February 2009 Newsletter

“It’s an adventure!” I had spoken these words many times over the past few weeks to the five individuals who came with me to HopeCC in Kenya in February.

How is it possible to prepare for what would happen in this different culture on a foreign continent, interacting with people who have experienced incredible life stories??

The anticipation of and flexibility required to thoroughly enjoy an adventure of this nature gains stability because of the trustworthiness of God.

This trip consisted of a team of 6 of us, each having our part of uniqueness. The two women from Vancouver Island who came, were involved in setting up a medical room and also in encouraging and empowering those caring for the 11 babies under age 7 months. The babies are thriving!! How very satisfying it is to see these babies’ chubby cheeks and smiling faces. These were the ones who once were without a future, without love, without hope. Now they have a caring BIG family who loves them.

Mavis, who is my church’s children’s minister, had much joy in teaching and interacting with the children at their primary school. The two men, Louis B and Vic H were inspired to not just dream about a recreational area for the talented youth, but also caused it to come to pass. The grader came to HopeCC and cleared the large area where cement would be poured for 2 basketball courts. The children were very excited as we took time to dedicate the recreational area which also included a volleyball court plus a soccer field. It has been decided to call this recreational area, Louvic’s Field of Dreams. How wonderful for these children to be able to excel in sports. They are excited! For me, I am mama Irene to the children and what a pleasure to love them. We giggle and squeal as we participate in many group hugs (that is the only way that I can hug them all!) I love the chance to speak during some of the devotional times (three times a day for them) and realize that the words I speak are for me as well. Their messages challenge me long after my return to Canada. But it is their corporate gratefulness to God that touches the depths of my heart. Their faces turned toward heaven beseeching their only Father of their requests. He hears them and embraces them. The one image of this trip that will remain in my mind is of me going into the kitchen to find a cloth to wipe a table but I arrived into the kitchen, I discovered piles of bowls and cups scattered on the floor with a very large basin of murky water with a mesh cloth in it. So I sat down and began to wash the 200 bowls and cups. I was singing inside my heart. As I was washing, the young chickens cam into the room and proceeded to walk all the dirty dishes, pecking at any morsel of beans or maize. I just looked at them in wonderment. This is Africa. Though we may have important information that would increase healthy living for them, I realized that they have so very much to offer me. Their knowledge concerns the heart – one of trust and thankfulness to our heavenly Father. And so I was cheerful in being a servant in washing all these dishes for them. It was with joy and thanksgiving that I could be their ‘mama’. Mamas wash dishes. And this mama went out and bough bleack to rinse their dishes in. They are such precious children. The building of phase one of the highschool is beginning right away and expected to be completed for the beginning of the next school year in January, 2010. The electricity was expected to be connected during my last stay but it arrived after we left.

The local adoption application for Little Gems Agency was just given approval as a local adoption agency. Now Lucy will apply for the registration of international adoption. If international adoption. If international is at all possible, Lucy will make it happen. She is absolutely dedicated to providing homes for abandoned babies. With God, all things are possible. Lucky is an incredible woman of God and she is much loved by her many children. It is evident that she does need an administrator to assist her in her growing responsibility of keeping HopeCC functioning smoothly.

HopeCC has expanded in many areas such as babies and now the high school. While we were there, Lucy assigned 3 teachers to each take charge of different areas such as gardening and dorm cleanliness. That is good yet an overall administrator would be so valuable.

A medical person on site is also becoming necessary with her growing number of babies and children. The babies need their bi-monthly immunizations and checkups and having a medical practitioner on site would make it so much simpler for Lucy.
Lucy also has requested of God, for a husband. A husband with a passion to match hers would add such a wonderful dimension to the family of HopeCC.
God has proven to be true his name of Jehoval Jiren, a God who provides – and so I anticipate His response to these requests.

As i reflect on my last trip to Kenya, I realize that not only do I have the privilege of blessing others(those at HopeCC and those that come along to experience HopeCC) but I am immensely blessed by them. How enriching to connect two such different worlds; we have become family in spite of our differences.
Actually, it is because of our differences that we are able to ignite growing in each other in incredible ways. It is powerful.