Student Blogs...

Hannah's Blog
Dearest friends, I pray you are having a glorious day and finding joy in the small things the Lord has blessed you with.  I am happy to be able to say that with only eleven days left in Kenya, God is continuing to use the Journey team in a mighty way. Through communities, schools, orphanages, and churches the Lord has no doubt exceeded our expectations of all that would be done for His glory this summer. And today, as I write this, I am thankful for moments. Moments where the Lord has revealed Himself to me. Some of those moments are small and others seem too miraculous to be true, but nonetheless they all involve our Heavenly King being exactly who He proclaims himself to be: Abba Father.  One moment for me involves an eight-month old baby named Nadia. She lives at an orphanage in Nairobi called Happy Life where she and many other children are taken care of by a group of Kenyan volunteers who do everything they can to give them all a hope for the future. Nadia was found in a hospital, abandoned by her mother just after birth. Thankfully Happy Life has provided food, clothing, medicine, a warm bed to sleep in, and many people to meet her needs. Our team has visitedHappy Life several times this summer and for some reason I always feel led to spend time with little Nadia when we go. At some point we realized that many of these babies don’t get a lot of physical activity and therefore their crawling/walking progress tends to be much slower than most. So as a team, we started doing things like “Tummy Time” where we played classical music and helped the babies begin using there arms and legs to crawl…and by the grace of God, something incredible happened. As I continued to work with Nadia I began to see progress. She started scooting a little bit in an attempt to grab my watch I had laid in front of her. And by the end of the day she had crawled forward and grabbed my watch three times. The next time the team went back just a couple days later, Nadia was scooting/crawling double what she had been the few days before!!! I couldn’t help but have tears in my eyes that God allowed me this sweet moment. When I think of what the Lord has done this summer, I praise Him for His everlasting love and for moments. Moments of my Savior showing up and being Abba Father to me, to this team, and to sweet Nadia.

Billy Out of all of my great experiences in Kenya I have not had a time where I haveconnected more with a person and God than when I met James at Havilla. James is thenephew of the founder of Havilla. As soon as we met we instantly clicked, the Holy Spiritwas all over our conversation. We share a lot of the same passions and desires. We got toshare with each other our hearts for the gospel of Jesus Christ and our burning desire forthe world to know it. Getting to listen to his experiences going to other countries in Africasharing the gospel with Muslims, atheist and all kinds of people was such anencouragement to me. It gave me a refreshed passion and more of a drive to reach the lostwith the gospel. It is awesome to think about how God perfectly ordained that day and thatconversation I would have with James. This was definitely an experience that I willremember forever and that has greatly impacted my life.

Anna I have so many incredible experiences in Kenya, but some of my most challengingand encouraging moments have come from the days spent at a children’s home in Nairobi.Working with these toddlers, it is clear that living in such an overwhelming, understaffedenvironment is taking a toll on the various areas of development. The women who workwith the children each day do such a wonderful job, but it is difficult for each child to getthe individual attention necessary with so many children and so few workers. One morningin particular, I became very overwhelmed and frustrated with the conditions of thechildren, especially after becoming so attached to the children and feeling like there is littleI can do to help their situation. That afternoon, when we went back, one of the little boysasked me to read him the story about Joshua and Abigail that I had read him the day before.The story, The Crippled Lamb, is about an orphaned lamb named Joshua who has a crippledleg. He constantly feels left out because he is not like the other lambs, and he meets a cownamed Abigail who continuously reminds him that God created him and has a specialpurpose and plan for him. At the end of the story, Joshua realizes why he was born the wayhe was and sees how God uses him in such a special way. I am so thankful that God teachesus in such a variety of ways. He used this experience of reading a children’s book to a sweetlittle boy as a reminder that He is so sovereign and that there is a bigger picture that I donot always have to understand. I know that He deeply loves, pursues, and has strategicallydesigned the circumstances for each of us and for each of the children at the orphanage.

Brittany So far, God has used my time in Kenya to teach me a lot about how lovely His peopletruly are and how much He loves each and every one of them. We have been in and out ofschools in several communities, but God reached me through a little girl named Margaretfrom Kawa Maitha School in Karima. At this particular school I was teaching grade fourabout God’s love using the Parable of the Lost Sheep in Luke 15. That day we also did an artproject where the children got to use their unique handprints to create a heart. As I wascleaning off their hands, I came across Margaret and told her how special she was becauseGod created her. She looked at me and immediately denied it and grabbed my handsaying, “no mzungu beautiful” (mzungu means white person). This broke my heart and atthat point I got to share with her how God created all of His children beautiful, which meantthat she was just as beautiful and lovable as any “mzungu”. This moment sticks out in mymind because God, in His sovereignty, knew that I had been struggling with my ownidentity in Christ that very morning. He used this moment to speak to my heart and toMargaret’s about His unchanging love. -Romans 8: 38-39 “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, northings present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else inall creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”