Wednesday, March 30, 2011

School on Monday

This is an update about my previous post on Andi.

After sitting in the District Officer's office for two days waiting to get one paper signed, we realized we were running out of time. The deadline for registration was the end of this month. We decided to go to the school, talk to the principal and explain the whole situation.

And that is exactly what we did. The principal was more than willing to let Andi into the school and welcomed him with open arms. He knew that Andi will be able to catch up with the rest of the class (since he is one term behind) and was offering extra studies if he needed it.

So 8am on Monday morning, Andi will be sitting in his first Mechanics class!

Praise God!!!!!

Andi's reaction was different. He wasn't overly grateful or bursting with excitement. He was just plain ready to get going. Ready to start life and do something constructive. Ready to learn. Ready to be something other than a street boy.

A friend came up to me after and said, "I hope this boy knows how much you are doing for him. I hope he is grateful. I hope that he realizes this is life or death. It is education."

I was like, "I am not expecting him to show me his gratitude. Then why do I give? Just so I can be thanked? No, I give cause I love and expect nothing in return. I trust that he will be a good steward of the opportunity God has given him."

I then got on facebook last night and found that one of my friends had posted this as her status. I just sat there and said, YES! This is exactly it.

Do not give to the poor expecting to get their gratitude so that you can feel good about yourself. If you do, your giving will be short-lived and thin, and that is not what the poor need; it will only impoverish them further. Give only if you have something you must give; give only if you are someone for whom giving is its own reward.”-Dorothy Day

Giving this boy a chance to go to school (actually it wasn't even me who funded it. I found others who actually gave him this chance) is it's own reward. I don't need him to tell me how grateful he is. I want him to know how much God loves and adores him. 

Monday, March 28, 2011


And is the one smiling at the camera.

God put Andi on my heart the first day I met him. After his father died in October, I started to really pray for him asking that God would build this young adult into an incredible young man who is a wonderful member of his society, a good husband and father, and a man who seeks after God's own heart. If you have had any conversations with me about the rehma boys, I am sure I have told you about Andi. His real name is Andrew but we call him Andi or Andrea. 

He recently told us that he wants to be a mechanic one day. His father died in October leaving behind two wives (yes two!) and many children. None of his siblings have attended high school. Andi completed primary school in 2006 and hasn't done anything since. His family struggles daily just to eat. He does some small business to help feed him and the rest of his family but it's not enough. So once we found out he wanted to be a mechanic, I immediately started looking into programs, found someone to sponsor him and am now in the process of getting him into a local college in Mombasa. 

However, we have hit a few speed bumps. 

The deadline to apply for the program is on Wednesday. To be admitted to the program, he has to have a birth certificate. The boy is 21 years old and doesn't have a birth certificate or even a national ID (which you are suppose to have after the age of 18). The ID is free in Kenya. You do not have to pay! So why didn't he get this ID? He was also missing a leaving certificate from his primary school in 2006. We assumed that he had a balance to be paid that's why he wasn't given it. He went to the school and found there to be no balance and was able to pick it. So why wasn't it picked in 2006??? 

I started asking Kelvin these questions and his answer was "ignorance." The boy just simply doesn't know. He never had someone to guide him, take care of him, push him to get these things done. His father only died recently so he must have been around so why didn't his father guide him to do these basic life things?? I started getting really frustrated (mostly at the father who is deceased so really my anger is useless). I cannot blame his father's neglect on ignorance. To me, that is stupidity (ok, now I am using harsh words). Why would you have two wives and many children without being able to give them decent lives? to train them in the way they should go? to provide for them and give them an education? or help them to be productive members of their communities? Why!?

God has been teaching me a lot about justice and His righteous anger towards the injustices in the world. I am understanding His heart towards people like Andi and so many others. The injustices I see daily are overwhelming. I can only imagine how God feels. 

I am so proud of Andi. He desires to DO something with his life. He said the other day, "I don't want to just be a street boy. I want to be a student, or a worker, or a family man." 

Pray with us. Tomorrow we are heading to apply for his birth certificate (we were suppose to today but some forms needed to be signed by some officials who weren't at the office i.e. more frustration) and then going to apply for the school. We are praying that they will have favour upon Andi with the promise that his birth certificate is coming soon. If he doesn't get into school this week, he will have to wait till next year. I want him to be in class next Monday. Will you pray for Andi? Pray that he will be back in school in a few short days. A chance at a good life. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Oh how I miss the luxuries of home....

