Day #15 – Goodbye Huruma… hello USA

Well, it’s official. We are home! The last two weeks of adventure have come to a close as we head back to our normal lives here in the U.S. Many are already headed back to work, and a couple of our high schoolers are even back to school already. Not the easiest transition, for sure!

Saturday morning, Mama had a special chapel service for us to say goodbye. She handed out gifts to us as a thank-you for coming to visit. The boys got t-shirts, Masai wraps, and clubs, while the girls got dresses, head wraps, and purses. They gathered us at the front of the chapel and sang to us our goodbye, each by name. We all stood there taking in the experience, with tears falling from our faces as we said goodbye to our new friends. The rest of the day we spent hanging out with the kids, watching the clock tick by the hours until it was time for us to leave.

We headed for the airport around 6pm Kenya time, stopping to grab something to eat along the way at a local mall food court. When we got to the airport, we headed on our way as we parted from our friends from Canada and North Carolina, who were on different flights. After flying out of Nairobi at 10:45pm, we made it safely to Paris, with pretty much all of us sleeping the entire way. In Paris, we said goodbye to our friend Kristina from Virginia and headed to catch our connection to Miami. Luckily, we got our boarding passes and made it through security with enough time to catch our flight. When we got to Miami, we had to go through customs, so we gathered up all our stuff, went and picked up our baggage, and got checked out. It was a very easy process compared to the one we had gone through in Kenya. We made it through in a reasonable amount of time, caught our flight to Phoenix, and headed home.

We landed in Phoenix around 6:20pm and were greeted by so many friends and family to welcome us home. We are all happy to be home, but sad about who we had to leave behind. The past two weeks have been amazing for all of us and I’m sure this is going to be an experience we will always look back on and realized how blessed we were that we got to go. But just because we are home, it doesn’t mean the prayers stop. Continue to pray for Mama Zipporah and her ministry in Huruma. Continue to pray for the kids there and that every one of them will come to know Jesus as their personal savior. Continue to pray that the relationships built there will continue to thrive and that we will be able to go back again someday! Until that day comes, we keep Kenya in our hearts and carry a piece of it along with us each day! Thank you again for all of you thoughts and prayers along the way and for following this journey along with us!

Day #12-14 – Operation: VBS is a success!

It’s hard to believe our two week trip is coming to an end, and in 24 hours we will be sitting at the airport preparing to board our flights home! This week, especially, has completely flown by!

On Wednesday, our team led another successful morning of VBS for our primary school kids. They had a blast singing our silly songs of “The Trumpet Song” and “Our God is so Big,” both complete with fun actions. They made paper bag cowboy vests and got to decorate them in craft time. They all looked so cute walking around in them and were clearly proud of their masterpieces! In games, they got soaked doing an obstacle course blindfolded. They were given directions from their partner to navigate around the obstacles and if they walked into one of them, they were squirted with a water gun. They also had fun with the balloon toss! In snack, they got to eat yummy dirt cake complete with gummy worms. They loved it! They then headed to story time with Pastor Tim as many of our team members acted out a skit involving Goliath egging on the Isrealites and David volunteering to fight him. They did a great job of bringing the story to life!

That night at evening prayers, the high school kids received their toiletry kids we all put together for them, thanks to many donations from those back in the U.S. They were so excited! Simple things like deodorant, body spray, lip gloss, and soap are so great to them. Some of the boys even needed a lesson in using the deodorant! We’ve all come to realize how completely blessed we are back in the U.S. each day we are here!

Thursday brought the end of our 3-day VBS. The kids got to color a paper cowboy boot in crafts, play tug of war and a three legged race in games, and eat trail mix and enjoy juice in snack. They were sad to see the fun couple of days come to a close. When we got finished, we had time to play with the kids before getting ready to head into Nairobi for our special dinner out at a restaurant called “Carnivore.” We were all excited to take showers, do our hair, and dress up for a nice night out after being pretty grubby the last few weeks. Unfortunately, things don’t always work out as planned. The electricity went out after lunch, so we couldn’t take hot showers or do our hair. However, we made it work and still looked nice for our night out on the town.

