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!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


We are finally heading to court for the first hearing for Julia's guardianship case. Tomorrow at 2:30pm.  (Wednesday, 6:30am CST.)

We will be assigned a judge who can choose to: (1) agree to hear our case, (2) agree to hear the case after we complete additional requirements, (3) refuse the case. Because there is no clear law on most children's matters, many judges choose not to get involve and will automatically throw them out. 

In order for things to move quickly enough for Julia to go home for Kris's wedding with me, we must have a VERY agreeable judge. Even if that happens, there are a number of potential delays and hang-ups, but the first step is to have a judge that will hear the case and be willing to move forward. 

Please pray that the Lord's will be done; that we are assigned the perfect judge for this case; and that all things work according to God's timeline. He is Sovereign and He is our Portion. Now, we wait upon Him. 

Thank you for joining us in prayer....

Monday, July 26, 2010

HFBC Team Visit

A team from Houston's First Baptist Church came to visit us at our new place in Nakuru. It was great to meet some great new friends and to see a few familiar faces. They worked hard and our compound looks great, thanks to this great team!

We had some great guys working for over a week to prepare the grounds for the HFBC Team to come and plant and beautify our home. Our place was transformed from a lot with nothing but overgrown grass and no driveway to a beautiful compound that now looks happy and alive. 

Thanks to the HFBC team for your hard work in bringing it all together! 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Enjoying Our New Home

After our guests left yesterday, we took some time to enjoy the beautiful day outside. 

Bubbles!! (Thanks, HFBC team.)
Even Uncle Kennedy came to join in the fun and help Jeremiah catch bubbles.

Auntie Jackie and her new best friend, Eli.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The New HOH Baby House

Here are some pictures of the outside compound of the new Haven of Hope Baby Center. We are beginning to settle in and enjoy our new home, and it is truly beginning to feel like "home," thanks to some great day guys who worked hard the past two weeks to prepare the grounds and to the HFBC team for pulling it all together today!

We had some wonderful workers come in to prepare and set the grounds for our new driveways and side flowerbeds. They worked HARD to transform this overgrown lot into a nice home. 

And thanks to the team from Houston's First Baptist Church for planting the plants and flowers and moving a LOT of rocks to enhance the landscaping! It looks great!  Y'all did a fabulous job and we loved having you!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Day in the Life....

I sit down in the evenings with the intent of posting on the blog. I feel like so much has happened, but when it comes to writing about it, I just can't seem to formulate it into anything exciting. I also have the thought stuck in my head that I need some great picture to go along with a post and the busyness of the past week or so have definitely not been so picture worthy. 

The past two weeks have been full. Not so exciting to write about, but full. I love the things I do day-in-day-out, but I am not so sure they are always blog worthy.

So, in case anyone wants to know some of the mundane things that go into funning an international ministry and baby center, here is a glimpse info my life as of the past two weeks, and keep in mind that it takes twice as long to get anything done in this wonderful country of ours than it does in America. Some of the things on my calendar include:

- 3 volunteers overlapping in their time at HOH,
- 6 overnight guests at various times (not including volunteers),
- a visit from our old Childrens Officer from Ngong,
- 3 meetings for registration of HOH Baby Center,
- Baby Kate's 1st birthday party,  :-)
- visit from landlord group (negotiations in progress),
- 2 meetings for registration of HCO as a Society in Kenya, 
- 3 trips to the post office to try to get a box,
- taking the volunteers and friends to Nairobi,
- grabbing bits of baby play time,
- 4 hospital visits,
- 1 visit to potential ministry site,
- 1 staff meeting,
- visit to Tigoni girls,
- "talk" with Tigoni girls' house mom,
- shopping trip to Maasai Market,
- taking Houston's First Baptist team to Heshima,
- baby holding time whenever I can get it,
- 3 ministry meetings,
- initial inspection of HOH Baby Center by Childrenst Dept,
- organizing for 14 tons of gravel for new driveway,
- organizing for driveway/landscaping preparation,
- menu planning for 34 guests,
- shopping for 2 meals for 34 guests,
- project planning for 30 guests,
- buying materials for guest project,
- organizing for work preparation for guest project,
- staff team meeting to explain job duties for guest visit,
- a beautiful new baby girl (3 mo) dropped at our house,
- returning the baby girl back to her family,
- organizing babies' document files,
- organizing staff document files,
- updating needed documents for staff,
- countless trips to the grocery store,
- countless discussions/meetings with my ministry assistant,
- countless emails,
- property development plan meetings for grounds,
- countless discussions with fundis (workmen) when my assistant not around...

