"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

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,

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