On the 22nd of July, as I was chilling out in my room, guess who walked in? One of my best friends, Amy Greig!! She's here up until the end of August and I thought it would make a nice change if you can read some of her experiences here in Kenya... So here you go:
So I've been having some good times this week guys, making some awesome, forever and a day memories with some amazing people! My adventures so far in Kenya have been awesome! Starting with an overwhelming feeling of love for an incredible bunch of people who live in the slums of Kibera... seriously guys, I love these people! They make me smile everyday making me feel so welcomed into their community! I've met beautiful children and beautiful adults.
So far, I've had the privilege of surprising, Blessed Academy preschool with all the amazing toys that were collected for them... the smiles on their faces as they practically jumped into my suitcase was just so awesome! They loved the toys! Thanks to everyone who gave! You really have made a huge difference to their little lives. The girls loved the dolls and the boys loved the cars! I was thinking it's awesome to have seen some photos before coming here but now to actually be here and meeting these beautiful kids has been an honor. They're name for me is "teacher Amy" and they're favorite English words that I give them when I'm there is, "Big Hugs"! They love cuddles and they love my silly accent! Hehe... they're awesome!
Also this past week, in between my visits to the preschool, I've had the privilege of meeting some of the street women Ruth and Lox work with. They're amazing people and so happy to give you a smile! I met a lovely lady called Dorcas, she taught me how to knit during their creative activity. We also discussed nail varnish. She likes blue so hopefully next week I can take my blue nail varnish and paint her nails! Whilst I was here, I also got to meet their beautiful kids! And they really are beautiful! So one little girl was fascinated by my pink nails. I think she thought they were edible because before I could say a thing, she had my fingers in her mouth and she was trying to bite them! Hehe... Also these kids were amazed by my long hair and my skin colour. They just wanted to sit with me and hug me and talk to me! The language barrier is difficult at times but as long as I'm giving them cuddles and smiles I think they're happy!
During my visit with the street women, I also met a beautiful girl named Mary. She's just 15. She finished her primary education but can't afford to continue with her schooling. Honestly it broke my heart because this child has big dreams of becoming a lawyer and then a judge. Her heart is so determined! While so many teenagers in the UK complain about having to go to school, this little girls biggest dream right now is to go to school! And all it would cost per month for her education is 20 pounds. It's unbelievable. So many kids can't go to school because they can't afford it. So again, I took it as a privilege to sit with Mary and talk and listen and pray, reassuring her that she is beautiful and CAN achieve her dreams!
So as you can imagine, I had quite an experience in meeting a few of these remarkable people and, on leaving the street women the other day I honestly felt so encouraged as Ruth translated the best compliment I have ever had in my life!! One of the street women told Ruth to say this -"Tell your friend she is lovely... just like Jesus." WOW!!! Well guys if I could have any compliment in my life before I die, it would be this one!
I've had an amazing journey so far. My eyes have been opened to lots of things but I just gotta tell you some crazy fun stuff I've had the chance to see too!! Firstly, people cross the motorway here guys!! And not only that, they literally walk out onto the road whilst the cars are coming!! It's awesome!! I'm slightly concerned for my life when I come home after getting used to this haha... as you can imagine everyone is holding my hand!!! Hehe
Not only this, but the buses here are AWESOME!!!! It's like a party on the bus every journey! There's lights and loud music and the radio guy, he doesn't like to let the DJ do his thing, he's so happy he sings all the songs the entire time! Really guys if buses were like this in the UK, people would not have cars! Also the buses here are called "Matatw's" they're not like buses in the UK, they're mini-buses. Everyone piles in!! And it's awesome!!! I think riding the buses is deffo one of my highlights! And riding on the back of a motorbike! Crazy fun!!!
So guys, this is my first week... well some of it! I need to go now because I'm chilling with a friend. So I'll update you some more next week!
