Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Kenya downloading

It is hard to take a 12 day trip and boil it down into a one concise page description. So many people ask, 'how was your trip?' as if i could shorten it down into a 30 second sound byte of our experience. And as I process "how was my trip" I realize it is more about the people I met and the stories they shared rather than my "experience" in
Kenya...these precious Kenyan people that asked me to return to America and share their story. So I will. As weeks go on I want to share with you the stories of death to life, strength in turmoil, and beauty from ashes. The temptation is to overlook someone's story because it is such a foreign comparison to our own, but then we all miss out on the experience of Kenya and the way God is moving there. And in my own way, I did find my own story wrapped somehow inside of theirs, a single mom of 5 in the slums, a woman who is an overcomer of her HIV status, a man who went against his family history in Islam and found Jesus as a boy on the streets. Somewhere tucked deep inside I saw myself in each person, or someone I want to be. Africa has a way of resetting my heart on what is important. I have truly experienced the joy of the verse in Matthew 6:21, For where you treasure is, there your heart will be also. It is hard to explain how my heart came alive as I looked around a room of 90 graduates, raising their Bibles and journals in the air and waving them with accomplishment, pride, and triumph. I run the risk of you thinking it is because of our family or community, which it is not. God would have brought this center to life with or without our involvement, but I wouldn't have gotten to see it play out. God didn't need me to do this, I got to be a part. For those of you who faithfully gave to our center in Sinai, thank you, and please read on in the coming weeks and hear about the lives transformed and community impacted. As I looked around that room on graduation day and I saw so many children running in and out of their parents legs, sleeping on chairs next to their mothers, or babies wrapped around their mama's backs, I thought of what their future would have been if their parents would have continued down the dark path of death that AIDS usually brings in their community.
These kids now have moms and parents strengthened in the word of God, strengthened in their health, and empowered with a skill that will bring income to their family.  We sat in the homes of these graduates and heard about their excitement to be selling soap, peanut butter, beaded items, eggs, charcoal, etc. All skills they never had before, now they are sending their kids to school with their income. My words do not do this transformation justice.
When we go to Kenya, it is not a "short term mission trip". We have no project, no building to build, no well to dig. We go to be present, to show someone they have value, to hold a hand, to be a friend.

"Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody. 
I think that is a much greater hunger, 
a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat."   Mother Theresa

Our schedule while we were there revolved around being. Being with people in their homes, people who previously have been shunned from their families and communities. Homes that have been marked with an invisible red X to their neighbors not to enter because of fear of AIDS. We go and hold hands and pray for people, people that their spouses no longer want to touch because it has become a blame game of who gave it to who. These were the favorite moments of my trip, which I will expand in more detail in days to come. Jesus meets you face to face when you enter in to someones pain, when you hold the hand of a diseased woman He has brought to life. These are the most beautiful moments.

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  1. Thank you for this beautiful post, Kylie! You are such a blessing to the CARE for AIDS team both in the U.S. and in Kenya!

  2. Parabéns pelo trabalho no Quênia. Deus usa pessoas com corações dispostos.