It's days like today when I miss Canada. Maybe not so much the country, but the luxuries that I am so accustomed too. Things like vacuum cleaners, microwaves, deep freezers, dish washers, and washing machines and tumble dryers. I miss clean water, swiffers, good electrical plugs, toilets that flush properly and don't leak, hot water, cleaning agents, and windows that close properly.  I miss quality things. Things that are quality made, that don't break or rip or tear easily. Things that don't need to be replaced every few months.

Today I woke up to ants eating every tiny crumb I didn't clean up last night. I found cockroaches on the floor and spiders on the wall. My water filter is broken and I am not sure if it is actually doing it's job. My freezer only freezes half of my things and the other have is thawed plus the door of it doesn't even open because it has collected so much ice. My bathroom stunk for no reason at all. I cleaned it last night but it had some sewer smell plus the toilet handle keep leaking water. My new couches are slowly being torn up because they are cheap and not made very well plus there are termites eating the wood inside the couch and leaving little wood chips all over the floor. I spent the afternoon wiping all the windows that collect a thick layer of dust every few days. My light in the kitchen doesn't work after the light in my bedroom blew up a few days ago. There is a large crack in the middle of my front door because it was so poorly made and it is now letting in all the mosquitoes. I found all the mosquitoes hiding in  my clothes. I don't understand where they come from as we have netting on all the windows in our house. It must be the crack in the door that is letting them in. My roommate's bed broke the other night; the wood literally snapped in half. And this was only today!!

Oy, I am craving some luxuries of home right about now.

I am off to cook my half frozen meat in the dark....

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Your debt is paid

Yesterday was a memorable day. One of my favourites. As I had mentioned in a previous post, we are trying to really get to know the boys and their huge needs. We are slowly gathering information about them and praying about how we can assist them. There are a few that have really been put on our hearts to take action sooner than later. And one of them is Eric. 
Eric is an amazing young man. A silent, humble leader. We have just appointed him the new captain of our team because of his great leadership skills and dedication to the team. If the coach is late for practice, he will start the practice and organize the boys without him. If one of the boys makes a foul play in the game, he will take responsibility and go talk to the ref. On top of all that, he is a really good soccer player. With proper training and support, he has the potential to make it big. However, his wish is to finish school first.

Eric is in his early 20's and struggling to finish high school. His family just cannot afford to put him into school even though his dad has a day job and a night job. He will go for a few weeks and then will be sent home because his fees haven't been paid. Then he will try go back and they will send him home again. So when Kelvin sat down with him, he explained the whole situation and told us which school he went to. Yesterday morning we went to that school ourselves to understand the situation better. I had a giggle because the school's claim to fame is that it is "a school for the bright poor." I guess that sums up Eric. After talking with his teachers, we were blessed. His teachers could not stop telling us what a wonderful student he is. He is bright, disciplined and a pleasure to have in class. His teacher was sad that he was not around anymore. 

We learned of his debt and figured that it was affordable (and praying that someone would help us to continue to sponsor this boy) so we headed to town to deposit the money. 

At practice last night Kelvin and I teased Eric about what a terrible kid he was and the awful things the teacher said about him. He kept saying, 'no those are all lies!'. We just started laughing as he knew we were kidding. As we were laughing I handed him the receipt. He looked at it and went silent. He was stunned, shocked, amazed, humbled. I watched his face for a good few minutes as he examined the paper that meant 'YOUR DEBT IS PAID'. Then I told him, 'Make sure you get up early to go to school tomorrow. Your teacher is waiting for you.'

The boy was glowing. He was so grateful. 

The whole story reminded me about my debt that has been paid. The debt that Jesus paid for me. The wages of my sin is death. That is what I am debted to. But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus. Jesus paid my debt. I am debt free. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"Drug and sex irresponsibility"

Last week I wrote up a little form for the boys to fill out so we can get to know them better. I actually wanted to put the information on their website so that people could actually feel more connected to them and so they can see themselves on the web. They think they are pretty big stuff now that they have their own website. They have started sharing it with their friends and family (so now I am a bit more careful what I put up on it.)

