On 30 December I travelled to Kitale to visit the beautiful children of Revived Hopes Community Centre (formerly Orphaid). I travelled with Meg Richards (our lovely friend and Nanny) and John Wandera (the Pastor who founded 1st Joy Academy). We were excited to be delivering school uniforms to the children and we had plans for a big party and lots of treats. We met up with the project directors Joan and Carolyne in Kitale.
When we woke on 31 December we were excited and ready to head off to the Lunyu Village to deliver some belated Christmas cheer. We felt a bit like Santa! On the way to the village we picked up some new underwear for the girls to wear under their new dresses.
We arrived at in the village to the sight of the children dancing and singing to welcome us. The children were excited to see us and I was very excited to see them again. I especially welcomed the sight of my special friend Moses. Moses (5) was on the brink of death from HIV when we last visited and without a balanced diet would have probably have died by now. For a very small amount of money from us each month we’ve seen him come back to life. This day was the first time he had been to school in months. The sight of him clapping and dancing with the other children made my heart sing. What an amazing privilege!
We ushered the children into the church hall where we did prayers, welcomes, greetings and more singing and dancing. The team were very keen to get the children in to their new uniforms so using the school classroom we helped the children to get out of their rags and into their smart new uniforms. Their faces lit up as they put on shoes and socks and their brand new clothes.
Most of the parents and guardians turned up on our invitation and were overjoyed to see the children in their new clothes. The gratitude from them is not something that I’ll easily forget. Once the children were all dressed they got up on stage to have a group photo and then they danced and sung again. The funny thing is that they were struggling to dance with the same vigour as before but I guess it will take some time to get used to proper shoes!!! The parents got up and joined with the children to dance and sing. Such joy! The parents then asked if they could sing for us. So they all got up on stage. It wasn’t long before we were all being dragged onto stage too. This was there way of welcoming us into their community and making us one of them.
After all of this everyone was hungry and because of a generous donation from a couple in Australia we were able to share with them a feast. It was the first time they had tasted beef and they all seemed to love it. For Christmas this year we agreed that we would buy plates, cups and spoons for the children and so it was great to see them getting used. After lunch the parents went home and the children played games with balloons, bubbles and a new soccer ball. It was a truly blessed day.
I’m so grateful to all of our friends and family who have donated to help this community. I’m so thankful that God has blessed this village and that he has called us to this amazing country to see lives changed.
Lastly, I’ve asked Meg to share her experience in Kitale too:
“For me Kitale was eye opening. I saw so much beautiful land, met such beautiful people, saw more joy and zest for life than I ever have and I wouldn't exchange that experience for anything. I fell in love with 25 village children in one day and I will never forget their faces, their energy and their love for what they have. I will always remember their happy smiles. This trip truly blessed me. I am forever grateful for that opportunity. I can't even write the words my mind wishes to tell. But for now just know that I am humbled and blessed and will never forget that last day of 2015.”
Finally, we just want to share a brief video of the kids dancing ... enjoy!
We are a family who are just seeking to do what God wants us to do. We have heard God speak and we want to be obedient to his voice, and are excited by what He is going to do when we respond!