"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

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

I am so sorry for the lack of blogging and updates. The Internet has been down on the compound for 10 days now so my only option is to go into town to use the Internet cafes where I have to pay by the minute. My main priority during those times is to inform my family that I'm still alive and well and update my facebook status, of course.

But now, I'm prepared to spend a little bit of money to inform you all of what's been going on during the last few weeks.

Our work with the Shimo girls is going great. They are an absolute joy to be around and their work ethic is phenomenal. They are making up to five bags each time they meet with us and that is more than we expected, which is incredible! They have improved so much and I can tell they are proud of what they are accomplishing. I only wish I could have more time with them.

Happy Valentine's Day! This morning I made french toast for the guys and was surprised with a bouquet of roses. It was much more than I expected and I was very thankful. As I was sitting outside on the patio, I remembered where I was this time last year. It was the lowest point in my life. I was saddened by the thought at first but then I recalled how much has changed since then. I am no longer at a low point. I am in an extremely happy time in my life! I am surrounded by incredible people who care about me as much as I care about them. I am doing what my heart loves to do and I am following God's will for my life! Could I really ask for a better way to celebrate today? Nope!

One of the highlights of my week is going to HBF every Saturday. Last week I had to opportunity to go with some of the children to the hospital for some routine check ups. Lillian and Lyna were due for an HIV test, Patrick's nose was hurting him and Valentine needed to have her eye checked on following a surgery she had on it a few months ago. Mark (a Kenyan that lives on the compound and works for TI) went with Patrick and Valentine and I took Lillian and Lyna with me to the HIV section. The hospital is a strange place. On a large board hanging on the outside wall it lists the services the hospital provides, how much it will cost and how long you will have to wait. For one service the waiting time was 30 minutes - two weeks. Yikes. The lines are long... very long. I waited with Lillian and Lyna as long as I could until I had to leave to meet with the Shimo girls at 1. They had an auntie with them so I wasn't leaving them alone. Mark did not get back to the compound until around 5:00 that evening. It is a whole day event. It was hard sitting in the waiting area. Although I relished the time I got to spend with the girls alone, without 20 other children running around, I wish it could have been better circumstances. The girls rested their heads on me and held my hands as we waited with about 40 others, all most likely HIV positive. It was an odd feeling, being surrounded by men, women and children with a fatal, incurable disease. With my hands on the girls, I prayed for healing for Lillian and for Lyna's miracle to continue. Lyna was HIV positive when TI first brought her into the children's home. A little while later, tests revealed she was HIV negative. An impossible occurrence by anything other than God's power. I have not heard what the results of either test were, but I have faith that God will continue to do amazing works in these children.

I wish I could fully explain how incredible it has been having Faith here with me. We have been meeting every other day and studying the book of John, as well as going through Exodus with the whole group. Her wisdom and encouragement have been more than I could ever ask for and I am truly thankful to God for putting her in my life.

Tonight, I'm leaving Kitale on the night bus to Nairobi. From there I'll get on another bus and be on my way to Meru. After spending the night in Meru, I'll leave early in the morning for Tharaka. In a small, hillside village in central Kenya I'll get to meet Jackson, a six year old boy I've been sponsoring through Compassion International for the past year and a half. It was through Jackson that God initially placed Kenya on my heart. I am overjoyed to finally meet this little boy who changed my life.

I have become more aware of what God has planned for me since arriving in Kenya. I realize that my goals and dreams are not the same as most of my friends. I understand now that my life will not look like I had originally thought it would. It was a surprise to me when my thought process brought me to a place I had never expected. Of course, I am living my life one day at a time and would never try to get ahead of God. I am just now beginning to hear answers to some of my prayers. Although I do not know the ultimate plan of God's will, I am ready to take the next step on my journey. I have no plans of my own, which leaves plenty of room for Him to work and I am more than willing to let Him. My life will not be the life I had wanted for myself when I was in high school and someone asked me "where do you see yourself in ten years?" It will be better. Much better. I am living for Jesus now.

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