Thursday, December 31, 2009

Feeding Program

On Wednesday, Kezi brought over her daughter Olive (9) and her neice Mellissa (4). We had never met Mellissa, and she was adorable! We made played with them and made some more cookies.

On Thursday, we helped out with the feeding program they do here. The kids (there were some adults too) come from extremely poor families, and some of them are orphans. We gave them each two cabbages, meat, and rice. When all of the food had been passed out, they picked up the leftover pieces of cabbage off the ground. Then they went home to cook their food. You could tell the kids were embarrassed to be there. They were not nearly as playful as the kids from the refugee camp. They played with the bubbles a little bit and accepted some candy, but they were much quieter and sadder than the refugee kids.
There was one older man who was so sweet (see picture)! He didn't appear to have any teeth, but still smiled all the time. We found out that he lives in a mud hut and only has one set of clothes that he wears all the time. He hardly had anything but was still incredibly happy.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Kenyan Food

Lately, we have been immensely enjoying Kenyan food. On Saturday, we went to our Kenyan friend Kezi's house. Lunch included beef stew, rice, cabbage, mashed potatoes, chipatis, and this salsa-like thing called kachubari. Chipatis are yummy bread-like things similar to a thick tortilla. They are amazing!! All of the food was made over a fireplace (see picture). After the meal, we had the chai (Kenyan tea). Chai is hot tea with a lot of milk in it. It is yummy, and the Kenyans have it all the time. When we finished our chai, we washed the dishes. There was not sink, just two bowls of water: one for washing and the other for rinsing. After that, we prayed for Kezi and her family.
Yesterday, we went to another another Kenyan family's house for dinner. They served the same kind of food with the addition of chicken. Everything was again delicious.

Top: Kezi and her family (back: Kezi's mom Margaret, Kezi's brother; front: Kezi's nephew Jesse, Kezi's daughter Olive, Kezi)
Middle: The yummy food
Bottom Left: Washing the Dishes
Bottom Right: This is where the food was made.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas!

We began our Christmas morning reading the story of Jesus' birth from Luke 2. Then, we opened our stockings and presents from under our lovely little tree, which we sprayed pine tree air freshener. Thank you Alison and Lynne for mine and Anna's wonderful presents!! My favorite present was from Dad to Mom: a "gift card" to our favorite restaurant in Kijabe, Mama Chiku's. After all the unwrapping, we made our turkey, an exciting feat. Dad read off the label, "Cook for one hour on 200 degrees Centigrade for every 5 kilograms." I said, "Wow, at least the time is in units that we understand!" But it turned out just fine! We went to our friends the Barnes' who come every year for 3 months. Dr. Barnes is a Pathologist. There were two other short term couples there, so it was a fun time with new and old friends. We sang Christmas carols, prayed together, fellowshipped, and of course, ate. And ate some more! Then we came home and played two new (Christmas present) games together. I hope you all had as blessed a Christmas as we did!

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." Luke 2:14

Left: Dad and Dr. Barnes cutting the turkey.
Below: Our new friends.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Baking Christmas Cookies

Yesterday morning was spent baking Christmas cookies with our friend Olive at our house and
then going to "Grandma Jean's" house to decorate cookies for the vegetable ladies and then
back to our house for more decorating of cookies. Abby and Anna played "Settlers of Catan"
with a friend up the hill during the very rainy afternoon!
Christmas Eve morning we went to where the vegetable ladies sell their goods and Grandma
Jean played the accordian and we all sang Christmas carols and gave each of them a cookie
with their initial on it. There are men there too, one sells beautiful roses (for about $2.50)
for a huge bunch and the others sell wood carvings and crafts. Towards the end of the party
they all started singing songs in Swahili and we really felt that we all had been blessed, they
were very happy today and some days they just seem worn out and sad.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Baby Blankets

As some of you know, we made and brought baby blankets and we (somehow!) squeezed them into our suitcases to bring. This morning we went to the Pediatric Ward of the main hospital and handed them out to mommies with their babies. We had a mini Christmas party, complete with juice, biscuits (cookies), Christmas songs on the accordion, and of course presents. The chaplain at the hospital told the Christmas story in Swahili to those present. Then we passed out both the blankets and some knitted animals, which everyone loved. Many of the women were very sad because they had to be in the hospital over Christmas and could not go to see their families, but we tried to bring a little Christmas joy to them.

Left: A happy mommy with a new blanket.

Right: Our friend Emily Mendonsa holding a sweet little baby boy.

Thank you to Leslie, Lucie, and Bixie Heerman for help making
all the blankets and to Lynne Costello for paying for them. The Lord will truly bless you for your generosity and these women were VERY thankful. We prayed over them many times, that the children and mothers receiving each blanket would be blessed with safety, health, and a relationship with Jesus. Please continue to pray, especially for the Somalian women who are Muslims.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Refugee Camp

Today we went to the IDP (internally displaced persons) camp in the Rift Valley. It is about thirty minutes from Kijabe over unbelievably bumpy roads with eleven people in one van (the van is made to seat eight). The people there lost their homes in the tribal violence from January of 2008. A pastor from Kijabe came with us and held a service. One man even committed his life to Christ. After that, we passed out reading glasses that had been donated by a church in the states. We also played with the kids and gave them candy. They find so much joy in simple things like bubbles, and they also loved the parachute!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Not in Kentucky anymore!

We made it safely to Kenya! We spent the night in Nairobi last night at a very nice guest house and are going to Kijabe today. We are making the big grocery trip very shortly... yikes! Flights were fine, but the snow in Paris delayed us three hours. Paris was lovely, and not to terribly cold! Well, it was freezing and snowing, but we layered up. We are glad to have the warm weather here! Thanks for all your prayers... don't stop! Hope to update with pictures soon.