Thursday, September 30, 2010

Up the mountains, down the valley...

My week away from Mombasa was absolutely fabulous. Although, I am now back at the beach but lying in bed thanks to a wonderful cold that has wiped me out. It was worth it though. I got to spend time in the nice cool weather of Nairobi. It felt like the beginning of fall. It was a lot of driving but this country is so beautiful that I enjoyed all the scenery. I think the coolest thing I saw was a huge heard of about 20 camels on the side of the road! I have only ever seen camels on the beach for the tourists but these ones were in the wild! 

On friday we journeyed to the great rift valley to a girls school with over 850 girls. It was a hoot. Wow, lots of girls all in one place and boy did they ever have energy. We had a weekend challenge with them which involved some preaching, presentations, question and answer time, group discussions, a rally, and just time to hang out with the girls. I encountered girls with ALOT of burning questions. I had a few come and tell me their heartbreaking life stories. I prayed with many concerning family, finances, school, friends, faith, and other things. It was such a blessing to be able to make myself available for these girls. I could see some of them just wanted to talk to someone they could trust and pour their hearts out to. I was happy to be that person for a few of them. 

Yes that is my buddy Peter! He was only 1 of 2 boys who accompanied us for the weekend. He and I were leading group discussion for all the form 1s (gr. 9). There were probably 200 girls involved. They had many questions that were so diverse. We talked about everything from music to boys to Muslims to prophets to family to friends to facebook. Ha. It was a blast. We were all late for lunch because the questions just kept coming. 

We also had a question and answer time with the whole school. Girls wrote down their questions anonymously and placed them into a basket. There were a lot of questions on boy/girl relationships as well as the christian faith. There were also some really funny questions like, "When I go swimming in the ocean, can I get pregnant from the sperm swimming around?" and "Does Deuteronmy 23:1 say that all men are going to hell?" (ha you have to look that up for yourself; it's hilarious). Then there were some heartbreaking ones like, "I was raped as a young girl. Am I still a virgin?" and "My parents are forcing me to marry when I finish school but I don't want to. What should I do?" So we tried to answer as many as we could with the little time we had. However, amongst all the questions, there was one girl who wrote this sweet note to us that really makes everything worth while. 
I don't remember her name but she was cute. She had questions about Canada. She wants to study there along with half of the other girls once they found out I was from Canada. I think they were hoping I could get them a free ticket to Canada's universities. Sorry girls. I told them to search the internet and pray. 

We had a group of about 15 girls host us for the weekend. They did an amazing job of cooking for us, heating water for us to bathe and getting us anything else we needed. They escorted us home one evening and we invited them in for a chat. They know one of our work colleagues who also happens to be a singer. They love him and wanted to talk to him. So we called him on speaker phone so we could chat. The young girl, Maureen, came and sat right next to the phone convincing our friend that once she is finished school she is coming to be his girlfriend so he must tell his current girlfriend and then be ready for her to come to him in a few months. It was hilarious. We all laughed till we almost peed our pants. It was such a sweet moment with these sweet girls. 

"Higher, higher, higher, higher, higher, higher, higher, higher, Jesus, higher" Kenyans have actions to most songs so here are all the girls singing, "cast your burdens  unto Jesus..." 

The highlight of my weekend was running into my sweet friend, Gabriel. He is one of the children from my 'home' in Ilula. He is in a boys boarding school just down the road and his school was invited for the Sunday service. It was such a surprise. I was taking pictures when all of a sudden I heard a voice say, "Nikole?" I turned around and saw this handsome young man that I have been able to watch grow up over the past 5 years. When I first met him, he fit under my armpit but now he is almost taller than me. We got to chat after the service about life. I am so proud him. 

On Sunday, we had 8 other schools join us for the service. It was so cool being surrounded by over 1000 students. It was such a wonderful weekend!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Give me a break, give me a break...

...break me off a piece of that KIT KAT BAR

I am getting a small break from Mombasa.

And I am SSSOOOOO grateful for it.

This past weekend was tough. I enjoyed it with my friends for the most part but I just realized that I am getting really tired of the coast. This is a natural thing. I remember talking to some missionaries who said that they travel somewhere every 3 months just to get a small break from their place. After 3 months, they start to get antsy and moody and not motivated to do much.

And that's where I am at.

