After 24 hours of traveling we finally arrived here in Kenya on Thursday. Our eyes squinted and even hurt when we walked out of the airport to see the bright African sun. We’ve been so used to barely any sunlight in Iceland (only 4 hours at best, normally cloudy) and it was so wonderful to finally see the sun in full! We were picked up by one of the base staff here at YWAM Athi River, and we drove out to the bush bush where the base is located. The van blasted some pretty sweet reggae-MIA-esque music through some blown-out speakers; a great soundtrack as we made our way. Just from staring out the dusty van window I caught a glimpse of the people of Kenya….there were many people walking along the road and everyone seemed so friendly–waving at every person they passed.
We were greeted with so much hospitality when we arrived here on the base, breakfast was prepared–peanutbutter and jelly! As we were washing our dishes in plastic baby pools I heard a little wimper. BACKSTORY: I got my first puppy when I was 11 or so and I fell in love, it (Maxxwell) was my comforter…it sound silly, but I guess only true dog lovers would get this love. Ha. Ever since Maxx I’ve always had a puppy/dog in my life–just a tangible comforter. So my time in Iceland seemed like the longest time I’ve ever spent without a puppy around. ANYWAYS, you can imagine how happy I was to see a puppy running up to us..oh it was so adorable. Just another way that Papa was showing me how much he loved me (I think).
The next day we took a long walk into the bush…we saw giraffes, gazelles, cows and goats! Oh it was so wonderful. I’ve really fallen in love with the simplicity of life here. Every night I find myself looking at the stars before bed with such a thankful heart for Gods beauty.
We went on a prayer walk through the closest town to the base, just opening our eyes to what life here is like. It was definitely eye-opening to say the least. Little kids kept pointing at us and yelling “Mzungu!” which means white. Whats so beautiful is the joy the people who I’ve met here in Kenya have. Pure joy not interfered or dependent on what they do or don’t have, or based on the new iphone.
I’ve really connected with the Kenyans here on the base. Benard was sharing with me about the young women here; how they grow up without a dad or with an emotionally absent dad. Then when they get older they have affairs with much older men because they are looking for a father figure. Hmm…this sounds a bit familiar, eh? Gods really been laying the topic of purity on my heart—and my heart just breaks when I hear about young girls just giving it away to feel loved and accepted. I was just pondering and praying about this though and I just realized how the enemy is using the same tricks everywhere. The spirit of rejection, the spirit of abandonment, feeling unworthy, etc. These are all things we struggle with in the western world, the enemy doesn’t have any different tricks up his sleeve. We may live in riches, technology, opportunity in the western world but we are wrecked with spiritual poverty and lukewarmness. Here they deal with much more blatant poverty but the joy and hunger for Love is so great.
Ebel and Laura, one of the couples living here on the base have an amazing testimony filled with great adventures with the Lord; I wont share it completely but basically they had a vision to build an orphanage type community that allowed children to grow up in a family setting. Here in Kenya they found a place to make that vision reality. So what it will look like is eight houses filled with eight couples. They will have a few of their own children, then they will have nine or so foster children. They don’t want any westerners living there, they want it to be as naturally Kenyan as possible, just allowing room for orphans to grow up in a family, not just another institution full of westerners. And WE got to be a part of making this vision real! We helped in replanting the garden in the back of the first house, weed-wacking, lawn mowing, cementing the bottom of the water tank (well, the guys did this one):
We also helped out in another womans vision for an orphanage..called the Amadeo Home for children. She bought the land and everywhere around her land doesn’t have access to fresh water—its too salty—but after putting the pump in her ground she found that she has fresh water! Hallelujah! God provided a way for her to help pay for this orphanage that is in the making! We dug holes for planting trees out in the hot African Sun, but it was so worth it–its funny how by digging holes all day we’re indirectly helping little children have a home.
Lastly we spent some time at an all-girls High School where we set up a field-day. We had different stations, each with a different game. We also had a testimony station in which me and another girl got to share our testimonies with the girls. I finally got to share the purity message that has been on my heart.
I forgot to mention earlier that another DTS team from Germany was also staying at the Athi River base while we were there–it was amazing to make new friends and hear about their lecture phase and hear what God had been doing in their hearts. So before we left, both of the teams had communion together. It was one of those times that you can’t put into words. God was so there with us as we went around a circle and shared what Jesus was to us. As I listened to what everyone had to say I was just overtaken with joy to see how personal He is with us–everyone has their own encounters that are custom to them, and their needs. I was also just so happy to be in fellowship with so many incredible people…..kingdom-mindset people that love the Lord!
I could say so much more, but our time spent there was just an incredible beginning to this outreach, where God really met each one of us individually and ministered to us–preparing our hearts and depositing a peace at our core.
Papa is just so good. *Hopefully I can add more photos soon!
1 Peter 1:3-9,