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Entries from May 2011

Rough Day

Today has been rough.

Frustrating.

Slow.

Unproductive.

Feeling helpless.

Here I am dishing out hope for the future, yet struggle to find my own.

Sometimes He (Father/God/Jesus) feels so close, then sometimes He seems so far away. In fact most days I feel like that. Strange. I can be in the midst of doing some awesome stuff for Him and His people and still feel nothing. Spiritually speaking that is. Then suddenly as I am locking up the gate for the night, or eating dinner, or some mundane thing like that and kapow He feels so close. Weird.

Don’t worry, I haven’t based my faith on feelings.

I’m still in the race, still striving for the finish line. Yet today was a walking day instead of a running day.


Practical Examples

I shared a few posts back about how I believe interruptions in our lives are opportunities for sharing the love of Christ. (Here’s the link.") Actually I was frustrated at all the interruptions in my life, and after thinking I realized that those moments really make up the best parts of my life.

Ministry is the same way. Full of people and their problems butting in on our plans for showing the world whatever it is God is saying to us at the moment.

A couple of days ago one of those interruptions walked into our lives.

We became aware of a young girl, 14, who was pregnant. She lives in one of the slums here in Nakuru, with a family that is not hospitable to her.

Turns out her father raped her. He’s now in prison, but her mother was advised by the rest of the family to poison the girl. That away she would be getting rid of the baby and the daughter. Apparently her mother blames her for what her father did.

This girl has no where to go, and no one to help. Well that’s not entirely true, we are here.

We found ourselves in the right place at the right time. She will stay with Ben and Pauline up to one month after the baby is born. Naturally she is conflicted about this child, and does not want to raise it. We were able to find a place for the baby to go after she gives birth. (And we will see to it she gets proper healthcare throughout the pregnancy and birthing.) I’m not sure what will become of the young girl after that. She has never attended school, and so school is not really going to be practical. Yet she may excel in a vocational training program or something of that nature.

Whatever it will be, I am glad she interrupted our lives. Rescuing children like this one, is what we live for. We wish it wasn’t necessary, but unfortunately our world is broken.


singing over me

This evening, most of the children were watching a show while I was in my bedroom getting Eowyn to sleep. Edith lingered, sitting on the floor of my room, pretending to crochet like she sees the older girls do all of the time, just wanting to be near Mommy.

#561 Mother & Child BlogIt was sweet to see her there.

I started singing a lullaby to Eowyn, caressing her hair, nursing her to sleep, making up the words as I went along. As I sang, I began thinking that Edith may feel uncomfortable or just WISH she had someone to sing HER lullabies. After all, she can’t even remember her real mother.

As I sang, I started interjecting Edith’s name in the words, alternating Eowyn’s every now and then. She looked up from her ‘work’ with bright eyes gleaming with pride, joy, acceptance, love.

It was beautiful.


May I Interrupt You?

Sometimes, o.k. most of the time, I tend to become frustrated at interruptions. (In fact right now there is a 4 year old making a considerable amount of noise in my office.) I just don’t handle them well. I find it hard to work when every five minutes someone is coming in the room, or the threat of someone coming in the room is always there. My concentration is easily broken, and I forget many things.

It’s hard to come up with a strategy on how to conduct the affairs of the ministry. Someone has to put together a plan on feeding the hungry and caring for the orphans, right?

I’m not so convinced anymore.

Take a look at Jesus’ life. It was full of interruptions. People were always stopping him to ask for help, answers, advice, and all kinds of stuff. He was always putting the ministry on hold to deal with passerby's and  those blocking the way.

Take a closer look.

Those were not interruptions, they were the ministry.

I don’t need a five step plan to feed the hungry. I just need to be willing to let some of them barge in on my day.

I don’t need policies to direct how I assist orphans and abandoned children. I need to let them climb up on me, and run into my office while I’m writing.

I don’t need degrees, classes, books, and/or perfection to love those that God has brought and is bringing into my path.

I just need to be willing to put myself aside for a moment, and embrace the one who has butted in.

If you take that to mean I think planning is wrong or totally useless, then I don’t know what to say to you. When we make the “plan” or the “rules” or the “thing” the most important aspect, we have missed the point.


hidden treasure

We’ve had a small section of our garden that is basically a weed patch. In fact, it was such a symmetrical patch of weeds in the middle of our otherwise ‘clean’ garden that I decided to leave it alone. (In all honesty I was actually too lazy to weed it).

Today I noticed that there were some parsley poking through the weeds so I felt compassion on the parsley plants and decided to make more space for them.

As I weeded, I noticed that these parsley were much taller and healthier than my other parsley plants rooted just a foot away outside the borders of the weed patch.

Now I’m no gardener, but is there any chance that the weeds actually gave the parsley competition causing them to grow more? Or perhaps, they offered some nutrients in the soil which the parsley needed? Or most likely they provided shade increasing moisture time in the soil… (I suppose I should do my parsley research, huh?)

