Like father, like son?

Kelvin and one of our boys, Lamlo, watching the game. Kelvin’s influence extends to standing postures! Haha. I just thought it was a cute sight. 
 But I loved this picture! You see those papers in Kelvin’s hands? Those are Lamlo’s clinic card, ID of his guardian, and death certificate of his guardian! Can I tell you why this is so exciting? 
Well this year, Kelvin made it mandatory that all the boys have their birth certificates and IDs in order for them to play on the team. He wanted to push them to take initiative and get their lives in order. Plus, we want to play in some bigger leagues that require that each player has an ID of some sort. Now Lamlo is an orphan. He has no family members. His parents died a while ago and he is an only child. He somehow made it to Mombasa from his home across the country and manages to makes a small living for himself. However, when we told him that he needed an ID, he told us he wouldn’t be able to get it. He doesn’t have any of his own documents or even his parents death certificates. The best we could think of was that he could travel upcountry to meet with the chief of the area that he came from and see if he could vouch for him. We were prepared to pay his expenses as we know how much he wanted this. 
However, on wednesday he surprised Kelvin with all his documents! I guess he had been running up and about, missing practice, trying to get his stuff in order!! It was so awesome to see him take initiative and get his life in order. This ID doesn’t just get him on the team but allows him to vote, get a job, go to school, etc. Its kinda a big deal! 
So the next day Kelvin took the application form to him (we actually keep copies of the form with us because we hand so many out). I am excited to see his ID! 

Mom and Kasondra in Ilula

One of the things I HAD to do was take Mom to my most favourite place on earth: Ilula! This is where I started over 6 years ago and has become a treasure to me. Mom has heard countless stories and seen hours of video of this place. My dad went when he was here a couple years ago, so now it was Mom’s turn to see my ‘home’ here in Kenya. 
Oh yah, and Kasondra got to come along too!!

Waiting to leave Nairobi. I messed up Kasondra’s flight time the night before and thought that she had come out of the gate and got lost. Mom and I frantically raced around the airport looking for her. (I read her itinerary wrong. I though 20:45 was 10:45 when it is actually 8:45 – good thing my friend who was driving us decided we needed to be there early). I ended up asking some older gentleman, who had come through the gate, if he had seen my friend. He goes, “Ah yes, the really tall one? She is still in there.” Phew!

Always love when they welcome us. Mom was in tears….Not surprising. 
I was so proud of Kasondra. She jumped right in a helped out wherever she could. It didn’t take long for her to fit right in. She would wander off for hours and totally enjoy herself. 

The children’s home has started a new passionfruit project which will hopefully gain an income for them. My mom spent 4 hours pruning the fruits with the kids. 

My sponsor child Valentine. How blessed am I that I get to be apart of my sponsor child’s life?! 

Kasondra fit right in playing basketball with the kids. (Her and I used to play basketball regionally when we were in high school).

Ok, my favourite part of going to Ilula these days is GIRL TALK! The girls are now in high school and quite the amazing young ladies. I LOVE listening to all their great stories from their adventures at school and at home. I am so proud of them. Some of them have experienced some crazy things but have stuck to their guns! 

Isn’t she gorgeous!?

My mom and my kenyan ‘mom’ walking to the shamba. 

Eva tending to the shamba.

“Ah mzungu! She’s actually shaking my hand!”

Mom tried to milk the cow. As you can see, the cow was not impressed and would not allow Mom to do it. 

Ladies! 

Yep, she fit right in. Her and Apollo (middle) got along great! 

Sometimes I wish I could pick this girl up and take her with me wherever I go. I just adore her. We have the most precious talks when I see her. 
Our 3 nights there were so fulfilling. Mom was so moved to see the people who have taken care of me all these years. She loved the environment (it actually surprised me how much she loved all the plants and gardens). Next time I will get to bring my husband to meet everyone! 

I’m Back!

I am back online! Did you miss me?! …. Yah, didn’t think so. 

I am not sure exactly where to start. Should I tell you about taking my mother to Eldoret to meet all my precious sisters and brothers? Or how she spent hours pruning the passionfruit plants while I got to have precious girl talks with the high school girls? Maybe I should mention that I messed up my best friend’s flight arrival time and thought I had lost her in the airport? I wish I could describe my delight seeing all my family (including my Kenyan Family, the Ronos) at the pitch cheering on our boys as they played in the semi finals. Or the sounds of traditional singing and bright colours that welcomed me to Granny’s house as they covered my head and ushered me into my own room where my whole family ate fresh goat pilau. Of course, the wedding day must be mentioned from my mother doing my hair and make-up to Dad walking me down the aisle and handing me over to Kelvin to the ‘I do’s’ and the kiss to the yummy food and dancing till the sun went down on the Indian Ocean. Couldn’t have asked for a better day. Then we had the the mini honeymoon which we loved;) but family time was the greatest. Lots of card playing, drinking coke, swimming, picking on each other, laughing, and quality family time. Goodness! I almost forgot the boys christmas gifts! Too bad I missed it. Was stuck at the bank but let my family do the honours. Such is life. And now I am nestled in my lovely new apartment, catching up on emails, eating all the yummy treats my family left behind (Doritos, Reese’s pieces, energy drinks, cheese, and Mini Eggs) and waiting for my husband to come home.

It was a phenomenal month to say the least. As the days go by, I will add pictures and more stories about all that has happened.

I am blessed beyond belief. This whole month taught me truly how much God loves me, how valuable I am to Him, how He loves to shower me with good things, and how He is always faithful.  This past year has been one of my best (but not without its fair share of struggles) and I think I have ended on a high note.

Kelvin and I sat this morning and talked about our favourite moments this year (but we couldn’t mention anything from the last month). We revelled in the ways God has used us in Kongowea and were amazed to see how some of our boys are now interning for big companies and turning their hearts to God. We looked at the ways we have grown as individuals and as a couple. I have learned to cook Kenyan food (and absolutely love it too!) which was a HUGE thing for me as well as learning to take care of a household. Kelvin is grateful that God has given him the means to fulfil his role as leader or provider in a deteriorating economy and practically jobless country. And how we have both stretched and grown closer to God’s image. And we have loved God with all that is in us.

Happy New Year everyone!