Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Day 2: church in Ruiru and baby home

Church in Africa is always a marathon. They make our hour and a half services look like an appetizer and remind me how sometimes boring American church has become in regards to our worship and praise. There it is always full of dancing, smiles, hand grabbing, cheering, performances, etc.
It honestly makes me a little sad about the American church. These people we were worshipping with, in American materialistic eyes, have nothing. They're scraping by. Some have aids. Some are orphans. Some are begging. But they depend on God. They dance in their praise as if their bank accounts just got filled, their kids are no longer sick, they have been healed. And who knows. Maybe some of them have and that's why they're praising God with every ounce of their being. Or maybe they just know God more intimately than we do. Maybe their dependence brings a joy that isn't related to circumstance. All I know is watching them worship Jesus was convicting to our quiet, sometimes boring worship.
A little shy of 3 hours later it was over. We jumped in a served lunch for the 175-200 people there. You've never seen so much rice, stew, and chapati (flour tortilla type bread). Reese jumped in on the action serving plates and scooping rice.

We went from there up into the mountains of Limuru to a baby orphanage. Almost immediately Reese jumped in. We were all holding babies, hearing each child's story of pain and abandonment and giggling as they relished all of the attention. It was so encouraging to see the orphanage mamas love and patience for these babies. This is one of the only homes who accepts kids with special needs and the mamas get trained on how to take care of kids with great needs. They treat these babies with such tenderness and love. They were so excited for the onesies, warm pjs (it gets down in the 40-50s at night there) medicine, vitamins and cloth diapers we brought. 

Meet a few of the kids here: 
This is Natasha. She was found in a ditch on a cold night, by the side of the road, her umbilical cord still attached. She's a survivor.
Meet Ethan (right). His mother was HIV+ and abandoned him at hospital. He was born HIV positive. They took him into the baby home and prayed over him for healing. They began his treatment with ARV drugs and prayed. A few weeks ago he was retested and now HIV negative. He is a miracle.
Holly and Calvin are siblings. Their mom is in jail for abandoning her kids and prostitution. She left the kids with another family nearby until they couldn't care for them anymore and were brought to the orphanage. Holly was attached to John and loved to be tickled, thrown in the air and held. Calvin was so laid back and loved just to be touched. They're still a family.
Meet Jabuli. He was born at 1.1kg premature with Spina bifida and hydrocephalus, abandoned at the hospital. He is also paralyzed from the waist down.  No baby homes accept special needs so this baby home took him in and trained their mamas how to care for his needs. He has had multiple surgeries, a shunt, etc. He rolls all over the place and smiles and lifts his hands to be held. His God is fighting for him. 

Rose.  This is the one who stole Reese's heart. Rose's mother was found pregnant and unconscious in her small apartment by a neighbor. They dropped the mother off at the hospital. Doctors delivered Rose while her mom still unconscious. She weighed just under 4 pounds and her mom died shortly after. She is a precious baby. 
Reese held her, made her giggle, snuggled her close, asked to carry her as we saw their garden and facility so the mamas tied rose to Reese's back in true African fashion. Reese begged the mamas and me to adopt Rose. They were two peas in a pod!
This was one of the highlights of my trip. Seeing my daughter passionate and loving orphans. Hearing their stories and meeting them where they were. Pouring out Gods love and tenderness on these babies. I saw Jesus so clearly. The way he has made and molded her heart to enjoy serving. For it to be delight not duty. The beauty of loving the least. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi there! I found your blog through Lil' Light o' mine and I'm so glad I did. This post brought tears to my eyes!! As a mom, I always pray that my children will have a heart like Jesus' and love to serve others. What a great reminder this post is to actually live that truth in front of our children, not just say it to them.