I am antsy to get out of here. I am getting a wee bit moody these days. And my motivation levels have dropped.

So I came home yesterday after a weekend in town on the verge of tears. I just kept praying that somehow I could get a break. Not a break from Word of Life, not a break from my friends or church, not a break from work, but a break from my surroundings, the coast, the city, weather, the ocean. In my heart, I really wanted to go to Eldoret: my fav place on earth. It's such an amazing area with quiet, peaceful landscapes, simple lifestyle, the most perfect weather, and beautiful people.

A few minutes later, my good friend Makau, from Word of Life in Nairobi, called and asked if I wanted to join them on a trip they were making to a school. It's not just a school. It's a school in a town right near Eldoret!! I know the school and have passed by it many times. I have driven through the area on numerous occasions. Amazing! It was just what I was wanting!

God knows what we need when we need it eh????

So we chatted with our bosses and agreed that I could go. Today I washed some clothes and got myself ready. I will be leaving on a bus for Nairobi at 10am tomorrow morning and will hopefully be there by 6pm. I will spend a few days visiting with my friends from Word of Life nairobi as well as some of my bible school classmates. Then on friday I will make the drive, that I have done too many times to count, to one of my most favourite places on earth.

Thank you Jesus for giving me a break...

This is a photo of the area I will going this weekend. I got the chance to really trek through this area over a year ago. It was incredibly beautiful with all the hills and lush forests. 

I went with my 'family' in eldoret to go visit a relative in school. This was a picture we took on the edge of the great rift valley. Beautiful!! 

Monday, September 20, 2010

3rd place!

Ok, more about my amazing daddy. 

He was told last week that he came 3rd place in the race!!! I am so amazed. I don't know how many people were in the race but I know that it's pretty amazing for an almost-50-year-old to come 3rd place in such a tough race. Amazing. So proud of you paps!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Yay Daddy!

I am such a daddy's girl. I love my daddy. And I am not embarrassed to call him 'daddy' either. 

Anyways, my daddy successfully completed the Adventure Race that benefits Canuck Place which is a children's hospital in Vancouver, B.C. He was able to raise $1000 for this great cause. 

We got news that a boy in our community passed away a few weeks ago. We were in the same school with him. He was in a few of my classes and my dad was his principal for most of his school life. Since I can remember, he had been in and out of the children's hospital with some sort of condition that I can't remember now. After he passed away, it just really made the cause hit home. Dad told me they were able to raise $200,000 in total. Yay God! 

Here is my daddy finishing the race. He said that he felt good the entire time. He was healthy and strong and was one of the leaders until he got to the running portion when his knee popped again. He said he expected it. But in true Kere MacGregor style, he pushed on and finished the race. Way to go daddy! 

Rehma Boys Website

I finally gotten around to creating a blog specifically for the Rehma boys!

Please check it out and pass it on.

I am so excited! We have already been able to find several sponsorships. If this is something that pricks your heart or is close to your heart, please contact me!

Peeping Monkey

I was sitting in my office this afternoon doing some work and all of a sudden this little monkey head pops out from behind the curtains. At first, I though it was cute but then it hit me that there is now a monkey in my room. All I could think of is, "what if this monkey got tangled in my hair?" Ha, I know, it's a bit extreme but it could happen knowing how wired and hyper these monkeys are. I shooed the little guy away and he disappeared behind the curtain again. I moved the curtain to the side only to find that there was a small hole in the mosquito netting that the monkey was getting through. So I set up my webcam and waited for him to return. Being the peeping monkey that he is, he came back several times and tried to stick his little head in the hole.

Friday, September 10, 2010

My heart hurts...

My heart has been heavy lately. There has been so much going on around me and my small mind can't take it all in. It's funny because it is not stuff that is necessarily directly affecting me (well there is some stuff that is directly affecting me) but most of it is just in the world. I have been reading news and watching whats happening around me and my heart hurts.

I have been blessed and cursed with a heart full of compassion. As wonderful as it is and as much as it compels me to do the things I do, it hurts. It makes me hurt for others. It makes me hurt when I see what's going on around me.

