I'm so glad you found us! We love to share our story of what the Lord is doing in and through our ministry in Kenya. If you are a reader, please click the link on the right-hand side and "Follow Along!" And stop back by anytime! Karibu sana!

Sunday, November 29, 2009


I'm home!  My Texas home, that is.  A surprise trip to America is not an easy thing to pull off.  My parents knew that I was coming home for our first "With Thanks and Giving" HCO Benefit Dinner next weekend, but they had NO idea I was coming home (to Midland) for Thanksgiving! 

I stayed in Kenya for the holidays last year and it definitely did not feel like the holidays to me! So this year....I'm home!!

I was home for my brother's first attempt at frying the Thanksgiving turkey.  And home for Grandma's traditional turkey.  And home to watch Kenan learn to carve the turkey.  And home to eat the turkey. 


And home for family time.  I had a great time with my mom's family on Thanksgiving Day.  Then, a little shopping on Friday before my mom and I joined my dad's family to watch my cousin perform in "A Christmas Carol" at Midland Community Theater.  (Great job, Ryan!)

I miss my babies terribly, but I am so happy to be home with family.  Thanks to everyone who helped pull of the surprise!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Kids Club Sunday

I haven't posted lately about the Bible Club.  It is going well and we love having the children come each week.  The past few weeks, we have had a few new boys join us.  They are the most intriguing little guys.  We have lots of cute kids come, but these three guys have totally captured my heart.  I didn't know anything about them, but I knew that their eyes just screamed out for love and attention, although there was still a flicker of light and hope in those same eyes. 

There is something that draws me to these three little guys.  Dadi, Toogo, and Julee.  They are so very needy, but not in a "needy" way.  I have sensed that there is a story behind them.  Today I learned their story.  In many ways, it is typical of many Kenyan children.  That does not make it any easier to hear when it is someone you know and care for.  

These boys' father left them last year.  Their mother was left alone with them and overwhelmed with the responsibility and not able to care for them.  Rather than abandoning them somewhere where a well-wisher might find them, she chose to drop them down a pit latrine.  Yes, a pit latrine. 

The oldest boy, Dadi, tells us that he was the first to be forced down the hole, too big for his mother to simply drop him down.  He also said that he told the little one not to cry and be heard but he did anyway.  That is how they were found.  They were then brought to the grandmother who lives just down our road.  

As these boys come to your mind, I would ask you to pray for them.  Their story is not uncommon in Kenya, but perhaps seeing their faces will be a reminder of the many hurting children here.  Please also pray for wisdom and discernment for me.  I face such circumstances regularly and need the Lord's guiadance in knowing how best to help.  We have several children with horrendous stories who come to our Bible Clube.  Please pray for all them.  They are truly precious in His site.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday's Favorites

My Favorite Faces....
that I will miss SO much when I go home for Christmas!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Picture Day - Take Two (or 3, or 12, 37)

Is it even possible to get a good group picture with 7 kids under the age of two???

It may not be possible to get a good picture, but it sure is entertaining!  (For some of us, anyway.)


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday (yeah, I'm a copycat)


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Got Goats!!!

Finally, our long awaited goats are HERE!!  It has been quite an ordeal to actually GET them here.  With all these babies on formula, the goat milk will really help us.  The milk from these particular goats is very high quality, great for our small babies and HIV+. 

I'm SO excited to have goats at our place!

This was taken from my balcony as they were unloading the goats.

Mama Gracie Goat (already named) & her baby boy (not yet named)
 Ellie Goat (named affectionately after Karen Ellis & family)

Simon, one of our resident Maasai, is thoroughly enjoying having goats around.

 Thanks for all the prayers as we tried, waited, tried, waited and finally HAVE our goats with us!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Jesus Loves the Little Children

I was sitting in my living area this morning trying to do a little work in preparation for leaving HOH to go to America for the holidays.  If you know me at all, or have been here to work with me, you know I can be easily distracted. It seems as if the most common distraction is the babies.  Big surprise.

This morning, my door was cracked and I heard the sound of familiar music coming from downstairs.  Cedermont Kids.  Something different caught my ear as I heard some non-Cedermont kids singing along.  I went downstairs to find the older kids lined up watching a DVD and "Jesus Loves the Little Children" playing.  

Julia was singing right along and practicing her new skill of clapping.  So absolutely precious!

 I know I am too easily distracted from the "work" side of things, but I am so fortunate to be BLESSED by such beautiful distractions.

Here are a few more of this morning's "distractions." 

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday's Favorite

One of my favorite moments this week was Elizabeth's physical therapy session yesterday.

