05 November 2009

I'll Always Remember the Fifth of November

I knew today would be great. I don't think I realized just how great it would be.
We began this morning at the Prayer Day for the Class Eight of Kitale Forest Primary School.

At the end of each year, the students sit for year-end exams. At the end of class 8, they sit for the KCPE...these marks will decide were these students attend Secondary School, and that Secondary School placement will dictate the rest of their future.

The Prayer Day was explained as a day to "place the class eights in to the hands of the Lord". A dedication-of-sorts.After a brief welcome, and about half-an-hour of "praise and worship" {including a song that said, "everybody play your guitar, everybody play your trumpet"--everyone ran around playing air guitar and air trumpet}, the boys from House 2 performed two dances.
Then, a few more songs and a message from a local pastor, the Class 8 students stood in line waiting to be anointed with oil and prayed for by this woman, who may have been the Head Teacher or maybe another local pastor. {Stone}
Martin
We were then invited to stay for lunch...while we waited for it to be set-up, we took some pictures.
Justus, Martin and Evans
Steward
All of the Class 8 students awaiting lunch
Even sodas were given...which means it was a very special party
Bre started the "cheers" trend for the day, but they said "to success" with each clink
Bram, Joseph, Pato, Steward and Moses
Steward, with a price-tag on his face
Joseph, Moses and friends
Bram
Class 8 posing for a professional picture
Steward and Moses
Jordan, Justus, Johnstone and friend {whose name, ideally, begins with a 'J'}

After the Prayer Day, we stopped in town to order 14 orders of chicken and chips {chips cuckoo} for our dinner party tonight...with the 7 boys that live at the Oasis Centre.

We came out to meet the taxi, which had yet to arrive...
so we sat with Cleophas {our night guard} for a while.
Everyone else came out, too...and we joked about the tiny hut being Cleophas' night club "Omega Two" {a play on the dance club in town "Omega One"}

We were picked up by Dan, our taxi driver, who already had Geoffrey and many, many orders of chips cuckoo...

When we arrived at Oasis, we found half of the boys asleep--sick with malaria--but they woke-up to have dinner with us.

P.I.G. {which stands for Peter Is Great}, Emmanuel, Etau and Ero
Charles, Jackson and Emmanuel
Bre, Michael and Paul
Here's what the table looks like after 14 people eat a really delicious meal...
The boys were very sweetly grateful...P.I.G. said it was his very first time to eat chips.
Etau got a new jacket with this incredible "cape"
We laughed so much tonight. Each boy told us which American he considers to be his "girlfriend", they told us about where they used to "live" on the streets in town, where they sleep in the room now, and pointed fingers at who snores, talks too much, rises earliest...I was amazed at their English abilities.

When we left, the boys said, thank you about 50 times. P.I.G also told me that he is "funny every day"...seriously, he's telling the truth.

We walked out with Michael who wanted to take one more picture with Bre before we left. He held up his brand new mattress and smiled his big Michael-smile.
I came home thinking about the God that we serve that can somehow bring together 3 Americans in their twenties and 7 teenage Kenyan street boys. I was thinking how much I loved the boys willingness to invite us in, to their home, to their hearts...and how honest they were.

If I lived here, I think I would make these dinners a weekly routine. I would truly love to be a larger part of the lives of these boys...these soon-to-be men. To laugh and live with them in moments outside of the daily centre.

I can't imagine not remembering this day...every day.
Not thinking about these boys {both house and centre}...every day.
Or, at the very least, every time I eat french fries.

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