HOME OF GRACE ORPHANAGE, NAIROBI KENYA
Val and I spent the day with the children at the home of grace orphanage just beyond the Dagoretti Slums in Nairobi. Oh how we love these wonderful children. They were beyond anxious to see us because yesterday we had to cancel due to Val’s doctor’s appointments. At about 2pm we got a text from Violet (our social workers at the home) asking us if we were “for sure” coming, because the kids were feeling like she was playing a trick on them.
As most of you know, I am a man! And a man does not have much of an eye for detail. To me everything was great. The kids were well fed, they were happy, they were healthy, everything was clean and everyone was happy to see us. But Val, as you know, is a woman! Now a woman always asks the deeper questions.
She had a meeting with the staff and asked them, “Now tell me, are there things you need that you don’t have”. “First of all,” they said, “some of our kids are sleeping on little beds that we bought two years ago when they were small. Now the kids have grown so we desperately need two new bunkbeds and six new mattresses. All the children need a footlocker of their own, because we can’t keep their clothes separate nor can we keep the clean separated from the dirty ones. We also need more sheets and blankets for the beds and rain boots for the kids, because it is the rainy season.”
So! Anyone want to help us with these things? Two bunkbeds @ $160 each, 6 Mattresses @ $20 each, 15 footlockers @ $17 each, Sheets and blankets $6 each, and rain boots $5 each. Some of our sponsors just helped us to buy new uniforms and shoes for all the kids and we are so happy about that. We’ll be grateful for any the help we can get.
MATT JENSEN RESPONDS TO HIS TRIP TO KENYA
“I wanted to take some time for my emotions to settle down before I tried to write out what the trip meant to me. The thing that keeps coming back to me are the people. Happy times with people; people at church, children in the feeding program in the slum, children at the Home of Grace Orphanage, the boys at Shikusa prison and of course the men at the work site. Even more impacting were the distressing sights; especially the people in the Kibera slum and the children at School for the Deaf. I had a chance to relate some of my experiences at Refuge Church and became so choked up I almost couldn’t go on. Getting on to the projects that are making such a difference is the only thing that saved me. Apparently what I had to say made an impression. The pastor has asked me to talk at greater length in a couple of weeks. I heard the phrase “On site is insight” and it is really true. I had heard about these projects but had never “seen” the needs and the change that could be accomplished.
Another thing that stands out is the team that we had. I have been on several construction trips but never before saw a team that became so close. It was like a family that helped me get through the difficult emotional and even physical times. Thank you to each and every one of you.
(Valerie, I will never forget how you were able to make me feel 10 years old again as you applied sun screen to my nose, cheeks and ears!)”
Asante Sana is Swahili for “Thank You”, so a very big Asante Sana to you all
And to all a good night
All our love
Richard and Valerie