The Kids :)
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine…you are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you.” -the Lord Isaiah 43:1,4
I love them.
I love their voices and their faces. I love their excitement about life and their joy. I love their dancing and singing. I love their little hands that are constantly pulling at me or grasping my hand. I love their hugs and their whispers of “I love you.” I love playing football and hand games with them. I love their eyes and their smiles. I love their fascination with my hair. I love the way they say “how are you?” and “you look smart.” I love their questions and their desire to know us. I love their love and passion for God.
Just in the past week or so, I’ve learned that I deeply love them individually. Not as a group, but as single individual unique kids who I know. Some are ornery, some are rule-followers. Some are shy others are crazy loud. Some are mischievious and hilarious, others are quiet. Some love football, some love drawing, nearly all love singing and dancing. Some are funny while others are serious. Some are sweet and gentle, some are troublemakers and teasers. There’s Nantago, John, Moriaso, Laina, Lapono, Nora, Isaiah, Ikonet, and Shiela. There’s Lamiya, Longai, Elizabeth, Lucy, Reusi, Karino, Cliff and Sarah. There’s Nabooshi, Hellen, Kasinye, Kithomas, Miriamu, Janet, Parmuet, Timothy, Hosea, and Sein. There’s Panina, Eunice, Stephen, Salaash, Maria, Joseline, Mwange, Patrick, Abraham, Richard, Rafael, Amon, and Naserian. They are individuals. Who have individual personalities, likes and dislikes, dreams, and stories. They aren’t so different from you and me, or the kids in our families and schools. I am blessed to have met these kids and had them in my life. I’m so thankful that we are here for a long time, so we have an opportunity to learn who they are. I love that I know them and their stories and their hopes and dreams. How Lucy is crazy and fun, amazing at photography, needs glasses, loves reading the Bible (but doesn’t have one), always leads fellowship time, and wants to be a doctor. How Hellen is joyful and hilarious and has a smile that can literally light up the room, and wants to be a nurse :). How Panina is quieter, but is an amazing singer, picks out every carrot in the meals, and desires to be loved though she won’t outwardly show it because she’s independent. How Hosea somehow knows how to fix every hole in a shoe, is diligent and always wanting to help, and is a fantastic writer..in English! How Abraham fiercely loves his six or seven brothers and sisters, but desires an education so much he will spend years away from them. How Nantago is maybe only 4, but belts out every song we sing and can take care of herself as well as tries to take care of the others. How Patrick was abandoned, but is a strong and hardworking boy who loves drawing and wants to be a pilot. How Sein is a natural leader, strong and sure, first in her class, and wants to be a surgeon.
“Here, in that renewal, there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free, but Christ is all and in all!” Colossians 3:11
I’m reminded when I’m with them that though they are Kenyan, and the majority of them are orphaned, abandoned, and dirt poor, we are the same in Christ. I have so much to learn from them. They teach me about worship and loving God. They teach me about joy and getting along with others. They teach me about appreciating the simple things in life. They teach me about hard work. When I stand and sing to God with them, whether in words I understand or words I have no idea the meaning to, I’m reminded that we are in Christ together. We are the body. This group of Kenyan kids and two mzungu girls. The staff. You. God has chosen us to bear his name and his witness.
These kids are by far both the most exhausting and most rewarding part of this trip. Just writing this my heart is exploding for my love for them. It’s going to be hard to leave, but it’ll be the right time. I’m just praying that we have touched their lives, made it known to them that they are loved and worthy and special, and most of all shown God’s love and hope to them. That they wouldn’t be devastated when we leave their lives, but instead filled by the One who loves them infinitely more than I ever could.
“I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you.” – Jesus John 14:18
As for what we are doing: we have 5 more days at the clinic. I’m learning a lot..we are even starting to be able to look at symptoms and diagnose. We’ve done a lot of vitals, injections, respiratory assessments, eye exams, prenatal assessments, and even some wound care. I’m still hoping I get to do an IV before we leave 🙂 Our nights are full of the kids. Dinner, fellowship, and homework time with them. We spend Thursdays getting things done like laundry, cleaning, dishes, as well as resting. Saturdays we are with the kids, playing and working. We got out nail polish and balloons last week. I think it’s time for some bouncy ball fun this weekend. (Sara, they loved the nail polish! Tell Sam good work in picking out the cool silvers..the boys even painted their toenails because they liked those colors! 🙂 We are already trying to plan our gifts and goodbyes..it seems overwhelming because we want to leave each kid with something special and make sure they get a chance to say goodbye. Prayers as we start our week of lasts and that we can make the most of our time left here.