Monday, May 30, 2011

Weekend games, rain or shine

This weekend we were able to take the boys out and play a few friendly matches with some local teams. The first team we played was actually the team that won our league. I think they had really wished they played us in the final since we are 'the team to beat' in the area. So we travelled to their pitch to play a quick match. They quickly scored two goals, but then one of our players stepped up his game and tied the game. It was a 2-2 final. At the end of the match, all the boys were seen laughing, hugging and shaking the hands of the other team. 

It has been raining in Mombasa! Usually it pours at night and then showers on and off during the day. I think people are surprised because this type of weather is not typical for this time of year in Mombasa. I don't think this much rain is typical in general. I am totally enjoying it though. I love waking up to the sound of rain. I love making myself a nice cup of tea and reading a book as the rain pours down outside. As the boys played, it sprinkled a little bit creating this incredible rainbow. 

On Saturday we headed south coast to Word of Life. We had about 20 boys and they all squished together in one matatu (which is suppose to have only 14 passengers). We cracked up as listening to them pick on each other in the back. They were sitting on top of each other, some were standing. It was a hoot. I am pretty sure they enjoyed the trip to and from south coast more than actually playing the game. Some of them had never been to south coast even though they have lived in Mombasa their entire lives.They were amazed at the simplest of things. They kept saying, "Hey, check out the mangoes" or "Look, at that tree" or "see that wedding?"

 FYI, to get to south coast you have to cross a small ferry from Mombasa and then it is about 25km towards the tanzanian boarder. 
It was a nice trip for me too. I got to see my two German friends, Alena and Kathrine, who are working at Word of Life. We got to catch up with all that is going on in our lives. Totally love these girls!

You can't see the rain but it was pouring at this moment which made for the most majestic scene. I couldn't think of a better place to be than standing under a mango tree watching the sun set and the rain pour down while our boys played soccer. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

To put things into perspective...

I have noticed recently that when I translate what we spend on basic things in Canada into what it can buy in Kenya, people's perspectives tend to change. I have gotten countless comments over the past two days after I posted on my Facebook status, "One grande Starbucks soy latte can buy one of my boys 3 full meals a day." Even people who I don't know nor are my friends on Facebook have put this as their status and put a link to our website. Social media is amazing.

So yesterday, as there was no power all day, I made a list of other comparisons. Here is goes:

$5 can buy one Starbucks latte or 3 full meals a day for one of my boys.

$10 can buy one rental movie or capital for one of our boys to start a small business

$20 can buy 3 steaks from extra foods or a new ball for our team

$27 can buy a nice bottle of wine or register a boy for a Kenyan birth certificate which, without it, he can't access his rights as a Kenya.

$35 can buy some appies with your girlfriends or pay one month's tuition for our goalkeeper who wants to do art and design school.

$50 can buy 3 new books from chapter or a package of maize flour for all 24 of our boys. The package will feed them for a week.

$100 pays for one monthly iPhone bill or driving school in Kenya and the chance to be a professional driver.

$170 buys a new pair of good running shoes or 10 pairs of cleats.

$400 can buy a brand new iPod or pays for us to run a soccer league in Kongowea which impacts an entire community.

Amazing how far our money can go if we give up just a couple simple luxuries. If you think that you can give up one of these things and donate the money to our boys, we would be so appreciative.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Clash of Cultures

Well, we arrived back in Mombasa this morning after a long, tiring, emotional, exciting, relaxing, eye-opening trip. It felt so good to crawl into my own bed this morning and pass out for a good 4 hours. 

We took a 14 hour bus ride to Migori which is the closest town to the village where Kelvin's mom lives. It was a long bus ride. We arrived at his mom's place completely exhausted but happy to be home. She welcomed us with fresh lemon grass tea and chappatis. 

I had forgotten how boring it can be with out electricity. We spent most of our first day sleeping or talking or sitting outside or generally doing nothing. I read half a novel in a few hours. Sometimes having nothing to do is exhausting. Nonetheless, it was enjoyable being the simple and quiet environment. 

