Laurin was in Kenya from May 28-June 11, 2010. Here she reflects on what she saw and learned while on the trip.
“This little light of mine…. “
Darkness: AIDS. Rape. Poverty. Famine. Hunger. Contamination. Death. Religious Violence. No education.
In the midst of this darkness there is a light that glows, and I’ve never seen one shining brighter. I discovered it in Kitui, a small village outside Nairobi.
It was a verse scribbled with chalk on the wall of a mud hut that an orphan supported by Mocha Club memorized. I saw it in the smiles of Kitui orphans enthralled and overjoyed by a bag of balloons. It was an elderly woman with a goiter who selflessly gives all she has to provide for her orphaned grandchildren. It’s a woman who offers the only food she has to complete strangers and foreigners.
(A 19 year old boy is the caretaker of these two children as well as many other siblings.)
It’s a family that thanks God for providing when they haven’t eaten a sufficient meal in days. It’s when young girls who have been stolen of their innocence strive to become women of character and respect.
I saw it in the hope of an orphan Cynthia who trusts God to provide a chance to attend a university one day. It’s a woman named Jemima who, although sick, devotes each day to teaching and encouraging orphans. It’s her husband Michael who is optimistic during these health battles. It is a few men and their young adult sons who instill virtues and gentleness into young boys in a culture of abuse, rape, and violence.
I saw it in songs sung by AIDS orphans that say, “things already better” and “in Jesus’ name I am happy.”
Who am I to complain about an 8 am class when I can go to school ? …and to worry if my house is nice enough?
Who am I to hold tightly onto $7 a month (2 mochas… or 25 cents a day…or a few song downloads) when it will change the course of an orphan’s struggle to survive?
Who am I to wonder if God hears my prayers when he has provided so much more than I’ll ever deserve?
I do not deserve the opportunity to represent the people of Kenya, but because they have so beautifully shown me an abundance of joy and hope,
“…I’m gonna let it shine!”
To read more of my experiences, visit http://laurinms.blogspot.com.
Partner with Laurin and support our HIV/AIDS + Healthcare project. Thank you, Laurin, for such a beautiful description of the people of Kenya.