Saturday, March 14, 2015

One Week in Kenya

I had fully intended to blog our trip to Hope and Kindness much more often, but the heat here is somewhat overwhelming, so at the times when it’s cool enough to think straight it’s also time to sleep!! Also internet is far cheaper at night, so I'm having work differently to my norm. If the layout of this looks odd, it’s because I’m writing it offline and then uploading it later, as it’s cheaper to use the internet at night.

For those who don’t know, we are out here in Kenya, primarily to pastorally visit to our friend Rachel (in the pink top below), who is working out here for 4 months and is almost half way through her time here now, also as part of our own personal journey of faith. 

As we have jumped into working here feet first, it has become quickly apparent that we are here to encourage and support more of the team than just Rachel, and it has been a real blessing to us already, to serve God in His work here; to pray with and encourage those who daily give so much to the work here at Hope & Kindness.

Hope and Kindness is a day and boarding school, come orphanage. The ‘children’ attending range from nursery age into their late teens, depending on the age they began their schooling. 

H&K also planted a church some years ago, and they farm enough land to feed the children in their care from their own produce for a large chunk of the year. All of this also provides much employment to the local community, in the form of teachers, farmers (managers and hands), dorm parents & baby-carers, carpenters, handymen, security guards, cooks, cleaners, washer-women, and more. Everyone is treated with the greatest respect and loved as part of the family. This is a fantastic place to be :D.

On our first night here, after a long journey, some of the children came over to meet us, and spend some time drawing with the little ones, then singing with the older ones. They quickly discovered that Paul plays keyboard, so one lad brought his guitar over and we all sang lots of worship songs, together with some Kenyan songs :D 

Day two, Sunday, I woke very early and took pictures of the dawn - and enjoyed the cool of the start of the day. 

We enjoyed the service very much. Different in some ways to home, yet very similar in others. People and God are the same the world over. The afternoon was spent with the children again, singing and worshiping. 

Monday morning, and in fact every morning since, we join T&J for a time of prayer, to start the day before God and then met with D, the church pastor, to pray with her and discuss how we could support her while we are here.

Later, in the afternoon we joined D at a house-group. This was somewhat different to home, and involved a 20 minute walk in the 2pm sun, through the brush to a mud hut. Here we met with 20 or so others to share together, discuss, chat, eat and pray. Much like any house-group at home in that way, but the environment was very different. To us it seemed incredible that people still live so very basically and yet, in the midst of such poverty S (the elderly lady whose home we were in) made us so welcome and fed everyone with plates full of Ugali (maize) & hot, sweet tea. I was able to share pictures of my family. H (another elderly lady) was particularly interested to hear about and see my Nan. As we shared together S’s chickens ran around outside, and in fact a chick paid us a visit, and her goat poked it’s nose through the window!

By the end of the week Paul, aside from spiritually encouraging the team here, Paul will have taught in some lessons, encouraged the church leaders, spoken in a men's group and on Sunday he is preaching in the church too!

I will have spent a chunk of time updating and ‘rescuing’ D’s laptop, which had basically ground to a halt, taken MANY pictures (which I hope to be able to bless H&K with some of for their website and FB page), and held a girls group almost every evening for the teenage girls where I am hoping to encourage them to seek, find and walk their own journey on the road of faith. The culture in Africa is very different to our own. Out here almost everyone believes in God in some way, but He is often mix-‘n’-matched with traditional beliefs, and can be sometimes seen as a kind of ‘insurance policy’ ~ saving them from Hell, rather than a loving Father who they can have a life-long relationship with. I have also been to a mother’s group and was able to encourage the ladies there too. I’ve enjoyed my week very much ~ apart from the intense heat in the middle of the day, which I am really struggling with.

There will be many more pictures, but most will have to wait to be seen until we get home and have a better (and cheaper) internet connection. I shall, however, try to post a few here in the blog, and some on FB, just to give you a taster of our days.


Elisheva Hampton said...

That's so cool I would love to be there to (manly cause its hot)

Jill Harrison said...

oh amazing images and story. I am looking forward to seeing more of your journey. May peace and joy go with you. & happy travels!

Beefieloo said...

I miss you so much mum, but I am glad you are having a wonderful time and love your pictures:)