"I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you in with loving-kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt...and go out to dance with the joyful." - Jeremiah 31: 3-4

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I'm adopting a Kenyan baby. It's been decided. I'm bringing one home next week. There's no turning back.

Okay fine, so maybe not next week but someday I will be stepping off a plane with an African child in my arms.

We went to the In Step Baby Center today where they have 63 kids, most under the age of 3, who were abandoned or orphaned. It's an amazing facility and the managers of it are am American couple from Washington named Jeff and Carla. What a God send they are to these children. The kids are unbelievably adorable and most of them have such tragic stories. Thankfully they were found and rescued and not left to die like so many children are.  It's hard to imagine how a mother could give birth to her baby and then just leave them out in a cornfield or a toilet or in an abandoned house. God has blessed this baby center so much! It's incredible how many miracles He's done to give Jeff and Carla the money and materials that they need to run the home. The pictures are precious! There's some that Daniel took up on my facebook now if you want to see. 

Short blog tonight. It's dinner time. Taco's ;)

In His Name,

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I feel the rains down in Africa...

We spent some more time with the Neema girls today. They're incredibly sweet. It's hard to believe that not long ago most of them were selling themselves for twenty five cents on the streets. I'm just praising God that they were able to have an alternative to that lifestyle.

We just got back from down the street where a young British woman and her Kenyan husband take care of over 20 abandoned babies. SOOO CUTE! I'm going back there as much as I possibly can when I come back here for three months in the fall. They're up for adoption and if I was in any position to adopt a kid right now, I'd be bringing on those bundles of love home with me right now.

It's been really nice knowing that I'll be coming back in a month. I'm not so sad when we leave certain places because I know that I'll be able to see the people or the places again eventually. It's been hard for a lot of the people in my group because they hate leaving the children's homes. They know that chances are they will never see them again. I consider myself lucky to have an oppurtunity to come back and spend more time with everyone.

Okay, time to read and possibly take a nap during this African rain storm :)
It's been raining a lot, and it's kinda chilly sometimes. It's winter here and they dress like it's -15 degrees. It's hysterical, because it's actually around 75 most days. They seriously wear winter coats and hats and the kids are bundled up like they're about to get on a plane to Alaska. It's too cute.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Don't take it for granted!

As the initial high of the trip begins to wear off, I find myself becoming very comfortable here in Kenya. At first, every sight and sound was a culture shock but now chickens, cows and goats running around in the street doesn't even catch my attention anymore, nor does mountains of trash all over the place due to the lack of a trash service. Riding on the back of a bicycle driven by a Kenyan man going so fast that everything to your left and right becomes a blur seems totally normal and cramming 5 girls in the back seat of van is expected. The roads here are so bad that they are honestly comical. Even the drivers laugh at the size and frequency of the pot holes as they are forced to drive off of the side of the road to get around them (Mom, Dad, Mike and Doug.. just imagine that road in Maine except 10x worse and it's not just one road, it's every road!). I have now come to realize that you must not get attached to any of the animals in the yard because they will most likely become dinner at some point. The Kenyan culture is so different from our own back in America. Women are very conservative and no men here are to be trusted unless they have proved themselves worthy. You are not to even smile at a man on the street because they take that as an offer... yeah, it's exactly what you think. It takes some getting used to but I'm really growing to appreciate some of the values that they hold. So many of these people have close to nothing compared to us. The very nicest homes here might be considered lower middle class in the States, yet they appreciate everything that they have and don't take it for granted. We could learn a lot from the people of Kenya. I see now just how spoiled America is and how much we need to learn to appreciate every day that God gives us, not just the material items that we possess. I wish that every American and citizen of a first world nation can some day experience this culture and finally realize just how lucky they are to live in such a wealthy country! Even here at the Transformed International compound, which is a very nice place compared to most other homes, we still experience the third world consequences. Just today, I was in the shower and the power went off and the water became ice cold because the heater that we have to turn on to get hot water shut down. The toilets don't flush unless you use a stick to push it down! The water isn't safe to drink so we have to boil it or use bottled water. This is a nice, expensive, higher class compound.. just imagine what the people in the villages have to go through. They don't even have showers or toilets or a stable roof over their heads. They have a tub of water, a hole in the ground and a piece of tin.

So, basically what I'm trying to say is.. stop complaining. Unless you're living on one meal of corn and beans a day and live in a house with mud walls, don't complain. God has blessed you by giving you the opportunity to be born in such a rich nation. Don't take it for granted. You don't know what it is to be poor, or hungry, or thirsty. You know what it is to be wealthy, something that a majority of these people will never experience! Don't feel guilty for what God has given you, but don't feel sorry for yourself because you don't drive a BMW or live in Beverly Hills either.

It's hard to see such joy amidst such poverty here in Kenya knowing that there is such misery amidst such wealth back in America. We need to learn how to be happy without material things! Be happy that you have a family who loves you! That you're healthy! That you can go to school! That you have nice roads to drive on! Just be happy that you live in America! Seriously, we need to stop taking it for granted.

Wow, I need to take a deep breath and calm down now ;)

Time for dinner. Meatloaf and mashed potatoes. No chicken murdering tonight! Yay!

In His Name,

Sunday, July 19, 2009

In the Name of Jesus..

Life changing day. Emotional day. Day of restoration and hope.

The Lord is amazing. 

In His Love,

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Cheka mrembo!

