Another trip has come and gone. It has been nearly a year since I have been at HopeCC, which is a very long time! My companion, a young lady, came with me this time. Since we arrived in the evening, we stayed at HopeCC’s guest house not far from the airport in Nairobi. It is a very comfortable and safe townhouse with 3 bedrooms on the upper floor . It was great to have a shower and sleep lying down after the long flight on the plane. In the morning, we met with Lucy and did several things before arriving at HopeCC. The children have grown a lot in the year I was absent! The once babies are now around 5 years old, sporting their uniforms of bright colors. Mama Lucy has discovered a dressmaker who is able to supply material and sew a t-shirt or jacket along with jogging pants for $1.50 to $2 per outfit. Now they have matching brightly colored outfits in a variety of colors. They looked very smart! Each grade had a different color of hoodless hoodies made for a fraction of the cost of buying the tops in the store.
This new clothing is warm and looks great. The com pound was marked with various bright colored clothing wherever you looked. Mama Lucy again has fulfilled the character of the Proverbs 31 woman in being a clever business woman.
Eggs are plentiful at HopeCC and so the children get 3 boiled eggs per week. The huge pots of cooked food smelled wonderful with its beans, maize, potatoes, squash, and spinach. Sometimes it was served with rice or ugali. The cooking chambers in which the large cooking pots are placed, are wearing out, causing the kitchen to be filled with smoke so Lucy ordered new ones. Jackson and his helper Simon are doing a great job feeding all the 200 mouths of HopeCC.
A calf was born while we were there, making the herd a head count of 17. Peter and his helper take care of the cattle, goats, sheep, and pigs with great enthusiasm. Each animal is given a name, along with the keeping of records of their birth and how much milk each cow produces. It is fun to listen to Peter as he cheerfully explains the process of growing the pigs. He is so proud of them! He states that in his free time, he attends the gardens.
The 2 bee hives that they have down by the river now have been harvested twice already. We watched as one gentleman dons a white bee suit so that he can check the hives. It was quite exciting as we ran up the hill to escape the angry bees. We didn’t notice our strained breathing due to the altitude of 8000 feet above sea level. Mission accomplished for no one was stung!
Since the young lady who came along with me has been sponsoring a Compassion child for several years in Uganda, she organized permission to go and meet her sweet 8 year old boy and his family. We also stopped to see a young lady, Vivian, whom Lucy sponsors. She just recently had major surgery on her knees and ankles in order that she could walk. She had been crawling all her life and now was walking around with her 2 full length casts with the aid of crutches. What a brave little lady! It was a 40 hour round trip of driving! But it was wonderful to see the countryside of Uganda and spend time talking with each other. It was an adventure!
We had a special birthday celebration for the younger children under age 7 who had all been abandoned babies. We took them out to Crescent Island where we walked among the zebras, giraffes, wildebeasts, impalas, water bucks, etc. I was very thankful that there were clouds shielding us from the heat of the sun!
After that walk, we went to a restaurant where the children had a great time at a playground close by. It was great to see their confidence increase with every descent of the slide. There was much laughter and giggling. We each had a party hat on and ate French fries along with a sausage. It always surprises me how very mannerly this huge group of 24 children can be, all eating and sitting still!
It was a great pleasure to unpack and organize the contents of many boxes of MCC school bags for the children. I remembered my mom and sister putting together various MCC kits for the needy and here I was actually touching and distributing them on the other end. Thank you to all who put them together!
Lucy is in the process of having a new baby dorm built to accommodate her vision of getting more abandoned babies, many more! This 3 storey building will also have space for guests to stay as well as 4 rooms offering technical training of dressmaking, computers, etc. Lucy is very excited watching this building slowly come together as a variety of donors contribute to its existence. God is faithful!
I spent my time facilitating and teaching 2 series, one was a set of DVDs on Listening Prayer in Bounds and I taught the other seminar on Encounter God. It was a lot of awesome practical information along with experiencing God in a personal way. After the Encounter God finished I asked some lingering high school girls if they had liked it, to which they replied, ‘Yes! They had received healing from some pain they had.’ Another boy had a big grin on his face, saying that he now had the Holy Spirit inside of him. It was wonderful to see the 60-80 high school students eagerly learn how to strengthen their relationship with God.
As I reflect on my stay, I am in awe of our great God. Since my sessions with the students began at 10 am and I kept on waking up early, I had several hours each morning to be still and learn from God. It is good to be away from the hustle and bustle of life in Canada and to breathe God. I am constantly amazed at what God is doing at HopeCC. Mama Lucy leans heavily on God and He always proves Himself trustworthy. I think God loves it when we lean heavily on Him!
Worshipping and learning regarding God in another culture is always very enriching as well as challenging. It places God outside of the box we have created and it is good. I thank God for giving me the privilege to be part of this big family of Hope Community Center. His blessings flow lavishly upon each of us.
Thank you, God!