If nothing else, my shoes tell me, it is time to go home. This is a beautiful land with intense hurt and ugliness. Today, I went to a wonderful orphanage on gorgeous park-like grounds. The children seemed happy except of course the three new ones who just lost their mother. Last week there were floods across Kenya. Many world travelers returning from seeing the most magnificent animals on the face of the earth were inconvenienced up to a week by them. This rain also flooded through a slum in Nairobi and as a woman tried to lift her children to safety she got electrocuted from a poorly placed wire. The youngest child who is 1 1/2 or 2 years, will only let one of the older girls hold her. Yet she did allow me to come near to her and she played with my glasses and finally allowed me to stroke her head a bit. She has struggled with tuberculosis most of her life and couldn’t even stand up until 6 months.
As another sweet child played happily, I was told the progress he and his older sister have made. This sister at four years old was sent to be a house-girl, that is to do chores for a family. She worked for this family for 2 years. When she was 6 the mother died. She took on the mother role of her baby brother. When he cried because he was hungry, she would mix dirt with water like a porridge to soothe him. Consequently, when the orphanage got him, he had limbs like little sticks and a big belly full of worms. The HIV he has is manageable, good nutrition, love and God’s grace has brought him far, but will it be extended to reverse the damage of his brain? So far, it looks like God is working that miracle too.
Yesterday at the Ngong WEEP center I enjoyed doing nutrition assessments and talking individually to many women about their nutrition. These women know the depths of despair, yet they are seeking God and encouraging one another and I get to be a part of it. Margaret who finally got her asthma under control, is lit-up because she believes that she will be able to afford her medical care now. She’s making money and Alice who provided for her a few months also helped her figure out how she would keep up with the costs on her own. The typhoid which Margaret was also diagnosed with on Friday did not seem to dampen her spirit. Then there is Tabitha who almost died just over a month ago with an appendicitis. She said she prayed, “You will not be defeated” through it. I am not sure what that means exactly but I do know that God is glorified in her life. Though she is still underweight at times lacks food, she like Margeret exudes with joy. On the way back, Jackson the driver gets a call to take a route which avoids the city center because an explosion has just occurred and immediately thousands thronged the area.
This morning at HEART Silvia Evans gave a talk on Grief, then she and Vickie anointed with oil and prayed for each one of us. How can I not have a pull to stay? But it is time to go, my shoes show it and I am looking forward to seeing my family and friends in the USA.