One thing that really hit me hard this week was news that a pastor wanted to have at Koran burning day. I was shocked. I get it; he doesn't believe in the Koran. That's not a problem. We are not forced to believe in it. I am just wondering how it affects him and what prompted this act? Was he hurt by a Muslim? I guess what really breaks my heart is that here is a pastor, who I am assuming knows the bible, and he is doing such a thing. Doesn't the bible say we should love our enemies? Aren't we suppose to bless those who curse us? What about if someone hits us, let us give him the other cheek too? Simple bible message. Anyways, it's just been something I have been dwelling on.

Ramadan ended today. So fascinating watching Muslims come out of their hiding places to celebrate. As I was driving to town, Muslim families were lined up beside the road trying to get a lift. I was surrounded by them as I got on to the ferry. It was everywhere. I liked watching and observing all that was going on around me.

And then there was one thing that has sort of pushed me over the edge...

I was reading the newspaper yesterday and came across an article about the Congo. For some reason, I became very interested in this country a few years ago. The way the women are being treated and raped like they are animals makes me cringe. The article was about how the UN has failed in their mission as they have heard of over 500 women being raped in the past few months. Ouch, my heart just cracked a little more. But the WORST part was the picture that was featured in the article. It was a picture of a soldier walking past a woman....casually caressing her breast.

Snap, my heart just broke.

I just can't imagine. A man just walks past me and feels like he has the right to caress my breast. Not only that, that moment is now captured and featured in the national newspaper. I really am torn. I just have a hard time even fathoming that. I feel for that woman. In the picture, she looked as if it was a common occurrence, like it was nothing new. If it was me, I would yell, push his hand away, then beat him possibly to death. But she just stood there, as if it was just the hand she has been dealt in life.

Tonight my heart is heavy, it's breaking. If my heart is like this, I can only imagine what God is thinking and feeling.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Village roadtrip

Today our maintenance guy was taking his daughter back to boarding school and I decided to tag along with him. The school she goes to is one that we work with. We help them run their Christian Union. It is also the school that took us over 3 hours to get to a few months ago due to the intense rain, muddy roads, and never ending hills. It was quite the adventure but a beautiful one. The area is called Shimba Hills and literally, the hills never end. You go up and down and up and down and up and down.

I was sitting in the middle seat in the back while Nyae, our maintenance man, and his son, Tsuma, were up front. You can see the simple, narrow road we are driving on. 

Mamas carrying things on their heads= love it. 

This was hilarious. This school has the funniest sayings posted all around the school. Like on the side of a building, it says "The roots of education are bitter but the fruit is sweet" and "the road to success is tortuous." But I thought this one was hilarious. This is where the students who are making noise in class go for a time out. They are forced to sit or kneel beside the tree as a punishment. Mary and I were sent to the "noise makers in class punishment corner." Look at our sad faces.

Pictures of the Rehma boys

This is a new project that God has so nicely placed in our laps. We have actually been praying for it for quite some time. Soccer is such an amazing way to empower youth and reach out to them. Here are a few pics of the boys and the community they come from. 

This is what the streets of Kongowea look like. There are some paved roads inside but this is what the walking paths are like. I don't think there is any proper garbage removal or sewage system so things just get dumped outside. It's gross. The worst is when it rains in Kongowea. All of a sudden gigantic puddles will form making it impossible to pass. The puddles are not just rain water, they are usually a sludge-like colour with all the dirt and oil in them. I have learned not to wear any fancy shoes while walking through Kongowea. 

Kids are everywhere playing in the dirt with each other. They are quite creative in finding fun games to play with the little objects they have. Of course, when they see me, they yell, 'Mzungu!Mzungu! How are you? how are you?' At first it's cute, then it gets annoying. But they sure are cute. 

Kongowea is known for it's market. If you want anything for really cheap, you just go to Ksongowea. 

Now some pics of the boys. This was half time at the game last sunday. I was in such delight. A lot of the boys weren't playing since they are Muslims and they were fasting. They didn't have any energy after not eating all day. There was another game later in the evening that they played after they broke the fast. 

This was at Monday night's practice. Notice the pitch is dirt. I have never played on a dirt pitch but I can't imagine it's too easy. 

We were fortunate to receive some balls from another organization. A good soccer ball is quite expensive here so you will often find teams that don't even have one to practice with. We were grateful that we received 15 free balls for these boys. It makes practice alot easier and more efficient when you have so many ball. 

Our goalie did a great job last sunday at our game. We ended up winning 1-0. 