Love you lots like jelly tots!
since January around 90 people have given their lives to Jesus through both the street ministry we do with Always Enough and evangelistic events with the youth from our Church here. we decided we need to do something to teach these new Christians about who Jesus is and what he's done for them and that something came in the form of a course called Christianity Explored.
we started last month and since starting 6 more women have become Christians and many others have said they now understand things about Jesus that they didn't before. some women have been healed from sicknesses and others have gone on to pray for their friends and seen them healed too!
the impact this course has had has been great, and we're only just getting started with it, I can't wait to see the effect it will have on people's lives over the next few months. lox is also running the course with the street boys and with a group of boys in juvenile prison and we hope to run it from our Church too.
a special thanks to Towy Church for providing the materials and we appreciate your prayers while we continue to run the course!
This week I went to the best graduation I've ever been to: the graduation of former street women and men who are going through or have completed their rehabilitation!!
8 women and 1 man graduated, and out of them 5 had been admitted to the rehabilitation directly through our weekly work on the streets. It was amazing to see the change in their lives and to see them confidently making presentations in front of everyone. The same women who used to come to our street meetings drunk or high have now been drug free for 3-14 months, (depending on when they were admitted) and are looking and behaving like any other women.
There were different levels of graduation for them, some had certificates for courses in English, literature and other things; but 2 were celebrating their total completion of the rehabilitation and will now go on to live their lives as they always dreamed to!
It was such a joy to be a part of such a great day and I hope for many more to come!
We've had so much fun with our school kids this term! It began in January, when Strathallan School in Scotland sent money for uniforms and lunch. The kids all had tailor made uniforms and looked great and the teachers reported that attendance and concentration had increased noticeably since all the children were getting a proper meal at lunch time.
In February the fun continued when Stuart and Glenys came to visit. They managed to sneak 6 pots of powdered paint through customs as well as a load of other goodies for the kids. The children have been loving them and whenever we carry them down (we're taking it there bit by bit), they go wild! It's a great opportunity for them to be creative too, an opportunity that many children who grow up in poverty don't get.
The cherry on the cake was last Thursday when we got to take them on an end of term trip to a big Arboretum. We packed donuts, beans and chapatis; squeezed the kids into a minibus and went on our way. We had so much fun! They sang, played football, went on an adventure walk and we finished the day with a picnic/meal.
Thanks to all who have supported us so far this year. Some of you have given us the finances to make it possible, others have donated toys and books and still others have come to volunteer; we appreciate you all!
I recently had the pleasure of re-visiting my Masai friends in a town called Bissil. it was great to catch up and to see how their progressing, here's some of the things they've been able to do since my last visit in August 2013:
1. rescue more girls. on the day I visited I was introduced to 4 girls who had been rescued in the two weeks previous to that. one of the girls had actually ran away while her wedding was taking place and the wedding carried on until they noticed that she wasn't around. more and more Masai families are getting to know the risks of fgm and early marriage, but there are always those who are resistant to change. Pr Joseph and his team are working hard to provide a safe place for the girls who are still at risks of such practices.
2. completion of the first building towards a rescue center. I was so happy to see the building finished at last! one room is being used as an office and in the other their offering a sowing course to women to teach them a skill which they can work with.
it was so nice to see their work growing and I felt good knowing that me and you were a part of it too!
Sorry it's been a while since my last blog; but fear not, things have been going well and I'll begin by updating you about Blessed Academy...
Only a few weeks ago did we start our feeding program to give our 30 pupils a decent lunch each school day. It's been going great and the teachers have told us that the kids are performing much better in school since getting a proper lunch. We've continued with the porridge too, which they now take in the morning. The kids are so keen to have their porridge in the morning that some of them come to school half an hour before opening time, just to make sure that they won't miss out!
As if that wasn't exciting enough, we were also able to get uniforms for all of our school kids. The kids were full of excitement as their measurements were taken and two weeks later there was even more excitement as each one tried on their new, tailor made uniforms! A few of them needed tweaking here and there and Glenys got right to work with her thread and needle to get one or two dresses into shape.
