|This was Caroline and I in front of her home, with her kids|
|Little Newton (his nickname was Isaac Newton)|
|The children eating their daily snack of porridge|
|This was Esther, I really really really wanted to take her home. :)|
We also would go to the schools and teach the older kids a program called Choose to Wait. It teaches a program of abstinence through the Bible and God's plan for us to remain sexually abstinent until marriage. A very special lady heads up that program, Mama Joski, who is Pastor Martin's wife. (Pastor Martin is the director of Christ's Hope Kenya)
Getting back to the culture differences of Africans and Americans, you will not walk into a room without going around and greeting everyone by shaking their hand and introducing yourself. They are HUGE on introductions and are always very grateful and delighted to meet you. I was always surprised by the way the locals can seem like they didn't want anything to do with you, but as soon as you smile and wave at them it was like they were dying to greet you, but were waiting for your signal and then they would smile and wave back. I loved it. One other main difference is that they did not do a whole lot of hugging when they would see one another, but when Al and I were out on our Care and Compassion visits we ran into one exception. I don't think I got her name, because she didn't speak a lick of English, but all I know is that this lady loved to hug me! It wasn't just a nice-to-meet-you hug, it was an all-encompassing hug and she wouldn't let me go! It was a welcome change, though, because she was so full of joy and I just wish I could've spoken her language because I would have loved to get to know this bear-hugging woman. Here's a picture of us and her family (she is on my right).
Oh, and the first man on the left there is Desmond, who hails from Ireland, but has been in Kenya for a few years working with Christ's Hope heading up the Care and Compassion ministry. He is an extremely gifted man of God who we were very sad to leave. Also, a very funny Irishman, seeing him and Rianna (who is a Dutch nurse serving for 6 mos. in Kenya) banter back and forth was priceless.
Now for some random pictures to wrap it up....
|We got to visit Lake Victoria and scout for hippos with a local boatman|
|The worlds SMALLEST kitten :) (Naturally I wanted to take her home, too)|
|We interrupted this little girl and her sister just after bath time---TOO cute!|
This is another special boy, his name was Bahati (which in his language translated to 'bad luck') He was one of the 'street boys' whom we got to know in Tanzania. Him and about 17 other boys were rescued by Christ's Hope off the streets and given a house to live in, and taught about Jesus and what he did for them. When we met them for the first time we were walking up to their house and all the boys (ranging from about 10-21) were all outside singing from their little hymn booklet. It was so neat to hear all them singing together about this God that most all of them knew personally now because of a few people with a passion and heart for God and spreading his good news.
I'll end by saying that even as I write this and all the memories become fresh again I find myself tearing up a little because I long to go back. Al and I pray that one day God will put it in place for us to back again, possibly for a longer time.