We are home! We did indeed make it to Kipkaren for a wonderful week of learning, listening, teaching, and fellowshipping.
I grew up in a small town so I love the intimacy of a small community. Mombasa was the last place I ever wanted to be cause its so big, clustered, dirty, and cramped. Going to the village is like a vacation for me even if I am working all day long. The beautiful sunrises and sunsets, the quietness, the green landscape, the cool weather, the simple lifestyle, the fresh produce, the humble people, and the slower pace of life. So wonderful!
Our hosts were amazing! They have this swanky guesthouse (which was three times bigger than our apartment in Mombasa) fit with the most comfortable beds and steaming hot showers!! They fed us wonderful meals and let us enjoy their family. We learned a lot from them! They too are a mixed couple like Kelvin and I. They have been doing community development in this area for 14+ years. I picked their brains on so many things like their mistakes, triumphs, difficulties, finances, etc. We were so privileged to work with them.
We tried to wake up early every morning to have coffee and do devotions together while the sun was rising. Spectacular!
The reason we were asked to come up there was to help start a youth program similar to ours. The state of the youth in this community really broke our hearts. I was especially heartbroken for the young women most of whom dropped out of school at an early age and got pregnant either by their husbands, someone else’s husband, or some random men. They really need someone to walk alongside of them and point them towards Jesus their Healer, Forgiver, Redeemer, Lover, Provider and Father.
Above Kelvin was doing devotions for a group of youth and widows in the community. After devotions, we took the youth and did some team building exercises while teaching them a few life skills.
Jayden, the son of our hosts, is too adorable for words. Seriously, he melts the heart of everyone he meets. He is a man of the community just like his father.
Jayden watching as the boys begin to play soccer.
It was really really muddy. It poured with rain every afternoon we were there. I loved the thunder and lightening but didn’t so much enjoy standing outside watching soccer in the rain….
….hence the awkward missionary/village/freezing cold fashion. Finally, by the third day of being ridiculously cold, I put away my pride and dressed to be warm instead of trying to look decent.
We came hoping to find a bunch of youth eager to play soccer. We were told there were many but quickly learned that they only come if there is something they will get out of it (like a ball, blankets, gifts). So our method of reaching youth through soccer didn’t work out so well. The show still went on and Kelvin did what he does best: love on youth and point them to Jesus. Here they are praying after practice.
We even brought some swanky cones and balls for them to practice with.
A seriously cute kid! The best part is that he doesn’t even speak english (even though his Mom is american)! They taught him swahili first which has kind of inspired me to learn so that my kids will be bi-lingual.
Kelvin utterly amazed me the whole week. He was in his element doing what God has created him to do best. It was so amazing to see my husband truly THRIVE in what he was doing. I was so so proud of him!!!
We have committed to supporting a group of youth in the community. About 50 of them have formed a group where they come together to grow closer to God, grow closer to each other, support one another in their lives, create jobs and do income generating projects together. We hope to go again every couple months to mentor, train, walk alongside, and love on them.
We couldn’t go all the way to Eldoret and not go to Ilula to visit all the kids and my ‘family’. We only spent one night but it was just enough to drink yummy chai, sing the latest hits with the girls, goof around with the young kids, and talk and laugh around the dinner table with the Ronos. To our surprise, Emmanuel picked us up in their ‘new’ car. We had quite the ride to the children’s home. At one point a large piece of metal fell off the side of my door as we were sliding around in the mud. It felt so good to be home….
We are back in Mombasa and will be updating you with some exciting stuff soon!!