When we got to the restaurant, we got to eat outside in the beautiful courtyard. Everything was African themed and very nice! The waiters brought us out soup, salad, and bread to start us off. After that, the excitement began! As we sat there eating, men would come around with giant machetes with meat on them. They had everything from normal chicken, pork, lamb, and turkey to the obscure crocodile, ostrich, chicken gizzards, and bull testicles! It was definitely an adventure for us as some were more adventurous than others! Everyone had a great time just getting to eat yummy food and enjoy the great company! One thing we were entertained with was that there were cats running all around the restaurant, eating up all the leftover scraps people would drop. They were some fat, well-fed cats, for sure!

Today, Friday, started with our last chapel service. Mama called us up to the front and thanked us for all the work we did and heart we poured into being here. The kids sang to us as we stood there, pretty much all of us crying our eyes out! When chapel was over, many of our group members headed to school with the kids to check out, and even teach, some of the classes. However, Lisa and I, with the help of our guide Kristina from Virginia, headed to the doctor to get some help for our terrible colds we haven’t been able to shake! When we were pulling into the parking lot, Lisa had her blinker on and turned in, only to be hit a second later by a Kenyan man on a motorcycle slamming into the rear side of the van. It scared us to death as we worried for the safety of the driver. Kenyan drivers are crazy and this was just one prime example! We made sure the driver was ok, and since we were going to the doctor anyway, we took him with us. The doctor checked out the man and we were all happy to hear there were no real injuries – just bumps and bruises. Lisa and I got some meds to, hopefully, make us feel better and then we were on our way, paying only $34 for our medications and visit fees, including those of our motorcycle friend. How’s that for cheap healthcare? Ha!

When we got back, we had lunch and then headed out again with a bunch of our group to check out a jewelry making factory nearby called Kazuri. The word “Kazuri” is Swahili for small and beautiful. The beads are hand made by women suffering from the HIV virus. We got to tour the factory and watch the women make the beads out of clay, glaze them, and then paint and string them. It was incredibly remarkable! After our tour, we got to check out all the amazing pieces in their gift shop. It was hard not to buy everything, because they were all so beautiful!

After we all spent way too much money in the gift shop, we headed back to the home and got to spend time playing with the kids. The guys had fun participating in a rematch soccer game with the staff vs. students, our guys playing on the staff team. It was a great game and the staff team ended up pulling off the win 2-0. They were very excited after losing miserably the last game. The girls had fun playing with the kids, coloring pictures, getting their hair braided, and just enjoying spending time with them. Tonight was a dance party to end the evening! These kids sure know how to dance and love showing us their moves and attempting to teach us.

It sure has been a fun two weeks and we are sad to see it come to a close! We get one more full day tomorrow with the kids and then we fly out tomorrow night at 10:45pm. Thank you all for your continued prayers and we’ll be home to you soon!

Day #8-11 Hi ho hi ho it’s off on safari we go!

Greetings to all!

What a crazy couple of days it has been, but it has been a blast! We have definitely all been able to see God working in each of our lives along the way!

On Saturday morning, our team started our journey to the Serengeti desert for our African safari! It was a long drive that was only supposed to take around five and a half hours, but it ended up taking close to eight. Along the way, we were able to take in the breathtaking view of the Great Rift Valley, which was amazing! We were all in complete awe! Also along the way, we had several van complications that caused us to have to pull over a couple times along the way. By the time we got to the lodge where we stayed, we were all exhausted but were eager to go check out the wildlife preserve where we were going for the safari. Since we got there later than we expected, we were only able to drive around for an hour before the park closed. It was absolutely amazing, but I’ll get into more details in a bit.

When we got back to the place we were staying, we ate dinner and then headed for bed. The place we stayed was very nice. Most of us stayed in cute cabins with three to four people, while others stayed with only one other person in safari tents.

