Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Things that have made my heart glad this week

I have had some beautiful moments and encounters over the last few days. I wish I could write a blog post about each of them, but let me just recap a few things that have made my heart glad. 

1. Baby Zizou

Last week we found out that one of our boys just had a baby girl. We only found out recently that he was living with a 'wife' (not legally married but have moved in together and, as far as I know, are committed to one another) and that his 'wife' was pregnant. He stopped coming to practice last week and when Kelvin would see him, he would look absolutely exhausted. He usually a cheerful fella but his whole demeanour had changed. We were then told that his wife had given birth so he was at home caring for her her and baby. At first my heart broke a little because I know that Zizou doesn't have anyway of supporting himself let alone a wife and child. However, a child is a reason to celebrate in my eyes so that is what we wanted to do. 

Kelvin and I decided to make a surprise visit to see his new baby girl. We brought along all sorts of foods and household items to bless them. I wanted him to know that a child is a precious gift and also a huge responsibility. I find in Kenya, people often down play the birth of a child especially if it was done out of wedlock. Married or not, a child is precious. As we entered to the house, the wife was elated that we had come to see her. She quickly handed me the precious 2-week old baby girl and she slept in my arms for the duration of our visit. As soon as Zizou returned home, a huge smile came across his face. He was delighted that his coach would make the effort to visit him and congratulate him. I also learned that they have nicknamed the baby Nikole. 

Thank you Jesus for letting us be the face of your love, grace and mercy. Thank you for the gift of precious baby Zizou. 
Here is Zizou looking serious at practice. 

2. Teeth

One of our boys was attacked one night as he was going home last year. He spent a few nights in the hospital. I think his jaw was badly damaged and his front teeth had been knocked out. Since then, he always has seemed self conscious of smiling. He would only smile when he was truly comfortable with the people around him. I had started praying about possibly helping him out and I even shared my heart with a few people to see if they were willing to help him get his smile back. But to our surprise, he showed up to the pitch on Monday with a new set of teeth! We have no idea where he got them or how he paid for them, but Kelvin said he was smiling like he had never smiled before. Amazing how God answers our prayers. It's a humble reminder that I do not have to do everything for these boys. It doesn't depend on me to look for donations to help them. I am now challenged to take it up with God first before asking others. 

3. Peanut butter cookies, a good friend, and a nourishing conversation. 

I have expressed my frustration with baking on Facebook a few times. I just haven't been able to figure out my oven so I tend to burn everything. I then tried to make peanut butter cookies the other day and, to my delight, they turned out awesome. It took a lot of fidgeting with all the little knobs and constantly watching over them, but they turned out great.

So yesterday when I knew I had a friend coming to visit, I thought I would make a batch for us to enjoy while we chatted.

Well, we ended up eating over half of them over the 4 hours of chatting. I can't tell you how wonderful it was to just sit with a (relatively new) friend and talk about life, God and all things in between. I just love a good, long, deep, fun, nourishing conversation!  I have been praying for more deep friendships in my life over here and I thank God that He is hearing the cries of my heart!

I took a simple, online travel writing course a few months ago and totally loved it. I then came across MatadorU travel writing course and decided that I would take the plunge and sign up for another course.  I am only one week in and already I am learning so much. This a much more intense and innovative course. It also has an incredible network of travel writers from all over the world. I am totally intimidated by the amazing places travelled, the creative ways of storytelling, and the big blogging world. Maybe one day, this whole writing thing, will actually add a little sumin' sumin' to my bank account. 

I am looking forward to so much more over the next few days. We have a friend from Holland coming today who may be able to do some small business training with a few of our boys. I have a bible study of girls who I am always excited to hang out with. Another chapter of my writing course comes out as well. Whoopie!

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