IMG_0118Anyway, I found it interesting… so I continued weeding, and much to my surprise, hidden under all of those weeds were rows of Cilantro!! *Ben must have planted them weeks ago and left that patch of weeds growing so as not to damage the new herbs.

Needless to say, hidden treasures make weeding fun!

~Kate

*Ben is one of our team members who lived with us. He recently moved his family of to Babu’s house to keep Babu company.

PS
Eowyn fell asleep on my back while I weeded, too!


Dad

One of the first memories I have of my dad is him teaching me to tie my shoes. This was shortly after we moved in with him, around thirty years ago. Hard to believe it was so long ago. Sitting me on the bed he showed me the loops, the ups, the downs, you know the technique of how to tie a shoe lace. Then he left the room telling me to repeat it, and now I can’t remember how many times, but it was enough that I still know how to tie shoe laces thirty years later.

Howard Wayne Wilson (technically my step father, but nonetheless he was the only dad I ever knew) passed away this week. I’m not going to attempt to write an eulogy here, just going to mention a few feelings and memories.

I’m not much of a crier, nonetheless there are tears in my eyes as I realize I will not see this man again on this side of life. In fact, I last saw him in 2008 when in the U.S. doing some fundraising.

My mom married my dad just a few months before my eighth birthday. He inherited four children after already raising his two biological sons.  Here I was coming from having an abusive, alcoholic, biological father to a dad. A real dad. One who embraced me from the beginning. Whatever friction there was during that time in the family I was unaware of it. I cannot remember the specifics or details, yet I do remember the emotions, the feeling of safety and of being loved.

Not trying to say it was all fine and dandy. It wasn’t. I’m sure he must have expressed his frustration to my mom (unless he was scared of offending his new bride) in my inability to open up and embrace him. (It was not I who first called him daddy. That, if I am remembering correctly was my older sister Peggy.)

It wasn’t until much later, after I was married in fact, that he and I had a conversation about this. He actually cried. I was stunned. No need to rehash the whole talk here, but at the end I came to realize that he had always wanted to embrace me, and in his heart had done so. We came away from that moment with a renewed sense of our relationship, and I was finally able to see that he had been my father.

Not saying we were at odds when I was a kid, I have many fond memories of our life together.

He was a big part of shaping me to be who I am today. One of the most powerful ways he impacted my life was in freedom, more specifically the freedom for me to be who I am and to believe what I do. When I became a fanatical Christian, and got lost in the miry mud of Charismaticism, he never condemned. Never even told me off for being so judgmental of his seemingly unspiritual life. Perhaps he knew God well enough to know He would not leave me in that religious trap forever.

That freedom to find out who I was helped lead me to where I am today. I appreciate that, immensely.

When I got the Facebook message (being thousands of miles away does have it’s disadvantages) and I called my mom, the first thing I did that day was to mow the lawn. Another thing my dad taught me, and something that I have developed a love for since. Remembering these seemingly little things, that’s how I’m mourning.

I will not be at the funeral, but don’t worry, there is plenty of family for my mom and siblings. Instead I will continue to remember and find comfort in those memories.

Until we meet again dad, rest in peace.


Busting at the seams

Recently, Johnny wrote an article about our newest addition to the boys’ home Fredrick and how the home is full, and our home is over full.

Well, sadly, Virginia’s sister, who was HIV+ but in denial and not getting treatment, recently passed away leaving 2 more orphaned boys. They are now the new family members at Christopher’s House. So at the moment, Christopher’s House has more boys than beds, and our home has more girls than beds as well. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, since we are happy these children have a safe, happy place they can thrive. It just means we are busting at the seams and cannot take in any more kiddos.

I will try to get some photos of our newbies so you can meet them soon!

~Kate


A Little Change

More than three years ago Ben and Pauline moved in with us. The idea was to help us parent the children who were becoming a part of our community. (Also we figured we might need language assistance, since our Swahili was not all that great back then.) They have been a great help to us, and we appreciate them being a part of our family.

Just a few days ago they moved out, and are now staying with Lonnie at his new place down the road a bit. Lonnie will be leaving the country for a while, and Ben and Pauline will take care of the place for him while he is away.

I actually haven’t made it over to the new house, but the pictures Lonnie showed me made it out to be a nice place. Plenty of space, and close to our boy’s home and new nursery school.

We will miss having Ben and especially Pauline (who was a our built in baby sitter for when Kate and I wanted to get out) around the house with us. However we are enjoying have the extra space.

I have my office back, now that Lonnie isn’t sleeping in it. Kate has a classroom now. (She home schools our biological children.)

I’m sure Ben and Pauline will enjoy the extra space they now have, and the freedom from our American ways. (We tend to be way more structured as a family then Kenyans. Have more boundaries on the children, more restrictions on television, and all around more anal.)

Nothing has changed as far as our working together, and they are still very much a part of our community.


When I grow up….

After visiting a friend’s baby orphanage with my children, Butterfly aspired, “Mommy, I know what I want to be when I grow up! I want to be a babysitter!”

Emma Caite trumped, “When I grow up, I want to be a PRINCESS!”