The next day we headed to Kelvin's dad's ancestral land to check out some land that his father had inherited. Kelvin's dad passed away over 15 years ago and with Kelvin being the oldest male sibling, he takes on a lot of the family responsibilities. The trek to his dad's home land ended up taking longer than we had thought with both of us not feeling the greatest. The last motorcycle we took was treacherous as our driver didn't exactly know where we were going even though he insisted that he knew our exact plot. We ended up getting stuck in all sorts of mud and bumping up and down leaving my bum all bruised. By the time we found his father's land, I was exhausted and a little on the cranky side. We were so far from any sign of civilization that I began to wonder if God even knew this place existed.

It was emotional for me as well. I found it so interesting to meet his father's family when I have never met his father. It also blew my mind to think that this was ancestral land. The same tribe/family has lived on this same land since only God knows when. Kelvin's grandfather had many wives so the land is divided between all the wives and their kids. I ended up meeting all sorts of people who were all related to Kelvin. They introduced themselves to me as my mother or auntie or sister when really they were my grandfather's other wife's child or the 3rd wife to Kelvin's uncle. I couldn't keep track of it all. I just ended up succumbing to the fact that we were related somehow. 

Our purpose was  to see the land that Kelvin's father had inherited and see if we could do some planting on it. That was really all I wanted to do but I guess you can't come all the way there and not meet everyone and have a meal. We sat around waiting for them to cook a nice meal of fresh chicken, traditional greens (which I have realized are just weeds), and ugali. Now, both of us were having tummy problems and had no appetite at all. We tried to get out of it, but we couldn't. When they placed the food in front of us, I just prayed extra hard. I don't think they noticed that I ate very little. Kelvin and I didn't end up eating supper as we were so turned off from our big lunch. 

We headed back home after a few hours there. Next time we will have to plan to stay a night and come prepared. Let me just say that it is an incredibly challenging environment for me. The water is dirty, there is no toilet but just a bush where you hide behind, there is no shop in sight, no electricity, not a lot of food in general, and so much more. I was so happy to get back on the motorcycle and head back home. 

Over the next few days we just hung around home and went into town to do some errands. I think I hit some big culture shock this time around. The first time I went to visit Mom, I was more of a guest and treated that way. However, now I am a part of the family and there are more expectations on my shoulders. It really overwhelmed me. Mom explained to Kelvin that she was proud of the effort I was putting in in trying to fit in. That left me in tears. 

This was a precious sight. This is Kelvin's real uncle. He is the only brother to Kelvin's dad from the same mother. Did you get that? Anyways, he has been taking care of our land while we have been away. He was so delighted to have Kelvin around. He was a very sweet man and had such a lovely wife. 

A little sunkissed after a long day. We took 6 different motorcycles that day. 

We got the chance to go see Kelvin's twin sisters who just joined high school. Usually you can only visit family on certain days but we were given some grace because we told them we had travelled all the way from Mombasa. We only got 5 minutes with these precious girls but it was better than nothing. 

Their names are Harriet and Joan. Do not ask me which one is which. They are completely identical. They do everything together. They laugh the same and talk the same and have the same mannerisms. They will even answer if you call them the wrong one. Kelvin has another set of twins in his family but luckily, they are a boy and a girl. 

A young boy in the village who picked our unripe avocados and chewed on them everywhere. The second after I took this picture, he burst into laughter. 

The environment is truly amazing. Everyday has the most incredible sunset and sunrise. 

Kelvin and his mama. He is definitely a mama's boy. 

We took 10 different motorcycles in 3 days because the places we went to were so far into villages that cars couldn't get there and it would take hours to walk. The two of us straddled the back as we zigzagged through the villages. 

We left Migori to meet up with one of my best friends from college, Marika! This was a complete culture shift as all of a sudden, everything Canadian came back to me. It was SO GOOD to be with a good friend and really reminisce about Canada. It was refreshing for me. I am not sure how Kelvin felt as he has never really seen me in my little Canadian world but he managed well. I am sure he had a bit of culture shock as well. 

