Thursday, August 12, 2010

Her name is Sieda

I spend a lot of my time thinking about what God wants me to do. I think and I think and a lot of the time I get discouraged when I just don't get an answer. This summer I am finding that God is always trying to show me things, if only I will just ask him and wait. It seems like such a simple lesson, but I find myself having to relearn it weekly.

A few days ago Steve and I were walking through one of the slum areas here in town called Kipsongo. It was a usual walkthrough, the terrible smells, the screaming drunks, and the children begging for attention. It is a place that no Kenyans dare to go unless that is where they live. I have walked through Kipsongo many times, and seen a ton of crummy things that make me feel helpless, but this time God was about to show me exactly what he wanted me to do.

That day I had been praying that the LORD would show me my role in the day, and that he would present himself. As I rounded a corner I saw a very young girl with tears streaming down her face, sitting in the mud, begin to gag. My heart sank as she then vomited in the mud in front of her. I have seen some really sick kids here, but for some reason it was so clear to me the God was pointing me to this one.

I grabbed this little girl, whose name turned out to be Sieda, spoke with the local pastor and her father and threw her in the car. It hurts so bad when you see a small child who is so obviously in agony, but knowing that Sister Freda's hospital is only a short distance a way is a huge comfort.

These past couple days have been full of tests and observation, as the doctors tried to discover what is wrong with Sieda. Today we got the news that she has tuberculosis. TB is pretty common in Kenya, and it is something that the government is trying hard to fight. When a person is diagnosed with TB the government supplies the medicine, which is a huge help considering that the treatment is one pill a day for six months. While the Medicine is supplied by the government the care of the hospitals is not. Usually a patient would return home where they are expected to diligently take their medicine each day, and eat a healthy diet. The issue here is that Sieda lives in the slums with a father who is unable to support her, and with no mother to speak of.

Because of this I have resolved to keep her in Sr. Freda's as she heals, regains strength and is able to continue living a healthy life. I don't know what God has in store for Sieda and I but I do know that she has become a huge part of this summers story for me, and that the LORD is good.

Sieda is 4 years old and is 3 foot 2 and 22 pounds.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Not cut out for this...

well it has been a while since I blogged, and I have simply realized that I am just not cut out for this blogging thing. there is so much going on from day to day that when the night finally comes and I get a chance to write it out I just can't even think of where to start. Sorry that this is the case but today was no different, there is no way that I can accurately describe everything that I felt, or even did today, but I know there are people who care so let me once again attempt.

Sammy and I spent the day in a place called Endbese, which is around 15 KM outside of town. Last year Sammy, Torie, Delia, Matt and I went out to visit a mother of a student at Purpose Driven named Protenciana (spelling?).

Margaret, the principal at purpose driven academy and dear friend, had introduced us to protenciana and her family last year, and in fact Sammy and her family support three of her cousins through school. Today was the first time in a year that Protenciana had gone home from school to visit her mother, and that absolutely breaks my heart.

Protenciana's mother is HIV positive, and so when she comes down with malaria or typhoid things get very rough. Living in a one room mud house, Protenciana's mother and two sisters raise three children, not to mention the four others who had lived there before Sammy and Margaret took them to school. We had heard that Prote's (short for Protenciana) mother had been sick for some time and since we were in town we thought it would be good for us to go visit her. It never becomes easy to see the situation that many families must survive in, and the evils of poverty are mostly shocking.

The story of the day wasn't so much reuniting Prote and her mother, or even getting her to the nearby hospital, it turned out to be Prote's 2 year old cousin Marvelous. There is just something so terrible about the look of a child who hasn't eaten. It is more then the way they look physically, it is their entire being that is crying out. Marvelous could not smile, could barely walk and just didn't look like she had any drive to carry on. As we at lunch we ordered her a huge bowl of cooked bananas and beef stew. I have never seen a child eat so much, in fact I don't know if I have ever eaten so much. It was awesome to watch Sammy take so much joy in feeding this little girl, even if she knew that was all she could do for her. Margret said something that shocked us, "this little girl has no idea where her next meal is coming from, so her body has told her to not stop eating."

I have not once worried about food, and i can not even imagine being 2 years old and knowing that my next meal may not come. Some things never stop shocking you.

For me the best part here is watching Sammy love these people, and becoming a giant advocate for Protenciana and her family. Sammy, you rock.

Monday, June 21, 2010

First Day of the Teams Journey...

Yesterday was the first day of the teams experience here in Kitale. We headed out to Oasis in the morning for what is always a great first experience. I was so proud of the way that the team just jumped into service, and how thier love for these children, that I love is already so evident. After a short (long) talk about what Oasis of hope is, and the general state of children on the streets and in the slums, the team broke off into groups of twos and went to teach in each class. I was so impressed with their willingness to dive in head first.

After Oasis we all headed over to Gilgal to spend some time with my favorite high school students in Kitale. Again I was so impressed with the conversations that I heard between the team and the students.

