Saturday, June 27, 2009

"Behold, I am making everything new"

A week ago, last Saturday, we had our first VBS in Kibera. The story was on Jonah and I was chosen to be Jonah. We sang songs with the large group, acted out the story, then split up into smaller groups. There was a craft group (all the little children went there and stayed for the whole time), a singing class, Bible study class, and games class. The kids rotated through each classroom. I was in the singing class with Lydia and Teacher Dorothy. I taught the kids a few new songs, but only one was really successful- "Who's the King of the Jungle", which my friend Channing had taught me during a Spring Break VBS we had done together. Thanks Channing! Many of the older children carry their baby brothers/sisters around with them. So in one of the groups, there was this little boy who had escaped and was just tottering and dancing around the room while we sang. It was so funny.
After VBS, all the kids were given butter and jam sandwhiches and tea for lunch. We were told there is a cholera outbreak, so it took longer as the kitchen staff had to clean the dirty dishes thoroughly in between classrooms. There were over 100 children there. Many of them are neighboring children who do not go to Church, so this was a great opportunity for them to hear about Christ.
Sunday we were in Kibera again worshipping. I went to the youngest kids Sunday School and told them the story of Jesus healing Jairus' daughter and the old woman. The same little boy from yesterday who had dancing around the room did the same thing today. Only now he wore a hat that was too big, which made him look even more adorable and funny. The memory verse I had for them was from Revelation 21:5 "Behold, I am making everything new." My teammate, Josh, preached and did a great job.
Monday was our day of rest. We did get to visit a missionary,Denny, down the street who invited us to come over. His home was like a mini America. We had so many delicious snacks and we got so excited about it. All of his family, but his daughter are in America until August. The daughter is 4 and adorable. After I introduced myself to her and talked a bit with her, she showed me her room and asked if I wanted to play with her. So Lauri and I ended up doing ballet with her for a while. Denny invited us to come over again sometime for pizza and a movie. We were very thankful for his generosity and kindness towards us.
Tuesday through Thursday we were in Kibera working in the classrooms and wherever we were needed. There was much grading to be done because exams were given to the children this week. I attended a Bible study on Wednesday on Jesus' second coming with some women from the area. In the afternoon, we had staff Bible study on the last few verses of Habakkuk 3. Thursday we helped stuff flour into sacks for the HIV+ people who attend the support group on Tuesdays. I was covered in flour by the end of it, after one of the bags popped and "exploded" on me. Mama Serulla from the kitchen saw my floury self and went to the kitchen, grabbed a wet rag, came back and started beating the flour off of me. It was funny/really wonderful of her. It rained and stormed that afternoon, and the sound on the tin roofs was amazing. I goofed off with the kids in the classroom and played games, sang songs, and they tried to teach me some Swahili words, clapping after I said one correctly.
Friday we went climbing on the mountains of Kenya. With a guide, we went up Mount Longenot, which was a volcano that hasn't erupted since sometime in the B.C. It took us about an hour and a half to climb up. When we had climbed up, we could walk around the edge of the volcano, which was about 6km around. It was beautiful and so different from anything I'd ever seen before. The trails tended to be made of loose dirt, so we got covered in dirt and slid around alot. I ended up sliding down the trail a few times like a slide because I didn't have good balance on my feet. At the end of the climb down, it began thundering and raining. We ran down part of the way. By the time we were back we looked like we'd just covered ourselves in dirt. The shower never felt better. I took a ton of pictures (making me often in the back of the I was just slow). I felt like I had accomplished a bit of the dream I'd been having of climbing a mountain since reading "Three Cups of Tea". Now I just need to build a school...or find sponsors for the rest of the kids in the Church's school...
Today, Saturday, we go to Uhuru (which means Freedom) Gardens to play soccer(football) with the youth and have Bible Study with them. Please pray that God would work in the hearts of the youth, that they might see our love for them and hear of God's love for them.
Continue to pray for team unity and for each of us to draw closer and grow in our relationship with God. I give my testimony on Sunday to the youth, so I would love if you could pray for God to give me the right words. Pastor has told us that these kids have seen EVERYTHING and that we should just share ourselves fully with them.
Pray that we would not get caught into just doing things in routine, but that we would stay fully invovled, heart and mind.


  1. I love knowing and being able to have confidence that God is making everything new. It is one of the greatest powers of hope, I think.

    And Habakkuk 3 is great! those last verses are my parents favorite. They both actually wrote it in each other's bible or something at some point without realizing the other person was putting the same verses.

    And I can't wait to see pictures of the volcano and everything else!

    I'm still praying for all that you're doing. I know God is using you in ways you can't even imagine, and is using them to change you even more.

  2. :) If you want private lessons in ballet this year so that you can dance with the four (or I guess 5 by then) year old next year and be up to par you just let me know! hehe, mean amanda, I'm just kidding.

    I can't wait to see this pictures of the volcano as well!

    I'm so blessed by reading about your week, I love the family you've found over there and how the Lord uses them to impact you just as much as you desire to impact them. What sweet and dear hearts they have!

    I'll be praying for you today (since part of my today is your tomorrow). Speak from your heart, Jesus will give you the words. I love you so much!

  3. That is awesome that you got to go on that hike! I can't wait to see pictures from that. I did VBS last week and we did the story of Jonah too. I didn't have to be Jonah though :) I love that you were Jonah :) Remember when we were the robbers in the story of the good samaratin? Did someone take a picture of you covered in flour? I want to see that too!

  4. Jo! Love the story about your "floury self" :) You make me smile! Keep loving those kids and singing your songs. You seem to be adding to your list of firsts this summer with the volcano climb. Love you, miss you!