We went with Marika and the two girls she came with to a boys rescue centre that they were volunteering at. We had a fun afternoon with 40 rambunctious former street boys. 

Dance session!

I know this picture looks gross but let me explain. Marika wanted to treat us to dinner to celebrate our engagement. We went to this super posh italian restaurant. I ordered this asparagus and parmesan risotto! It was amazing!  We all enjoyed the lavish food. Garlic butter, foccacia bread, balsamic vinegar and olive oil, pizza, fresh rosemary and mint, lattes, grilled vegetables, and so much more! I had forgotten that food could taste so good.

We all went dancing on Saturday and had a blast. It was so incredibly nourishing to relax and fall back into the Canadian Nikole (although I do have a lot of Kenyan tendencies that threw Marika and her friends off a lot.) I am so thankful for my time with my beautiful friend! 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Off to the bundus

This evening we are heading to the bundus for a week. Bundus is a slang term that means upcountry or one's home area. Most people in Kenya have land somewhere where their families have ancestral land. They put up a small house that they go and visit a few times a year. I think many of them move back there when they have retired. They live in the big cities because there is more work and opportunity to make money, but their hearts lie in their homes upcountry.

We are headed to Kelvin's home area. We want to go visit his mom and then go and check out some of his father's land. I personally love going to the villages. I am not a city girl at all so I just thrive in the peaceful, quiet, simple atmosphere of the villages. Kelvin's mom lives in a mud hut with no electricity or water. The toilet is a hole in the ground and you have to bathe in a bucket. We eat fresh kale and beans from her big garden and drink lemongrass tea in the mornings. I love the birds and the sun setting in the evening. I love the glowing fireflies that offer a little bit of light in the pitch black nights. Ah, dreamy.

Then on our way home we will stop in Nairobi for a night to visit with one of my best friends from college, Marika. She is in the country working with an organization she is involved that works with orphans. I can't begin to tell you how excited I am to see someone from home!!!!!!!! And I am excited for her to meet Kelvin.

I am looking forward to a good week!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Nyama Nyama Nyama!

Nyama means 'meat' in swahili and usually refers to beef in particular. Today we had nyama ya mbuzi (goat meat) and shared it with all our boys. Kelvin bought a nice, live goat yesterday and left it in Kongowea overnight. Today, I found it tied up to a tree ready to be slaughtered and put in our bellies. 

I took pictures of the whole process but I won't post all the gruesome pictures for you to see. Some of them are gory. After I watched the goat literally being sliced apart, I decided not to eat the meat. I just couldn't do it. 

All our boys and a few of their friends joined us. We had a great afternoon as they all pitched in to make this meal happen. It was fun having them altogether laughing and joking with each other. They really do have an amazing bond as they have all grown up together. 

This young man tugs at all my heartstrings. He doesn't actually play but shows up at all the practices. He is always high on some drug and you never see him without a cigarette in his mouth. Not only that, he is loud and obnoxious. However, he worked so hard today. It was so cool to see him be so helpful with getting this meal together. He was the one who slit the throat of the goat and he was the one washing the dishes at the end of the day. I was totally blessed by him today. 

My man who I so adore. We were sitting together as we watched to boys roast the goat and I said to him,  "You really do love these boys don't you?" and he just looked at me with a big smile on his face. These are 'his boys' and he would die for them. I do love my man. 

Zizou cracked me up when he grabbed a whole plate to himself and licked it clean.

It was a very communal meal (another reason why I chose not to eat).

Handsome Hamso. This boy has the most beautiful smile. 

At the end of the day, we just sat in the shade (next to the gigantic garbage pile) and chatted. Kelvin and Gordo (right) have been playing soccer together in these areas since they were little. Such a sweet friendship. Gordo has started coming back to the pitch to practice with the boys and is taking a leadership role alongside Kelvin. He is also taking a scuba diving course. so cool! 