She is making great progress! She does not always enjoy it, but I have no doubt that her hard work is paying off. Edmond, the PT at Heshima is doing a great job as well.

And the girls are home are working hard with her as well. They do her stretches daily and try to follow through with the home therpy program.  They all get so excited at even the little progress she makes.
I hope you can see the genuine care and concern on Irene's face as she consoles Lizzy during yesterday's session.
Lizzy is such a sweet little girl.  Please be praying for her future family. She so deserves to have a family who will love and care for her and nurture her as she becomes a strong, healthy little girl. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Terry was a member of the Serv team that was here a little over a week ago.  She stayed behind to spend some time with us and a few of their other partner ministries. Here we are with all our adorable little ones!

Terry has been a huge blessing as we have done a lot of "little things" that I tend to put off. And selfishly, she has been such an encouragement to me...talking, working, helping me solve problems and make decisions.  It is so great to have people come who help me not feel so alone in this.
p.s. Steve - She has already filled my freezer with homemade soups! I am getting spoiled!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Julia's First Steps!

So, I didn't get pictures of her actual first steps, but I did get the camera out after she took 3 whole steps by herself!  She is still very reluctant to do it alone, so I don't know when she will actually "take off."  She only did it one other time today.
I don't know why I am so excited about her first steps, as I am sure we will be wishing for her to slow down very soon.  She is already a little pistol and tries to follow Tracy around, so once she starts walking I am sure she will  be a little tornado!
Here are some pictures of our morning playtime.  She usually comes into my room for a few minutes before breakfast. It is one of my favorite times of the day.  

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday's Favorites

Favorite Friends Episodes!

Yes, I am a Friends fan.  I'm sure there is something more wholesome and uplifting that I should be watching, but I must admit that a Friends DVD is playing in the background at my house most of the time.  

The first seasons of Friends was part of my Thursday ritual in college. My best  friend Angie and I lived for Thursdays. Our weekly routine consisted of a trip into Lexington, KY to have dinner at Chick-fil-a, a stop at The Great American Cookie Co to pick up our double-doozies to enjoy while watching Friends back in our room at Kresge dorm at Asbury College.
In its last season, Friends was still part of my Thursday routine. This time, with my best friend Kris when we lived in Houston.  Again, the ritual usually included Chick-fil-a for dinner, but occasionally replaced with Papa John's pizza.  
Even now, living in Kenya, Friends brings me great comfort in its familiarity and as a reminder of home.  Yep, they are my friends.  
Here are a few of my favorite episodes (in no particular order).  (And yes, they still do make me laugh, even now as I write about them!)

1. "The One With Chandler In a Box"
Monica: Fine. Judge all you want to, but.....married a lesbian, left a guy at the altar, fell in love with a gay ice dancer, threw a girl's wooden leg in a fire, live in a box!

2. "The One Where No One's Ready"
Rachel: Does this look like something a paleontologist's girlfriend would wear?
Pheobe: I don't know.  You might be the first one.

3. "The One Where Ross is Fine"
Ross: Fajitas!! Be careful! Very hot plate! Very hot!!
Rachel: Ross, you don't even have oven mitts on!
Ross: That is gonna hurt tomorrow.

Ross: I'm FINE. I'm fine. Really.  I'm fine.

4. "The One Where Everybody Finds Out"
Pheobe: They don't know that we know they know we know.

5. The One Where Joey Speaks French
Pheobe: Je m'appelle Claude.
Joey: Je do call blue.
Pheobe: Nooooo!!!! Ok, maybe if we just break it down. Ok, let's try one syllable at a time. Ok? Repeat after me. "Je"  -   Joey: Je
Pheobe: M'ap       Joey: mah
Pheobe: Pelle      Joey: pel
Pheobe: Great! Ok, faster! Je         Joey: Je
Pheobe: M'ap       Joey: mah
Pheobe: Pelle      Joey: pal
Pheobe: Je m'appelle                     
Joey: Me pooh pooh!
Pheobe: Ok, it's too hard!!  I can't teach you!!!"

Okay, I'm off to bed....while Friends plays on the tv and the sleep timer is set. :-)

(For the record, Joey is my favorite.)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Another Ordinary Day (a long story)

Anyone remember the post I did a few months ago about the Ginny Owens song, "Ordinary Day?"  Those days seem to happen a lot here.  Just a few in the past week include....

