26 December 2011


Howdy y'all! This past week we had our Christmas vacation with my parents in the mountains (Ruidoso, NM). My brother and four of his boys were there too. His wife and youngest couldn't make it since their youngest was in the hospital with rev twice and has to pretty much live in a bubble for awhile. We were pretty bummed about that! But we were still able to go and have a good time, it just wasn't the same without them. So we've had a good dose of family time. Here in a few days Bud's sister will visit and we'll spend time with his side of the family. After we get a good fill of time with them, the "itch" I started getting last week will turn into an "intense rash" causing me to go insane and want to be back in Kenya with our family there. Yep, I've got the itch to be in Kenya NOW. But remembering to be content where I'm at and I truly am thankful to be here. My heart is just longing to be back home. And today the itch is worse. So in the mean time I'll just write about home and catch up on a few pictures.

Linda and I eating chapati in house one. It's their version of tortillas. Very yummy.

On our last safari with Dan, Linda, Ian and Daniel.

Daniel and Ian playing with fire a.k.a a baboon. They were brave to sit this close to such a beast! Have you seen their teeth?!

Ian and Dan. Dan and Linda have sponsored Ian for four years now!

Jim reading with some of our Mattaw children in house two

This morning we were able to Skype with our boys (young men) in Kenya.  Of course we miss our Mattaw kiddos terribly but more than that, we miss these three boys. They are part of our family and honestly I could cry just thinking about them not being with us for Christmas. And I really do miss cooking for them even if they do eat us out of the house! I've talked about Caleb on HERE before and also mentioned Ian with some pictures here and there. But I haven't talked much about Daniel. These three boys have unique stories and are special indeed. Our vision at Mattaw Children's Village is to place children in families by training Kenyan house parents to raise them. We want the Kenyans to raise Kenyans and be the ones to restore what a family looks like. With these three boys it was different. Sometimes we have to let God break our box of how we do things and not be sticklers on how we think things should go. Mattaw is God's vision and we believe bringing these three boys into our family was part of God's plan too. We have a little two bedroom guesthouse on the same compound as our house. We've had single missionaries live in it before but it became empty around the same time that Caleb graduated high school and around the same time we decided to not put Ian in boarding school anymore. It was necessary for him to transfer to a better school which is near our house. So a year ago Caleb and Ian moved into our guesthouse and even though they were already part of our family, it became more full time.

Let me back way up right quick. Before opening Mattaw (which happened September 2008), we lived in Kitale for over a year. We spent a lot of that time learning more of the culture and living in Kitale. We did a lot of praying in preparation of Mattaw. It felt we weren't doing much but for Bud and I as a married couple, we were setting a foundation for our family and ministry in Kenya. I remember hearing over and over not to despise small beginnings. We did have four young college students come and live with us for a few months. We were able to give them opportunities to serve in different ministries around Kitale. One of the things we did with them was street kid outreaches. During one of those times is when we rescued Ian. That same morning God had woke me up to go save Daniel, a little street boy that we would see in town almost on a daily basis for several months. There's a lot more to their story but I'm already being long winded so I'll save that for another time. Basically we got them in rags, beaten down by the world but with the leading of Jesus they became our sons. Ian and Daniel were pretty opposite. Ian wasn't addicted to glue, Daniel was. Ian was very shy, Daniel was loud but hilarious. Our college students helped us welcome them into our home. We have sweet memories of that summer with them. Around September we ended up coming back to the states to have Elisha in December. While we were gone we had our friend Todd stay in our house and take care of Daniel and Ian for us. Before leaving though Daniel had already ran away to the streets a few times. Each time we would track him down and bring him back home. The glue and addiction was so strong. While in the states Todd called and said he ran away a few times again. Eventually we had to let him go. Later that next year he was picked up by a street kid rehabilitation ministry. We were so happy to find that out. He lived there up until this past year when he showed up at our gate. I won't get into details on how that happened but when I pulled out of our gate one day to find him standing there, I jumped out of my car and welcomed him back home with open arms. It had been several years since he lived with us so we gave it a test run. He had changed so much and matured more than we could believe. He is definitely still the funny Daniel we've always known but now he has grown up more and able to make reasonable decisions. He now knows how loved he was and is by us. He's over the addiction to the glue, streets and everything else that came with that. He's been on a long and hard journey at such a young age but God has been faithful to care for him. We know God has BIG plans for his life and we're thankful to help get him there. Wherever that may be. For now though he is home at our house.

The main reason I share this with you is to ask you to consider being his sponsor. He's been living with us this time around since September this year. We wanted to make sure he was committed to staying with us and didn't want to run away. He is such a respectful and loving young man. We don't take it lightly the responsibility to raise him in his last years of being a kid. He's now about 13 years old. We're not sure his exact age and there's really no way to find out.

So I've waited this long to find a sponsor for him so that if someone commits to sponsoring him, they will know its long term. There's a few preferences I have for those that prayerfully consider to sponsor Daniel. To sponsor him, it would be a bit different than sponsoring a child living at Mattaw. You would mostly communicate directly with us on how he is doing. Ian's sponsors just visited him and that was HUGE for him to get to meet them. So one request is that you would communicate with him often. Another one is that you are planning to visit Kenya one day, hopefully in the next couple of years. We are setting up an email account for Ian to be able to write with Dan and Linda and plan to do that same for Daniel and whoever would sponsor him. Also the total cost to sponsor a Mattaw child per month is broken up into five sponsors to make it $35 each. For Daniel we prefer to just have one sponsor like we do for Ian, making it $100 per month. This covers his schooling and needs per month. We cover food and housing expenses. We wish we could do more, which we have been doing, but he needs a sponsor. It also gives someone else the opportunity to make an impact on his life and be so blessed in return. If you would like more details, please email us: mattaw@yahoo.com.

I better close this long winded update! We're on our way out the door to catch a double date with my brother and his wife. Mexican food here we come. As much as I miss our home in Kenya, I will surely enjoy tonight!


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