Merry Christmas!! This first Christmas in Kenya has been filled with joy, laughter and love. The missionaries here at Tenwek have established Christmas traditions that both serve the Kenyan community and the missionary community.
The Christmas festivities began with the MK gingerbread house decorating competition on Wednesday. The students begin preparing the night before by baking the gingerbread. The creativity of these kids shined during this time. One family made Hogwarts! I did not participate in the house making, but instead I went to each station to take pictures and give high fives.
Thursday began a series of Orphanage Christmas parties put on by the missionaries. There are five orphanages in our area that the missionaries support. At these parties each student is given a new pair of shoes, a new school uniform and school supplies for the next school year. We also play games with them sing songs and share the Christmas story. I was given the task of teaching the Christmas story at the orphanage my group went to. I honestly felt intimidated with the idea of teaching to a group of 60 children. When I stood up to begin the story I felt uncertain of how to begin. The uncertainty and the nervousness melted away as the word tumbled from my mouth. I never looked at my outline and notes. I simply told the story. In that moment, I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be, doing what I was supposed to do.
On Saturday, the missionaries went caroling through the hospital. This was a joy to be a part of. I can honestly say this experience opened my eyes and heart to a new perspective. Because my job is to minister to the missionaries and their families, I have not spent much time at the hospital. Each room I walked into was crowded. There are no private rooms for each patient to have. Much of the time there are not enough beds for everyone. However, the patients smiled as we sang. In many eyes, I saw joy that can not be taken away. I remember thinking “This is why Jesus came.” He came to bring joy, hope and love.
This Christmas I have experienced so much love. For those who are worried about me, know I have been well loved this Christmas by the missionaries here. I have received gifts and cards from far and near. I have shared meals and laughter with those I now consider family. But nothing compares to all of the ways God has revealed his character to me through those I have been given the opportunity to serve. I pray I have used these opportunities well.
I now ask you to pray and consider your own opportunities. The orphan and hospital ministries depend on something we are all familiar with, money. There are needs here that impose heavy financial burdens. The hospital would be able to save more lives if they had IV pumps. The orphan ministries are always in need of more funds due to the fact that there will always be children who are left without parents to raise them.
To learn more about why IV pumps are desperately needed visit this blog https://manyfamilyonmission.com/2017/11/30/my-grown-up-christmas-list-3/
If you desire to learn more about the orphan ministry see this linkhttps://www.wgm.org/tenwek-orphan or contact me directly