Monday, January 02, 2006

It's a new year

I woke up this morning to kids' voices outside. Went to check and the Rotich boys (Roghers, Hillary, Vincent & co) were out by the rabbits. (The Rogers family whose house I'm staying in have a small rabbit farm.) The boys had come to feed the rabbits. It was neat to have the visitors on the grounds and we visited a bit. The kids ALWAYS walk up to come and shake my hand or hug me. In the mornings, they always ask, "Did you sleep well?" If I say yes, which I always do, they respond with, "I also slept well."

The orphanage is divided into two wings with two families each. Yesterday evening, I went to lead devotions for the West Wing. (I'll teach at the East Wing devotions this evening.) One of the parents usually lead devotions, but they enjoy the odd evening off.

I taught on John 15:1-12, about abiding in Christ. I took a branch of a passion fruit plant with me as an illustration. When I pulled the branch from my bag saying that we should be able to harvest some passion fruit from this branch this year, the kids' hands went up. "No, you cannot do that," said one of the boys. "You have to plant the branch first." We talked about Jesus being the vine and we the branches, and only being able to bear fruit if we abide in Christ. We also talked about the different fruit God wants us to bear.

It is such an honor talking with these children. The Kenyan staff do an amazing job of discipling and teaching the little ones. They have such passion to see these children grow up as strong workers in God's kingdom!

After devotions, the children have dinner and then prepare to head to bed. I had promised the girls that I would come and read them a bedtime story, and when I came into the one room, the girls were all sitting around their table, ready for their story.

They had so many questions after we finished the story, including questions about my family. They wanted to know everyone's names and when we prayed afterwards, some of them prayed for my family by name!

I chatted with the girls about how they can bless each other. They said things like they could help each other. One girl (Frida) even said, "We can respect each other."

The girls wanted to know how they can pray for me. I explained that I'll be traveling next week to go to Ethiopia to teach. "We will pray for your safety," Vitalin said, and when she later prayed, the little 12-year-old prayed for "all the pilots who are flying right now. Help them to fly safely." I love listening to them pray. Most of them pray in Swahili, though. They are determined to teach me Swahili. (And I'm determined to learn from them!)

The highlight of the evening, though, was listening to little Faith pray. Faith is a very small 5-year-old with a smile that will melt any heart. She prayed and prayed and prayed for every family at the orphanage by name, then for past visitors and former interns. She also prayed for all the children's sponsors, that God will bless them a LOT for sponsoring the children!

I spoke to her mom (Dorcas) about her prayer this morning, and Dorcas explained that Faith will sometimes pray for half an hour as the bigger girls fall asleep...

What's lying ahead this week:

Monday: I'm spending today in town, getting work done on my computer. Tonight, I'll be leading devotions and reading to the girls in East Wing.

Tuesday: I have to come to town with Raymond (our electrician) to buy lights for my house, go to the post office, hand in papers at our office so they can wire the money to the satellite guys in Nairobi. A trip to town can often take most of the day since I'm dependent on others for transport. I have, however, "passed the test" in order to drive by myself. David, one of the parents who is also a mechanic, allowed me to drive Brian's vehicle to town on Saturday and declared that I'm fit to drive. I could not help but smile. Driving in Kenya is a breeze compared to driving in Taiwan and Mozambique! That evening, I should probably go and read a bed-time story to the West wing boys.

Wednesday: I'll be driving around all day (to Kipkaren and other places) with one of our staff members who is in charge of the child sponsorship program. Other than the orphan sponsorship, we also have a program through which people can pay for regular children's school fees, and Anne needs to take me to take photos of all these children before school starts.

Thursday: Prepare for Ethiopia! (I'm leaving for Ethiopia this weekend to teach in a Master's Degree program.) That evening I should go and read a story to the East Wing boys.

Friday and Saturday: Finish up writing and photo projects; spend time with the kids.

Sunday: Fly to Nairobi, then to Addis Ababa.

I'll be gone for 3 weeks. I do believe the hotel where we'll be staying (The Addis Ababa Golf Course Hotel) will have Internet access, so we'll be able to communicate.

If not, I'll be back at Eldoret on the afternoon of January 28th and should be able to post and update soon after than. Hopefully we'll have satellite Internet access by then! If not by then, by February 1st at least!

Once I'm back, I'll be moving into my house! Whoa! Things are progressing really fast in the building of my house, and it's a bit nerve wrecking to be leaving at a time when the workers will start with finishing touches! I'll definitely be asking them to wait with certain tasks until I am back.

Hope to keep in touch from Ethiopia.

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