Last weekend we had the chance to travel to Kanja, Kenya with Ron and Sharon Wooten, friends and missionaries to Kenya. We were very excited about this trip as we knew we could get to visit some old friends from a previous trip to Kenya. Pastor Ayub, Sister Lucy, and their children Emmanual, Mercy, Steward (new to us this visit) and two adopted children Lusala and Salawa (Please pray for these 2 beautiful girls. They have had to face some very tragic circumstances that no child, or person, should have to endure. They were no longer safe from their own father so their Grandmother asked Pastor Ayub to take them in about 2 months ago. They were raised in a Muslim family so they are adjusting to living in a Christian home, as well being with a family that truly loves them. Please pray that they would find all the joy and happiness that God wants all His children to have….we could already see it growing in them).
Of all of the places that we have visited in Kenya on previous trips and since living here, Kanja is one of our favorites ( the picture above was taken in Kanja in 2007). From our viewpoint it is one of the most beautiful places in the world……tea and coffee fields dotting the rolling hills that stretch out before the peak of Mt. Kenya (Kenya’s tallest peak), winding river that stumbles into waterfalls at several different points as it travels down the slopes through the village, natural vegetation ranging from bananas and pineapples to mangos and coffee (ummmmm, coffee), delicous food cooked over a fire, beautiful people that will give everything without a thought, an amazing church that truly has a heart for God……beautiful. We arrived to find that Sister Lucy had prepared us a delcious meal and of course chai (the best place to have a cup of hot tea is when it is growing in the backyard). We were a bit dissapointed to find that Emmanuel, their son that we had really connected with on our previous trip, had started boarding school and was away. Luckily, we were able to visit him the next day at boarding school. We felt strongly that he would remember us but knowing that nearly 2 years is a long time for a 10 year old, we knew that we may have to remind him. We brought a photo of us with him to remind him, but ended up not needing it. When he came out of his dorm and saw his parents and us he took off running with a huge smile on his face and tears in his eyes. I was surprised when he got about 10 feet from his parents, veered to the left, and barreled into my (Jamie) arms. It was a great feeling (though I did whisper to him to quickly go hug his mother!). On Sunday we were asked to sing at Pastor Ayub’s church, Emmanual Worship Center. This is a great church that is filled each Sunday even though the building itself is still a work in progress and much work is still to be done. We were excited, a few weeks ago, to be able to make a donation from our ministry account to pay for the window frames to be installed in the church building. The frames had to be completed before the process of plastering the walls could begin. We are so grateful to everyone that contributes money to this account. Know that because of your generosity we are able to bless others here in Kenya that really need it. Thanks!
Please pray for rain in Kenya, we were blown away at what we saw in Kanja. Though the landscape is still fertile and green, below are a few pictures that will show you how drastically the drought has caused the water level to drop since we visited in June 2007. These people depend on the water in the river for everything. When it is low, they suffer.