The next morning on Sunday, we woke up bright and early to be able to go on safari. We were hoping to see some animals catching their morning breakfast on their hunt, but had no such luck. Throughout the day, though, we were able to take in some spectacular sights. We saw gazelles, wildebeests, buffalo, elephants, hippos, cheetahs, leopards, and even lions! We all felt like we were right in National Geographic or The Lion King. As we looked around, all of us were completely memorized by how gorgeous it was and what a completely miraculous God we serve who surrounds us with such beauty. It was awesome to say the least.

As amazing as the experience was, it didn’t come without a couple bumps along the way. While in the park, we came across a big dip in the road that was covered with water. There were elephants right on the other side, so we all wanted to get across to go see them. It was a nice idea in theory, but didn’t quite work out the way we intended. The first van went across and made it, but the rest of our vans got stuck. We ended up having to get out of our vans as our drivers hooked up chains to help pull each van out of the water and allow the next van to have the same fate. Thankfully, none of us got eaten by any lions while we were standing outside. It was actually a gorgeous backdrop to be standing in and be a part of. While the majority of our group was going through the fiasco of being stuck, one of the vans decided to go a longer route and go around. In the van were Lisa, Tim, Garett, Kaelan, and Patrick. We ended up getting separated from them for the whole day, because their driver got lost in the park. Our drivers kept trying to keep communicating with him and find out where he was, but there was no such luck in finding them. The drivers finally decided to take us back to our lodge right as the park closed and then go back in to try and find them. By this time it was getting dark and we were worried for our friends. We all banded together and prayed for our lost teammates. About an hour later, they were found and brought back. They had quite the stories to tell of their day lost on safari, and we were all thankful they were safe! In fact, they even got to see even cooler things than we did as they got face to face with giraffes and saw a lion family with baby lion cubs. The rest of us were definitely jealous of that!

On Monday morning, we went back into the park for two hours to try and catch a morning hunt, but we had no such luck. We headed back to our lodge to pack up our things. While doing that, we got to check out the cute little howler monkeys that lived in the trees outside our cabins. Many of us took pictures and videos. One of our teammates, Michael, was in the middle  of taking a video on his iPhone when one of the monkeys started growling at him. He backed away from the monkey, but it ended up following him with every step he took. Eventually, he started to try and run away as the monkey came after him, causing him to fall, break his iPhone, and slam his shoulder against the ground. He now has a huge bruise on his arm all from an attack of a foot tall monkey! We couldn’t help but give him a hard time about it! The best part is that he got it all on video, since he was taking video at the time that it happened. It is hilarious to watch as we see him filming the cute monkeys, dashing off in a sprint through the trees like Blair Witch Project, and then falling to the ground. It is great, although I’m not sure if Michael would agree!

After we packed up, we were able to go check out the Masai Village. The Masai is a large African tribe that lives in Kenya. Many still hold true to their native traditions and clothing. We got to walk to the Masai Village with some of the members and learn some about their culture. They did a welcome dance for us in which they had a jumping contest for us to show how manly they were. In their culture, the higher you can jump means you are quite a catch as a man. You are greatly praised in the tribe and don’t have to pay as many cows as the rest of the guys in order to get a wife. Some of the guys from our team even joined in and showed off their jumping skills. All of us were extremely impressed with Patrick’s jumping abilities. If he were a Masai, he wouldn’t have had to pay any cows for a wife! Ha! After the contest, we headed over to where the men taught us how to start a fire from nothing but sticks and a sword. Ronnie and Garrett tried their hand at it, too, and were successful in getting it started. We then headed to check out the inside of the village. We got to see their huts, which the women make for their husbands out of manure. The huts are very small and dark inside with very little room to move around or even stand up. The Masai practice polygamy, so many men have multiple wives. Each wife has their own home and they rotate from house to house each night. They are also herders, so as we walked through the village, we had to try to avoid stepping in piles of manure all around. Their village is in a circle, because they bring their cows in each night and they house the animals in the middle at night to keep out predators. If one comes their way, they use spears and clubs to kill them, no matter how dangerous the animal. In fact, in order to even be considered a man in their community, you have to kill a lion. There were so many interesting discoveries we learned about the Masai people! It was a great experience, but afterwards, we were ready to get on the road and head back to Haruma! Unfortunately, we had two vans break down along the way resulting in us to, once again, arrive later than expected. We’ve learned that schedules go out the window in Kenya as we have experienced many unplanned events during our journey. When we got back, our power was out and it was pouring down rain. That made it difficult to plan for the start of VBS Tuesday morning. Instead, we put our bags in our rooms and went to bed, ready to wake up early in the morning to get everything in gear.

