Tonight our team met on the grounds between the school and the dorm rooms where the kids were already sleeping. We made a circle under the beautiful starlit night and prayed for the needs we saw throughout these past two weeks. Pastor Linn (on the trip with us) summed it up well: There are 150 Kids here at Huruma Orphanage, and at least 150 tragic stories of neglect or abuse. That has hit home with us in the past couple of weeks. It’s not the exception, it’s the rule…
Over the last couple of days, we have spent time with the kids shooting pictures, both goofy and serious, then they like to look how they come out. Samuel is a bright young man who I felt attached to right away. You can’t help but love his infectious smile and cheerful attitude. He is one of the few kids I’ve trusted to gently use my camera – not that it’s a real expensive camera, just that I appreciate that kind of respect as a sign of maturity. Today, like many other days, I handed him my camera to take a few pictures of his friends. He carefully puts on the wrist strap, switches the camera between picture mode and video mode, takes some (actually cool looking) pictures, then hands me back the pictures. He shakes my hand and says “Thank You Papa Smiley” to let me know he had a fun time.
Samuel goofing around for the camera
Ann told me the story of several of the kids at the orphanage, she learned from some of the current teachers. I shouldn’t have been, but was shocked to learn how Samuel was found outside his home, ‘grazing’ in the field – his parents simply wouldn’t let him in the house. This boy that I had grown to Love was 12 years old but was only in the ‘Pre-K’ (before Kindergarten class) Ann and I both started to well up – we just couldn’t understand how anybody would let that happen to this special young man.
Last week we took a few kids to ‘Bonapet’, a place in Ngong Town to get ‘Chicken and Chips’. It was a fun time to get to know some kids better and give them a little treat away from the home. At our table was Joshaphat, a shy young man of 12 years old. Ann asked if he had a sponsor, and he said he did, but hadn’t heard from him. Ann told him that if he could write the name, Ann would contact the person and have them write them. The kids don’t really care about the financial gifts, but the letters are kept and treasured, and shown to their fellow orphans. A while later after we went back to the Orphanage, Joshaphat ran out, found me, and gave me a little slip of paper with his sponsor’s name. He had remembered her name, but the sponsor had forgotten his.
As Ann and I walked through the dorm another night, a young lady ran up to Ann and told her she had a picture to show to Ann. Ann was thinking that it was a picture she drew about something they had shared in class. The girl had a big smile as she opened up the crumpled paper and revealed a picture of her with her sponsor family. She was so proud she had to tell us.
Last week, a team of volunteers went into town to be with Kids who were taken to the local Aids clinic in the slums of Ngong. One of the girls was scared, as some of her symptoms were worsening. In a place as small as this, this fear was spreading to other Huruma kids with aids – they wondered if they were witnessing their fate. I couldn’t help but think that all these kids really needed someone to talk to….
Tonight, Lucy told Stephanie, one of our team members about how she was upset about her parent’s divorce. We couldn’t understand how they could separate and forsake this lovely young lady…
150 Stories – Please remember to pray for the kids at Huruma…
– Dave Smiley