Then and Now

I had prayed before this trip to Kenya that I would come into it with fresh eyes.

This picture below is from 2009.  Steve and I had brought our girls with us to Kenya, and this is the first church we visited. The women sang for us, and danced us in through the gates, into the church.

Today, as we pulled into the church to visit Compassion, I realized I was back to this same place.

  Years before, this would be the place my children would discover what true joy looks like.

Eight years later, this church now has many new classrooms. They have a vocational training center for moms, which help women learn hairdressing skills and other income generation. They have a small bakery, large gardens, and a water supply. The church is vibrant in the community, and having a huge impact through the children.

I didn’t remember this view in 2009, probably because I was so overwhelmed and maybe it was cloudy. But the church is on a mountain, overlooking the Rift Valley, and its quite stunning.

For two days in a row, I have re-visited places that my family went to in 2009. Yesterday, we went out to the Rift Valley to visit one of the Maasai churches. My family had visited this place in 2009 as well on a sponsor tour.

In 2009 it looked like this as the Maasai boys danced. This was that place yesterday. 

In 2009, we met Hannah, one of our sponsored children.This is her from yesterday.   She is strong, beautiful, smart and confident. I love her completely. I have seen her a lot through the years.

What struck me today was the significance that trip in 2009 is still having on my family… and Hannah, and how they have all grown up.

In 2013, my girls begged and pleaded, and convinced us to go back to Kenya. So  in 2014 we did. Before that trip, my daughter Isabel, sponsored Naneu, another Maasai girl. (Isabel graduates from high school next week). When our sponsored child, Hannah, found out about Naneu, she took her under her wings. They don’t attend the same Compassion center, but Hannah visits Naneu. In fact this year, Naneu spent Christmas with Hannah’s family.

Then, when my daughter Julia and Luke got married this last year, one of the first things they did was sponsor their own child from Kenya. They picked a child from the same area as the other two, because they wanted a little Maasai girl too. It just so happened, their child attends the Compassion center I visited yesterday. It’s the same place my girls visited in 2009.

This is Reson. My daughter and son-in-law’s sponsored child.  She is a sweet, affectionate little girl. And she loved her gifts.

What was even more significant is that Hannah was with me when I met Reson.

When Hannah learned that it was my daughter, Julia and her husband Luke’s sponsored child, she picked this little girl up, put her on her lap, wrapped her arms around her, hugged and kissed her, and said, “Welcome to the family.”

I had prayed before this trip to Kenya, that I would come into it with fresh eyes, and God answered that prayer.

I see how this has come full circle, and sponsoring a child doesn’t just affect one child and one sponsor. It’s often contagious, and I have witnessed, that it can impact many others.

Here are some other kids available for sponsorship in Kenya. We are up to 37 kids now. https://www.compassion.com/become-a-sponsor-dashboard/kenya.htm

 

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