Anyways, that was the purpose of getting them to fill out these forms. However, now that we have received about half of them back, I am not so sure I will be exposing their lives to the world. As I sat and read through them, my heart was breaking. These boys have SO many needs. I am just going to share a few of their responses with you without naming the boys.

Tell us about your life:

"After I finished primary school, my father died and my mother couldn't take me to school. I now have a small business that helps me eat something small" - 21 years old never gone to high school

"I do sell bananas at around market at least to earn a daily bread, even though it gets more tougher to get even a single cents by you just keep more effort due to a day God will answer"

"I sat for KCPE in 2005." KCPE is an exam in gr 8. This was the last schooling this boy has had. He is now 21 years old.

"Am a married man with a lovely boy" I was unaware some of the boys were even married and had kids. We have a few married ones

"My dad is the sole bread winner in my family. Life has not been smooth to me"

Why is football important to you?

" I get to know many places in the country because of it"

"It is my talent and keeps me physically fit"

"It occupies my time which other uses it in irresponsible acts" 

"It keeps me away from drugs and sex irresponsibility"

What are your dreams/goals for the future?

"To be a professional soccer player" - This was the response for more than half of the boys.

"I want to continue with studies, have a nice job and kick start progress in my poor family" 

"Develop my career and hopefully come through and be an inspiration for the kenyans youth."

"My ambition is to be a mechanic" 

"To have a better life so I can help the needy" 

As you can see our boys have tough lives and big dreams. I am so proud of their responses that talk about soccer keeping them out of destructive habits. This was one of our main goals for them team. I am also inspired that these boys want to inspire more Kenyan youth and be good examples in their communities.

We are sifting through the papers and praying over how we can help them out. We have identified a few that we would like to assist as soon as possible. I will be heading to some locals schools to look into programs (and costs) for these boys praying that God will open up a way to help these boys get closer to achieving their goals.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Highlights of the last 24 hours

I woke up this morning so happy and joyful with what is happening in my life. It's the small things that are blessing me in big ways. So here are just a few of the things that are making me smile and laugh with joy: 


Some of you may remember Anthony from 3 years ago. For those of you who don't know, I will explain. I was working in a mission hospital in Kenya in 2008. During my time there, I was asked to help teach 3 precious children who had been brutally burned in an act of ethnic violence during the post-election violence. They were seeking refuge in a church when members of another tribe locked them in and lit the church on fire. These 3 children were lucky to get out alive. More than 50 people died in that fire. It made international headlines. These children were brought to the hospital for treatment and refuge. THey had been there 8 months when I met them and their studies were falling behind terribly. I was appointed their mwalimu (teacher). I spent my days going through their books and trying to catch them up. In the process I fell completely, head-over-heels in love with these children. I couldn't get enough of them! I would spend my entire days with them, come home exhausted, and then wake up so early and anxious to see them.

After some time, we were able to put them in a local school. That was the last time I saw them. We communicated for a while then it died off. Eventually they went to the US to get treatment and they have been there ever since. 

However, my mother emailed me this morning just to say that she got a phone call from Anthony last night!! I guess they had my canadian number. Anthony got his own cell phone and I was one of the first people he decided to call! My mother was so blessed. I think it really touched her to actually talk to a person that I made an impact on in Kenya. Now I have his number and email and look forward to contacting him soon!

Me and Anthony in 2008

Rehma Football League

Our league officially started yesterday. We were there just as the game was getting started and the crowd was beginning to build. So cool to see so many people come together for this event. Community indeed.

We have spent time (and money) trying to get the field somewhat decent to play. We had to dig out rocks, paint the goal posts and draw the boundaries. The pitch is not very long and it is uneven as there is actually a house petruding into the field so we had to work around it. As you can see, the net is held up by sticks and the pitch is completely dirt. This is the best we got. It's a great improvement.

The first two teams lining up ready to play!

We displayed the prizes just so everyone could see what they were playing for. As the prizes came out of the bags, people gasped. They are very nice! They boys showed here are part of the committee we formed for the tournament and they have been a huge part of making it happen.

And here we are. Kelvin and I! We stood along the sidelines just watching everything happen. We are so proud of the people we are working with for all the work they are doing. We are so happy for the teams and the community. Can't wait to see the upcoming games. The Rehma boys play their first match today!


