Anna and I have been roommates here in Kenya, Africa, in this turquoise and beige hutcalled home. Last night, we stayed up late talking into the dark of night. But mid-night, we found ourselves sleepless - one of us with a fever and sore throat, the other with a significant matter of the heart. Anna and I managed our ailments separately, independently, but both of us sought the same Healer, our Heavenly Father. Mid-night revelations. Mid-night healing at Shangilia Orphanage.
I slept little, but woke with energy. I felt renewed, restored. Another day, another love for the children, staff and mission team members.
Today was our last full day at Shangilia Orphanage.
Our last full day.
Randy, Paul, Lacey, Matt and the other Randy felt called to go visit the 10-mile lady, a woman who walks 10 miles every Friday to visit the orphanage. She’ll be here tomorrow, but she might not make it before we have to leave, so this group felt called to make a home visit on piki pikis (motorcycles) to her remote dwelling 10 miles from the orphanage. Their team returned for a late lunch; exuberance, amazement and the Holy Spirit was written all over their faces. Their time with the 10-mile lady was incredible. Hands down, totally worth the journey. The team will be sharing their experience in an upcoming post. Please watch for the story.
Jamie and Maggie felt called to stay at the orphanage and play with children. When we returned from our journey, they were engaging happily and casually with the children. I have yet to hear of their morning, but rest assured, any day with these orphans is incredibly beautiful and completely worthwhile. Nate, Anna and I felt called to return to Salamba’s home, the man Nate and I visited a few days ago that has a terrible wound on the bottom of his foot. We brought John (a pastor and staff here at the orphanage who translated for us on the home visit a few days ago), Lonika (Kehfa’s wife and a medical professional), Rachel (Lonika’s daughter) and Eric (a dedicated volunteer here at Shangilia) with us to assist. Since Lonika has great medical background, we sought her expertise. She agreed to visit Salamba and take a look. When we arrived, Nate gave Grace (Salamba’s mother of great faith) a new Bible in Swahili as hers was incredibly worn and torn from a lifetime of use. We prayed over her, and journeyed next door to Salamba’s house. After examination, Lonika agreed that Salamba needed medical attention. We had gathered modest funds that would cover a visit to the hospital, so we all agreed we would hire a piki piki (motorcycle) to come and take Salamba to the hospital for examination. One seriously miraculous hike back up the rocky hillside with a cane, and Salamba was on his way to the hospital on a piki piki. We later discovered that Salamba needed to transfer to another hospital, then was seen and surgery was recommended. Since we are leaving, Lonika, Shangilia Orphanage, and the Love for Kenya board will be working with Salamba to determine further course of action from this point forward. We are grateful we could love and provide some assistance to Salamba. Please pray for healing for his foot.
After another delicious lunch made by Grace at Kehfa’s house, we headed back to the boys’ dorm for distribution of shoes we brought for the children. Before we left for Kenya, someone provided funds for shoes for the children. Since we arrived, I and other team members have felt continually called to ensure the children get new shoes as many of the childrens’ shoes are incredibly, incredibly worn and garbage worthy. A few children have asked us individually IF and WHEN they will be able to get new shoes. Shoes have been in order. So today - praise God - we fulfilled that great need. We brought enough shoes to distribute to a portion of the children. For those who we couldn’t find a fit, they were sent to a line in which their name was written down. Several orphanage staff made a trip to Kisumu (a large, nearby city) to purchase shoes for the rest of the children this afternoon. Tonight, two large boxes of new shoes sit in the new boys’ dorm. They are ready for distribution. The children needed shoes bad. Tomorrow, they will ALL have new shoes. Praise God. This is very, very good.
Shoe distribution ended and was followed by a crazy big rainstorm in which we all had to take cover in the old boys’ dorm and new boys’ dorm. After the rainstorm subsided, 8 of our team moved forward with the day’s Vacation Bible School lesson on Esther. Randy met with Pastor Francis. And I fulfilled a promise to orphanage staff member and preschool/kindergarten teacher, Helen, to work with a group of children and share techniques for speech and language development. I caught the end of VBS; everyone was having a grand time doing crafts, singing songs and learning Bible verses, and practicing courage by trying blindfolded tastes of chocolate syrup and Ranch dressing.
Today, I sensed a familiarity between orphanage staff, children and mission team members. It is too soon to go, but as Helen said tonight at the good-bye ceremony, God has called us together, here, for this amount of time, for a reason. We trust His purposes have been fulfilled. For now we leave. Perhaps, God willing, we will return someday.Vacation Bible School was followed by dinner of the most delicious homemade African stew, which was followed by one last night of worship together with all the children, all the staff on duty, and our entire mission team.
It was a beautiful last night together, a beautiful good bye. An emotional and Spirit filled one at that. After songs, preaching by Shangilia Orphanage’s Pastor John, and speeches by Kehfa, Pastor Randy, a few Shangilia staff members, a few children who volunteered, and a few mission team members, all the Kenyans prayed over our team. It was beautiful. So beautiful. I held hands with my sweet boys, William and Juma, during prayer. Then our team spent 10, 15, maybe 20 minutes thanking and bidding the Shangilia Orphanage children and staff farewell.
God bless you.
Thank you so much.
I love you.
God loves you.