We send out a big thank you to Strathallan School who raised the money for the lunches and uniforms; you've touched the lives of these children and all the fund-raising you've done is much appreciated by us, our pupils and our teachers!
On top of that, we had a nice couple of weeks with Glenys and Stuart who came to visit us from my UK Church, Towy Community Church. They came loaded with paints, fleeces, and other things towards our work here. We give the both of you a big thank you too, and watch out for the next blog where there will be pics of us putting these fab gifts into use!
Today a prayer was answered as we did something which we haven't been able to do until now: provide our school children with a proper meal for lunch! With a HUGE THANKS to Strathallan School who have provided us with enough money to give the pupils lunch for the whole year, we were able to give them a meal with the confidence that it won't just been for 1 day or 1 week, but that this will last the whole year.
As I sat there and watched them eat I felt my eyes tearing up, knowing the difference this will make to some of these children. However, I managed to keep the tears back as I wondered about how to explain to a 4 year old why I'm crying while their getting food, hehe! It was so great to see this day.
But the crazy thing is, when I sat down and calculated around how much it should cost each week, it came to around KSH3,000 (less than 25 pounds). That's not just for 1 child, that's how much it costs to feed all 30 pupils and the staff a decent meal each day for the whole week (well Monday-Friday). I don't really know where I'm going with this, but I guess the point is, if you want to make a difference in someone's life, you can do it. It only takes a little sacrifice to go a long way.
Food for thought! Be blessed ><>
this year has started with a bang with Always Enough street ministry!
on our first meeting of the year with the street mum's we went expecting 5 or 6 of the women to turn up; 25 women came eager to hear what we had in store for the new year! we've been talking with them the whole month about change and yesterday 6 of the women gave their lives to Jesus and became Christian's! on top of that, 2 of the women have decided to leave the streets and will be joining others at a rehabilitation. there they will receive counseling and learn skills which will help them to stay off the streets once their done with rehab.
it's also been exciting to spend one day a week at the rehab and to see the women change before my very eyes! you can see them making cards in the pictures above and a selection of their handiwork.
please pray that this year will continue the way it has started with many street mums leaving the streets. also pray as we target a new 'base' (where a group of street boys and women stay) to reach out to, that God will use us to show them His love and for safety and wisdom.
last week was 'back to school' week here in Kenya and the beginning of a new school year. we opened our pre-school alongside the others and we were happy to welcome our kids back for another school year.
to our surprise, when lox checked in on registry day he found all the children from last year who were supposed to go on to primary school!! we managed to get them registered at a nearby school where we'll be able to keep a watch on their progress and where they'll be in class together.
however, the little ones for pre- school also came and we registered 22 kids for this year. we were also able to give some Muslim children the opportunity to be in our pre-school. they are often rejected from schools because of their religion, but we see it as an opportunity to show them the love of Jesus and to be a witness to their families.
there's a few things we'd like to do this year:
let us know your thoughts!
God bless ><>
E-mails are great, parcels are fun, but nothing can beat a visit from home! on the 2nd of Jan at 9pm me and lox made our way to the airport and waited excitedly until mum and dad appeared through the arrivals. we exchanged our first hugs since March 2012 along with smiles and flowers!
Welcome to my blog! In case you didn't already know, I'm Ruth. In 2010 I graduated from University and before I even had time to settle down and get a job I felt a tug on my heart to go to Kenya for a few years to help in any way I could. When I arrived it was love at first sight; I loved the more relaxed way of life, the way Kenyans would laugh at EVERYTHING and the way people would put people first. On my first day there I also met Lox, a tall, dark & handsome African man who had the same passions in life as me and the more we worked & laughed together the more we fell in love & after a couple of years of dating we tied the knot & got married. Now I live, work, eat & sleep Kenya. It's great to be able to help those who are in some ways less fortunate than me but amazingly I always feel that I'm the one who gets blessed and learns so much from the people I try to help and from everything I do. Enjoy my blogs which give you a taste of this crazy yet wonderful life I lead.