All in all, another great day with the boys. What else can I say but thank you Jesus. 

Oh! the places you'll go!

When I graduated from high school, one of my favourite gifts that I got was the Dr. Suess book "Oh! The places you'll go!" After reading the clever words and the rhythmic paragraphs, you really are excited for the rest of your life. You get all excited about all the places you go, the experiences you will have, the things you will see, the ups and the downs, and everything in between. 

Today, we had a mbuzi choma party with our boys. We bought a live goat, slaughtered it and gut it (yes, I watched the whole thing), roasted it over a fire that we made, and dished it out to over 35 boys who gobbled it up in no time. This entire process happened just next to one of the biggest garbage piles in the entire slum. I sat and listened to boys yell and talk sternly with each other (which is the way of life here) while they chewed miraa and smoked weed and cigarettes. I saw all the innards of a goat and felt like I was in a World Vision commercial with all the flies roaming around my head. Kids walked around in bare feet and having peed all over themselves. The entire environment was a huge contrast to everything that I grew up with. 

I never thought that this was a place that I would go. I never thought my feet would be trudging through sludge and I would be hanging out next to a dump with a bunch of rough boys in a slum. I never thought I would witness a goat being killed by boys who barely eat enough in a day. I just never thought this was a place I would ever go. 

I bet my parents didn't think this was a place that their beloved daughter would go. I wonder if they had dreams of me cruising through slums and hanging out with major druggies. 

I bet my teachers in high school didn't think this either. I was a good student with good marks. Maybe they imagined I would finish some big fancy degree and have a high end job somewhere. 

OH! the places I never thought I would go. Ha. 

But God knew. He knew I would be here one day. He knew where my feet would tread. 

To be honest, there is no other place I would rather go right now. 

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!
You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Date in Malindi

Now that they league is over, Kelvin and I decided to take a day off and just hang out together. I have been wanting to take a day trip to Malindi, which is a small tourist town about 160km north of Mombasa. So we woke up early and went to my favourite joint for a delicious breakfast mbazi and mahambri and then got a matatu to Malindi.

This town is so cute! Many Italians have settled here so there are lots of pizzerias and gelato shops. We had lunch at a fancy italian restaurant and sat amongst tons of italian expats drinking sparkling water and speaking the language of love. I find it so interesting how a certain people group can really overtake an area and create there own little community. It's like they have taken their culture and made a little italy on the coast of East Africa. As I watched them, I couldn't help wonder what they do and how they got here. I wish I could have just gone up and asked them but I figured that would be rude. 

Anyways, Kelvin and I enjoyed the tiny town and all it had to offer. We didn't have an agenda so we just roamed around as we wished. It was so nice just to have some time for the two of us when so much of our lives involves other people. Thank you Jesus for such a precious day with my loved one!

In Malindi, you have to tuk tuk everywhere. It's just the thing to do.

We decided to go to see a historical pillar at the beach. It was kelvin's idea as I am not into this sort of sight seeing. I only went along because it was at the beach and we coaxed the guy at the front to give me a resident rate. 

A dead crab.

Beautiful Indian Ocean

This is the Pillar we went to see. After reading the little blurb about it and having Kelvin explain it to me, I still didn't understand what it meant. To me it was just a slab of cement. It has something to do with portugese and trading with muslims and a king. I dont know. But it made for a good place to sit at and enjoy the view. 

We explored the little caves on the shore. 

I have never seen a plant like this. At first I though it was painted but I saw a whole bunch of other ones like it. How cool! God is so creative. 

Yummy Italian gelato to finish off our day. 

The ride home was scrumptious. The sun was setting as kids were going home and people were moving up and about. We passed huge crops of sisal as the sun slipped behind the horizon. 

Thanks Jesus! 

