07 September 2011


Today was SO full. Oh my heart is bubbling over with joy and breaks at the same time. This morning I went out with Betsy and Humphrey to visit children that would possibly come into Mattaw Children's Village. This is one of my absolute favorite things I do here. I love the whole rescuing and initial restoration process. It's a beautiful picture of what our Daddy God does for us. This scripture has been everywhere lately: "God places the solitary in families and gives the desolate a home in which to dwell" Psalm 68:6. And I got to share that today with those that it applies DIRECTLY to. Betsy and I had to keep reminding each other that we were going to keep each other from taking any of these children home with us. HARD I tell you. We want to take our team that is here now, through the process with us of picking them up, sharing Jesus with the family and neighbors they are coming from, and watch the whole process of the children being placed in a new family. It's beautiful, did I mention that?

We first went to visit Dominque. He is 7 years old. The hardest place we went today. You remember Mary? (which I have great updates to give on her soon) She was in this area where we visited Dominique. We drive by this place every day. It's on the side of the road before turning to Mattaw. You could easily miss it. As soon as you go behind the mud hut strip of buildings in front, it's a different world. Children everywhere, dirty, trash everywhere, drainage systems with trash and muck, mostly just women around cooking and hanging clothes, a few men but are obviously drunk, and as I said TONS of children. In this little area there are strips of mud hut buildings with several rooms that are rented out for people to live in. The rooms? About 8x10 in size. And each room one family lives, which is at least a few adults and 4 or more children. When we got there Dominique had just bathed and they turned him around to greet us while still naked. It was so sad to see his frail skinny body and that they would not put clothes on him to greet us first. Of course our reaction was not to greet him but I told them to clothe him first. They did and he shyly greeted us. I could just see trauma all over this precious boys face. Meet Dominique, a child I will joyfully claim as my own and soon to be a child of Mattaw....

Our social worker, Humphrey, shared how the aunt had heard of us a few weeks ago and came to him asking if we could take Dominique. Humphrey was able to share the gospel with her and she received Jesus and was saved! The sad part is that her husband is a drunk. He goes out everyday and does not work but drinks and comes home drunk in the evening. Dominique being one of the first he takes his anger out on and beats him. We were able to encourage her about praying for his salvation and a total change in their household. We talked with the aunt about how we were about to open house three and if we have all the paper work on him, we can come back and pick him next week. She was ready to hand him over right then. And trust me, we were more than ready to take him! I then asked if we could pray for her and she invited us in their room/home to pray. That made my stomach turn. Here is where they stay...
This picture is it. I didn't cut any of where they live out of the picture. To the right is a wall and the left is another room where people live. Only one room. In front she was cooking lunch in that small pot on an open fire. Inside was only an inch thick worn out single mattress, a bit of floor space, a pile of clothes and a pile of worn out buckets and pots. Where the aunt, uncle, their four kids AND Dominique sleep? I'm sure the drunk Uncle sleeps on the mattress while everyone else squeezes in on the dirt floor. Here's another angle of where they stay.

No furniture except that little bench. No water faucet, just this yellow jug where often Dominique is forced to go fetch water from somewhere around with his frail little self.

When I took his picture, I showed it to him and that was the first smile we saw.

He even giggled a bit and it reminded me of our boy Eric at Mattaw. Oh how I can see so much future in this child. Jesus has quite the future in store for him and what a blessing it will be to see his plan unfold over the upcoming years. I can also see that as soon as he is put in a safe and loving environment, he will begin to be a child again, un-traumatized and comforted by the love of Jesus. Would you pray for this precious little boy?