I am sure there are more things that did not make the list, but I think that gives you a picture of my life as Director of His Cherished Ones International Ministry and Haven of Hope Baby Center.

Now, add to that some "mommy time" and trying to find a little personal time in the early morning hours. Though I love my "job," my favorite times of any day are the first 15 minutes or so after Julia wakes up, the half hour before she goes to bed, and any few minutes I can grab to sit and hold one of our precious babies.

Though it is a busy life and often full of pressures of being pulling in many directions, I absolutely LOVE my life! And I love sharing it with you. God has done so much more that I ever could have asked or imagined over the past three years! I am blessed to be where I am, doing what I am doing. Though it is not always exciting to write/read about, it is a life that is full of adventure, love, and God's faithfulness and provision.

I pray that each of you who read this will get a glimpse of God's glory in the work He is doing through His Cherished Ones. I am thankful that you ARE a part of it as you read, remember us, and pray for us. 

Thank you,

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Day at the Park

I took Julia for her first visit to a National Park, along with our friend, Rebekah who is here visiting and helping us in the baby house for a few weeks. Since we live so close to Nakuru National Park (we can see the National Park and lake from our baby house) I thought we should go see it in person. 

Julia is LOVING animals right now, so this was the perfect time to go. She has a foam picture/puzzle book with removable animals pieces that she loves. We took the book along with us so she could begin to make the connection between pictures and real objects. It was so fun to see her little lightbulbs go off! 

She was calling the "babaffes" to come closer, "Come!" They are our favorite!

Looking at the waterfall with Rebekah. She was half asleep and it was quite amusing to her.

Our New Home

I just realized I had not ever posted pictures of our new place. We are really enjoying Nakuru. A much slower-paced, relaxed feel. 

There is a lot of work yet to be done on our compound, but it will be as beautiful as the old place in a few weeks.

The house is much more suited for babies. The staff love it and say it makes their job much easier. It has a much "homier," more comfortable feel.  

(This was taken while we were cleaning out toy bins. It is not usually so messy!)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Growing Babies

It has been awhile since I shared some precious pictures of my beautiful babies! They are so cute, I just want everyone to see....but I haven't had the time to show you.  So, here they are....

Joseph (aka: Josey, "the lastborn" - yes, they really call him that)


Hope (aka: Hopie-Hope)

Elijah (aka: Papa)

Kate (aka: Kater-Bug or Buggie)

Jeremiah (aka: Miah-Miah or Baba)

Elizabeth (aka Lizzy-Lou)

* For the record, the only nicknames that have come from me are Kater-bug and Lizzy-Lou. The girls have nicknames for all the babies and they refer to them by those nicknames 90% of the time. I like it. To me, it shows that they know the babies as individuals and their personalities. 

I hope you can see how happy our babies are. They are truly special little kids and we are so blessed to be a part of their lives in the time of foundation and formation. What a privilege!! 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Visit to Julia's Family

Warning: another long post! And I didn't take the time to bold the main points this time. So if you're in a rush, you can just look at the pictures. :-)

My journey with Julia continues to be testament of God's divine orchestrating. There are so many things laced with His unique fingerprints, showing me that He is in the details of every part of this. 

Kenya. Think of the whole country of Kenya. Take a wild guess where Julia's family's home is.......
The family's home is at the top of the ridge, overlooking the valley

About 10 minutes from Haven on the Hill!! Yep, where my boys are, where I spent so much time 1-2 years ago. How would it be that she happened to come from a place that I know, even as rural as it is?? God. Yes, God is just that cool!

(This is Julia with her cousin, of the same name, Wambui, who were born at the same hospital within an hour of each other.)