It is so great to love something so much and get a chance to show others how awesome it is. I love this place and these people, and it is an indescribable feeling when others fall in love with it also.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Mercy Mercy Mercy, and me...

Sorry for the radio silence, I have been super busy with everyone getting here, and getting them all situated.

It has been a fantastic weekend filled with laughs, great fellowship and awesome prayer. I am so happy with the team this summer. I could not have asked for a better group of students. It is already so evident how much these students want to serve and grow here in Kitale.

This morning the whole team headed over to Deliverance church here in town to fellowship with some of our greatest friends in Kitale.

Recently a pastor from deliverance suddenly passed away, leaving a wife and two children behind. It was a great loss to the church, and to the community. This was a great opportunity for our team to show how much we appreciated Simon, and his family; and also a great chance to walk a cow into the church. As a team we delivered some relief supplies and the cow, which is a great commodity here. I love when Steve gets a chance to give things away because he spares nothing.

This was only reinforced when the mercy kids came over this afternoon to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and dance to "Party in the USA." I love those kids so much, everything that they do makes me smile, and to be honest how much they love Steve inspires me.

I am pretty much done for this evening with this post, but I promise I will get back to speed this week, and hopefully get some pictures up as well.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Let me tell you EVERYTHING

Today is my favorite day, God made a special way. (That only makes sense to those of you who have been here, so sorry for those who are left out.)

Steve’s first day was a typical Steve’s first day. Knowing exactly what he wanted to do, I sent Kris and Pat with him off to Khetia’s while Sammy, Ashley and I headed over to Oasis of Hope. I really enjoy introducing people to Kitale. It is so great when I think about how surreal everything was on my first day. I love to explain every little thing; I guess I just assume that everyone is as excited about Kitale as I am.

I also ran into Vincent in town today, and honestly, I wish I hadn’t. Vincent and I had talked about him not hanging out on the street while he was recovering, but like I said in the previous post he is an adult, and I can’t control what he does. We talked a little about how he was, and about what his next step was.

Honestly I don’t know what to do about him. I am just praying that God would guide me daily and that I would be able to act in faith and wisdom.

On a lighter note, the first ever African FIFA world cup opened today. My friend Manu and I watched the opening match between South Africa and Mexico at the Kitale club. I love the energy and the Passion that Africans have for their continent. There is such pride in everything that Africans do, even out of their immediate countries. I will definitely be cheering for all African teams this world cup, after the US that is.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Vincent Goes Home

I should have posted this yesterday but I never got around to it. Yesterday Vincent left Sister Freda’s.

Vincent is a 17 year-old boy that we found in the streets about a week and a half ago with a broken jaw, you can read the story here. He has been resting at Sister Freda’s for a week and is feeling much better. He still has to keep the wires in his mouth for another five weeks but the pain and the swelling have gone.

Vincent was restless at the hospital, and I have to be honest, a hospital isn’t a place I would want to hang out when I am feeling well either. Since he was feeling well, and really wanting to leave, I asked Freda what we should do. He lives on the street during the day, and stays in a part of town called Kipsongo at night. So it isn’t exactly the easiest place for him to get the types of food that he needs, seeing as he can’t chew anything.

Vincent assured me that he had relatives in town that could help him out a bit while his Jaw healed. It was hard to say yes, seeing as I can’t know for sure if he is telling the truth, but I figured that he is old enough to make those types of decisions, so I let him go. We took him into town where I bought him a good supply of foods that way the burden of feeding him would not be completely on his relatives. We also made a deal that he would come to Oasis every Monday morning so that I could talk with him and make sure that everything was going well with his recovery.

All I can do now is pray, and ask God to continue to guide me. It is tough making decisions like that, but I think it was the best for Vincent.

It has for sure been a wild ride, and I feel like the LORD has more in-store for us. This is definitely not the last that I, or you for that matter, will hear of Vincent.

Also, you should check out Pat and Kirs' blog. you can find it here.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Visitors and Bug bites

Pat and Kris Larkin arrived in town today, and let me say that having some friends around the house is very nice. We walked into town and did some shopping for provisions and then headed over to the coffee shop for lunch.

It is very nice having Kris around because not only is she very kind and excited about serving here in Kitale, but she is a cook. Anyone who knows me know that the best things I eat mostly come in red and white bags with yellow arches. (I miss those big macs...)

And Pat is has already showed such a heart to learn and to experience this place, which makes me so excited about serving with him here in Kitale.

Steve gets in tomorrow which is always interesting, and somewhat of a game changer. I love the positive energy that he brings to the house, and his wisdom is unmatched.

Now to my personal problems. I have over 20 bug-bites on my body at this moment. I honestly have no idea where they are getting me from. I searched my clothes, my bed sheets, even my clothes that are still packed away in my bags. I know that I am a magnet for these guys, but I am honestly getting eaten alive here!

Please keep praying that God will show us his will, and that we will be obedient to his guidance.