Two weeks ago to the day, I moved into a children’s home. This humble compound is a home to 27 children who have been affected or infected with HIV/AIDS. More than a home, it is a place of Hope. I cannot describe the love I have felt from these kids as they allow me to experience His joy through them. Within the first 24 hours, we had laughed, cried, prayed, sang, snuggled, and praised Him for His faithfulness. Sometime, I will take a moment to describe each of these incredible gifts of life… I will tell you about how sweet little Joseph’s heart is and how well he expresses his love to me, even though he can only speak several words in English. I will tell you about 10 year old Mary and how much desire she possesses in her heart to love every single person in her path and how through doing this, He receives the utmost glory. I will tell you about Alice and how eager she is to be used for His kingdom; how she is saying ‘yes’ to Him with every breath she takes and how incredible it is to watch Him raise up such a leader in this precious 8th grade girl. I will tell you about little Dan and how even though during praise and worship time he is partially seeking attention from his 26 older brothers and sisters, God hears his loud shouts of worship and cherishes the thanksgiving He receives from such a young child. I will tell you about how little Tomato (his name is Thomas but ‘tomato’
Let me tell you a little bit about Carol. First of all, I love her. I really, really love her. She is feisty. Lovingly bossy to her little sister, Mary. She is capable of the meanest faces I have ever seen when forced to guzzle porridge or swallow down her 3060406 meds in 5 seconds so they can go onto the next child. She is also capable of the sweetest smile I know. She meticulously picks out the vegetables in her food and stacks them all on the side of the plate (just like me). When I sneak her Tangy Tomato chips, she stuffs them anywhere she can find so that no one sees her. She loves to brag to certain friends about the things she has seen/done that day (ie. we got to ride an elevator after the hospital in Nairobi and she pretty much had every single child on their knees begging to be able to do the same). She laughs when I give her a bath because I clearly have no idea how to bathe her like she is used to being bathed; I can barely figure out how to wash myself using a bucket of water, let alone a child. She always feels the need to tell me when she is going to the toilet…haha; I think I asked her once “Naenda wapi” (where are you going) and from now on she even wakes me up at night to tell me when she is going to the toilet—it’s precious. She looks at me with a sheepish smile as she scratches her chicken pox because she knows I hate it when she does that, but will not respond harshly like the others will. When she cannot fall asleep and everyone but us is snoring, she tilts her head back towards my bed and we just smile and communicate without words. When I feel her head 3959295842 times per night to see if she has fever and she happens to be awake, she looks at me with eyes that say she is glad I am checking on her and that she will be okay; somehow her looks ease my mind and I am able to fall asleep again for a little while. When I say “nakupenda sana sana sana!” (I love you very very very much) before she goes to bed she says “asante” (thanks) with a smile. When she can tell I am getting slightly annoyed by someone pulling my hair too hard, breaking my neck by hanging on it, or screaming for no reason, she gets angry at them for me in Swahili. I was talking with the girls about their favorite things last night and when asked what she wanted to be when she grows up …… she yelled POLICE. Haha. I love it. She loves the book “Goodnight moon” and though I practically never hear her speak English, sometimes I catch her reading it outloud. Basically, I am in love. Head over heels for this girl.
This past weekend, a friend and I took her to the city to have some fun since she has had such a rough time even just in the 2 weeks I’ve known her (chicken pox, malaria, pneumonia, TB, etc…. AIDS). We were able to take her to pick out her very first doll, buy a new dress, push her through a grocery store in one of those kids carts/cars, let her eat whatever food she wanted, visit an elephant orphanage, go on a safari walk, and just spend time watching movies/hanging out away from the orphanage. She has truly blossomed in this new environment and I have so enjoyed seeing her smile bigger than I thought was possible. I will tell you more about her tomorrow, but just wanted to thank those of you who have been praying for her and ask you to continue. I want to tell you about her heart, her struggles, her past, and the future He has for her and how you can be a part of loving her and living out James 1:27.