That brings us to today (a lot of info, I know!) Today was the start to our three day long Vacation Bible School we are putting on for the children. The high school students will be participating in a high school camp during the August team’s visit, so this was specifically designed for the younger kids. The title is “Branded” and it is based on the life of David. Today’s lesson was on David being chosen by God to be the new king, even though no one thought he looked the part. Our Bible verse for the week is 1 Samuel 16:7, which talks about how we judge people based on their appearance, but God looks at the heart. The kids sang songs, made crafts and snacks, played games, and heart the Bible story. It was a fun day and we’re excited to see how God blesses the lives of both the children and us through this experience!

We know God is going to do some amazing things through this trip and are already seeing Him working. However, we have also noticed the Devil fighting some spiritual warfare on us as well. We know He’s not happy with the work we are doing here. Many people are suffering with sickness, myself included, and are having a hard time participating and spending time with the kids, while feeling like junk. Please continue to pray for us each day! We can definitely feel your prayers!

Love and miss you all! 🙂

Day #6 & 7 – Let the fun begin!

Bwana asafiwe! (Praise God!)

The past two days have been such exciting and fun days here at the Haruma Children’s Home! In fact, it was such a fun day yesterday that I blogged all about it last night. The only problem was that when I went to post it, it all disappeared. So, this is actually my second time writing about all that happened. Let’s hope I can remember it all!

After chapel yesterday morning, part of our group went to the boys’ dorm to finish our work project. We painted. Since we had so little to finish, not everyone’s help was needed. The one’s that did help finished painting and cleaning. We then realized we had enough paint to take over to Mama Zipporah’s sitting room and paint it. They ended up painting three of the walls yellow and a blue accent wall for the fourth. Mama was so excited! For those that did not have to help with the work project, they were able to go check out the school. They sat in on Physics, went to the library for English, and even got to check out the toddlers potty training in their class. These kids are excellent students and very intelligent. They read and write in English, along with knowing Swahili.

In the afternoon, after the kids got out of school, is when the real fun began. The boys from our team played in a soccer (football) game versus the boys from the home. Although they had a blast, they got their butts kicked! Those kids are good! While the boys were having fun playing, some of the girls had a great time getting their hair braided. By the end of it, Kristina from AZ, Iris, and Alycia walked out sporting their new do’s!

In the evening during prayers, the children received an exciting and unexpected gift. Thanks to the generosity of Leigh’s Blankies, each child received their very own blanket. If you’re not familiar with this amazing organization, you should check it out at http://www.leighsblankies.com. It was so precious to see these children as they swaddled themselves up in them and grinned from ear to ear. It was truly a blessing to our hearts!

When prayers were done, the kids headed back to their dorms, where many of our girl team members joined them for girl time. The kids are so inquisitive and want to know everything about our lives, and we’re excited to share with them.

Today was a fun day as well. Our team was able to head into Nairobi to a market and shop ’til we dropped! It was entertaining to watch our bartering skills at work. Some even used packs of gum, hair ties, and clicky pens to their advantage and traded them for items. We all worked our hardest to get the best deals on hand crafted Masai tribe artifacts. When we got back, we had a delicious meal of homemade fried chicken and french fries. We were joined by the Haruma college students who came back to the home for the evening’s festivities.

