14 February 2009

February, Won't You Be My Valentine?

This morning, I had big plans for the day...we'd run around to a bunch of places to say goodbye and then I'd pack quickly before dinner and we'd finish Veronica Mars season 3 before bed...

Needless to say, I did very few of those things today. Instead, it was exactly what I would have wanted my last Saturday, and my Valentine's Day to be...

We started off the day by heading over to the new Oasis (and soon-to-be vocational school) site...There were a dozen of the older street boys digging, hoeing and weeding in effort to build a volleyball pitch...

After a lot of work in the blazing heat, P.I.G. took a quick nap...in a wheelbarrow...

We waited for about two hours for the house boys to show up for the tour...by the time we were through walking and playing around, it was past 1 o'clock...too late to do the other things, and pack before dinner...So, I took Martin and Stone home with me to hang out while I packed...Daina took Moses (and, evidently, Joseph, Pato and Evans) to town to shop for dinner supplies...

We were soon joined by Steward and Justus...the boys listened to music and watched the Thriller video on my iPod while I packed and packed...seven months of clothes and stuff is a lot...

James is on his way to Nairobi tomorrow morning to meet with the Embassy about his Visa...be praying for him on Tuesday morning (Monday night American time)...Because he was packing and preparing, he could not make dinner...instead, he came by in the afternoon to say goodbye.

We talked for about half-an-hour...James is so encouraging and kind. He was the first part of my love-filled Valentine's Day.After a while, the boys became bored of listening to music they didn't know...so, we set up my laptop and they watched Tombraider. (Is that two words?) Once Daina came back from town, there were about 10 boys watching the tiny screen, packed in our tiny room.

Aside: If you look closely at the bedsheet, you will notice a bright pink spot...Martin had a pink marker in his back pocket. When he sat down, the lid came off, leaking through his pants (a GIANT spot in the butt) and on to the bed...Lucky for everyone involved, the marker is washable).

The movie ended in perfect time for the boys to head home for dinner...as we walked to collect everyone and everything, Martin aided in the love-filled Valentine's Day by spending a few minutes telling me he will miss me and that he is so excited for me to return.

Most of the boys left, but Steward "had to stay behind to drink his tea", so Moses and I stood out front waiting. These fifteen minutes might have been the best fifteen minutes of this trip...if not, they are definitely in the top hour. I cried, Moses was glassy-eyed...we talked about how much God loves him...and what a miracle he is. Then he told me that I should always remember that I am "so much loved in Africa...that is the second-largest continent". He said, "whenever someone tells you they don't like you, tell them it doesn't matter because you are loved by so many people in Africa...beginning from this big [hand gesturing about three feet off of the ground] to adult...you are very much loved." I know he hates when people cry, but I couldn't help it...

The last of the boys left and Daina and I began to roll out chapati for our dinner for 13. I got a few rolls in when Ben and Christine showed up to say goodbye. Again, I cried leaving my dear friends. This family is so amazing. I spoke to Ben and Christine separately, but each encouraged me to trust God and said they would be praying for me (though Ben mentioned that he would be praying for God to give me a husband that loves me so much...so cute). I could not help but be moved by their faith and confidence in who God is.

And then it was time for dinner (well, after rolling all of the chapati...thank you, Freeds...) around 8:45. Geoffrey and Olivia (and Charlotte), Freda, Richard and Seike, Ayub, Yulia, Daina, Hannah and I sat around and ate Kenyan burritos...so tasty!
The girls were dressed in red and white for Valentine's Day.
After dinner, Freda and Geoffrey took a few minutes to thank Daina and I for serving here in Kitale...and then prayed for us...of course, I was crying again...Freda gave me a beautiful shuka that says "God doesn't choose" in Swahili...and Geoffrey and Olivia gave me a carving of a little boy reading a book that says "God is good".

Today is a day filled with love...I love. I am loved. And I love that.

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