Today was an emotional day. Last Tuesday a 9 year old girl in the Hope, Bright Future orphanage passed away. She was HIV positive and got chicken pox which took her life. Her funeral was today and we all had a chance to be a part of it by comforting the children in the loss of their friend Veronica. Right before Veronica was to be laid in the ground, a little girl named Emily came to me and reached out her hand to me. I held her hand and walked her over to the grave. She was quiet but she looked up at me and smiled a few times. She was absolutely beautiful. When we were standing there she began to cry and put her arms around me. All she wanted was to be hugged and comforted and I was so glad to be able to do that for her. She had such a sweet personality and I was instantly drawn to her spirit.
After the funeral, we went back to HBF and played with the kids. Oh my goodness, I love those children! They are so wonderful and FILLED WITH LOVE! They adore getting their picture taken and all of them rush over to you and smile when they see you with a camera. I could honestly sit here and talk about them for hours, but I feel like words can't do justice to their unbelievable hearts. I can't wait to show you pictures so that you can hopefully feel even a portion of the compassion and love that I feel for them. I cannot wait to be able to come back here and spend every Saturday with them for three months and get to know them better.

Okay so now for some Kenya moments!

-Today we fit 40 people in a Matatu! Matatu's are a type of van that has four rows of seats that is SUPPOSED to fit a maximum of 14 people! And we had 40! Granted over half of them were children, but still.... 40 people in a 14 person van. 14 person maximum, they only have 11 actual seats! But the thing about Kenya road laws.. there are no Kenya road laws. We were going (if I had to venture a guess) about 50mph, wearing no seat belts, down a wet road, honking at people and cows and dogs and other cars to get out of the way. I know that my parents and grandmom are reading this now and probably freaking out, but don't worry.. it's totallllly safe. Haha, okay it's not totally safe, but it is totally Kenya!
-We lose electricity at random times. So today, Leslie was showering and all the sudden, darkness and "AHHH!". Later on, we were all closing our day with prayer and right as Daniel said "Lord...", darkness. At that point though, we were all pretty used to it so the praying continued as if nothing happened and the lights came back on in a few minutes.
-I learned some new Swahili words in the past few days! 'Cheka' means "smile" or "laugh" so whenever we take a picture with the kids I love saying "CHEKA! CHEKA!" and they immediately burst out with these huge, gorgeous smiles. And perhaps my favorite Swahili word so far is 'mrembo' (kind of pronounced like "mah rainbow"). It means "beautiful one." It will definitely be my most used word while I'm in Kenya. Every girl here is mrembo and I will tell each and every one of them until they believe it's true.

Cheka mrembo! Smile beautiful one!

In His Name,

Friday, July 17, 2009


I'm finally here! After what felt like a week of traveling, we got into Nairobi around 5:30am on Thursday morning. We got a nice breakfast and had some awesome, very much needed coffee and then we were off to the slums.

Nothing will ever fully prepare you to see such despair and poverty and I had trouble even comprehending what I was driving through. It felt like I was just watching a movie and that I wasn't actually experiencing it first hand. It took a while to sink in. When we got to the one school in the Soweto slums we first spoke to the man who runs it. While he was standing there in this open area telling us about what he does, the one thing that stuck out in my mind was him saying "Soweto, in Swahili, means 'trouble' but there is no trouble here." And he was right. There was such joy that it was hard to remember that these children live on barely one meal a day. I won't even begin to describe my interactions with the children. Only the pictures can do that justice and I can't wait to share them with you all. They are beautiful and they have amazing smiles!

After then visiting the slums in Kibera, we drove back to the hotel (remind me to explain the driving in Kenya to you all when I get back), got some dinner and called it a night. That first night of sleeping in a real bed after days of airplanes and airport benches was AWESOME!

Today we woke up early and got on a bus to start an 8 hour drive to Kitale, where we'll be staying for the rest of the time. I can't wait to see what God has planned for all of us and so far everything has been absolutely unbelievable and filled and fueled by God's love.

I'll try to update you all as much as possible and hopefully share some more details and funny/powerful experiences that I'm having in Kenya. But right now, I'm tired and I want to sleep! Goodnight!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Ready to go!

Well I'll be getting on a plane in a little over 12 hours to start my adventure in Kenya. I can't believe that after all these months, I'm finally almost there. My packing has been coming along pretty well. I'm almost positive that I'll forget at least one important thing, but half the fun of an adventure is being unprepared in some way. God has come through in some amazing ways these past couple weeks and the team could not be more grateful for His awesome power in all of this.

People have been asking me for the past few days if I'm getting excited or nervous and to be honest, I'm not really feeling either of those things.. I'm just READY! Of course I'm excited! And of course I'm a bit nervous, but above all I am truly just ready to go! I'm ready to see what God is going to do in my heart and how He is going to use me to affect others. The past six months haven't been easy for me. I haven't always done the right thing and I'm ready for my life to change.

Pray for the team, for the Kenyans we'll be working with, for our travel, our health and our hearts!

See you in two weeks!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Hello! Long time, no blog.

Kenya is quickly approaching. Only four more days! I've started packing but haven't gotten too much accomplished yet. I'm nervous I'm going to forget something and knowing me, I probably will.

I had a pretty good night last night. I got to spend some time with a person who I wasn't expecting to speak to again for a very long time. Misunderstandings and miscommunications can really put a strain on a relationship so it was nice to finally get a chance to clear things up before we both go our seperate ways for a while. It's hard when something you never planned for gets in the way of what you've always wanted. But everything serves a purpose and even your biggest regrets in life can lead you into your greatest accomplishments.