Just a little glimpse into what has been happening with this project. I am trying to start up a separate blog for the project. I will let you know when I get it up! 

Please keep praying for these boys. They come from different backgrounds, religions, tribes, etc. Pray we can encourage and love them the way Christ does. Pray for sponsors so we can equip them with the proper attire for a team. And pray for their lives. God has promised even them a future and a hope!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Rehma Boys

If you were to drop a soccer ball in the streets of Kongowea, kids would rush to play with it. A child in the West would pick the ball up and ask whom the ball belongs too. Instead, kids in the streets play with it until someone pipes up and claims it as theirs. There is a need for that ball. There is a need for kids to be in the field. When kids are busy with soccer, their minds are off drugs, sex, alcohol, AIDS, violence, theft. Instead their minds are focused on
getting to the field to play.

 Jambo from Kenya!

I am excited to write to you about a new opportunity I have been given to empower some incredible young boys. They are the Rehma boys, as they like to call themselves. Rehma  is the Arabic word for ‘mercy’. They are a group of about 25-30 boys ranging from the ages of 15-20 years old who come from the ‘streets’ of Mombasa. They all have one thing in common: a love for soccer.

Soccer is popular all throughout Africa. Young boys grow up playing barefooted on dirt pitches. They spend their free time at the pitch getting exercise, socializing and staying out of trouble. Local leagues are packed with players who crave a chance to get some time on the field. In the evenings, crowds gather to watch young boys play before they head home for the night. Unfortunately, these boys lack the proper training and equipment to make it big in soccer.

My partner, Kelvin, and I have been asked to take a leadership role in the team. Kelvin is an experienced soccer player and a trained coach. He also grew up in the ‘steets’ so he knows where these boys come from, what their lives are like, and what they need to keep their heads straight and out of trouble. Kelvin’s style of coaching is whole-life. He was trained by Ubabalo, which is a South African organization that has created a whole-life coaching curriculum for various sports. 

à For example, one lesson is on short passes and trying to keep possession of the ball within the team. They must stay connected to one another while passing the ball back and forth. Likewise, they are taught that it is important even in life to stay connected with others. They are shown that you can do much better in life if you do not try to live life on your own but to live it with a team of companions. It encourages interdependence and inter-relational skills. This is just one example from over 40 lessons on community, responsibility, service, sacrifice, courage, etc.

Kelvin has already started coaching the boys and they are responding really well. Even his numbers are increasing daliy and he has to split them into several teams. There is a great need for such coaching and leaders who care for their players!

Life in the “streets"...
They live in the “streets” of Mombasa as they like to describe it. It is an area called Kongowea. According to Western standards, the area is very much a slum. But for thousands of Kenyans, including the boys, it is home. Squatter houses are squeezed
together creating little space for a yard, a garden, proper infrastructure, or a place for kids to play. Five to six families live in these houses at one time. They each get one room and share a common corridor, pit latrine, and bathing area. They lack a source of water and a proper sewage system. The rent for these houses range from $20-$40 a month. The area is known for it’s market of fresh produce, clothes, and pretty much anything else one would need for everyday living. On average, families in Kongowea earn a monthly income of $100 or less. The area has been stricken with poverty, drugs, theft, HIV/AIDS, alcohol, violence, and prostitution. If you walk through the small, dirt alleyways of Kongowea you will smell a mixture of aromas, which may include sewage, urine, fish, and deep-fried foods. There is no proper garbage disposal so trash is thrown outside to be burned. However, you will notice that you are walking through a thriving community. People will be chatting and greeting one another, others will be working in their local shops or washing their laundry. Mamas are cooking over charcoal grills. Young kids are running around barefoot outside laughing and playing. Young guys are found at local shops where they can play video games. For them, it’s the only life they know. These boys need guidance and a positive activity in order to break the cycle of poverty, drugs, alcohol, HIV/AIDS, teen pregnancy, etc. This is why providing an encouraging and loving environment is cruicial in keeping these boys out of trouble.