After dinner was finished, we headed over to the chapel for a special service filled with singing, dancing, and storytelling. The worship was out of this world! I can only imagine it was a little slice of what Heaven is going to be like when we are there! Everyone was dancing around, singing their praise to God at the top of their lungs. It was so awesome and powerful! We even learned a Swahili song that said “Jesus I love you with all of my heart” in English and “Ninakupenda kwa moyo wangu” in Swahili. After the singing was done, the college students were called forward and got to share a little bit about themselves. They shared their name, what University they attend, and what they are studying. It was so cool to see all these kids who came from the children’s home and are now being successful out in the world, while still bringing the praise back to God! When they were done sharing, they led us in another Swahili song. When they were finished, George, Mama Zipporah’s son, shared the story of Sampson and Delilah with us.

It has been an amazing week so far as we’ve been able to really build relationships with these kids. We are all excited to go on safari this weekend, but we’re sad to leave the kids at the same time. We leave bright and early tomorrow morning, driving five hours to get there, and we won’t be back until Monday. Please continue to keep us in your prayers! We love you all!

Lala salama (goodnight) for now! 🙂

Day #4 & 5 – Busy bees getting work done!

Hello all!

Yesterday and today have been crazy busy days, but so much has been accomplished. We started both days with chapel. Patrick, Kaelan, and I (Erin) partnered with Haruma’s worship team and led music. It was so awesome to get to sing together and worship God! In seeing these kids worship, it gives you an entirely different view of those songs. The lyrics take on an entirely new dimension as these kids sing how they are saved from Christ and are thankful in all circumstances. It really puts things in perspective. Moses, the home’s worship leader, spoke to everyone yesterday and Mama spoke today.

After chapel, the kids headed off to school and we went off to our service project — painting the boys’ dorm.  Both yesterday and today, we worked for 3 1/2 hours in the morning, 2 in the afternoon, and are almost finished. We have accomplished a huge task and are all feeling the exhaustion that comes along with it, but it looks fantastic! The boys are so excited to have a beautiful home to live in!

Along with the hard work comes some drama! Kristina, Michael’s sister from Virginia, got hurt and had to be taken to the hospital to get her ankle checked out. She had tripped over a step and ended up fracturing her ankle! We’re happy it wasn’t anything more serious! On top of that, Ralyne had to go to the doctor, too, for a chest infection. She has been out of commission pretty much since we got here, which has been hard for her. She was one of the team members who came a week early, so at least she got to spend some time having fun with the kids then. In addition, Kristina from AZ and Tim have come down with some kind of sickness, too. Kristina is feeling better, but Tim is still looking pretty sickly. We’re praying for a quick recovery and good health for everyone from this point on!

In the afternoon, we have had the chance to hang out with the kids after they get done with school. Some of our team played soccer, frisbee, and basketball, whereas others were showing the kids pictures of their families, getting their hair braided, and singing songs. The kids are loving all the attention and are having so much fun!

Our team has been getting ready for Vacation Bible School next week. We have planned fun songs, snacks, games, crafts, and stories all with the theme of “Branded.” It’s a Wild West theme of good guys vs. bad guys, so we have cowboy hats to wear and paper bag vests to make. The kids are going to have a blast and we’re excited for it, too!

Well that’s about it for now. Time to rest up for another busy day tomorrow! Thank you for the continuing prayers!

Day #3 – Let the hard work begin!

Today was another exciting, yet exhausting day on the Haruma front! The fun began with chapel in the morning. These kids have chapel every day for an hour, in which they have worship time and then Mama speaks to the children. It was so fun watching the kids singing the songs. One song even had hand actions with them where they were pointing to their eyes and ears as they sang in Swahili about listening and watching God.

