Inkiito
Planting Season

Sharing Love at Divine Providence

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The children were awaiting our arrival as our van pulled up outside the Divine Providence Children's Home just a few kilometers from Mahali pa Maisha outside of Kitengela, Kenya.

 

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It's a beautiful home to 60+ girls and a handful of boys, run by Catholic sisters...Kim, Chuck, Zach, and Dave had visited here a few days prior to get the 4 rabbits for the MpMcompound.

 

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I'm pretty sure this baby crib would not meet US safety standards...

 


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The sister in charge is originally from India.  Joining us at the home to organize and run the planned medical clinic was Robyn Moore, a nurse from Indiana who has served in Kenya for over 35 years.  We've worked alongside Robyn before...what a gem of a gal she is!

 

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Inside the activity room, the children were singing their greetings to us.

 


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All ages...from toddlers to teens.

 


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Our entourage (the mzungus, "white people")...at the front of the room...

From left:  Jen Bell (MpM missionary), Kim and Angie (our team), Mandie & Andrew (joined us at the end of our stay), Jonathan & Amanda (joined us that day), Chuck and Zach (our team), Maureen (another full-time Kenya missionary), and Nurse Robyn.  

 

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Nearly all of the children are girls, although it's hard to tell sometimes as they keep their hair cut very short.


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After a time of singing and welcoming words, the children were organized in small groups to receive a general medical check-up, something many of them had never experienced.

 

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They were each weighed...

 


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...and then Amanda and Andrew, both pediatric nurses, checked their breathing, hearts, and tummies.



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Robyn checked their eyes, mouths, and ears and followed up on any concerns raised by the other nurses.

 


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Zach (as a doctor of physical therapy he was the only one of us with medical training) helped with the clinic...

 

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...assisting Robyn as needed and recording into their "medical file" the report for the day.

 


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Then the children were sent to the "pharmacy" area...

 


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...where Jen gave them each chewable vitamins and any other medications deemed necessary.

 

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Although many of them had been abused or raped and all had their own sad histories, most of the children were relatively physically healthy.  Several, such as this scared little girl, needed foreign objects flushed out of their ears.

And a few had serious illnesses, like malaria and HIV+.  Robyn will follow up on those children and try to get them the meds and help they need.

 


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Meanwhile, the rest of our team was in a nearby room with the children waiting their turns.

Mandie read them a Bible story...

 


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It always amazes me how attentive and polite and obedient the Kenyan children are.

 

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Angie passed out coloring papers and a ziplock bag of 4 crayons to each child.



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The ziplock bags were a novelty...the younger children had never seen one and were enthralled by them.  We showed them how to open and zip them shut, and they spent several minutes just opening and closing them, turning them upside down in amazement that the crayons didn't spill out.

Humbling...we are so spoiled and take some much for granted....

 


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Kim acted as the crayon trading post...the children traded out their colors for different ones.

 


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Moments like this make my heart swell with love for this man I married 38 years ago...

 


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Mandie joined the children coloring...

 


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Even the older girls loved the coloring sheet.

We literally kept 65 children occupied for over an hour just by coloring.  That would not happen in the US...

 


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I let one of the older girls take a few photos with my big camera.

 


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Underneath that pile of children is my husband...

 


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...they loved touching his white skin and rubbing the hair on his arms (Kenyans don't have arm hair) and pushing the buttons on his watch.

 


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A few shots of me with the children....

 

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Meanwhile, Angie and Chuck were getting plenty of attention too!

 

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The girls also loved my iPhone, and nearly ran my battery down looking at the photos and videos on it.

 


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Another humbling moment...

They watched over and over again a short video clip of the Atlantic Ocean waves rolling in to the beach.  They couldn't believe it was the Atlantic Ocean and said they had never seen how the ocean moves.  I realized that most of them will never experience any ocean at all...they live several hours inland and probably will never feel any ocean waves tickle their feet in their entire lifetimes.  Humbling....

 


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We sang some songs (which I led so no photos of that on my camera...) and then lined the children up for their pizza meal.

 

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Dave picked up a load of different kinds of pizza (uh...no delivery here....) and the children went through the line.  Being used to eating whatever they were served, they had no concept of choosing what kind they wanted.  Choosing was almost overwhelming for some of them, especially since for many this was their first time to eat pizzaa.

 


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And they were pretty excited to each get their own package of chips.  Which, again, they were unfamiliar with and we had to show them how to open the bags.

It's the little things....

 

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Prayer first.  Always.

 


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Two of the sisters at the home...one is a social worker and the other a teacher.  Beautiful young women...and they were just as thrilled with the pizza as the children!

 


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They brought in the broom to clean up....

 


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And just to show that kids are kids the world around, they had fun stomping on their empty juice boxes to make loud noises in that big extra-echoey room!

 

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Rainclouds were threatening, so we left in a rush...Dave feared we might get stranded there and miss our flight home that evening (I think he was afraid he might get stuck with us for a few more days!).

But it was a wonderful experience...

...sharing love at Divine Providence.

 

 

Comments

Anique Gray

Thus post really touched my heart. A good perspective changer. Thank you for sharing!

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