Sunday, April 30, 2017

Village Life In An Urban Setting

Home-life in our Ngando village enables us get to know people we otherwise would not cross paths with on a regular basis: repair guy - things are always breaking. Repairs include – things around the house like plumbing, electric or leaky roof. Usually works out well since labor is inexpensive. Shoes repaired, button or clothing sewn  (20 shillings/cents).  Water delivery guy (these guys work hard!)- since our neighbor siblings in the homestead started arguing, we haven’t had running water coming to the house, so we get it delivered weekly by pull cart (10 cents per 20 liters but I always give them a little extra since they work so hard. They only pocket 3 of the 10 shillings).  Our local produce lady - village life allows us to get fresh produce around the corner and at a better price than the grocery store.  Pretty much anything and anyone except ice-cream.  I always keep a few coins in my pocket since I never know when I might want a cup of tea or a banana on-the-run or Camie might call asking me to pick up a couple tomatoes on the way home (each only 10 cents).

While we probably could fix our own repairs or shop conveniently at the big grocery store, the important thing is that purchasing from each one of these people gives us an opportunity to make a friend and position for discipleship. It’s tough to do that with someone you don’t see regularly. And it also helps support their business, puts food on their dinner table and keeps their kids going to school.   Pray for us as we do life in our neighborhood.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Does My Life Really Count?

I was born...
I have had my birth certificate since that day...
I have a passport...
A driver's license...
Even a Kenyan ID card...

If I were hit by a car and died today, someone would look in my purse, see who I was, and my family and friends would be informed, know, and care...

and I sort of take all this for granted!!!

Recently, we've run into a situation with a young boy in Ngando.
He was accepted into a school with full scholarship - based on an exam he took.
Yes, he's really smart!

... on the way to take the exam, on a small stop for tea, he self-consciously shared that he had never used a serviette (napkin) before and wasn't sure how to.

Yes, this dirty, barefoot boy has struggled and been thankful for each meal he's eaten - and gone hungry much of the time too!

After passing the exam, we were given the "next steps" to get him enrolled.  Top on the list was to submit a copy of his birth certificate.

But when your mama is a prostitute... and your grandpa is the known drunkard, odds are against getting that ID!

As a matter of fact, as we dug in deeper, his mama doesn't have a birth certificate or an ID either!

And so they have lived...
Uncared for...

I try to imagine this life - this struggle for identity.... 
this feeling that "I don't really matter"...  
"Does my life really count?"

It is the root of so much hurt and pain 
that has gone into the downward spiral for generations in this family!

Our prayer is that they will find their identity... first in the GOD of the Universe - who cared for them so much that he sent his own SON to rescue them!

And then, that we can help them to get their national ID's as well!

Isaiah 49:15

“Can a mother forget the infant at her breast

walk away from the baby she bore?

But even if mothers forget,

I’d never forget you—never.

Look, I’ve written your names on the backs of my hands.

And as this boy and his mama realize 
how loved they are  - that they will also realize that 
their lives in Ngando matter too!