Another trip to HopeCC has come and gone. It is always interesting and encouraging to see the various changes that have occurred since the last visit. This trip happened to be like none other has ever been. It was full of baby days (nights)!! I, along with the 7 that came with me, were not prepared for what that would look like.
Many newborns are abandoned in the country of Kenya. I do not know the birth mothers’ stories but I imagine that they are painful ones consisting of rape, incest, severe abuse, extreme poverty and hopelessness. The emotional and social impact of a mother’s life with a new little baby makes it understandable that some of these mothers place their newborns at the hospital fence or by a bus stop in a paper bag, causing some good Samaritan to bring the little helpless one to the hospital or police. These babies are not looked upon favorably by others, in fact, I was told that if an abandoned baby is in the hospital for a month, it will probably die from lack of nurturing and nourishment. That is very disturbing!
Each one is so precious!
Lucy has a BIG heart and so rescued 6 newborns from the hospital the week that we were there. How beautiful they are – all 6 of them! What a wonder to think that these babies’ lives just miraculously changed from hopeless and unloved to hopeful and treasured! As we were driving from the hospital, I wondered how the biological mom would feel if she knew that her little one that she gave birth to was in the arms of a white ‘mama’ in a vehicle on its way to a new home – embraced in love and tenderness, with a future of hope and an education. What a privilege to be part of God’s hands touching their little lives!
We arrived into HopeCC late in the evening with the first 4 babies. After being greeted by the children in the dark, the eight of us whisked the new babies into the new boys’ dorm with us since that is where we stayed the nights. So with 2 and 3 hour feedings of the various babies throughout the night, we became their temporary ‘mothers’. A few days later, we picked up the other 2 babies, brought them to a clinic to get checked over, and then join the other 4 at HopeCC. Standard procedure is that the babies have 3 separate tests for HIV before declaring them negative. The six babies ranged in age from 10 days old to about 6 weeks old. Two of them truly were little, being premature. But even in the one week that we were there, we could see the difference in their well-being. Lucy has hired two community women and also 2 of her own adult staff to take care of these 6 babies. The big girls (grade 8) love helping during the day. What a big job!! Lucy requested of me to find nannies from Canada who would love to help care for these little ones that she is taking from the hospital. Do you know of anyone? If so, do contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A huge dream has fallen into my lap, leaving me in total wonderment. Why not pursue the possibility of adopting these little Kenyan babies into families here in Canada? What does that look like?
Lucy states that it is no problem from her side of the process, stating that all things are possible with God. It humbles me to be part of what God may have in mind for these little beautiful, precious babies. This is a huge dream and I have to look into the reality of actually making it possible. Wow, try and process that idea! God will have to open the door and lead me through it. Please pray with me. Also, if you know of anyone who is seriously wanting to adopt internationally, please give them my email address. They would proceed with the required paper work here in Canada and I will take care of the Kenyan side. On my next trip to Kenya (which is possibly the beginning of December), Lucy will set up a meeting for me with her lawyer and start a relationship with him. She said that since I have been to Kenya so often, that it should be no problem from the Kenyan end. She is anxious to adopt these babies out so that she can take more in. Even while we were there, she had another call from the hospital asking her if she could take another baby. She had to say, “no”.
After the initial first few days consisting of ‘babies’, we started interacting with the older children. They are beautiful! I continuously am stunned with their gratitude to God and their huge focus on prayer.
We, who have plenty, have so much to learn from them. At present, there are 173 children in school at the orphanage (up to grade 8) and 67 high school children who live at the location of the school that they are attending. Their new school year starts the end of January and there will be 19 students in grade 9 (their first year of high school). The third floor of the new boys’ dorm will be converted into grade 9 instead of sending them to another high school. This will not only cut costs of schooling but also begin the process of having a high school on location. The new high school will hopefully begin its construction in November of this year. This is exciting!
Lucy has had a master plan drawn of her vision of HopeCC. Bit by bit, God is leading the unfolding of His plan for this orphanage. Who knows what these boys and girls will become someday? They are definitely able to impact and change the lives of those within their community, within Kenya, within Africa, and throughout the world. At times, (many times) we dream much too small. Lucy is a woman of faith and she perseveres onward, hanging onto the faithfulness of God.
The last month has been difficult in regards to their food supply. When we were there, their gardens appeared to be in shambles. Previously there were productive rows of cabbage, carrots, peas, potatoes and kale. Lucy informed me that due to the shortage of food, they had eaten most of it. At times, the children only received one meal a day but Lucy informed me that they were grateful for the one meal. I had brought along some funds from Canada ($2000) which filled their store rooms of sacks of rice, beans and maze once again. What a beautiful sight to see all those sacks in their kitchen. Two sponsors have again agreed to contribute to her food costs by each supplying $1000 per month for a full year. We are so very grateful to them. Thank you!
In reflecting upon the journey of our last 1 ¾ years in connection with Hope Community Center, Henry and I are in awe of what has transformed within the orphanage and the children. We are also in awe of the tremendous opportunities we have to join Lucy in dramatically changing the lives of many children, giving them a great future of hope and opportunities. We are anticipating many more trips in the coming years to continuously impact HopeCC – but also be impacted by these dear children and adults. It is good!