“This is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Each day is given by our heavenly Father with a purpose. It is given in love. This trip to HopeCC held a lot of emotion from deep mourning to great rejoicing.
Mama Lucy met me at the airport early in the morning after I arrived into the land of Kenya. It is always a thrill to be able to hug my sista, her bright cheery face greets mine. After going to buy the needed textbooks, we return to the airport to greet Bob and Lyn with their family. This was going to be exciting, experiencing HopeCC through the eyes of their three girls, age 11, 9 and 7. On the way to HopeCC, Lucy was alerted that her little 4 year old son had had seizures and not doing well. Matthew had been troubled with seizures for several years already but for some reason, this morning, they were severe. It was in the evening of that first day that little Matthew died. Today? Why today? Why such a short little life? The next few days were filled with viewing the body, picking out a coffin and preparing for the funeral. We were so thankful that HopeCC’s doctor Patrick took care of Matthew’s case. The autopsy revealed that Matthew had died due to brain damage caused by the seizures. Another lady, Amanda from Canada arrived Tues morning, in time for the funeral which was Wednesday morning. We laid little Matthew to rest in the small plot of HopeCC land. We celebrated the gift of Matthew, realizing that God has purpose in each day that He gives us breathe. Matthew’s life was a short one and those of us who are alive need to live with purpose. The young ones and the nannies were overcome with grief as they miss their dear Matthew. He is now in heaven delighting in the presence of his heavenly Father.
The girls thoroughly enjoyed the children, playing with them on the basketball court and attending school. So much energy and each day was filled with new experiences under the African sun. Each morning was beautiful sunshine and then the afternoon the sky opened up, bringing torrents of rain! Many little rivers flowed through HopeCC. It is always my pleasure to discuss the written questions of the older girls ranging from addressing physical issues to how to be pure in heart. It was a treat for the boys to have Bob speak with them regarding their man-issues. Lyn mended clothes for the children while Amanda helped in whatever way she could.
We went for a walk down to the river where a long wall is being built, to keep safe the bulls that will be purchased for a project. It is very profitable to buy a calf and then in 2 years sell it. Lucy’s mind is always alert to consider ways to become more self-sufficient and raising bulls is very profitable. Along with the pigs and chickens, Hope is gaining an income to help sustain itself. The gravel truck is also being kept busy as others hire it for various reasons.
The baby dorm is getting closer to being completed. We had hoped that it would be finished so that we could start bringing abandoned babies to join this special family. It is a huge building and with the persistent rains and also lack of funds, is taking longer than anticipated. Soon it will be a bustling place with nannies taking care of the many babies. Mama Lucy will have her own room on the third floor, which has a great view of HopeCC. We are anticipating it’s completion the end of August.
We had fun times of serving the children their meals, eating mandazes ( very yummy fritters), watching the movie “Invictus” where the children cheered along with the fans of the South African soccer team, eating iced cupcakes, having ice cream (their highlight of my every visit with them), singing together and laughing together. Two new babies have joined HopeCC, tiny Margaret Ruth and 8 month old Alex. We loved snuggling with them along with Timothy and Abel. The little troop of 5-6 year olds are brimming with energy and I love to interact with them. They are growing bigger and are doing well in school. Several of the younger ones were sick with the seasonal occurrence of diarrhea due to the rainy cold weather. It is so much less traumatic for them since Dr Patrick came to HopeCC to administer the needed IVs.
Lucy has a total of 22 of her children attending college/university. As the years pass, there will be a greater number of children graduating from high school. It is a challenge in being able to send them to further their education but Lucy moves forward, trusting her God who is always faithful in fulfilling her needs. Several of her children have already graduated with a degree and she has 2 grandsons. Lucy has a God-sized, God-given vision of saving 40 abandoned babies a year for the next 10 years. It is inspirational to listen to Lucy as she speaks of her confidence in her heavenly Father as her Provider. It is not without struggle but God always is present to help her move forward. I am reminded that her God is the same Father that I worship and that it is only when I step out in faith, that God can do what seems ridiculous and impossible.
This is the day that the Lord has made. My trip began with mourning for little Matthew and ended with the delight of seeing many, many amazing animals on a safari. What is my purpose in this day? To love the Lord, my God with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my heart and with all my strength. He only gives purpose to this day that He has given me. My heart swells with thanksgiving to Him for the privilege of being Mama Irene to this special family.
Gratefully submitted by IRene Hamm