Monday, May 14, 2012

A Smile is Born...

Still dark out... but plenty of laughs still!
 Up at 5am to celebrate!   
...and help this widow lady start her new business!

Dishing up the tea... ready to serve!

I only rolled out ONE chapati... Somehow, mine just wasn't as beautiful!
Eli, wondering WHAT is going on... watching from his favorite hang-out

This widowed mama has been without means to provide for her 2 boys for the last year.
Special for me to watch a smile coming back into her eyes!
Frying them up on a charcoal giko... Delicious!
She has now been selling mugs of tea, chapati and beans to workers around the neighborhood for about 2 weeks.

At a wood workshop, selling out of her special Masala Tea!

The struggles aren't over...
The pain and loss isn't any less...
But for this lady, for sure there will be fewer nights of going to bed hungry...
Fewer headaches while worrying about where the $10 month's rent will come from...

Yes, on this morning, a smile was born!

And now, every time I pass her on the trail, carrying her bucket of mugs and thermos of tea...

I smile too!

A special dedication of this post to the Price family - the last of your girls' birthday money went into this project!  Thank you again for your faithfulness!!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

We’re still chuckling... 
...finding out today how a great friend and neighbor "protected" us when we first moved into this neighborhood. 

Frances, our friend and neighbor - where at times we buy veggies.

"They are just poor 'mzungus'... if they were rich, would they CHOOSE to live in this ghetto?   Don't try to steal from them!"  - (Our friend's words - to some in the community that he thought may try to take advantage of us.) 
Sweet Susan
Later through someone's observation, this was confirmed ... another discussion among them all ensued ... “They really MUST BE poor!  They burn their own trash!”

The road to our house on the right.  Mama Njoroge sells githeri here every day!

His conclusion to us - powerful to hear from a non-believer - “The truth is that only God can protect you and keep you safe!”

Sweet neighbor girls, playing "dollies"
The fact that we have chosen to LIVE in a community that most people are trying to MOVE OUT OF... is a blessing to us.  We feel that the enigma of -  “why we would ever decide to live here?” continues to confuse people and open doors for us.

We LOVE our home... our neighbors... our community...   We are thankful for the ministry that happens just because we LIVE here... and most of all, we thank you that you continue to be the ONE who keeps us safe!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Friends, Flooding, Bruises and Laundry... 

What COULD they have in common?

I've done laundry FOUR times this week!

My first bout with washing was when I visited a Mama whose house had flooded the night before.  With rubber boots on (the floor was still soaking!), she was scrubbing her way through a mountain.  As I squatted next to her and took my post at the rinse bucket, she smiled...We laughed and washed together.

The second laundry day I barely encountered myself.  I was busy elsewhere, and my amazing husband took advantage of a sunny window in our rainy season days and surprised me with an clothes line full of clean clothes when I got home!   Have I mentioned that I LOVE my husband?

Another day this week, I visited to check up on a friend... one who had come for prayer the night before after she ran away from her husband's abuse.  When I arrived at her home, the door was closed.  As I entered, I found her, huddled over basins of soapy water and muddy clothes.   Unusual to be washing inside?   My eyes teared up at her bruised cheek.  She didn't want to face the neighbors ' questions.  Again, I took my place - side-by-side, we quietly tackled the mud.   

I soon realized it was easier w/ no umbrella

Yesterday Brad was having a hard time finding a pair of clean socks... I knew that today, rain or shine, I would be doing some MORE laundry!
At first, I tried hanging the laundry with my umbrella...

...It didn't shine - but, I didn't let the rain beat me!

Laundry stories... I don't even know what they all have in common... except friendships!  Something special about being able to help, and being helped.  Every load is lighter when we face it with a friend!