Christmas is celebrated in exactly 5 days and I am in another mind frame as I return from my sixth trip (in 2 years) to Kenya. As I sit on the plane flying back to Canada, I reflect on the presence of God in the 7 days that I just spent there with my niece. The two of us were blessed by the family at Hope Community Center.
They voice their requests to their Jehovah Jireh and then respond to His care for them with intense gratefulness. Again, I have been given opportunities to learn a new depth of who our God is.
My main reason for going there at this time was to understand what would make an adoption possible between a Kenyan baby and a Canadian family. There are many abandoned babies in Kenya. While I was there this time, I was able to enter the neonatal ward of a hospital twice.
As I entered the small room, I was overwhelmed by the crowding of 3 incubators each holding 2-3 tiny babies and another metal crib with 3 babies in it. The two tiny babies in one incubator were each fed with a tiny tube inserted through their noses. They were so tiny, so still – except for their little chests heaving as they were choosing to live. As soon as they are able to gain some weight and suck on a bottle, they will acquire a large family of 240 children at Hope Community Center and a mama Lucy with a huge heart. Only yesterday we had gone to the hospital to pick up the newest member, little Kara, whose mother had died during childbirth. There had been nobody to claim her as their own. Over the past 4 months, mama Lucy has now rescued 12 babies who have been abandoned. Can you imagine taking a picture of the 11 babies present last week? We stacked them up against each other and had much laughter! Their little bodies with big dark eyes looking at us in their quietness, wondering what was happening. Now they have a future and a great hope. It is God who has orchestrated this purpose for each little life& I am privileged to witness the unfolding of his plan for them!
So is it any surprise that Lucy and I are pursuing the possibility of adoption of these abandoned babies into Canada? These babies deserve a future! God has a purpose for each of them. Lucy had accumulated many documents of policies, board members, staff, etc in order to assemble a many-paged booklet requesting registration as a adoption agency in Kenya. We will know by the end of January whether “Little Gems Agency” is approved to be a local adoption agency, then she will apply for international registration. She has acquired many connections within the Child Welfare department, pursuing the simplest and most effective process to make these adoptions possible. Lucy is a persistent woman with a huge heart. The outcome is in God’s hands and we must do our part so He can do His part.
Step by step, the possibilities will unfold. The impossible is possible with God. Amongst the many trips from HopeCC to Nairobi in pursuing the adoption application, we also had adventures. One of the days, Lucy, my niece and I took a 2 hour trip over majorly bumpy roads under construction in order to buy some goats. At present, Lucy’s babies are drinking cow’s milk since getting formula is difficult and very expensive. Goat’s milk is much easier to digest and contains more nutrients than cow’s milk, so off we went to find some goats. And when we found and bought them (one billy goat, 2 pregnant nannies, and 1 younger female), the challenge was to transport them home in the van.
Ummmm. The farmers tied each goat’s legs together and then put them individually into a sack, leaving their heads poking out of the bag. So there they were, all 4 in their respective sacks bumping along for 2 hours! Every once in awhile, a bigger than normal bump would cause urgent vocal bleating from the back of the van. Of course, we were stopped at the first police check on our way back home. The police asked Lucy for her driver’s license and we were all holding our breath, wondering if the goats would bring up their objection. Sure enough, a loud inhuman noise was bellowed from the back. This brought about a detailed inspection of our cargo. Funny!
When we arrived at HopeCC with our 4 goats, the children excitedly gathered around the van and released the goats from their respective confinements. After much laugher, they together voiced their thanksgiving to their Father. They are so very aware of the provisions from their Jehovah Jireh and so very grateful! As I stood there with many children’s arms entwined in mine, I looked into the heavens to take in the breath-taking view of the bright sparkling stars. Our God does reign, even in the midst of these once street children – especially in the midst of these once-abandoned children – and my being stood in silence as the shepherds must have stood 2000 year ago that first Christmas, in wonderment of His majesty. Immanuel.
On our way back to HopeCC with our cargo of goats, Lucy received a phone call from her friend who works for the electrical company stating that she would be getting electricity in the next few weeks for the quotation of 57,000 Kenya shillings (about $900). It was approximately a year ago that the estimate that she had received was 2.5 million KS. How is this adjustment in cost possible? It was a joy to see Lucy shout out in exuberant excitement – “We have found favor. God, you have given us favor!” while she was driving. She was overjoyed – exceedingly!
The gentleman arrived into the Hope compound later that evening to give Lucy the document of agreement. Again, time was taken to lift our heads heavenward and thank God for His faithful hand of providence. Right now about 15,000 KS per month is spent in supplying gas for the generator that produces electrical energy in the evenings. With electricity, the gentleman stated that it will cost about 5-6000 KS per month. Electricity will definitely change the whole dynamic of living at HopeCC. Myriads of opportunities will be opened up. The next day, I purchased a refrigerator from monies that I had received from a donor. It will be delivered in January to HopeCC to store the babies’ milk at a cool temperature. Also, immunization medicine will be able to be stored so that a doctor can come to HopeCC and immunize all the babies at once instead of having to take them to the Nairobi hospital. How good is our God!
Even though my niece and I were there for only a week, much was accomplished. During our many trips to Nairobi, I had opportunity to speak with Lucy regarding her world and dreams. A new high school will begin its construction in January and she will set up an area for the new adoption agency. The older children are being trained to be responsible for various areas of HopeCC. Lucy is not only involved in the lives of her many children but also in the 3 groups of 20 women who are HIV+ living in the neighboring community. They often come to her for counsel and prayer. Lucy is continuing her education in the area of Social work and Leadership. She loves to learn and understand whatever she is exposed to.
She is a woman of faith training and leading her children to become men and women of faith. Someday they will touch many hearts throughout Kenya, throughout Africa, and even the world. I know that they have already touched mine.