I married into a large, tight-nit, Christian community here in Kenya.
It is a true gift.
It is this group of people who have known each other for a long time. Most of them worked in a Christian ministry of some sort together for a period of time. They are all in the same demographic as us: young, married (or soon to be married), young kids (or soon to have kids), middle class, strong Christians, mostly kenyan (besides the few that have married in like me). A lot of them are still doing work in ministry as pastors, missionaries, bible teachers, worship leaders, bible study and life group leaders, etc. Many of them have other professions as accountants, radio presenters, business owners, retail workers, uber drivers, event planners, bakers, etc.
We meet them everywhere, every day. We do life with them. They are people who always have your back. They are literally brothers and sisters from otha’ motha’s. They make your business their business. They drop everything for you. They encourage you and keep you accountable. They propel you towards Jesus. They realize that we are stronger in numbers; we need each other. We lean on each other. We are better together than apart.
For the sake of being trendy, they are our tribe.
A week and a half ago, one of our tribe members got married. We rallied and gave him and his bride the best send off into marriage as we could. We worked long hours, volunteered our time, gave of our money and blessed them. It is just what we do and we do it so well. Oh, and did I mention it was an absolute blast? How can it not be fun when your tribe is all together in one place celebrating?
A few days later, we lost one of our own. A wife, 34 years old died from complications while giving birth to their 2nd son. The pain and sadness we have felt in the last week has been too intense. But you can bet your bottom that we rallied together for her husband and family. Some were literally holding the husband up when he was buckled over in grief.
While Kelvin and I were in Canada, a few other people in this tribe passed away. We mourned from a distance. We gave our money to support the funerals. We made phone calls to give condolences. We anxiously awaited photos and updates on facebook to see what was going on with our tribe back home.
So when we went to the cemetery on Saturday to lay our sister to rest, I took it upon myself to find our other friends who we lost while in Canada. I am not entirely sure what I was expecting. It almost felt like a cruel game of “find your friend in the graveyard”. Kelvin and I were walking around, heads down, looking for the names on the tombstones. When we would find one, we would call each other over and break down and mourn.
But then we would look up and there is our tribe, scattered throughout the graveyard, rallied together once again for each other.
And I would be pretty confident to say that most of them will be apart of us for eternity.
As a new week starts, I am purposing to hold my loves so close to me, especially my babies and my hubby. I am purposed to love hard to the point where your pain is my pain and your joy is my joy. It is so worth it. People are so worth it. You are so worth it.