Thanksgiving Weekend…

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Any holiday is slightly different for us being so far from home and family, especailly an American holiday such as Thanksgiving because very few people are actually celebrating it….but over the last 4 years we have established our own new traditions.  There is no Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to watch, so first thing in the morning we make a delivery to the students at Chrisitan Community School Ruai.  The students do not have classes in December so they do not recieve the usual meals that come from the school.  So in order to supplement that, as well as to provide a Christmas blessing to their caretakers, we made individual food packages for each of the 110 children.  I (Jamie) made the delivery while Jess stayed back to work on TDay lunch!  Luckily, two friends of mine, Mark Statler and Sean Harrison accompanied me.  We arrived to find that Ruai…typically arid and dry…was getting the largest rain storm they had had in 5 years.  This was very exciting for the community and the school, but did make the delivery a bit more problematic.  Due to horribly muddy roads leading to the school we had to park aound 300 yards away and carry the food to the church….in a torrential downpour….though I must say, I actually enjoyed this.  Who doesn’t like getting a good rain-soaking every once and a while?  The part that isn’t as much fun is slipping and sliding in the mud which cakes on your shoes making the hike that much more troubling…but we made it.  The children, as always, were excited to see us.  I was also able to check on the status of the chicken project, which I am proud to report looks great!  The chickens are healthy and growing strong.  In January they will start laying eggs and we will be that much closer to seeing the school become self-sustaining.  Unfortunately, I have no picutres from that day because I forgot my camera…..but I will at least include a recent photo of the chicken project….though I would love to show the joy on the kids faces as they recieved their food packs and sweets.

That afternoon we had a traditional Thanksgiving lunch with several friends here in Nairobi.  The next morning we traveled to the village of Kanja to visit Bishop Ayub and his family.  Ayub has started a school for the community through his church, Emmanuel Worship Center.  That weekend they were having a Harambee to raise funds for a new building for the school.  Harambee is a swahili word which literally means “pull together,” but it also refers to a type of fundraising common in Kenya.  The whole community comes together to contribute funds towards the project, and “special guests” are also invited.  We were honored to serve as special guests and were joined by a Kenyan member of Parliament.  The fund raiser was a success, but they still have a long way to go before they reach their goal.  During the coming months we would love to get involved in a larger way with assisting Ayub with this project.  We would love to be able to see the building completed as well as potentially assist the school in creating sustainability projects in the future.  We will post updates soon.

We spent the weekend in Kanja with our friends Kevin and Summer Sneed.  This is one of our favorite places in Kenya to be.  The village is on the slopes of Mt. Kenya and the surrounding scenery is breathtaking….tea fields, waterfalls, mountains, forests….gorgeous.  It is an extremely quiet and quaint spot, and a great get-away.  Lucy, Ayub’s wife, took great care of us with a constant supply of chai and delicious food.  Sophie had a blast greeting the many cows, donkeys, and chickens in the village, and of she of course loved the attention of the locals, who aren’t used to seeing blond headed white kids very often.

It was a busy Thanksgiving weekend but a rewarding one.  We have so much to be thankful for.  We are also thankful for those of you reading this that pray for us and contribute to our projects.  The things we are able to accomplish would not be possible if it weren’t for you.  So….Thank you, Asante, Niwega (Thank you in Kiembu…what is predominately spoken in Kanja).  God Bless….

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