Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Looking back.. and forward

I've been back in the States for over a week and a half now. In those days, I've driven with friends out to the great state of Montana to see my family and to enjoy God's beautiful creation. I'm back in Ohio now, and it's been good to sit back and relax; it's given me a chance to process what I've learned and how I've grown. I can't even begin to give you a blog on what I've experienced and gone through, but I know that I wouldn't have traded the past two months for anything. The Lord teaches and guides us wherever we are on this earth, and He is faithful to continue teaching and guiding me here in these next months...

It's been hard to adjust back. Harder sometimes than others, and I miss all these babies like crazy. I met and was blessed by so many people in Kenya. My friend Mary shared a verse with our church during my time in there. It's Job 26:14, and I believe it best expresses my feelings as I left Kenya and all the amazing people I met there. God is so good.

"And these are but the outer fringe of his works; how faint the whisper we hear of him! Who then can understand the thunder of his power?"

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Language is such an interesting thing. There are some Kiswahili words that I just can’t get. Take for example the word for “cow.” It’s “ng’ombe”. I can’t say that for the life of me. Also, there are certain words that Kenyans really have a hard time saying… and names- like mine. Kirsten seems to be a nearly impossible name to pronounce so we switched to “Kiki” which seems to roll off the tongue a little easier. The kids are so cute, always yelling, “Tena (“again”), Auntie Kiki!” or “Kuja (“come”), Auntie Kiki!” They’ve taught me a quite a bit of Kiswahili… I’ve learned to say, “don’t eat that, don’t climb, sit down, come back, give that to me”, and other commands that attempt to keep them from eating rocks and pushing each other over. I feel like I say these things too often. These aren’t words that I especially enjoying saying, but they are necessary to know and use for a safe environment. Another phrase I’ve learned is, “Nakupenda.” These words are ones that the kids have taught me most about. “Nakupenda” means, “I love you.” Their expressions of love have made a profound impact on me and have truly touched my heart. Moments that bring me the most joy are when they rest their head against me. Whether it’s Rebecca walking over to where I am sitting and laying her head on my arm or Joshua wrapping his tiny arms around my head and squeezing his cheek against mine or Faith sucking on her two fingers and leaning back against me while sitting on my lap or Manu running up to where I’m standing and grabbing my leg and leaning his head against it… I just love it. To me, there are few greater demonstrations of trust. They love and trust like I only hope to do. I feel like I have seen and felt just a small piece of what God must feel when I come to Him and fully trust and rest in His arms.

Monday, July 5, 2010

82 tiny hands

This past week was an exciting one. Sweet little Phyllis went home to her new family on Friday. She’s has been doing so well. Her new mom came in several times before Phyllis went home with her, so we were able to watch them bond and see how happy they are together. Earlier in the week we got two new babies! Nathan is almost a month old, and Joel is around 10 months old. They are both very healthy, and they are happily adjusting to this new environment.
Phyllis and I
With new babies, we are pretty full here. We’re at 41 babies right now so it keeps all the caregivers and staff on their toes. I’m so excited that we are able to care for so many babies and give them the love and care they need to grow.
In the evenings, Mary Howell, Kari, and I have been giving some extra help down in the toddler room. These kids are so full of energy in the evenings and so fun to be around. Yes, there are tiffs that occur on a daily basis, but we do our best to help sort them out and we end up having a great time. Two, three, and four year olds are just so funny to be around. Bubbles are especially entertaining to a lot of them, and I nearly died laughing when I saw their expressions as they ran around trying to pop bubbles! They're just so precious...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A New Home

Recently I was able to witness an adoption here at AGC Baby Centre. Jessica, who is 16 months old, went home with her new family. She now has a mom, dad, and big brother to love her. Before they went home, we had a small send off service for her. Staci, the director of the baby centre, the administrative staff, and the caregivers were all present- all people who have loved and taken care of Jessica while she has been at baby centre. One of the caregivers got up to speak. She was talking in Kiswahili so I couldn’t understand her words, but I knew by her voice and her eyes exactly how she felt about having the privilege to know and care for Jessica. It was such a moving experience to witness Jessica’s transition from this home to a new home with a new family. Several other people from baby centre spoke and finally both of Jessica’s parents said a few words. They gave the Lord the glory for bringing them to baby centre to find their new baby to love. Soon after, they all got in the car and headed back home. My heart is so full. This day was such a testament of God’s faithfulness. He sees each one of these little ones and has a plan for them all.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

kenya is beautiful

This is Menengai Crator. It's amazing. In the U.S. there would be all sorts of handrails and signs obstructing this awesome view, but here there is just you and a giant drop off. So great!
From the top of Menengai..
So about this receipt.. Lizz and Chris (a young married couple serving here in Kenya) and Mary and I were on our way up to see Menegai Crator. At the entrance, the guard came up to our car and told us that it would cost 600 shillings per person for us to enter. Chris and Lizz had been there the previous week and paid only 200 shillings per person... So Chris told him that was to much- we would pay 300 shillings per person. The man walked away to consult with another guard. When he came back he said, "Ok, 700 shillings. 300 for you two," (Chris and Lizz) "And 50 shillings for each of the children." (Motioning to Mary and I in the back seat!) I almost died laughing, but hey! we got a good deal to see the crator!

Ok. So I bought myself flowers... But look at them! They're beautiful!
20 roses for 200 shillings- less than three bucks!Some calla lilies just growing along the sidewalk.. So beautifulMore roses. We don't have a vase, so we used a coffee pot :)

Country side... :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

bananas galore

Wow! It was a busy day today. Tomorrow is a celebration in Nakuru called Day of the African Child. We were busy preparing 1,000 sac lunches to hand out to the children who attend tomorrow. So we washed 1,000 farm-fresh eggs, boiled them, and washed 1,000 bananas. Then we threw a hard-boiled egg, a banana, and a roll in 1,000 brown paper bags! We had quite the assembly line to complete the task! We had a good time though and finished it all before supper. :)

Mary, Staci, and I

Lots of food! Bananas, boiled eggs, and rolls...