Bro. Michael, Sis. René & Sis. Ranelle Cole
We left Springfield on Friday, February 4.
Sis. Nicole flew from Portland and met us in Atlanta.
We had 16 bags, tubs, packs and carryons between us. We were packed to the hilt on weight requirements, trying to bring all we could with us for the Orphanage in Kenya.
Our layover was in Rome and we had to check our luggage in to a service at the airport so we didn't have to take it with us to the hotel.
We spent two nights in Rome and did some sightseeing. It was a rare opportunity for us and we used the time to force ourselves into the time change. On Monday, we flew on to Kenya.
Bro. Peter greeted us at the airport. We loaded all the luggage into a Nissan bus and headed to the hotel.
Bro. Michael and Bro. Peter in the lounge. We were ready for a night of rest in preparation for a long day of travel to the village.
We enjoyed breakfast and worship on the rooftop together before leaving Nairobi.
Once again, all 16 bags had to be accounted for. This left just enough seats for us.
We traveled for seven hours over Kenya.
Down in the Rift Valley the terrain was very arid.
Up on the other side things were lush and green.
We passed the nomadic Masai tribe herding cattle with their red robes, long pointed sticks, and stretched ear lobes.
When we approached the orphanage we were road weary and it was such a welcome site to see the children pouring down the drive to greet us. We were all in tears. Michael was coming back to the children who had prayed for his life. Ranelle and Nicole and I had tears because this was a culmination of prayers and dreams. We had arrived in Kenya.
The children were a wonderful welcoming committee.
Nicole getting acquainted right away.
We were ushered into the Office and served a welcoming meal of Chicken boiled in a flavorful Masala broth, Rice, Ugali, Chipati and Pineapple.
Our evenings were joyful times of coming together after our separate activities of the day to share and laugh together. We had wonderful fellowship sitting in the dark illuminated by Sis. Roda's lantern. The flash gives a false sense of light here. We had to use our flashlights everywhere we went at night.
Matthew and LouCinda had already been in the village for a week. Matthew has already started a new add--on for a kitchen and an office for the Orphanage. They helped us to get settled for our first night.
We all stayed in Bro. Peter and Sis. Roda's home. Since last year they have built a new mud hut with a tin roof. It has a living area where we would sit and eat each night. This is where Bro. Peter and his wife slept each night. The back of the house was separated into two rooms, one larger one small. Matthew and Loucinda were in a small room. The larger room was divided by a cardboard barrier. The girls took one side, Michael and I took the other. We were in tight quarters. We had three single sized beds. This meant that Nicole and Ranelle unexpectedly had to use a double-sized mosquito tent and share the same bed. They were such good sports about it. It took some getting used to feeling like we were all essentially in the same room all the time.
Sis. Roda's cooking room was on the back side of the house. All the smoke from the cooking curled right under the tin roof and filled the house. It did serve as a natural mosquito repellent so that was a plus for us. At night the smoke was so thick it would burn your eyes if you sat up writing in your journal.
As rough as conditions seemed to us, Bro. Peter and Sis. Roda freely offered us the very best they had to give. Sis. Roda tirelessly cooked, washed our clothes, and heated bathing water for us each night. They had also constructed a bathing room on the back of the house as well so we would have a private place to clean up.
We went to sleep in our new environment, very tired from the journey and still fighting a 9 hour time difference, but excited for the work that lay ahead.