I could see the children off in the distance as I drove down the road towards Ilula. They were heading back to school after lunch, but were curious to see which vehicle was coming up the road. Once they recognized me behind the wheel, they came running! I couldn't even get out of the car; they were coming up and hugging me through the window.
And peppering me with questions!
"Will you stay, Adele?" I will indeed stay for the night, but I need to head out again tomorrow to pick up an intern from the airport and go back to Kipkaren.
"Is this your car?" No, it's not. It belongs to Kipkaren. I'm just borrowing it today. I took the team to the airport this morning, and will leave again tomorrow to pick up the intern.
"Pole for your car, Adele. Can we put in a new battery and then it will go again?" I'm afraid not. It needs much more than a new battery...
"When will you come to stay for a long time, Adele?" I live in Kipkaren now. I only come to visit you. I'm so glad to be here to see you.
"Will we see a movie tomorrow?" No, but I'll show you pictures after school of my trip to America!
"Will you show the children in Kipkaren a movie...?" No, I don't show them movies... Are you excited to see photos from America today?
And so it went on and on, till they had to run to school. The pre-schoolers hung around after I parked the car, eager to help me carry my few things to my house. When the older kids aren't around, some of the little ones come out of their shells. Edison kept wanting to hold my hand. He rarely says a word. Kipkurui wanted to impress me by eating as many clovers as he possibly could. Kibiwott was climbing as high as he could into the bottlebrush tree by my front door and jumping down to impress me...
After several cups of chai at staff members' homes, I went to show the children the promised pictures. Afterwards, Vitaline wanted to pray for the people in Iowa who had lost their homes in the flood. (They've been praying for Iowa ever since I sent a message asking them to pray for the river not to flood the city of Cedar Rapids!)
I stopped by their devotions later, and was asked to share a Word. I shared from Jeremiah 29:7, a verse that has been mulling in my mind the past few weeks. It wasn't hard for them to understand the concept of the verse. I encouraged them to even pray for the crops of their area, for people's land to yield much fruit, for the families in their neighborhoods. I love seeing them "get it." Believe me, they'll pray!
Now, I'm off to dinner at the Ronos' home. I had forgotten how much colder it gets in Ilula! In Kipkaren, the temperature is rarely below 60. At Ilula, especially during the rainy season (now), the temperature easily drops to the 40s and 30s at night. Tonight is one of those chilly nights.
But my heart is warm with love for these children. I have missed them immensely.
It's good to be home.