The end of a great few months of soccer

Saturday was the best game yet. It was also the last game of the league. It was super sad to see it end but we were just amazed at the impact that it has had in the community. We are praying that we will get more funding and start it up again within the next month or two. We want to make it bigger and better with more community involvement. We want to celebrate the community of Kongowea and all its various people, cultures, and flavours. Anyways, pray with us for this vision to come to pass! 

Even before the final game started, excitement was building. A group from the Billima team arrived at the pitch with drums, trumpets and shakers to support their team. Along with the music, they brought a spirit of support and excitement to the pitch. 

This was the final announcement on the side of this house! Golden vs. Bilima- finals!

There are several large mango trees around that pitch. We are told that many people in the community believe that these trees have special powers. Older men have been seen offering sacrifices to these trees before several of the games. Just goes to show the spiritual state of this community. IT is very heavily into dark spirits and 'jinn' as the muslims say. Keep praying that Jesus will show His amazing power in this dark community. 

I have been amazed at how the people in the community have really warmed up to me. I feel like i could walk through the community and have people willing to protect me if anything was to happen to me. This man really touched my heart when he went all the way home and brought me a special chair to sit on during one of the games. He even made sure that I was sitting in a good place and that no one was blocking my view. Another thing that I admire is his love for his grandchildren. He is always carrying them and playing with them. In this culture, it is rare to see men spend lots of time with their kids or grandkids. But this man breaks the mould. He has been a huge encouragement to us and what we are doing. 

I was actually amazed to see so many women at the pitch. Usually I am the only girl watching but this exciting game drew many women to the pitch. Although, most of them were chewing miraa or  had just come from drinking the local brew, but nonetheless, there were more women. 

We saw the biggest crowd yet. I would guess there was about 600-700 people watching this game. You could barely find a place to watch the game. Amazing community support.

Selah, the man in the red, spoke to both teams and the crowd at the end of the game. I didn't understand everything he said but I know that he was offering words of encouragement and peace to the boys and their supporters. Selah is another man who really invests in the youth in the community especially when it comes to soccer. 

The two teams waiting for the prize giving ceremony.

Libarao, the man with the red and white stripe on his jacket, was instrumental in making this league a success.  He runs the field and graciously gave it to us for free. He also offered a lot of guidance and wisdom on our committee. At first, I thought he was a bit of a bully but in the end, I gained an admiration for him. He also warmed up to me and always greets me with a huge smile even if I am on the other side of the pitch. 

Bilima took the win! They walked away with a new set of jerseys, a new ball, and a shiny medal. They really were an outstanding team. 

Amazing what God has done in this community. We give all the glory to Him! 

Saturday, May 7, 2011


At 4:30 this afternoon, the two final teams will battle it out for first place in the Rehma Football League.

I can't believe it is almost over! These have been a fun and exciting couple of months watching football in Kongowea. This week, Kelvin and I spent a lot of time just reflecting on all that has happened. One of our biggest prayers was that God would be glorified in might ways. At times I pondered whether we were doing things right. I wanted people so desperately to know God and all we seemed to be doing was playing soccer. Although I knew that I didn't want to make it a crusade or throw bibles at people in the crowds. So we left it in God's hands. We knew He had laid it on our hearts to do and that our labour would not be in vain.

As we just talked about the community, the various people involved, and our boys, we were so amazed at the way God has moved amongst the people here. I wish I could share every little detail with you of the amazing ways we are seeing hearts turn to God but due to security, I can't. I believe people have been really challenged by the God that they see us serving. So cool!

So the finals are today. Sadly our boys didn't make it but they did win 3rd place yesterday in a really fun game. They played their little hearts out in the 2nd half scoring 4 goals. Actually 1 of the goals was scored by the other team who headed the ball into their own net. The other 3 goals were scored by one of our players, Zedim who was on fire. We were all amazed as we had never seen him play like that. The best part for me was seeing his huge smile after he scored all his goals.

Once we were up a couple goals, Kelvin gave the boys permission to do what they wanted. Soon all the boys were showing off their fancy footwork and sweet tricks. Again, it was fun to watch them. They were truly enjoying themselves.