A letter from the captain…
Rehma youth is a football club found on the streets of Mombasa in a location of Kongowea. It was found in the year 1994 August 14, the date has not been really confirmed since that most of the founders members had disappeared from the streets. The club has been lucky sometimes back after most of the parents committed themselves and they do promoted the club with at least balls or a ball. Since then the club is runned senior players who will everyday run door-to-door looking for help as a fund for materials.
The club has won the District Kenya Youth Soccer event which was run by an Italian businessman. The team had also produced 4 players who were scouted by the best youth team in Kenya based in the city of Mombasa, which was run by the same great businessman. So far on player had an opportunity to feature the team which presents the country in the Danono Nations Cul hold in Paris, France while another had two appearance of the National assignment under 17 Cecara qualifications. And since the club is preparing for the division 1 league which will kick off early November the team is lacking balls, jerseys, and training kits.

Believe me one day we would wake up with a good leader, sponsor who will brighten our future Amen!

Your sincerely,
Captain Nicky Okoth

Sponsor a player…

This is where I need your help. As you know, a team cannot play if they are not equipped with the proper attire. Most of these boys play without shoes, socks, or shin pads. The team also needs a good set of matching jerseys and shorts. For practice, they need a couple of balls and some cones.

The total cost for sponsoring 1 player is only $100CAD! This will equip them with a good pair of cleats, socks, shin pads, a jersey, shorts, a ball, some cones as well as transport money for games. This is where we are asking for your help!

For 20 players we will need $2000 to fully equip them with everything they need.

If you would like to be apart of this project, please contact me at I hope to start a blog soon that will give you updates, introduce you to the boys and allow you to be apart of their lives.

Asante sana (thank you very much) for continuing this journey with me!
Nikole MacGregor

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

No purpose of Yours can be withheld...

Things here at Word of life have been a bit slow lately. Schools have been closed since the beginning of August. We weren't able to have many camps as there were just no campers willing to register and the referendum slowed things down for us. We had a few opportunities to do some day camps, help out at some seminars, and speak in a few churches but to be completely honest, life has been a bit boring here for the past few weeks. 

It's hard to not do anything. You come here ready and willing to be used and to serve and then you find there is nothing to do. In July we were crazy busy with various ministries and now, a month later, we are twiddling our thumbs. I know I have been struggling with this a lot lately. I hate being here and not being useful. I hate spending my afternoons just in my room reading or playing on my computer when I know I could be doing something. Although, I am so thankful that I have a good community and friends around me that I can keep myself busy on weekends. Like this past weekend, I didn't even have a moment to rest with all the hustle and bustle with my friends. I love it. I count it as ministry too. 

I think one thing we often do, especially those in ministry, is we trick ourselves into thinking that the busier we are, the better ministry we are having. We must be busy to feel important or successful. 

So this morning the team came together to resume work as we usually do. We all sat in the office and stared at each other wondering what to do. Finally someone piped up and read a verse from Job. Then another piped up and talked about another part from Luke. We all started sharing what we had been learning in our quiet time and it was amazing that we were all on the same page. God had been speaking to all of us about the same things. It's not just me who has been struggling; so has everyone else. They have questioned what their purpose here at Word of Life is, they are frustrated with not doing anything, and they are starting to turn to God and question Him. But God is in the middle of all of this. We haven't chosen to have nothing to do. We are ready and willing to work but these are the circumstances. We tried to organize camps and other things but it just felt like we were hitting a wall. Then our director's brother died which put everything on halt for a week. Ultimately, we have to submit to God and all His purpose to take over. Who are we to question the God who created everything under heaven? Who knows all things? Who has a purpose for the silence at work?

After talking, we had a tender time just chatting with one another hearing what was on our hearts. Even our director joined in on our unofficial meeting and shared his heart and struggles. 

'I know that you can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.' Job 42:2

I found a few of these pics on my boss's computer that I loved and wanted to share. 

These are some of the kids we visited in the village a few weeks ago. 

I love having little kids surround me, touch me, giggle with me. It's so nourishing. Although, i love having a shower at the end of the day to wipe all the germs off my body from their grubby little hands. 

I was being silly. These are two boys we work with in various ministries. They are great characters. We had a break to drink Uji which is Kenyan porridge made with millet. 

Lord, I thank you for who You are. Thank you that Your ways are higher than my ways and Your thoughts are higher than my thoughts. I surrender my life to You. Amen. 

Friday, September 3, 2010

The beginning of my African adventures!

