Saturday, May 29, 2010
What another amazing day... the end of the school week. It's hard to believe that in less than a week we have traveled half of the world away, arrived in Kenya, met two of God's sweet angels, Pastor Edward and Alice! We have met their sweet daughter Rachel and many , many sweet and precious children and the teachers who get paid little and sometimes not at all..... they are angels too. The children love to be loved and oh how they appreciate and hang onto every word you say and anything you do or give! And how they love to learn!!! We have worshiped with the teachers, we have had worship with the teachers and children combined, we have taught (and learned much), we have cooked some Kenyan meals, we have played... but mostly, we have been blessed.
Today after classes and lunch, Pastor Edward and Alice took Jenni and I outside of the Bible Baptist compound and we walked through the streets of the Kawangware slum. I am at a loss for what even to say. As we walked through the streets, of course being the only Muzungus (white people), generated a lot of stares and conversation. The children would come up and touch us and say "Muzungu, Muzungu"!! They love to rub our skin and touch our hair. Many of the people were friendly and would smile and speak.. a few would not. But the children were all friendly and would wave at us and smile! I have never, ever in my life seen anything like this place. I don't care what anyone else says, we do not have poor this way. We do not! I am not saying we don't have poor people or that there aren't people who have needs and need people to help, but not like this... no! The smell of the sewage and garbage in the streets is, BAD !! For that matter, the streets are bad! They are dirt, deeply rutted, garbage filled and narrow. There are shanty markets and homes everywhere made from sticks and tin or just whatever the people can get their hands on. Many, many people live in these tin and stick homes the size of most of our bathrooms. Speaking of that, there are no bathrooms.
People are hungry... very hungry, but too poor to get food. So they sniff glue to numb themselves from the hunger. Yes, Jenni saw that today. The other night we were sitting after dinner and I could hear a baby crying. I said to Pastor that the baby had been crying for a long time. He said most likely, it was hungry. It made me so sad. So many of the kids that come to school here... that is the only meal they get, but it is more than a lot of people get here. And their clothes are in rags and they wear them all week. I have seen children with nearly a third of their foot hanging off the edge of their sandal, or 2 different shoes, or their big brothers shoes that he has outgrown that were way too big! I could go on and on ! I know I can't change all of this myself, but I wish I could. For now... this school. They have many , many needs! Jenni and I bought over 100 pencils today that will mean the world to them. They are writing with pencils that are used down so far that they can't hardly hold them anymore, and today... I was horrified when I saw a little girl sharpening her pencil nub with a razor blade because the school has no sharpeners! That's what we want to buy them next... and they need new writing tablets and chalk and books and the list goes on!! So at least we can start here... at Bible Baptist School... Maybe someday one or many of these little ones here can pass on some of the love we are giving and can make some changes ! I hope so!!
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
We arrived in Nairobi around 7:30 am, got our visas, and claimed our baggage and met up with Pastor Fred and his wife Alice that I stayed with last summer, and also with them was Rev. Edward. We left the airport and went to exchange a few dollars. Then we went on to Bible Baptist School in one of the bad slum areas (can’t remember how to say it, and sure not spell it) which is where we will be spending most of our summer. We arrived and they began to take out our luggage which I thought to be a little strange at first considering we were staying with Fred in Alice. Turns out we are living here at Bible Baptist which made me nervous at first, but as the day has come to an end, I already love this family and all the children. Each child has their own heart breaking story. Bible Baptist also has a heart breaking story and a lot of needs and has already began to reach out and trying to reach and serve God so much more. Rev. Edward and his wife Alice are so wonderful and are so passionate about that they do. They love these children and care for them, and most of all, they love and trust God with all their hearts. It is such a beautiful thing. There is a school structure. There are 9 class rooms, however they are very small and crowded, therefore they have to turn children away. The walls are made on tin sheets and card board and do not rise all the way to the ceiling, which makes teaching difficult trying to yell over the teachers in the classrooms next door and hard for the children to fully listen and comprehend. Then after they are finished with 8th grade, many either do not have the grades to go to high school or if they do they have to money to afford it so their educations stop there, so most children end up back on the streets, no job, and many begin to prostitute or sell drugs, steal or starve. It just doesn’t seem right. They do not have the opportunities that we have. Why? It just doesn’t seem fair. They currently have the money for feed the children a plate of beans and maze which is most children’s only meals a day, however fire wood and charcoal to cook and food is quite expensive trying to feed all the children. The teachers do not get paid, they just work to eat and to share their loving hearts to help the children. The desks/benches the children sit in are not in great condition and many children squeeze onto one. And the children do not have their own books, they copy everything down the teacher says or writes up. I realize even more than last year how crazy I am for taking an education, food, clean water, a toilet, toilet paper, books, etc. all for granted. Gosh. But today is only the first day, and see only few needs out of I’m so sure much more. The church, the old van that doesn’t run, no offices or desks for teachers, so on and so on. Oh and all their chickens just died of being sick with some disease. Anyways, I am looking forward to hanging out with all the children tomorrow. They are all so loving and precious. Rev Edward told us that we will teach English and math tomorrow and also maybe some games or crafts. I just love these sweet kids that have so little but love so much. They were just so happy today to have pictures taken because they had never had a picture taken before, and never seen their picture before, so I think we might try to do a slide show for them at the end of our trip with all their pictures. I really enjoyed their singing and dancing today. Wish I could sing and dance with them. Well this is all I have time for for now, but please just pray for us to be salt and light to this little school and for us to be positive, loving, patient, generous, and for God to just speak through us and live in us so that we can be His hands and feet. We want to plant the seeds of the Gospel in their hearts and one day they can bear fruit. I know many of you have read The Hole in Our Gospel, well I just started it on the plane. “In the ministry of Jesus he healed the diseased and the lame, showed empathy for the poor, fed the hungry, and literally restored sight to the blind. Jesus clearly cared about addressing poverty, disease, and human brokenness in tangible ways.” Romans 12:10 says to be devoted to one another in brotherly love, and to honor one another about ourselves. Verse 11-13 talks about serving the Lord and to share with God’s people who are in need. Read James 2: 14-26. Anyways, Aren’t we supposed to be trying to live like Jesus lived? W.W.J.D. What would Jesus do? What can I do? How can God use me? What will you do?