May 2016 Newsletter

It’s early evening and my head is jerking, nodding out of control as I fight sleep. Jet lag is one of the hard aspects of making a trip to HopeCC but do I go again? For sure! It is always amazing to see what changes are happening there and the presence of God is seen in new places within the compound. Mama Lucy led me to the area behind the kitchen/dining room to view the large piece of land that had many trenches dug with rebar sticking up in various parts. A new elementary school is being built! Stones are lined up on the grass, ready to be set in making a wall. It is going to be a big school in a U-shape right beside the high school. The new building will be 3 stories high, a huge change from the present building with its tin walls and roof. Wonderful new desks have been ordered for it. Mama Lucy is constantly stepping out in faith, believing that our God is a good Father, One who provides for her every need. She has remarked to me that she has learned to trust God. That brings peace in the midst of the unknown and the courage to keep on moving forward.

The baby house is slowing coming together. The older children age 3-9 had been settled into the building last time when I was there in February. Their beds are all lined up in the 4 bedrooms, 2 for the 14 girls and 2 for the 15 boys. A nanny sleeps in each of the bedrooms. There was so much laundry every morning – thick wool blankets and the children’s night clothes. So with the incentive of stickers and huge cooperation from the nannies getting them up at 12 midnight and 4 am, the next morning there was only 2 wet beds! Wow! We were all overjoyed and we did a lot of high 5s. Smells so much better too! They are such great kids.

The 8 babies age 2 weeks to 1.5 years old were moved into the new baby house. It took awhile to sort through all their clothes and settled each item at its appropriate place. The 2 ladies that came with me were so AWESOME in their instruction to the 2 nannies in caring for the babies. It’s a big job taking care of these babies! They too had so much laundry so were guided as to how to minimize wet clothing. They are doing a great job in spite of getting up at night to feed the 2 youngest babies. We were hoping to pick up more newborns but the nursery just wasn’t set up properly, and with Lucy coming to Canada and US very soon, she thought it would be wiser to pick up the babies when she returns to HopeCC.

We did have a service of dedication of the new baby dorm. After some singing and a little message, we toured all the other students through the building, letting them take a look around. We celebrated with a cupcake for everyone. The tradition when I go is to have an ice cream celebration and a cupcake party in the time I’m there. It is always a delight for the kids and staff.

We took the children age 3-9 on a bus trip to Crescent Island which is just outside of the closest city, Navaisha. The kids were excited as we crawled into a boat, seeing hippos in the water and landing at the island where we saw all sorts of wild prey animals. It was a warm day and the kids walked the circuit without a complaint. After that, we went to a restaurant and each had a plate of chicken and fries. They were so polite and patient as they waited until each received their plate before thanking God and appeasing their very hungry bellies. I wonder who they will grow up to be? Only God knows.

I always love to hear and watch the older students laughing and playing on the basketball court. It had been raining for weeks already but that didn’t keep them from having fun. Their greatest entertainment were 3 dilapidated wheel barrows. It was quite a sight to see them giving each other rides – no safety regulations there. On Sunday they had a soccer game in the soccer fenced in area. Thank you to Louis for the great games area that he developed and financed.

When I think of my time there, one occasion comes to mind as being a highlight for me. I remember being with the smaller babies, holding 3 little girls on my lap, all around age 1. I was bumping them on my knees and singing a bouncy song, just making it up, no words, just an energetic melody. Soon one little girl, Emily started la-la-la along with me and then Diane started humming. The third one was just enjoying the ride when she started to clap. That is pure joy! How very privileged we are to enjoy each other and be filled with God’s joy. It is good to be together! Thank you Lord.

Love Irene