This was definitely a highlight of my day when Kelvin surprised me with this sweet, coastal treat. It is dried mango covered in some sort of red, sugar that has a little kick to it. It is delicious and cheap! I have been munchin' on it all day. 

So just a few wonderful things to be thankful for this day!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Rehma Football League Starts today!

The first official game of the Rehma Football league will happen at 4:30pm today in Kongowea!

We are so excited for this event. This morning we spent some time praying over every detail and aspect of this league. We thanked God for opening doors, providing finances, and bringing along people in Kenya and Canada who are supporting us. We are not sure what God is going to do but we know that our labour is not in vain. We are already seeing the community coming together with such anticipation (to the point where we have appointed a security team and notified the local police just incase of something getting out of hand).

I will be posting occasional updates and pictures on my personal blog but will try put more frequent updates on the Rehma boys blog at

Unfortunately our boys will not be watching the game today. Their first game is tomorrow and we had originally planned to let them come watch the game today but many of them decided to skip practice yesterday to watch a game that was going on at another pitch. Their punishment was a full practice tonight instead of watching the first game. Although when we told them that, they didn't seem to disappointed. It seemed they were almost excited to get to practice. We must be doing something right if they crave to be at the pitch practicing with us.

White/black husband update

I guess I had some of the information wrong about a friend who was marrying her black boyfriend even though she already has a white husband (which I talked about in a previous post). My roommate ran into her in a matatu the other day and she clarified a few things. I guess that she is not legally married to the white man. He was just her boyfriend. More of a convenient relationship than anything else. I guess they were having some issues and he ended up giving her his blessing to marry this black boyfriend. He did say that he would continue to support the couple with no strings attached. (interesting?). However, she explained that her black boyfriend is actually married to an old white woman! Yet another twist in this already twisted story. I guess he married an old European woman. She went home and fell ill. She is no longer able to travel. He is technically still married but the only way for them to divorce is for him to go to Europe(which immigration won't let him do). Sounds like a pickle? Well, not really. The white lady agreed to 'separate' and gave him her blessing to marry his kenyan girlfriend. Even she agreed to support the couple!

So indeed the story is twisted but not as twisted as I had originally thought. 

My heart has been really heavy lately watching these types of situations around me. The apartment building I live in is full of young party girls who find so much pleasure in drinking from noon and entertaining men all day. We are not sure if the are prostitutes or what they really do but its not easy to watch especially since my living room window is right where all the action goes down. I sit and pray for them from my house. 

Pray for me. I so desire to reach out to these girls but taking the first steps to do that has been difficult. I am also cautious because they live so close to me that I still want to have boundaries. I do not want them knocking at my door all day long wanting to visit. Pray for me to find a way to create relationships with boundaries and introduce to them encouragement and loving support to step out of their destructive lifestyles. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Travel Writing

This afternoon I signed up for an online travel writing course. When I was in Canada, I saw that the college in my town was offering this course through an online company. It really interested me but I just kept putting it off and off and off. Then my dad said to me one day, "well why don't you do it once you get to Kenya?" That thought had never occurred to me but since it is an online course and I have very reliable internet here, it is very possible.

I got my first lesson today. I haven't read it yet (I have a crazy headache from the heat at the moment) but plan to do so later on today. My first assignment is to write a short article about my favourite place on earth. Hmm, that got me thinking about all the beautiful places I have been too but what makes a place your favourite? Is it the landscape? The experiences you had there? The people? the weather? I guess it is different for everyone. So the creative juices are already flowing. If you had told me in high school that I would sign up for a writing course, I would have laughed in your face. I am the worst writer. However, in the past few years, I have begun to enjoy writing about my experiences. So I am praying that this course will nurture the desire that is already there and give me some practical tools and fine-tuning to do it even better. Who knows, maybe I will be a professional travel writer one day! (Even though I didn't even know there was such a job until 3 months ago).

In other news, I am recovering from possibly the worst sunburn I have ever had in my life. I walked the beach for maybe 30mins last week and the damage is incredible. The blistering, tender, incredibly painful stage is over and now we are at the healing and peeling stage. I am just praying that it doesn't scar. I am tired of people telling me, "Oh Nik that is horrible, you should have wore sunscreen or something." Yes, I am aware of that now. Or here is another one I have heard, "Oh you know that is the kind of sunburn that causes cancer." Wow, thanks for the encouragement. I have definitely learned my lesson.

