Awoke to rain last night. It’s raining again tonight too. Elijah, our Kenyan director, always proclaims, “Rain is a blessing!” in his baritone voice. While it is not snow like currently is falling from the sky in Michigan, there has been plenty of rain here during the past two weeks. Plenty enough.
Today the local church had declared the day ‘Youth Sunday’ so all the kids from the Kenya Matters home were involved with the leading of the service today. Today the Kenyans outdid most American churches. When they declare ‘Youth Sunday’ they allow a teenager to give the message, collect the offerings, and lead the entire service. And what a job of leadership these thirty orphan kids along with some of the other local kids did today! They were amazing. They would have been amazing had they been Americans or Kenyans. They would have been amazing had they had two parents or no parents. I am so proud tonight.
On most days I’m appreciative of my own three children. Tonight I am so impressed and appreciative of thirty orphan children who are making a way in this world that is impressive. Sure, they will have their stumbles along the way, but today. Today was John Ngugi, the class clown if you will, as a sixteen year old teenager leading the worship service. For anyone who knows this kid, you’re thinking, ‘You must be kidding me.’ No. I am not. Tonight my heart is full.
Our Kenyan director, Elijah Wachira, had the vision for this endeavor ten years ago. Today we have kids orphan children who are growing into adults, and they’re doing it with determination and conviction and character. Something good began when this project took wings in 2005, and today I had the opportunity to see orphan children soar. Well done Elijah and staff. You have shaped lives that this world often gives up on, but these kids are not giving up. They are doing quite the opposite.
And I suppose that is enough for a great day in Kenya, but then there was a soccer game. For forty dollars we grabbed a local van owner and headed off to see a great match between two of the best amateur teams in this part of Kenya. There was no admission fee. Just the cost of the van.
And with those forty dollars we got a ride to and from the game. And I had the opportunity to watch a dozen boys, a handful of girls, and a few adult chaperones enjoy a great game. And yes, we all fit in that one van. This is Kenya, and we do things Kenyan style here.
So this day concludes with the rain on the roof, having shared conversations and worship and soccer and real life… and my heart and soul are full. I’ve spent nearly three months on Kenyan soil over the past five years. And today is one that rates right at the top.
To all who have supported these kids, thanks. To those who have yet to do so, jump on this train. It’s going in a good direction, and life is too short to miss this one.