After chapel, the kids went off to school as we split into two different groups for our work projects. The majority of the group stayed at the home, where they did prep work for the painting that we will be doing all week. They scraped the windows outside the chapel of crusted on debris and washed them spick and span. More of the group scraped the walls of the boys dorm in order to prepare it to be painted. The walls are concrete, and when they were made, big chunks of concrete dried on the wall. So in order to paint, the walls had to be smoothed down. Others members came behind and painted, leaving the room with the extreme smell of paint fumes. Due to the lack of air circulation in the rooms, some of the group members got extremely nauseated! That is definitely going to be a challenge for the group, so prayers are appreciated!

The second group set off to Nairobi to fetch missing luggage from the airport and get needed supplies. Our Canadian friends, Melody and Leesha, had their luggage lost in London, which finally arrived today. It has been a rough couple of days for them. When we got to the airport, they were able to get three out of four of their bags, but found out that one of Melody’s bags was still in London. To make it worse, it was her bag with all her clothes in it, so she is still clothes-less. After the airport, we headed to get supplies needed for our work projects and living quarters. On our way, we started to sense something was a little off in the vehicle. The van stalled while traveling along and Lisa had a hard time getting it going again. It was like the clutch went completely out and stopped working. Luckily, we got it going again and were able to drive a little ways. Soon after, we began to smell a burning smell coming from the van. We pulled over and realized the clutch was completely fried. Stranded, we sought refuge in the nearest place, which just so happened to be a mall! Lucky us… a woman’s dream come true! Ha! There, we were able to look around, get some lunch, and pick up the necessary supplies from a big store that was similar to a Wal-Mart. After a couple hours, a driver and a mechanic came to the rescue, and we headed back to the home.

When we got back, the work project team was finishing up, so many took showers, hung out with the kids, and relaxed for awhile. Garrett had fun showing his sketches to the children, as they were all memorized by his talent and begged him to draw them. Iris had just a little time to teach the kids some hip dance moves like the monkey, snorkel, and 70s disco. They loved it! Any type of little attention they are given is such a blessing to their hearts!

Dinner came and our group feasted on delicious tortillas, potatoes mixed with collard greens, and chips and guacamole. We are definitely not lacking on good food. Mama has hired cooks for us and they are amazing! 

After dinner, the majority of the team headed off to prayer time at the chapel. Every night, the students have an hour of worship and prayers to close their evening. There, Mama plays songs on CDs as the students sing along. In another location, the home’s praise and worship band met for a special practice to prepare for tomorrow’s chapel. Normally they only lead the music on the weekends, but tomorrow we are mixing things up and having some of us Cornerstone people join them. Kaelen, Patrick, and I (Erin) went and jammed for a good hour and a half, praising God all together! It was an awesome experience to be a part of and to realize that no matter where we come from, we have the same love and desire to bring worship to God through music! I’m excited for tomorrow. 

After our jam-fest and the students’ worship and prayer time were finished, the students began their hour of homework and study time they are required to attend every night. They sat in silence the entiand hour working diligently on their studies. It was crazy to see all the little kids through big kids all working on their schoolwork. If only we could teaour the kids in the U.S that one! As they studied, our team headed to our group share time. We had an amazing time together, sharing about what we feel God is revealing to us as we are here at Haruma. God is clearly working in each of our lives and we can’t wait to see the rest of what He is going to do and show us over the coming days! 

Day #1 & 2 – We made it!

Jambo from Kenya!

Wow! We have only been here 24 hours and already God is rocking each one of our lives!