* all of my receipts and important documents (including my WORK PERMIT) getting accidentally burned with trash by my staff,
* a country-wide power outage and a few local ones,

* leaving the house to go shopping (good kind of shopping) and getting called in to the Childrens Dept District Office, but the ladies outside the door not letting me through and making me stand in the rain with a baby, (the Childrens Officer yelled at them when he realized what happened!)
* getting to go on a surprise trip/mini safari with an amazing team, 
* going to take a shower and realizing that the contractor forgot to reconnect my water after doing work and having to wait until he comes back the next day.

Those things happen. TIK. Oh, and yesterday.  Well, it also fits the song....

"Since You write the script, I must confess
I don't have a clue what will happen next
Takes my breath away, Takes a lot of faith
Cause I don't know what to expect

You keep me guessing
Holding on tight for the ride of my life
With You, all I can say is
There's no such thing as an Ordinary Day."

After an hour drive across Nairobi I checked in at Gertrude's Childrens Hospital for Hope's appointment with the pediatric cardiologist.  At one of the many counters in the large reception area I confirmed that I was in the correct place for the appointment with this particular doctor and then dutifully signed in on the clipboard.  I filled in the appropriate blanks, including our names, the doctor's name, and the appointment time. As usual, the receptionist's familiar routine words gave the direction, "Please take a seat just there and you will hear the doctor call for you."  (Kenyan English is a bit different than American English.)

Well, as typical in doctors' offices (and EVERY office in Kenya) I knew I was in for a wait.  After being patient for  an hour and 15 minutes, I decided to check the progress and timeline.  (Yeah, the made up one because we all know they will never tell you how long it will REALLY be, more like "they are ready just now" and still leave you waiting for an hour.)  But this time, when I went to the counter I was told, "He is not coming to work today. You must reschedule."  
"Why was I not told when I checked in?"
"Because he is not coming to work today.  You must reschedule."
"I have been sitting here for over an hour and no one informed me of that."
"Perhaps they did not get the information."
"YOU were the one who checked me in and also just told me the information."
"But I HAVE told you the information. He is not coming today. You must reschedule."
"Were you aware of this when I checked in?"
"I was aware but perhaps you were not."

Seriously?!?!  This is the kind of conversation I often have with Kenyans in public offices.  Doesn't it seem to go round and round?!?  

Well, I left.  I drove all the way back to my area of town and stopped to do a little grocery shopping.  After finishing there, I drove down the road towards home.  Just as I was passing Heshima (the special needs center) my car was acting funny. For a short moment I thought I was in the wrong gear. Just then, I heard something, looked in my side mirror and saw my tire in shreds.  Nice.  I pulled over just as Hope woke up and started screaming.  (Although the tiny newborn scream wasn't so loud.)  

So here I was on the side of the road with a punctured tire and newborn.  BUT.....God is good! After driving all across Nairobi today, I am stopped just down from Heshima! I called Julius who is the Administrator of Heshima and on my board for HOH here.  He is the faithful friend who ALWAYS comes to my rescue!  Tracey, my friend and founder of Heshima, happened to be at the center and came to save the day with three guys to change the tire!

As the song says, "I don't have a clue what will happen next."  This time, the spare is flat.  After the last puncture, we DID have it repaired and put on as the spare. Again, God brought Tracey to my rescue.  I was planning to go to her house for supper anyway, so it was all working out.  She took me to the tire place to have it repaired.  

Again, as the song says, "I don't know what to expect."  ....It was unrepairable. The puncture on the spare was on the side, so.....

Looks like new tires for me! Wouldn't you know it though?  The place does not take credit cards.  (Most places do not.)  I only had enough cash for one.  That in itself was another of God's hidden blessings in the day.  The banks had already closed and I had not spent the money at the doctor's office. The tires here are almost double what I would pay in the States, but since I  drive on some pretty horrendous roads, I must splurge for the GOOD tires.  

Finally, as the song says (again)....
"You keep me guessing
Holding on tight for the ride of my life
With you, all I can say is
There's no such thing as an Ordinary Day."

If there were, this was one of them!  There are some "predictables." God is.....
Sovereign - He KNEW the order of the day,
My Protector - He put me in a safe place for a "breakdown"
My Provider - He knew what I needed...the cash, a friend to haul me and my tire around
Faithful - always showing Himself in the details of the day!

Thank You, Lord, for this ordinary day.  I can't wait to see what adventures unfold tomorrow and how You will show Yourself in all of it.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hope is Growing

Little Hope is still little but she is growing! She is now 5 lbs.  She already seems like she has a personality as her eyes are always open and alert and mouth even curves a smile. Truly a picture of Hope.

Please be praying for Hope as we go to the pediatric cardiologist on Wednesday. 
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