Twenty-two of them while we were at Mahali pa Maisha. All age two and under.
Each one with his/her own story that is a variation on this:
Created by God but as a tiny helpless baby soon abandoned/abused/neglected until, often near death, rescued and brought to Mahali pa Maisha.
And then Jen, affectionately known as Ma Bell, begins working her magic. Using her God-given talents and love for these littlest ones, their transformation begins.
Along with their staff of loving Kenyan caretakers, Jen nurtures the babies back to health and showers them with nourishment, care, love, and affection.
Although Dave is often busy working on the property, he also is the one who intercedes as necessary with the government officials and court system to protect the best interests of these little ones God has entrusted to their care.
And eventually, after all the legal paperwork is in order Dave and Jen work with various adoption services to find each one his/her own Christian Forever Family.
That is a day full of smiles! And a few happy tears...
And then, just as one happy family leaves with their new child, the phone rings and they are off to rescue another baby.
Left on the street. Or in a bar. Or in a pit latrine. Or in the bush, where by God's grace the Bells arrived before the hyenas.
A revolving door of precious children of God.
Our team, especially Angie and I, had the blessing of spending many, many hours playing with, cuddling, feeding, and loving on these babies at the rescue center.
That's me, enjoying every moment of baby time with the youngest.
In between property projects, Chuck got a few snuggles in...
...and Zach made a new friend.
Caring for 22 babies 24/7 is a daunting task for Elizabeth and the other staff girls.
You think your laundry is never caught up??? Imagine the never-ending piles of 22 infants...
...and no electric dryers. Everything has to be hung out to dry on a clothesline.
A hundred bottles every day...
Not to mention all the food that is prepared from scratch for the toddlers.
Bathtime is fun for the babes! What child doesn't love splashing water in the sunshine?!
But it's lots of work for the caretakers...
And I won't even begin to hazard a guess as to how many diapers they use in a day!
Amazingly, most of the time the babies are all content, playing, with only happy baby sounds to be heard.
Just before feeding time, however, all bets are off!
These 3 amigos stole my heart and I would've taken them all home in a heartbeat! But right now Kenyan law prohibits international adoptions, so I'm praying instead that God will provide each of them a wonderful Forever Family in Kenya.
Both Angie and I fell in love in just the few days we were at Mahali pa Maisha....
The Bells' service in Kenya encompasses many different projects and groups of people, but the hub of their ministry is the infant rescue center.
Where every day, 24/7/365...
...it's all about the babies.
PS...not to turn this post into a shameless plea for funds, but as you can imagine it costs a lot of money to keep MpM going. If this post pulled at your heartstrings and you want to get involved in a ministry that is truly SAVING LIVES, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll get you information on how you can partner with us!
PSS...if you want to read more about Dave and Jen's story and how God called them to leave rural Indiana to run an infant rescue ministry in Kenya, I can help you with that too! We published a book entitled "Lick and Turn" last year that tells that very story. Same email as above... email@example.com for more information.