Anyways, I must get going to get myself ready for the finals. I am excited for a fun afternoon of soccer!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Kenya running on empty

Kenya is experiencing a major fuel shortage. For the past 3 days, petrol stations around the country have run completely dry of fuel. It has caused chaos in the major cities, especially Nairobi, where people heading to work lined up in cues for hours just to get a few drops to get them around for the day. People even got out of their cars with  jerry cans and lined up at the gas pumps. Tempers were high and emotions were running wild. Traffic was backed up all over the cities. No fuel at all.

I haven't personally seen it. I haven't travelled too far from my house the past few days but I am told that parts of Mombasa are experiencing the same.

The big questions is where is the fuel? There have been confirmed reports that there is indeed fuel in Kenya. Lots of fuel in Kenya. So why isn't it getting to the pumps.

No one really knows the reason. People are blaming the government, the fuel companies, and the other big wigs involved. There are claims that they are hoarding it in order to make prices go higher. Some are saying there is a miscommunication between the people at the top. Whatever the reason, Kenyans are suffering. Big time.

It is so hard to see the small people getting hurt because of the big people's actions. It's the local people who are continuing to suffer while the big people continue to control everything. Kenyans are crying out for justice. Kenyans are crying out for leaders who actually care about them. But nothing seems to be happening.

Anyways, as I watched the news this morning, my heart sank. Kenya, you are in my prayers.

here is an article about the fuel shortage in today's paper if you are interested.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Bed Bug Prayer

The last few days I have been waking up with huge, red, itchy welts on my body. I got my first one in Vipingo this weekend. At first I thought it was a mosquito bite but after it didn't go away for a couple days and then turned into a tiny, bruise like circle, I knew it wasn't a mosquito bite. Mosquito bites are usually small and go away fairly fast if they are not tampered with. However, when I was in Word of Life last year, I used to get these bites in the night. I was so perplexed until  someone told me that they are bed bugs.

"Sleep tight. Don't let the bed bugs bite." - I don't think I ever took that literally.

Now I have huge welts (mostly on my back) that are extremely itchy and uncomfortable. I fear that I have brought some bed bugs home from Vipingo.

I did some research on the internet to determine if my bites were indeed bed bugs. My research came back positive: I am being bitten by the sly, bloodsucking creatures.

So I researched if there are any major health side affects and thankfully, nothing major can be transmitted. Some websites suggest "severe psychological effects due to lack of sleep" but in my case, I sleep like a log.

Then I tried to figure out how I could get rid of them. Most websites suggested you get professional pest control people into do it. Pretty sure Kenya doesn't offer those services. There were also certain chemicals that could be used but they are only found in pet food stores. Nope, no pet food stores around here.

A good vacuum cleaner with a small nozzle was good for sucking up all the little eggs in the house. Most Kenyans have never heard the word 'vacuum' before so that wouldn't work.

One other suggestion was to wash all your clothes, linens, and other fabrics in scorching hot water and putting them to dry in a drying machine with intense heat for 20 minutes. Would drying in the hot sun for 20 minutes work too? because drying machines are few and far in between around here. Soaking them in blazing hot water was the most promising option but considering I heat water on my gas stove and have a few small basins to do my laundry in by hand, that would be a momentous task.

After going through all this, I decided my best option was to pray (although that should have been my first response). God of the universe could surely stop this annoying pests from biting me.

Jesus, please make them stop biting me!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Vipingo kids camps

We travelled north about 40km to a small village called Vipingo this weekend. A local ministry team had invited Kelvin to be the preacher at their youth camp. For me, it was a blessing to be out of the busy city and go to a rural community for a few days. I really love the simplicity of small villages. I find it so peaceful. 

The camp was wonderful. The children were deliciously delightful. The environment was nourishing. Loved it. 

One of the most out going little children at the camp. Just before I took this picture, she was dancing up and down the aisles as the worship team prepared. Precious.