The Rehma Football league is starting on friday! If you didn't get my newsletter or haven't checked the boys website, you can read about  it there. We are so excited! It's just amazing to see what God is doing and how His favour upon the entire process. We are not sure what He will do through this event but we are expecting big things from Him. I will post pictures and updates of the league in a couple days. The first game is friday and our boys play on saturday. I am going to be on the sidelines cheering them on!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Rehma Boys Team Photo

There are the boys with their new gear. They look like an actual team now. I think they feel like an actual team too. 

Please check out their website/blog: I am determined to keep it updated more often with pictures, team/player achievements, and anything else that is exciting in their worlds. I will also be getting pictures and bios of all the boys so you can meet them. Please pray about supporting them and what God is doing with the team. We are so excited with the doors that are opening for us to impact the boys and their community! God's hand is completely over them. It is so cool watching Him claim them and their lives as His. 

Beach stroll..

I live about 7 minutes from the beach so I am determined to enjoy it as much as I can. It costs about 50cents round trip. Today the beach was calm but come the weekends, it is packed. It is THE place to be. 

Beautiful day. Such a nice breeze blowing my hair around but it was deceiving. It was incredibly hot and I burnt my shoulders terribly. Not so smart Nikole. 

A cold coke at the beach. Delightful. 

Back to my house. This is the compound I live in. You can't actually see my apartment. This is not one house; it is actually many apartments. It makes for a noisy place but I do love it. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A white husband and a black husband

My friend told me today that we have been invited for a wedding next month. I asked who's wedding it was. My friend explained who the lady is (she just lives down the street) and clarified that she was marrying her black boyfriend.

Huh? Her black boyfriend as opposed to her purple, green, blue, or white one? What?!

Turns out the lady is actually married to a white man as well!

And now she is set to marry her black boyfriend.

I am told her white husband has another wife in Europe plus her.

This is complicated. Just think about the dynamics of this relationship for a minute. I doubt it's legal. What happens when the white husband comes to Kenya? I am told the white husband knows that his black wife is about to marry her black boyfriend. I wonder if he will attend his wife's wedding. What are the kid's gonna say? "Oh this is my brother from my mom's other husband?" What makes it even more strange is that she is a Muslim and generally Muslim women don't have this much freedom. It's only the men who are allowed to have more than one spouse. This is not a situation I want to find myself in.

Unfortunately, this situation happens alot in Mombasa. White people (men especially) come to Kenya, find a sweet little kenyan girl to take as his wife in this country then he stays with her a while and sets her up with a nice house and fancy stuff then he heads back to Europe to his white wife. The Kenyan wife gets bored and gets herself a black boyfriend to play around with while she receives money and waits for the white husband. Typical. Actually my neighbour is one of those girls. She lives in this nice apartment and drinks beer starting at noon. She wears tiny clothes and sits outside as numerous black men come and chat with her. Meanwhile she has a white husband somewhere in Europe who is funding her lifestyle.

In the place I was working last year, there is a school where many of the kids have a white and black parent. Some of them, their white fathers have actually died of old age while their young black mothers take care of them. I was told of a child whose father has a mistress in Europe. Apparently the mistress comes to kenya for a few weeks a year. At this time, the father leaves his family (including his wife) to spend some time with this white lady at a cottage somewhere. At the end of her stay, the kid's school fees are paid for the whole year. An interesting business deal.

I was in the supermarket this afternoon and observed an old german man with a kenyan lady. I watched as they struggled to communicate and function together. He was so old that his mouth didn't even close. As I was leaving, I saw them standing outside. She was eating an expensive ice cream while he was hunched over his belly and let out a loud, obnoxious belch. Must be love....oy

It's hard not to be skeptical sometimes especially in the area I live where I see this all the time (all my neighbours are kenyan ladies with old white husbands) but I have definitely seen some great mixed relationships. There are those who genuinely love one another and have wonderful relationships. I even have a young kenyan girlfriend who fell in love with a german who is 20 years older. They are happy, in love and on their way to getting married soon. So it can work- I am definitely not against it. ;)

Pray that I would not be too judgemental towards these people. Pray that I can reach out to my neighbours, create friendships, and even encourage them in their marriages (even though I am not married) Pray for my friend who is marrying her black boyfriend (still not sure that I will attend or not since I don't agree with the situation at all). Pray that God would intervene.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Market day

I went to the fruit and veggie market this morning and this is what I bought for less than $10:

- 3 cucumbers
- 2 mini zucchinis
- 4 green peppers
- 3 red peppers (this was a great find since red peppers are hard to find except in supermarkets where they are imported and expensive)
- 2 watermelons
- 4 apple mangoes
- 10 potatoes
- 1 pineapple
- 5 bananas
- 15 tomatoes

did I mention that all this combined cost less than $10??!! I love it here.