I was going through some of my old emails today and I stumbled across this one. This is an update I had written to some family and friends after my very first trip to Kenya in December 2005. It's amazing to think that that was almost 5 years ago! My first trip to Kenya was monumental for me. It was probably one of the most significant experiences in my life and my walk with God. I came back transformed with a new Love and a fired up passion for Africa. 
*Note that I haven't changed anything so spelling and grammatical errors are in abundance. But keep in mind, I was only 17 and writing was definitely not my forte.

Hey Everyone!
 well i thought that i would write all of you and tell you a little of my african experience since you all have supported me not only financially but also through your thoughts and prayers. I GREATLY appreciate everything you have done.

 I am sure you have heard the little things about my trip like seeing all The african animals and having to bath in a bucket. But i experienced far more than that. The first sunday i was there i went to the church that is a branch of my church. My oh my i have never seen anyone worship the lord more. there were maybe 20 people in it but they were louder than the congregation at home which has almost 150-200 people in it. it really touched me. I couldn't stop smiliing cause it was amazing. you see these people and they have practically nothing yet they are thanking and worshipping the lord for everything they was so inspiring to me. BUt little did i know that that was only the beginning of my journey...

 I then left my group and went to the orphanage. It was one of the hardest days of my life because i had to leave these people and go with some stranger in a foreign country to an orphanage that i knew not much about.
 It scared me but reality also kicked in. this had been my dream for so long and this was the day that it was going to come true. so i think i cried for about 9 hours straight haha. when i got to the orphanage a big white man came out to greet me and my heart was at ease. i ate dinner then i got a tour of the orphanage. It was night time so all the kids were supposed to be sleeping but they heard me coming and as i approached their rooms i could here whispers. then a couple came out and gave me hugs, and then more came,then more, and more, and before i knew it all 90 of them were surrounding me and hugging me and loving on me. it was everything i amazing..i went back to my room and cried.

 The next couple days were difficult to me. I had huge culture shock and missed home like crazy. I would cry and cry and pray that i could get a plane ride home early...wel what do you know..god answered my prayer and I got a plane ticket home. Well i then started tohave better days and start to get to love the people and the day before i was supposed to leave i was so upset and i prayed that God would give me what is in my heart. well god pulled through agaiN!! i missed my ride back to nairobi and was unable to come home. wow that really gave me so much confidence in the lord... from then i realized that i could get through anything because he is A LWAYSwith me. When i am homesick and feeling alone i know that he is right beside me. HE also showed me that he would never put a problem or circumstance in my life that he knew i couldn't overcome. HE doens't want to see me fail...he wants me to succeed and to learn to lean on him. Well the day that i found out i was going to stay was probably the most relaxed and comfortable day I had there. i started to embrace the people and i wanted to learn more about the lifestyle. Everyone could tell that i was happy. One of the little girls said to me " you have a smile on your face and you are happy now. I was praying for you to be happy and for you to stay" i couldn't believe that god pulled through for that little girl too.

 WEll as days passed i became more and more hungry for god. i Wanted to Learn and soak up as much of him as i could. I learned about him through the kids. EVEry night before dinner they would have devotions. well my first devotions i sat next to one of the older girls whose name was mercy jepcosgai. She was leading all of the songs thatnight. I looked up at her and it hit me. She was an orphan but look at what she is doing now. SHe has so much faith in the lord because you see what she has come from to where she is now and the  only way to describe it is because of the grace of god. She is not sad because her parents died, she has the lvoe of god. Well devotions were some of my favorite times there. One time a girl asked me if people in Canada drink beer. I told her that some do then she asked if people in Canada know jesus and i told her that some do. she told me that everyone should know jesus. another time i was going to say good night to some of the girls and i walk aroudn and there is a little girl who was only 4 years old and she was running around the room yelling "god is good all the time." it was funny because she probably knows what it  means but she doesn't know any english.there were so many little moments with the kids that i wish i could have on tape because they were so precious.

I lived with a family who had 5 children who were all around my age. I fell absolutly in love with all of them. THey were all children who loved and worshiped the lord and they really showed me the type of people that i need to surround myself with here in canada. i learned so much from them and considered them my brothers and sisters. another cool thing was to know that they would go through the same things that kids in north america go through. The have boy problems or girl problems or peer pressure or self consciousness...that was some thing i didn't expect to find in africa

 Well in my 4 weeks in kenya i learned, and saw and experienced more than some people do in their lifetime. I am still trying to process it. I know that i have now a new appreciation for everything i have and i will try to embrace things more. I know that in life somethings really aren't as important as we think they are adn that we need to focus more on those that are important like god, family, friends, etc.  I have realized who my true friends are. I now feel like i could conquer anything!

