Perspectives on Kenya, part 3

Christianity, Photography

Danielle anda little girl play with the ukulele

It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words. For this post, let’s make it a thousand plus a few thrown in for good measure! Most of the photos speak volumes, but I’ve added my two cents along the way.

We taught 6th through 8th graders to play ukulele throughout the week. This is my favorite picture from our time in Kibera.

We did crafts with the younger students

Stickers are fun accessories

Children wait in line to be served lunch. They are served in the container that they bring to school. You can see that some use plastic lids for plates.

Curious eyes

The innocence and curiosity of some of the younger children is so sweet.

The Kibera New Hope compound overlooks another compound with a chain link fence separating them. This is a child on the other side of the fence.

A boy on the other side of the fence from New Hope compound.

The students look out of their classroom to watch us enter their compound on a school day.

You saw this adorable boy in an earlier post, but I love this one of him watching me.

The outhouse bathroom on New Hope compound is a hole in the ground called a cho. I lost my sunglasses in the cho on our second day there!

Game day was a blast for the elementary kids. They had some crazy relay races around the compound.

In this relay, they had to run from one point to another with a ball between their heads

As we said our goodbyes on our final day, we could promise the Kibera children that we’ll see them again in heaven, if they have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Here Danielle says goodbye.

Our trip leader, Buddy, reminded us several times during our time in Kenya: It’s good to love on the kids and enjoy them, but only one thing will last when we leave Kibera. It’s good that we played games and did crafts, and that many will enjoy playing ukulele after we are gone. However, the only lasting thing is the truth that God loves them, and that they can live forever with Him through a relationship with Jesus.

Danielle kissed by a giraffe

We had a day of rest during our 11 day trip to Nairobi, and we got to visit a giraffe park.

I seriously considered whether or not I will lie on my death-bed and regret not kissing a giraffe. I decided that I would only regret not taking pictures of my daughter with the giraffe. Besides that, I’m good!

great photo by Danielle

Perspectives on Kenya

Christianity, Photography

Here are our perspectives on our 11 day mission trip to Nairobi, Kenya. We were sure that God had planned this trip for us (me and our 14-year-old daughter, Danielle) and we couldn’t wait to see what would unfold during our time in Africa. Click here to read about how we knew this was the trip for us:

Beautiful sunrise the morning of our departure. Danielle and I early in the morning…not so perky but excited about the adventure ahead

Just at the crack of dawn we met up with our entire team of 17 people. We had great diversity among us, with ages ranging from 14 years old up to early 70’s, and lots in between. Our mission was to bring 100 ukuleles to the students at New Hope School to the slum, Kibera, in Nairobi. Our team planned to teach 6th through 8th grade students how to play the ukulele, ending the week with a uke concert for the community. We planned arts and crafts for the younger students. Most importantly, we would bring the good news of Jesus Christ, that He died to save us from our sins.

Here we are! All 17 of us. Our trip there was long and we had to be rerouted in the U.K. We found out pretty quick how important it was to be flexible and not grumble. This is extremely hard for me when I’m sleep-deprived, but we coped and arrived 48 hours later.

Kenya Airlines, the Pride of Africa

We were picked up in Nairobi and rode a bus to our guest house, which is similar to a bed and breakfast.

Riding the bus to and from points was one of my favorite things about our trip.

I loved the bus! On the bus, we rested, laughed, journaled, prayed, and sang. The first few days we practiced ukulele on the bus. We soon started to wear out of that and it got a little quieter. Our guest house compound was very lush and pretty, in sharp contrast to the Kibera slum, which was dry and dirty. Below are some photos from our compound, showing that there is so much beauty in the little things, if we only look for it and appreciate it.

All of the nature pics above are by Danielle. I’ll show my blossoming photography skills below and in later posts. Notice the difference in the picture quality, comparing the pics above from the ones below. Can you tell which camera is better?

Below are a few images from our first two days in Kenya.

The Kibera children greeted us from far outside their compound and escorted us each day

The children were fascinated by the ukuleles and couldn’t keep their hands from touching, even as we walked up to their compound

The entrance of the Kibera compound has a swing set, and this little boy is enjoying it!

Another view of the inside of Kibera New Hope School compound

Danielle loves the little ones

Cake for Kenya and for Jesus’ name sake

Christianity, mission, Photography

Cupcakes!! Photo by Danielle ┬áHere’s the finished product of cupcakes we made yesterday. Yum!

The theme of my week seems to be this: Many of our mundane and everyday activities can be acts of worship that bring God pleasure. We got to experience this when a great group of ladies and teenaged girls came over for a cupcake/cake decorating class fundraiser for our upcoming mission trip to Kenya.

Look at these girls getting their icing on! It was fun learning some basic cake decorating techniques.

If you are into cake decorating, you know that it only takes a few basic tools to get started and get many different beautiful effects on your cakes and cupcakes. But that’s not the best part! Each person that attended the two-hour class generously gave a donation for our trip. We are now a couple hundred dollars closer to our goal to pay for the mission.

Cake decorating class

Here’s how it all started: Danielle, our fourteen-year-old daughter, has been telling us for months that she feels God wants her to go to Africa this year for a mission trip. We had planned to go to Nigeria in May, but due to terrorism and violence aimed at Christians, it was cancelled, and we were devastated. I’m not exaggerating; we were both pretty heartbroken. We began asking God to lead us wherever He wanted us to go. Meanwhile, Danielle began learning to play acoustic guitar and got a sudden fixation with wanting a ukulele so she could learn to play that, too. I’m not one to run out and buy new musical instruments on a whim, so she stuck with guitar for a while.

Last month when I was chatting on the phone with a friend, she told me her parents are leading a trip to Kenya this summer. The plan is to bring 100 ukuleles to an orphanage in the slums of Nairobi and teach the children how to play their new instruments. I had a surreal moment as she said the last statement. It felt like a dream or slow-motion video in my head. I think I shouted, “What?! Are you KIDDING me?! Africa? UKULELES?!” This is not only what we’d been praying for, but the desire to play ukulele, of all instruments, was already in Danielle’s heart. We are now learning to play ukulele and so excited about our trip that we can hardly stand it!

P.S. We love Africa and have a longing to care for orphans. This is perfect because it just so happens that my daughter and I love music, too.

Danielle fills icing bag. It almost makes my mouth water!

Who doesn’t love cupcakes? All you need is a star tip and icing bag for them to be this pretty. Danielle took this pic while I iced. Doesn’t she have mad photography skills?

We are learning a fun song in Swahili. It translates to “There’s no one, there’s no one like Jesus. There’s no one, there’s no one like Him”