I am now at home (after taking a much needed nap because the power went out last night which means no fan which means extra heat and no sleep for me) and ready to try make some sort of greek salad and fruit salad and maybe some other sort of roasted veggies. Gotta love markets.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Strangers in my house

I love my space. My very own personal space to just be me. I like to control it and take care of it the way I like to. So when someone comes in and disrupts my space, I get a little antsy to say the least.

I don't wash my clothes by hand. I can, but I don't like it. It's too difficult for my delicate white hands. In the past I have done it and my hands were sore for days. If I can avoid it I will. In this culture, if you have money, you are sort of expected to have a househelp aka a maid. It is probably the lowest end job one could have but it is very much expected here. I have had many different househelps during my times in Kenya. Most of them were great; some not so great but at least my clothes were clean and my house was washed.

The apartment I live in is small enough that I can maintain it myself. I actually prefer to clean it, take care of it, and organize it myself. However, I need help washing my clothes.

A friend suggested to me a lady to come and help me. We called her this morning and she told us that her daughter was sick so she couldn't come but she would send her cousin. We waited and waited and waited for her cousin to arrive and when she finally did, we discovered that the lady did actually come with her baby after all. So that makes two foreign (to me) ladies and one sick baby in my tiny house.

I made it clear that I ONLY want my clothes washed. Nothing else.

Well the cousin quickly started on my clothes while the other lady and her baby watched. The child didn't seem sick as she was roaming around my house grabbing at everything she could find and screaming. Then it was lunch and it was decided that the lady would cook lunch while her cousin finished my clothes. We had to go buy the necessary ingredients (because I don't cook traditional kenyan food so I don't have them in my house) and then she started piddling around in my kitchen. She was very respectful but it is just not comfortable having another woman in my kitchen cooking. (I know some of you are thinking that it would be great to have someone cook for you all the time but when that strange person is rummaging through everything in your kitchen, it is a wee bit uncomfortable).  I just decided to relax as I could here her going through all my cupboards and drawers.

In the meantime, two sets of visitors showed up. One was the captain of the Rehma boys and the other was a new roommate for us. As my focus was on what the ladies are doing, I am trying to entertain these guests and discuss some things. My head was spinning.

Finally lunch was ready and we all sat down to eat (it was definitely a blessing that I didn't have to cook to feed all my visitors). The clothes were all washed. It was time for everyone to leave.

I was so relieved.

I am now at home all alone. The power has gone out so it is quiet. I just finished re-cleaning the house (the lady didn't wash the dishes very well or put anything away in the right spot and somehow she collected an army of ants and a cockroach) and am just sitting down to do some work on my computer.

I am grateful for the help but I wonder if it was all worth it. I am actually considering learning to wash my clothes or even buying a washing machine.

I love breakfast...

Breakfast is definitely my favourite meal of that day. I would have it for every meal if I could. This morning we had pork sausages, peanut butter and jam, bananas, Starbucks VIA coffee with milk, mbazi (local beans boiled with creamy coconut sauce drizzled on top), and juicy apple mangos. Oh my tummy was so happy!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Wonderful Day

Here are a few reasons why today was just simply wonderful:

  • A great devotion with God. He is a God of amazing grace, compassion, and mercy
  • A semi-quiet morning. My neighbours decided not to blast the music for too long this morning
  • A great breakfast: Cereal, Starbucks VIA coffee, and a juicy apple mango
  • Fun times with mr. opiyo
  • Running into old friends all day everywhere I went
  • The boys finally getting their new jerseys, socks, and cleats and watching them as they test them out on the field 
  • Making some awesome plans for the Rehma boys and their community 
  • Mama's cooking cheap, yummy snacks on the side of the road 
  • Cold showers (the heat is incredible. you stand still and sweat profusely)
  • A cold breeze here and there 
  • Skype with my daddy 
  • My cute little apartment 
  • The incredible, sometimes hard to fathom, sense of community you can find in Africa 
  • unlimited running water!
  • cheap, cold drinks all day long 
  • Watching the boys bond on the field and seeing how amazing they look in their new gear 
  • Finding that inexpressible joy in the smallest moments 
  • Another delicious, juicy apple mango just before bed (they are in season right now) 
All in all, it was an incredible. Thank you God! 