Julia was born in the same hospital where we used to take the Haven boys, the same hospital where John died. Her family walks the same roads that Naomi and the boys walk. And a further "coincidence" is that Julia is actually related (by marriage of extended family members) to Naomi, the boys' auntie! 

So, while we were visiting at Haven, we went to visit her family as well.  What an experience. Julia is my baby. I am her mother. I have no doubt about that, and neither does she. I cannot explain or describe the feeling of sitting with Julia and her biological mother. Walking into their family home and meeting all of her family. 
(This was after we had been there awhile and Julia had warmed up enough to leave my lap and go out to meet the kids.)

In Kenyan tradition, a family's home is very distinct. Though some may leave the family home and go live in the city, "home" is always "home." All the sons will build a home in their father's home (or on their land, rather). So when you go to one's home, you are automatically with extended family and among several generations.

We were in the home of Julia's uncle, her grandmother's brother. The eldest living male of the family. The patriarch of the family. The one who cares for Julia's grandmother and mother.

As we came to the home, we were escorted to a house. A typical rural Kenyan house. As is custom, guests are invited into the "nicest" house of the family. This one happened to belong to one of Julia's uncle's sons. It was definitely the nicest house in the home. As all the other houses were mud walled, this one was made of mabati (tin) walls and roof. Dirt floor. One large room, no separate bedrooms. Outdoor choo (outhouse). Outdoor kitchen. 

We were escorted in by Julia's uncle and his son, whom we had met before. Then came the uncle's wife and a few daughters-in-law. They brought tea and served us. Then, came Julia's mother and grandmother. It was obvious that her mother had no idea that Julia was her child. 

Julia's mother is mentally retarded, as is her grandmother. The family tried to involve Julia's mother and have her sit with us and talk. She spilled her tea twice within the 10 minutes she was there. Julia would not go to her on her own, so I went and sat beside her, with Julia in my lap.

Julia had her book, Brown Bear, Brown Bear in her hands. Her mother tried to take the book but Julia did not want her to. She had just shared the book with the other children, but did not react the same to this grown woman. Her mother tried to look and pull it out of her hands. Julia pulled back. It was the strangest feeling ever. I am holding my one year old baby as she "argues" with her biological mother. 
(Notice Julia's birth mother who is fascinated by my hand, just like most Kenyan children are when they first see a white person.)

My thoughts went back to my preschool special ed days and I figured that her mother is at about a 3-4 year old child level. They were literally arguing with each other in a very child-like way. It was clearly obvious to me that there is NO way her mother could care for her. I completely understand all that the uncle had told me about the mother prior to this meeting. Julia also has a 15 year old brother who is also mentally retarded and in a school for children with special needs.

I had a letter of acknowledgement/consent that I wanted the family to sign. Since we have moved to Nakuru, we must begin the guardianship process over again, going through the Nakuru courts and Childrens Department. I want to be able to take this letter of their consent with me as I meet with the lawyer. I truly respect Julia's uncle as he wanted the whole family to be involved in the decision. He wants there to be no misunderstanding of the situation.

I also appreciated the fact that it was to be a "family decision" for them. I want to be able to tell Julia that though she had a mother who was unable to care for her, her family loved her enough to allow her to come to a new mommy, to a new family, who can take care of her.

Julia's father is unknown. Her mother was taken advantage of, as was her grandmother. Yes, my Julia is a second generation product of rape. I truly believe this little girl has a special anointing on her life. I do not know God's whole plan for her life, but I know He has brought her into my life for a reason. I pray that it is forever, but I do not know all that the future holds. I know that she is with me for this season, and I am honored to be her mommy. I have been given the gift of providing her with a home that is safe and full of love. A home where she is offered the hope of a future she could not have with her biological family. 

And even more than that, I am convinced that God has placed a covering of protection over Julia. What a testimony of redemption her life is, and will continue to be! A true picture of God's love and grace. Her earthly heritage is overshadowed by her heavenly heritage in a powerful way! I just cannot wait to see how God uses her little life to tell a story of His faithfulness and provision! 

So now, as you think of Julia, I hope you will pray for our situation. Pray that the Lord will go before us and prepare our way in the courts; that His will be done, in His time. 
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