January Update

Posted on February 4, 2014

How can it be January is already gone? Seems like January flew by without much warning. It’s funny how here days can go by so slowly, but months can go at warp speed.

January meant the start of a new school year, and the kids all seem to be really happy to be back in classes. I think they get bored after being home for a month, and I know they would rather be in school than doing all the chores at home :-) This year at Camp Brethren School they have class 8 for the first time, this means it will be the first year kids are sitting for the KCPE (Kenya Certificate of Primary Exam) in October. There is a lot of excitement about this along with a lot of extra studying. The kids get placed into secondary schools based on their KCPE exam scores, so everyone really wants to do well in order to be placed in a good secondary school. I enjoy going to the school and seeing all the kids having a good time. I’m trying to teach the little ones not to chase my car when I come, so far it’s a slow learning process, but they are getting a little better. They are just really excited to see me and see my car and sometimes they can’t contain themselves.

January also means hot, dry weather here. I actually don’t remember the last day it rained. That means lots and lots and lots of dust. I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of dust that exists in my life right now. One day I went to Naivasha to have Fish (no idea what his real name is, everyone just calls him Fish) wash my car. For $3 I get the inside and outside of my car washed, for $5 I can have it waxed too. It’s a bargain for sure. Anyway, Fish washed and waxed my car. By the time I got home it was so covered in dust I had to wash it again. So sad, so very very sad. I keep hearing the rains are supposed to come soon, but so far nothing. The government here is even warning of food shortages because of the severe drought conditions in other parts of the country. I’m praying things turn around and the rains come. The government is not exactly equipped to handle widespread famine. And, the resulting skyrocket in food prices would further hinder people from being able to feed their families.

I spent a lot of time with little kiddos this month. Sometimes I feel like they appear out of nowhere to find me and walk with me around town Center. One day after church I was walking to Center. My little friend Samaki was with me (he had found me at church that day, and when he saw me he yelled, “Kara! Kara! Kara!” real loud. Not a problem except the pastor was in the middle of his sermon :-) so he and I were walking together. Next thing I know I look down and I have 9 little kiddos holding hands walking with me. It was like a scene out of an old western movie where the cowboys are walking in a line all slow-mo and the dust is kicking up behind them. It was absolutely adorable, and I loved every second of that long slow walk from church to town. Once we got to town I got all of them a ndazi and they all said thank you and ran off to go back home….well, everyone except Samaki, he stayed with me all day, which is super ok by me. He’s a fun little guy to spend the day with. I am constantly amazed by the joy and exuberance these kiddos have in their spirits. I am so thankful I get to be here with them and spend time with them and show them that someone other than mom and dad cares about them. Feels like a huge gift to me, and honestly probably fills my heart and does more good for me than it does for any of them.

I am still trying to get little Kamau into school. Every time I go they tell me they are not ready for new admissions, please pray he can go soon. He is so sad not being in school right now, and I am so sad seeing him home alone every day while his sisters are in school. He’s a great, smart kid who really deserves to be in school, it would mean a lot to him to be with other kids learning alongside them.

I read “The Furious Longing of God” by Brennan Manning one day while I was in Nakuru waiting on my car to be fixed. Yes, I know I said I read a book in one day. I actually read it in a couple hours because it’s not super long but it is super good. My heart needed to hear the words written on the pages of this book. My heart needed to be reminded again of just how much God loves me and pursues me. And just how much I am supposed to love other people. And how I don’t have to have it all together in order to love other folks, I just have to love them. And how there are lots of parts to me that make up the whole, but the most important part is I am deeply loved by my Abba. I underlined a whole lot of things in the book, but this one quote stands out to me the most: “Quia amasti me, fecisti me amabilem. (In loving me, you made me lovable.)” St. Augustine said that a long time ago, and it rings true for me today. Because I am loved, I am lovable. While that deep truth is still going deeper and deeper into my own heart, I find it a great reminder for how to treat other folks as well. How often have we heard stories of people who thought no one could love them, no one could care for them, only to find someone…just one person… that showed them kindness, concern, compassion, love. And that one person changed their life forever. I am praying to be a vessel of God’s loving kindness here in Eburru. To those who are easy for me to love—i.e. adorable little kiddos with runny noses and no shoes on running after me to get a ndazi. But even more to those who are hard for me to love—i.e. friends who are much less than truthful with me and who try to manipulate situations to get me to do things for them. In loving them, I hope they find themselves lovable. In loving them, I pray they find the One who loves them perfectly, completely, and without abandon. In loving them I pray they find the furious longing of God, I pray they become seized by the power of a great affection and in turn become people who change the world by loving others as Christ loves them. A big desire for sure, and one I cannot do on my own at all. Also one I will fail at more times than I will succeed. But maybe, just maybe, one of these days someone will be able to say, “in loving me, you made me lovable” and then tell the tale of God coming into the darkness to rescue, redeem, and restore them to their true self, the one He created them to be.

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