Friday, March 4, 2011

This is why I love Kenya

My time in Ilula was fantastic (as always). I stayed much shorter than I thought I would. I actually was excited to get back to Mombasa and continue working there. My few days in Ilula were just what I needed to clear my head and fall in love with this place all over again. The people, the smells, the landscape, the food, the songs, the singing, the dancing, the cows, the sun, the dirt roads, etc. So wonderful. 

Here are some pics of my days there. I had an incredible time catching up with kids and staff there. They bring such joy to my life. 

Mercy and Me. She has been a precious friend to me over the last 5 years. She has such a tender and joyful heart. She loves the Lord with all that is in her. 

I was fortunate to be able to see the boys who had gone to high school because they had come home for half term. I was so impressed with how mature, responsible, and handsome they have become. 

We celebrated birthdays while I was there. They usually celebrate birthdays each month for the kids in that month. This was so cute to see the little ones right up front waiting for a piece of delicious banana cake.

Apollo taking a big bite!

Lydia's smile.

My precious sponsor child Valentine. 

My tree! I planted it almost 2 years ago and it just keeps growing. 

The kids were all lined up waiting for the arrival of the bore hole drilling truck that they have been raising money for and praying for for 2 years now. 

Finally the convoy of drilling trucks arrived! It was quite emotional for everyone. They will be drilling a hold 120m into the ground to get unlimited, fresh, clean water. This will cut down huge costs for the property and they will be able to do some income generating agricultural projects as well. 

Baby Caleb. Only 6 months old. I just love his lion/sunshine hat.

I just loved this moment. This is Nixon and Eliud. Eliud is a shy, awkward, different kinda kid. He has never really fit in and has always been in the shadow of the other kids. He came up to Nixon, who is one of the parents at the children's home, and Nixon wrapped his arms around him and said with so much excitement and sincerity, "Hi Eliud! oh it is so good to see you. I love you so so much!" They hugged for about 5 minutes. Eliud walked away with this gigantic smile on his face. I am not sure he would get that kind of love if he wasn't in the children's home. I got teary-eyed standing there watching it all happen. 

 I am back in Mombasa and feeling so much better about what is happening in my life. I didn't get any straight answers from God about the big questions I had for him - well not yet at least. He just kept encouraging me to go day by day, step by step, in trusting Him and where He is leading me. He rarely gives us His big plans for us. Most of the time he shows us step by step. He lights the path in front of our feet but not in the distance. So I am in content in waiting on Him for now.

But things are moving along here in Mombasa. I am lovin my new place and all the work that is going into getting it all set up. Its a lot but its fun. Also spent the morning with my Kenyan colleagues discussing the plans for the Rehma boys and we are so excited about it! I will update more once we have set everything in place.

Thanks for your prayers this past week. They were heard.

Truth FM

My friend, James, and I went to bible school last year. I was able to watch him 'work out his faith with fear and trembling' I guess. He came needing a break from university life and his faith grew in incredible measures. Now every time I meet him, he is always encouraging me and telling me of how God has been good to him. 

A few months after we graduated he was offered a position at a local christian radio station to do a two hour show  in the evenings with his cousin. I have to admit that I had never heard of the radio station before but thought it was a pretty neat gig. I was in Nairobi for a few hours on my way home from Eldoret  so I called him up and he invited me along with him. It was a neat experience. I have never been in a radio station before (I am sure stations in the west work a little differently) but it was fun to see how it all worked. I got to pick out a lot of the music to be played and gave him some ideas for some upcoming shows. He asked me to speak on air but I wasn't quite ready for that so I said that maybe next time I'm in Nairobi, I will consider it. 

He has a great  radio voice. He spent 6 years in the US when he was younger so he has a very american accent and really fluent english. It works well for radio. 

A friend of his came in to tell his testimony so they talked together on air.