We then drove about 15 minutes away from Mattaw, towards the opposite direction of Kitale. And then drove at least another 15 minutes into the bush. We were in the thick of it. The scenery breathtaking though. Such a beautiful land with rolling hills, big trees throughout the farms, and acacia trees overshadowing the roads. We got there and the grandmother welcomed us with arms wide open. She didn't know we were coming, which I usually like to do. I want to see the children on an average day for them. The first thing she told Humphrey though was that she wished she would have known we were coming so she could have had food or chai ready for us. REALLY?! I mean, really?! What a precious woman and so very hospitable. I learned loads from her in a short time. We then were welcomed into her hut. It was a nice little compound. You can tell she has taken care of what she's been given. About a 1/2 acre of of maize. One cow with a place built out of wood scraps to put the cow in to milk. One chicken. A little barn made of sticks and mud. And her home, with a living room and two small rooms. The grandmother is around 70 or more years old. They don't keep track of their age, especially that generation. I'm sure she doesn't know her birthday. She is widowed and takes care of these two boys, her grandsons, ages 10 and 7. When the seven year old was born, the mother died three days after. This was the grandmothers daughter. The father then abandoned the children and hasn't been seen or heard of since (7 years ago). She didn't know any english at all. We didn't have to understand what she was saying to know what a precious woman she is. I had the thought of wishing we could sit around a camp fire and her tell us stories. I know she's loaded with them. We asked if she was a Christian. She said she was and goes to the Anglican church and has the certificate to prove it. She wanted to show us but I said it wasn't necessary, we believed her. We talked for awhile. I shared about Mattaw and why we do what we do. I shared about how these boys would have a mom, dad, brothers, and sisters. They would not go to an orphanage but be placed in a home and not have the label of an orphan. She lives in this house with just her two grandsons. She's raised these boys and I told her how much Jesus was pleased with her obedience to do that. We asked if she would be lonely if the boys go to Mattaw. Her answer was astounding. She said that in the bible God says to come to him and he will give rest. She said God has answered her prayer by providing a good place for these boys and how can she refuse that. She said this is her time to receive rest. You can tell that taking care of them has not been the easiest on her. They're sweet boys and obviously well behaved, but it's just not the way it should be. She is getting older and more tired and ready for more rest. I love situations like this because God's heart is so strong for the widow as much as the orphan. And not only are we rescuing orphans, but relieving a widow from distress. She no longer has to worry of their future. We will for sure stay connected with her as the boys grow. We try and stay connected with our children's extended family as much as possible and as long as it is a healthy and good thing for our kids. Meet our new friend, Janita. And her grandsons, Emanual and Ayub (swahili name for Job) that will soon be at Mattaw.

While sitting in her living room I notice Ayab cover his face. He was very shy towards us.

We went outside to take pictures and noticed Ayab was gone. We then found him hiding in a tree.
Betsy went up to get him. That got him to laugh a bit and crack a smile.

While talking with the Janita, we had several neighborhood children come to the door to get a peek at us. Janita said she had never had white people visit her. She had only seen them from a distance visiting Saiwa swamp, a little national park close by.

I went out and got a picture of them. They thought it was hilarious when I showed them their picture. Humphrey said the only thing they've ever known is people coming to take a picture and waiting at least a month to develop them. We really were blessed by this visit. We told Janita to invite her neighbors when we come back next week. We plan to share Jesus and pray for people. I don't want to just rescue children from a place and never return there. We plan to bring food but I want to leave the family and neighbors with not just bread but with something that can feed them for life, that gives them eternal life. He's my best friend and can be theirs too!

The last place we went was interesting. It was a fairly nice place. Better than most places we visit. The oldest sister is married and lives in the house we visited. It had nice furniture with a t.v. playing when they welcomed us to sit inside. The house is mud with a tin roof but the outside plastered nicely. The house had metal windows with glass. The sister has a baby and three year old girl. But her parents died in 2007, leaving behind her and her brother and sister. Her sister 12 and brother 8. Sweet children. But the older sisters' husband does not want them there and treats them as outcast. They didn't seem in a desperate situation physically compared to all the other children on our waiting list but emotionally it is desperate for them. It was so interesting to see the three different situation. So different but the same. Orphans in need of a secure home with a mother and father. We are prayerfully considering these children for house three but might wait until house four or five since there are other children in worse need. Please pray with us! Meet Mark and Lilly...

Thank y'all so much for your prayers for Mattaw and us. We are ever so grateful and are continually needing wisdom and discernment from God. We are so desperate for his love that He gives daily without measure and our hope is that it is received by those we encountered today. Pray as we will return to these places with our team here and for hearts to be open to Jesus.


Andria Holbert said...

Geeze, reading this was like a roller coaster of ups and downs for me---I bawl then recover and bawl some more the recover then bawl again then pray....thanks for the update...
love you guys! andria holbert

Mum of 3 boys! said...


Thank you for updating these posts, it gives me something to share with the Kenya Dig it boys....and I know that God is leading us to be a part of the Mattaw Children's village.

we want to do more......God is big enough!



Anonymous said...

I stand amazed at all God is having you do for the children in your corner of the world. I would want to take them all home too and give them the love that we have. I will pray that God will give you discernment as you make the decisions about the needs of the families you've encountered and that His will be done for them. Such precious faces and I look forward to meeting them all in June when we come with some of our youth. Please know that we love reading your updates and seeing your pictures and pray over you all daily!

Leesa Harrington
Odessa, TX

The Beavers said...

this post makes me so happy! i have gotten behind on reading so I had some catching up to do. so excited about all that is going on there!!

Kimberly said...

thanks adria! josh will get to go meet these kids and help us bring 'em home.

you're welcome sonya, still amazed at what your boys are doing! keep us updated!

thanks for the prayers leesa and looking forward to having you here!

thanks mary! i've so enjoyed yours too. love the videos. miss you guys!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Kim for taking the time to post. I want to reach out and hug each one these precious ones! We are praying for all of you. I will be readig this again to soak it all in.
Much love,
Cindy Castleberry

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