 I know now that that's my passion. Everyone has different passions whether it's volleyball or art or sports or business. Mine is children in africa and my dream is one day to run my own orphanage in africa.

 ANyways i hope that i gave you lots of insight of my trip. there is so
 Much more i would love to tell you but i would be writing emails for hours. I would love to hear from you all..what you think and all..i am attaching a picture of my and mercy jepcosgai. After she made me cry in devotions, i began to fall in love with her and she became my favorite kid. i wanted to take her home and hug her and shower her with my love and money.

 well i thank god for your love and support

 god bless

Mercy Jepcosgei and I in 2005

This orphanage is now my home and the family is now my family. I still visit often when I can. The kids mentioned are still some of my favourite kids on earth. I love being apart of their lives till today. The passion for Africa has only grown. Actually, in the recent months, my heart to start my own children's home one day is flaring up again. I have been dreaming a lot about what it would look like and where it would be and the children I would have in it. And of course my Maker, Best Friend, Companion, Lover, Father, Protector, Provider, Saviour is still right by my side. 

Thursday, September 2, 2010


... of Kenyans own computers.

The 2009 national census came out a few days ago and some the facts were very interesting. I am still trying to find the official stats online but they aren't posted anywhere just yet. I just thought to myself of how I am never really interested stats about Canada. But Kenyan stats interest me to no end. It's the same with Kenyan news. If there was a Kenyan newspaper and a Canadian newspaper in front of me, I would most likely pick up the Kenyan one first.

Anyways some of the stats really fascinated me. Like 3.6% of Kenyans have a computer. In Canada, it's rare to find anyone who doesn't own their own computer or have at least one in their house that the whole family uses. I think my family has 4 computers.

63.2% of Kenyans have cell phones. This was one thing that shocked my dad when he visited last year. We would walk through a slum where the houses were made of sticks and mud but everyone would have a cell phone in their hands. I also find that cell phone service is much better in Kenya. I remember being in the middle of no where once where there was no electricity, running water, roads, houses made of anything other than mud yet I could clearly hear and talk to my dad who called me from Canada. Back in Castlegar, you travel 5 minutes up the mountain and you have no bars.

30% of Kenyans have piped water as in they get water right from the taps in their houses. Surprising? Have you ever heard of a house in Canada that doesn't have running water? It's common here especially on the coast where most of the water is salty. Even our water here at Word of Life is salty so we go collect drinking water from a tap that is filtered by the city. If you don't have water, it means you have to buy water from someone and it can get expensive. Let's be thankful Canada has unlimited water coming straight to our houses!

4.3 million Kenyans are Muslims. The Muslim population seems to be growing rapidly. It still hasn't overtaken the Christians (and those affiliated like Catholics and certain cults) but this country is no longer %80 Christian like they claim to be. I was on the ferry the other day and as I looked around me, every lady near me was a Muslim. I listen to prayers from local mosques that last for hours since now it is Ramadan. Some of my favourite restaurants have closed for the month. Islam is growing. Fast.

Kenya's Population is about 39 million which is greater than Canada's which is around 34 million. However, when you think about how vast Canada is compared to Kenya, it's a lot of people squished into a small space.

The most controversial statistics were the population of tribes in Kenya. There has been a lot of debate of  whether they should have even done this particular stat with so much bitterness that still lingers between tribes. At first I thought that there would be no problem with it and that it is a nice way to look at Kenya's culture but as I have been reading more and more, it seems to be the only part of the census that people really care about. The Kikuyu tribe is dominating with 6.6 million members. Then they are followed by the Luhya and the Kalenjins. But the surprising statistic is that the Luo tribe has dropped in numbers and is now the 4th largest tribe in Kenya with 4.4 million members. A few years ago, it was the Kikuyus and the Luos who were fighting and causing chaos in the country. Now the Kikuyus have an advantage. I just pray that these numbers remain to be just that: numbers and that they don't affect the hearts of Kenyans.