30 June 2011

First Kings, First Commitments and the First Lady

This morning, our devotion time was centered around 1 Kings 19:11-14. Reading a story of God's appearing to Elijah in a gentle whisper was the perfect preparation for today's activities.

Team Bus pre-dance party
Marvin and Cindy
Pastor Daniel and Nikki
Ryanne and Tyler
Connor and Jaya
Team Bus mid-dance party

The team spent the morning at New Life Home Trust. The house was started 17 years ago, by a British couple, as a response to the large number of abandoned and/or malnourished babies in Nairobi. Over the years they have cared for thousands of children, many of whom have been reunified with their families or adopted in to new homes.

There are currently 50 babies (ages three and under) living in the center we visited today, with an additional ten (ages 4 and above) living in a nearby group home and attending school.

We were not there to do anything out-of-the-ordinary for their Thursday. Instead, we came to help with the typical daily routine. Of course, while we awaited our assignments, we took some pictures:

The team
Jaya and Daisy
Cindy and Ryanne
Ryanne, Nikki and BP
not sure what they are laughing at, but I love this picture
Michelle, Jaya, Daisy and Shareen
Grace and Sly

The girls were split in to two groups: crawlers and toddlers. We walked in to a room filled with sleeping babies and were each handed a child. Our only responsibility for the morning was to care for that baby.
Michelle and Moses
(who "only likes white people", according to the staff)

Angus: the best one
Ryanne and Nikki
While the girls pulled wagons and pushed swings, the boys mopped, swept and scrubbed.

Connor and TylerJosh and Pastor Daniel
Jason, Connor and Harry
The boys finished their clean-up pretty quickly and could not pass up the chance to play with the babies...which was nice, because I am pretty sure the girls were ready to pass them off by then (you know: tired arms, a little baby barf on your shirt, a full diaper--all of the reasons you'd give a cute baby to someone else!)

Pastor Daniel
Emmanuel and baby Emmanuel
BP and Tyler played toy cars with this boy for at least 20 minutes.
BP would put the car on the boy's head and say "where is it?"
the kid was so excited about the other cars,
he never noticed one was almost constantly missing
Pastor Frank
Before we left, we fed the babies lunch. I opted for photographer at this point; having already been spit-up on, I wasn't really in the mood to have spaghetti on me, too.

Sly and Nikki feed their babies
When I went to check on the boys,
I found them eating chips and hanging out...
smart move, if you ask me.

A nice, long lunch with a swinging bench...
The perfect setting for a "what's God teaching you?" conversation

After lunch, Pastor Frank had arranged for us to "take over" a chapel-esque meeting at Riara Girl's Secondary School. The American-side of the team had little understanding of what this would be, but we were well-rested after an easier morning, and ready to jump in.

Jaya, Jason and Josh
Brian teaching Nikki some dance moves
(so entertaining for the rest of us!)
We were seated as Guests of Honor in a room of about 250 teenage girls
The Worship Team (DJ and dancers) from Mavuno's Teens Konnekt program kicked off the time with some amazing dance moves. We tried to dance along. (Really great video to come)
Two of our team members, Marvin and Cindy,
performed a rap song written by Marvin.

Proud team members taking video of their friends singing
Michelle shared her story
We ended the service with a time of prayer. Pastor Frank invited the girls to be prayed over by one of our team members. There are few things more intimidating than praying for someone you probably will not see again. There are also few times when it is more necessary to listen to God's gentle whisper. (Previous thoughts on this here.)

During tonight's debrief, a few of our students shared about the anxiety they felt heading in to this time of prayer: fears of praying aloud, fear of praying for a stranger, fear of praying for a peer. They shared, with humility, the moment of handing it over to God; saying "I'm willing" and, with joy, the moment that God showed up. Two of our team members were able to lead students to Jesus tonight. What a memorable evening...and what a tangible experience of God's faithfulness.

I can't believe we are only three days in to the trip.
I love the pace of time right now...there are so many more places to go...and so many more stories to create and share.

But for now, I'll leave you with this little girl:
I said, "What's your name?"
She said, "Michelle Obama."

Just so awesome.

1 comment:

Julie Hibbard said...

SO great SO great SO great! LOVE the pictures and the stories and the lessons and Michelle Obama too!!