March 27, 2012
Another incredible, but unique, trip to Kenya is in the books. I just returned home yesterday from my first trip of 2012. After six months away from our team and centers, I was so thankful to be back in country. These trips are life-giving to me. I hope that I was able to encourage those I met while I was there, but without a doubt, the staff and clients inspired me tremendously.
I was able to hear firsthand stories of about a dozen of our clients over the course of the trip, and I was moved my all of them. It goes without saying that those were highlights for me, but I can’t capture all those in this post. These highlights below might be more appropriately termed unique occurrences.
1. First staff meeting in new office
For four years now, our CARE for AIDS guest house and office have been one and the same, but we had finally outgrown the space. God made a way for us to rent a very affordable space in nearby Limuru that will act as our home office for the foreseeable future. While we currently only have six people working out of this office, I can easily envision what it will look like with 20 staff members in it. I can’t wait to see God fill this space up. We had our first ever staff meeting in the new office and all 25 staff members from Nairobi were in attendance. What a reminder of how far God has brought us in such a short time!
2. Cornel’s Surprise Birthday Party
Kenyans rarely celebrate birthdays as it is, but a surprise birthday is a very special occurrence. We just so happened to be in Kisumu on Cornel’s 35th birthday, so we planned one for him. As per their traditions, Cornel was doused with water upon entering the party. Below, he is holding up the photo printer our team bought him for his birthday present.
3. Client Graduation – Banana Hill Center
Graduations are without a doubt my favorite events to participate in while in Kenya. The joy and hope that these clients possess is contagious, and it is in stark contrast to the loneliness and hopelessness that existed nine months earlier. The picture below captures it perfectly. Upon giving this lady her certificate, she gave me a big thumbs up. That means the same thing in every language…
4. Rhino Encounter
You may not think that a safari experience is very relevant and definitely not spiritual, but God’s power is demonstrated through his majestic creations. It is always a highlight to use the safari portion to rest and reflect on what God did during the rest of the trip. This time, we were on safari in Lake Nakuru National Park, home to many white rhinos. Even inside an SUV, I knew I didn’t stand a chance if this guy got upset…
5. Dwanna and Nick’s Wedding
Dwanna Bunch, now Dwanna Kite, volunteers as the CARE for AIDS accountant and was going on her fourth trip to Kenya with us. Her fiancé, Nick, decided that there was no better place to tie the knot than in Kenya, a country that had meant so much to Dwanna over the years. So, on Friday, March 23rd, they got married and most of our staff was in attendance. We danced and sang and celebrated this amazing couple. Don’t count out Kenya when you are considering where to get married…
I hope you will consider joining us on one of our trips in June or September.