It was also nice to connect with our friends who were running the camp. They are a young group who just decided to start a ministry to reach out for Christ. We had an opportunity to really give them so guidance and encouragement in their ministry. 

Kelvin's sermon on Sunday was amazing. He really gave a challenge to the people in the community to keep God's commandments straight. Often in these small communities, the people will become Christians yet still hold on to their cultural ways which go against Christ's commands. One of the hardest things to see is parents giving their girls to young men to sleep with or to see single moms having 5 children from 5 different men. Many of them are Christians yet still give into the ways of the world around them. It was a powerful message.

This mango tree became my haven of peace for the weekend. It was gigantic! In the cool mornings, I would come outside and sit on the wooden benches that surrounded the trunk to meet with God. I would watch the sun rise and roosters crow. I was in awe of God's creation and so thankful that I was able to experience it!

An extra few shillings here, there, and everywhere

In the past week or so, the cost of living in Kenya has increased. And it is hitting Kenyans hard.

Recently, public transportation increased their rates by 10 or 20 shillings to all destinations. My preferred minced meat package in the supermarket has gone up to 180KES from 160KES. Our favourite restaurant increased all its prices last week and we used to go there because the food was so cheap. Gas is now as expensive as it is in Canada. On the news yesterday, I heard that the government is trying to increase minimum wage but that is proving to be difficult. Even if minimum wage is increased, there are still thousands of people who are exploited and are paid significantly less than minimum wage.

Even for me, the white person, the increased cost in living has made me reach deeper into my pockets just to live.

I can't even imagine how the average Kenyan is struggling. I think it is particularly hard because everything is becoming more expensive so fast. It is not a gradual increase and its not just in one commodity but in almost every aspect of life here.

The government is feeling the pressure and has started to reduce the costs of some things but it is not nearly enough to make any impact.

I guess I am asking you to keep Kenyans in your prayers. Pray that even their most basic needs will be met. Pray that their hearts would draw closer to God through all this.

And we are out

Last Wednesday, our boys played a rematch of the game that ended in chaos a few days earlier. After spending almost a whole week talking, negotiating, cooling down emotions and hot tempers, and praying we came to the conclusion that we should do a rematch. Our boys were the ones who agreed to it and so, as you can assume, the other team was elated. 

Well, our boys did not have their best game. They were a little slow and didn't put out a lot of energy. They weren't working well together as a team and were getting very few shots on net. The other team ended up playing probably one of the best games of their lives. The final score was 2-1 for the other team. Our boys walked off the field with their heads hung low. 

For me and Kelvin, it was a huge victory. It was an incredibly peaceful game even with the biggest crowd yet. Even when a goal was scored, there wasn't a lot of celebrations or jumping up and down. We hired a professional ref from the Kenya Football Federation and he did an amazing job. Not only that, the boys on the pitch feared him and respected all his calls. Our boys were not happy as they walked off the pitch. Some of them wanted another rematch while others threatened they would quit the team. After giving them a few hours to cool down, they accepted the defeat gracefully. All in all, it was a big step forward for the community of Kongowea. 

Now we are playing for third place on friday and the finals will be played saturday. I am looking forward to handing out the prizes to some talented football players. 

I was sitting right at the sidelines on a tiny seat one of the men of the community had given to me. These little kids were cracking me up as they would give a play by play of the game. 

Big kick from one of our players, Zedi

If you look closely, the man whose shoulder I am taking the picture over is holding a green stem in his hand. This is a common drug called miraa. It is found everywhere in Mombasa. I believe that it has a stimulant effect. Often my bus drivers who have to drive over night will chew it to keep awake. It's not illegal but it's definitely not healthy in my opinion. It can be expensive and with a poor community, it is a waste of money. The man in the picture was chewing it and then spitting it out on the ground. Then the little boys would pick up the already chewed miraa and put it in their mouths. It broke my heart that this is the example they are getting from the men in their community. To these young boys, they know no different.