19 Jan Special Happenings in Kenya
“As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. ” – John 13:34b-35
In November, our three US team members (Elaine, Marcy, and Kristy) along with two additional guests (Leigh and Sam) traveled to Kenya. We prepared to take part in some special events at each home. They made such an impression on us, we wanted to share some of the details with you!
Every year, we set aside time to honor and celebrate the wonderful members of our Kenyan staff. These men and women give themselves wholeheartedly to their roles and because of their dedication, our children thrive – knowing they are loved and secure.
The day started with a beautifully decorated room, filled with flowers, fancy table settings, a gift bag (which included a new fleece jacket complete with the CoH logo), and a personal note for each staff member. Elaine, our Executive Director, and Abraham, our Kenyan Director of Operations both took time to write about what each person brings to the team and thank them for using their gifts to serve our children.
The older kids looked after the younger ones so the aunties and uncles could enjoy the day. We also hired outside cooks who were assisted by our older children. They prepared and served a delicious meal that gave our cooks a break. Each staff member had the opportunity to share with the group and sprinkled throughout every part of the day was music and dancing! We cherish and enjoy these men and women and want them to see, in a tangible way, how much they are valued.
Vacation Bible School
We love to utilize the gifts and talents of those traveling with us to Kenya. Leigh is a great storyteller and Sam loves to play games with the kids so, VBS was the perfect activity! We focused on the story of David and Goliath and Hebrews 13:6, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
The children enjoyed many activities: a craft of decorating a bag for their slingshot and “stones,” relay games of dressing up in Saul’s armor, a snack of bananas and licorice made to look like a slingshot, and the Bible story with a live-action Goliath who fell to the ground! We finished the day by providing a meal for everyone. In both homes our staff kids were included but in Kitalale, we also invited the children from the community for a whopping total of 320! We believe that seeds of God’s Word and His love were planted that day and pray they will grow and grow!
In 2021, we started an annual tradition of gathering both homes together for a week during the November-December school break. This is quite a production – loading 50+ children and 20+ staff into two vans and the bus then driving everyone about 9 hours to the other home.But, the journey is part of the fun and this year, the US team took part in a few days of the reunion at the Kikuyu home.
As with most celebrations in Kenya, there was music, dancing, and waving of branches to welcome our Kitalale family. Because this time together is so special and is anticipated all year long, there are usually quite a few fun things planned.
This year’s agenda included:
- Traditional Christmas tree
- Song & dance presentations
- Fashion show
- Field day games
- Trip to the airport terminal
- Soccer Camp
- Basketball games
- Meals together
- Sleepovers and late night talking
- “Nairobi lights” – driving around town to see Christmas lights
This time is treasured by everyone and feels a lot like Psalm 133:1, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”