Happy Halloween!
Baby-Moving Day

Finishing "A Place of Life"


After a glorious 2-week safari, we said "good-bye" to beautiful Botswana (we WILL be BACK!!!) and boarded our flight to Nairobi, Kenya to spend our final week of vacation with our missionary friends, Dave and Jen Bell.



The Bells live near the town of Kitengela, a small town with more traffic craziness than I've ever seen.  Quite a dramatic change from the quiet, desolate Kalahari!  



We were excited to see their new property!  After several years running their infant rescue center, called Mahali pa Maisha (Swahili for "A Place of Life"), from a home in Kitengela, the ministry has leased a 7-acre property about 10 miles away and have been working on the construction of buildings on the compound to house the ministry.



This is the team housing building, now temporary home for Dave and Jen...



...and their two youngest children, Selah (5) and Ethan (6),...



....and, more often than not, a newly-rescued baby who lives with the Bells for a couple of weeks to be sure he/she is healthy and get them on a regular schedule before they move in with the other babies.



My favorite part of our visit with the Bells...feeding and snuggling babies!



It's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it...



Our goal for the week...put the finishing touches on the inside of the brand new infant rescue center (this is the front)...



...(and this is the back side...) so we could help move the 23 babies and all their stuff into their new digs.



When we booked our trip several months before, we assumed that everyone would already be settled at the new property and our time there would be more leisure than work. But Kenya being Kenya, and Kenyan time not being American time, the project has run way behind schedule.  We were glad to be there to help what is a culmination of years of fundraising, months of headaches, and countless hours upon hours upon hours of work by the Bells, their employees, and several American mission teams to get the buildings finished.  Or close to it...



Bottom line...we had 3 days to help them finish the inside work before the pre-arranged baby moving day. Kim worked very hard doing lots of jobs he's not really skilled at...I did my share too, but certainly did not put in the hours long into the night that Kim did.



And neither one of us could hold a candle to the LONG tiring days (heart, body, and soul too!) that Jen...



...and Dave have put into the Center.

I believe Dave was gently telling me to get to work!  But someone has to document all of this....



Dave's niece Catherine was also there the week we were, and she helped too. There were OODLES of windows to clean, both inside and out...



Nineteen (yes, I counted them!) wooden interior doors to trim around, sand, stain, and varnish.




And after all that was finished, all the ceilings, walls, and floors had to be thoroughly cleaned.



Ethan and Selah helped me wash off some of the toddler toys...






A few finishing touches...



Didn't anyone teach this man not to stand on the top of the stool?!




Those were 3 very LONG days!  Dave and Kim would fix breakfast for us, then we'd spend the next 16-18 hours working at the Center, stopping only when it was dinner time. 



Three crazy exhausting days and the final clean-up, with the whole gang involved...

...finishing "A Place of Life." 




Dave Bell

We could not have done it without you!! Thanks so much for your hard work and loving hearts during your vacation!

Donna Cronk

Hard work but extremely satisfying.

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