“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” - Romans 15:13
May the peace of Jesus be ours as we delight in God and complete His joy.
Saturday afternoon the 4th of last month, our team (minus a few very important members,) departed from LAX and safely arrived in Kenya after what we all agreed seemed like a never ending journey. The travel included 3 flights and a few decent layovers. The lack of sleep,(no sleep to be exact,) that I personally experienced didn’t contribute kindly to this long trek. Despite the ongoing journey, once we landed all was more than well; I was back in Kenya and we were all safe. It was an added comfort that I would not have to see that flight back for another couple months! This was excellent news for one who would rather travel weeks by boat, even partially by foot or at least by any other means of transport than flying to get to this side. We arrived in Kenya early morning of Monday the 6th and began to settle in what would be our new home for 2 weeks; 1 week for myself. The Luvway team would be partnering with Glory Christain School the days and weeks ahead; a partnership many reading know about if connected to supporting their ministry. We were all tired but also eager and filled with anticipation to see these children and this school, which a majority of us had only heard about and had been praying on behalf of. The next day we would begin to get acquainted and others reunite with their staff and the students attending. Oh the levels of joy and love that were awaiting us that we would discover were weaved into the stories of pain, loss and trial that these children have had to endure much of their little lives. I have found time and time again that truths and stories heard can be weighty yet their resilience and existence with all in view is truly remarkable.
For the next week we spent our days waking each morning as a team to find connection and unity with one another as well as seek intimacy with the Lord, as we positioned ourselves to be in alignment with His work, word and will. Arriving with vision and on a mission for Luvway’s partnerships, we were on God’s time and seeking to serve His utmost desires. This was our heart, to see and know His as we entered into the school and the lives we have been given the honor and opportunity to get to know in the days to come. The week spent in this village near Nairobi, Kenya at the school was full of meeting some incredible staff at Glory Christian, all who are investing in the young lives there with great devotion. Getting to know the founder was another joy, as she and her daughters were pure delights. The days were additionally fabricated with joy, laughter, love and much praise to God for his allowances throughout the projects that were worked on, from interviewing children, to painting the school, leading Saturday bible clubs and more. My partner Annalyese and I had the opportunity to lead the highly energetic baby class. The week flew by, as it always seems to as soon as you touch ground and the plane lands, but what a blessed time with incredible people who have great hopes, visions and dreams to continue to see a lasting change made, one life, one school and one ‘yes’ in Jesus name, at a time. A place where people matter, every child has a purpose and destiny is believed in.
"Take pleasure in everything. Take pleasure in everyone. Learn to see the good. Learn to see the joy. Learn to see the pleasure. Those are the things we need in our own life to truly enlarge us on the inside." - Graham Cooke
These faces, these smiles. Not many words but contagious laughs and sweet love!
I think they were happy to share their school with us for 2 weeks! We sure were thankful!
Same school but new look. We are thankful for Aarick 'the' artist for bring his colorful gift along!
Leaving his class once again to visit with us 'the visitors' and check out the paintings progress.
“There will never be a day when the Lord is not present in your life, so one of the best things you can do right now is make a determination in your mind and your heart that the presence of God does not depend upon an emotion, it only depends on a trust. He said He would never leave you or forsake you.”
May these children at this school continue to receive these truths as well as experience and make them their own. For the plans of God are surly good, they bring a hope and a future.
“Surely I am with you always.” (Matthew 28:20)
It has now been over 3 weeks since separating from the Luvway team in Kenya to make my transit down to Mwanza, Tanzania. Full of anticipation and also quite exhausted from the travels, I arrived the afternoon of Monday the 13th after a long morning and four hour flight which included timely encounters along the way worth mentioning as I believe nothing is haphazard. One was a lady who was flying from Arusha, Tanzania to Mwanza for an interview that late afternoon. She had a shared heart and passion as myself for nutrition and holistic wellness. Her past jobs and current interview were centered around nutrition advocating and education. I was very encouraged and interested! Tired from an already long day, it was a still a pleasure to hear a good deal of her job history and life as well as have the opportunity to travel along side her and her 5 month old baby who was flying for the first time. The little guy did great! I even found myself able to reassure her of the turbulence and rocky flight, even if through my own apprehensions, as I settled fears of my own which if i am honest, I still experience more so than others time to time when flying. After a scenic and rather shaky flight, we landed safely. It was good to be back! I was kindly greeted by a friend here who I began to get to know my last visit. She was one of the people I was introduced to at church and later became near a life savor and timely appointed friend. I had the experience to get to know her family and also roomed with them for about 2 weeks at their home here in Isamilo, the area I now stay. She and I also took the bus to Uganda together last year when I went to see Elvis, the boy I sponsor in Entebbe. It was a joy to have their familiar greeting and ride to the home I would be staying at for the next 2 months or so. It felt as though I had never left.
Birds eye viewing while flying over Mts near Mt. Kilimanjaro on the way to Mwanza.
View of Lake Victoria, Mwanza as I capture my thoughts after the first day back in town
My heart was full as I was filled with many emotions of returning, primarily thankful for the safe trip but also knowing that I would get to see the very much missed and dear children I had been anticipating and yearning to see again since departing back to the states last September. The next day was Valentines Day and I would be reunited with these children I had come to deeply care for and would be introduced to the other children who have also been assimilating into the same children’s village. How timely would our introduction be and what a perfect way to spend a day centered around love with these missed Tanzanite treasures!
A warm welcome as I visit these friends in town who I met last year. They make the best kahawa and Tangawizi around.
The sweet lady behind him also sells some of my favorite mangos. Great time reuniting, despite the still rather large language barrier.
" May we be distracted by nothing but LOVE." - Bob Goff
Thank you for your continued, faithful prayers and support. God’s grace, leading and sovereign care has been sufficient the past two weeks since returning and making home back in Mwanza and now about 1 month since leaving the states. As the next blog is in motion being constructed, please continue to pray of behalf of the following:
Prayer for rain, as it is much needed and coming later this season; that it would not interfere greatly with the travels up the hill to the Children's Village as it has a few days since arrival.
Prayer for continued receptivity and navigation in the strenghting of partnerships and investments being formed and resources/ funding necessary to move forward in areas of Physical Therapy, Nutrition/ education and spiritual formation.
Prayer for Children's Village lead and our communication and discussions to my support in strengthening the current programs in homes as well as brainstorming ideas in beginning to invest in launching others as mentioned above.
Prayer as I prep for this weeks Moringa Leaf (Miracle Plant) trainings pt 2, with the mamas in the homes, with hope and desire to see the Moringa Products/ Powder incooraprated in daily meals in each home. Special sharing of benefits and success stories with those mamas with children with HIV and those with neurological disabilities such as Epilepsy and Autism.
Prayer for Jonah, continued 'better' days and the healing hand of Jesus to continue to rest upon him as we also continue to pray, petition, advocate and believe in God's wonder working power on his behalf. Prayer for doors to open, funds to be provided and the right training to be found for His mama for further equipping on his disability.
Prayer for Physical Therapy connections to continue to progress and doors to open to a partnership between them and the children's village for their children in need who currently are not receiving PT care. Meetings in process and arranging for first PT gathering at the home this next week (Monday) with two individuals from Canada.
Overall prayer for God's heart to be known, hope to be shared and love of Christ evident through and through each day, whether in training, meeting, playing and in all interactions as we learn, grow and lift up His name together. May His will be done and desires be unveiled. Thank you in advance, Mungu ni Mwema! 'God is good!'