Our journey started at 5am Friday morning as our team met at the Phoenix airport. We flew from Phoenix to Miami with no problems, and when we arrived in Miami, we had just enough time to grab a bite to eat before boarding our 8 hour flight to Paris. At Paris, we struggled a bit with navigating through the airport. We had to go to the Air France counter in order to get our boarding passes for our flight to Nairobi on Kenyan Airways, which is not an easy task when you have 25-30 people! We had to get through security again, making it on the plane shortly before they closed the door. It was another 7 1/2 hour flight to Nairobi, but we made it safely! Landing at 8:30pm. It took us over two hours to make it through immigration, but when we did, we were greeted by the greatest smiling faces from Haruma! Mama Zipporah handed each one of us a bouquet of roses as we exited. We were tired, but we were pumped! Some of the men from Haruma were there to pile all our luggage onto the top of the van and secure it enough to make it on our hour drive to the children’s home. The rest of us piled into the vans. We were joined at the airport with a couple from North Carolina, a girl from Georgia, a woman from Virginia, and two ladies from Canada! We must have packed 25-30 of us in that van! When we got to the home, we were greeted with cheers from many of the children who had stayed up late to greet us, even if it was 12:45am! After unpacking our bags and getting semi-settled in, we headed to our beds to prepare for what awaited us the next day.

On day two, we woke up and had breakfast, which consisted of peanut butter toast. Some were able to take shower in the girls’ housing, whereas the boys didn’t have any running water. After breakfast, we headed to church here at the home. Almost immediately after walking in, it was apparent the Holy Spirit was in the place! The children sang songs, danced, and worshiped God in a way most of us had never seen or experienced before! They jumped, clapped, twirled shirts around their heads, did hand gestures, and sang their little hearts out to voice their praise to an all-saving and loving God! After many songs, we introduced ourselves to the kids. They were so excited for us to be there and it showed on each one of their faces! Pastor JoJo preached a strongmessage on the importance of memorizing scripture. These kids are so well-versed in the Bible; it is amazing! When church was finished, Mama had all our team go lineup outside, so the children could come greet us as they filed out. As each child passed one by one, they greeted us with handshakes, hugs, knuckles, and huge smiles! Many told us their names, although many of us couldnt remember any of them when it was all done!

After church, we ate lunch and then headed to the slums of Ngong, walking there with our own African friend who came and chose us to walk with them. During the 7 kilometer, hilly walk, we were able to start building relationships with the children on a more personal level. They were very open with us, sharing information about their family life, interests, and life aspirations. When we got to the slums, I think we were all taken back by the amount of poverty. Children walked around with shoes that were torn through, raggedy clothes, and small children watched over babies. It was a very different environment, but the one thing that stood out to us was how happy each of the children looked. They smiled and loved having their picture taken. A group of dancers from the children’s home danced several dances for the crowd, causing many of us to join in on the fun! After the dancing, Pastor Tim, Cornerstone’s high school pastor, spoke to the crowd, giving new insight to the verse John 3:16. Afterward, we served bread and milk to the children, having them form a line with the youngest children first. As the children filed through, they were given a milk and four slices of bread. From the look on each of their faces, you would have thought they had just won the lottery! They were so excited and grateful! As the children filed through, we soon began to realize that the 175 children we had planned on would not be enough. We lowered the number of slices given out to three, then two, and one, finally leaving us to have to tell these children that we ran out and didn’t have any more to feed them. It was heart breaking! The looks on their faces were so disheartening!

When we left the slums, we were so hot and exhausted that we piled into the vans, so we didnt have to walk back to the home. We ended up piling 27 kids and team members into a van meant for around twelve. The rules of the road definitely don’t apply here in Kenya! When we got back from the slums, we took a tour of Haruma Children’s Home and got to see the doorms and school where these kids live their lives. They are so blessed to have been rescued by Mama Zipporah and taken into a loving environment that is constantly pointing them to the love of Jesus. After the tour, we had dinner as a group and then spent time going around and sharing our first impressions. I think it was the consensus of the group that no matter how much planning we did or could have done, nothing could prepare us for this experience! I think we are all ready for God to rock our lives through this and help us to show His love to the people of Ngong!

We thank you all for your prayers! Please continue to keep us in them, and hopefully the next time we try to get on here to blog, it doesn’t take two hours to get on just to do it! 🙂

Love you all!