Friday, October 16, 2009


Today we started VBS and it was amazing. We had only around 75 kids because of the limited space. It was great though because we recognized many of them from the health clinic and by the end of the day knew many of their names.

They greeted us with songs and memory verses. We made nametags, played with the parachutes our family brought for them, and at my station we taught them the story of Jesus birth. They dressed up in costumes and acted it out and they loved it!!! Giggles all around. The time of VBS was one of the most fulfilling of my life. The children have so much hope and crave the attention and affection we loved to heap on them. Watching my teammates felt like watching Jesus with the children. The men ended up serving at the VBS too and it was completely not what they were expecting but it was a total God thing. They were stretched and blessed as was I.

After lunch we paired up with some CHE trainers and social workers to ''bring the light.'' This program is installing fiberglass panels into the roof of their homes to allow light into them and to remind them of the light of Jesus. While workers installed the panels, we visited with the owners/renters in their homes and prayed with them. Our first home was Anne's. She is HIV+ and lived with her four children in a home the size of my area rug. She has been there for 20 years. The heat was oppressive, flies swarmed everywhere and the home was dark except for the light peeking in from the propped open door. As I sat there while Robert, our CHE trainer spoke with her, I noticed some pages from magazines covering her walls in an attempt to decorate. In the middle of ads for hair products and couture clothing was a picture of a beautiful colonial home with the caption, "My dream home." I felt like I had been kicked in the gut. It was a picture I would put in my dream folder. What were her dreams? What did she want to be when she grew up? Anne was so much like me except for these circumstances. She asked us to pray for her health and I walked over to her and sat next to her on her bed and embraced her. I held her hand in both of mine and wept as I prayed. She was gracious and lovely and she said throught the interpreter that she was blessed by how we touched her. I walked out of her home and broke down. It is was the most intimate time with our Savior. For the first time in my life, I felt like His He gave me the words and used me to touch her life. Indescribeable. My teammates and I hugged and collected ourselves for the next home.

Bencoretta was next. She was actually bathing behind a curtain with a bucket of soapy water when we came in and stuck her wet head out from behind the curtain and welcomed us. Her sister Christine was visiting from the rural area and we prayed with her for her job search. As Bencoretta was behind the sheet, she was animated and spoke loudly and would laugh with us. When she appeared from behind her sheet of security, she sat quietly and would not make eye contact with us. She is HIV+ and scared it will kille her. She wants to be healed. She tried to cover us from the dust as it fell from the ceiling as they shook the place cutting the whole for the light panel. Polly and I held hands with her and prayed. I just kept rubbing her hand and arm wanting to somehow say I love you and you are worthy of so much more. I am not afraid to touch you.

When we were done, she asked if she could pray for us. WOW! An HIV+ woman in the worst slum in Nairobi and she wants to pray for me. I am beyond humbled.

We were able to go out to dinner that night as a team and I found comfort in the form of a milkshake. The joke of the day was how hot I was. My shirt was soaked from neck to navel. It was a good look. Tomorrow is a new day of VBS and a trip to an orphanage. I'm not really ready for that. How can this possibly get worse? The good news is the team is great and we are able to share and cry and laugh with each other. Their encouragement and support is invalualbe and the prayers of people at home are getting us through.

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