feel this exact feeling. We each have something we're created for. As Benson put it when he spoke to the team during Mattaw's first church service, we each have a scroll that God wrote out for our lives before the foundation of the earth. David also brought up in a morning devotion about each of us having something we do and feeling God's pleasure in it. For some it was worshiping, some driving, maybe for you its working on a computer, raising your child, cooking, working to support your family, building, painting, preaching, praying for your grown children, teaching, the list goes on. Like i said you dont have to be a missionary in africa to find it. You are where you are for a reason! What is it that you do that you feel God's presence and satisfaction?

So there's one example of the type of children we're bringing home. Please be in prayer as we continue to prepare for their home coming. Some of the names are: Daisy, Jeffery, Eunice, John, Sharon, Maureen and Aaron.

Today we're off to do some painting in our temporary school house! More stories about these children to come.


the chans said...

Hey - thanks for your comment. I too wish we had had more time to get to know each other better. I can hardly believe we are leaving tomorrow . . . . it feels way too soon. Too hard to really take it in at the moment. But God is in control and if it is His will for us to return for a season - He will bring it to pass. His timing and ways are perfect - He can so be trusted!!!!
You guys are amazing!!! Know that we will continue to pray for and LOVE your family. We look forward to "next time" whether that be here or there.
Keep walking in that for which you are created. It is a beautiful thing.

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