Tuesday, February 24, 2015

little stories of hope

by Nancy

It has been such a joy for me coming back to the City of Hope!  When we arrived at COH (City of Hope) I couldn't stop smiling seeing all the familiar faces, but many of the kid's were new to me as well.  I have noticed, though, that two of those new faces were ones I actually knew well, but were not a part of this incredible family last year.   

The first little boy I saw most every day last winter as he was a student in the preschool class I was taking W. to, but lived in one of the local villages.  He was a rough little boy then, who was always a dirty torn mess in class.  He didn't seem to have many friends, and fought a lot with the other kids.   My heart really went out to him as I imagined his home life had to be pretty hard, and lacking the love and care a little heart needs.  I was so over joyed to see that he is now one of the kids here at COH. I can see such a huge change in him.  He has his little friends he hangs out with, and when I look into his eyes I see a little boy who has a home and family were he feels loved and accepted.   He has hope!

Last year I went on a hike with my roommate and we were followed by some children from the village.  The kids were hanging on us and begging for money which was about the only thing they could communicate in English.   One of the girls I don't think I will ever forget.  She was climbing all over Julie and I, kissing us and demanding we give her what we had. It was so evident this little girl was no stranger to sexual abuse.  It had even become a normal way for her to get what she wanted.  It broke my heart to see this. Now, though, she is a part of this safe family were she is loved for who she is, not what she does.  She still has the same out going spirit and big smile but its different.  There is a light in her eyes now that wasn't there before.  

These little stories speak to my heart and whisper that God is truly at work in this place changing one little life at a time.  His promise that he will be a Father to the fatherless is true and visible here in the lives of these two children.

Monday, February 16, 2015

snapshots of the past week

This has been a really hard week. It started out with grandaddy getting really sick really fast. We were very worried about him. Next Ty and little P felt ill, then Little T, W, Nancy, then me and today, Sarah. The only one spared so far is Grandma! The kids had it the worst but they are mostly better. We had to postpone a planned safari. It's not an option to be sick on safari! No bathrooms!!

After Ty's daily meeting with the clinic staff he reported that the sickness we all had has spared few in the village. Dr Ben (our clinic manager) said this virus has spread like wildfire and he has never seen anything like it before.

I'm sorry to say we didn't "accomplish" much this week. But so goes life, and we look forward to next week!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

brief update

thank you all for your prayers to get us here safely! I'm sorry we
have not been able to update the blog until now. The internet
situation is far worse that it has ever been. There is no real
explanation for it so we just keep hoping it will randomly improve!

the jet lag has been pretty rough this time. the kids are still
staying up until 9 or 10 and then waking up around 930AM. much of this
week has been spent adjusting and getting our apartment organized.

Grandma and Grandaddy have been incredibly helpful with the children
and all the little projects. A roof leak caused some damage to our
stuff that was in storage (mostly mold, nothing serious) but as a
result we had to have a room emptied out and tiled. This is a huge
project since it's the room with most of our supplies in it, as well
as a bunch of furniture. So now everything is in the living room and
it's chaos. Grandpa and Nancy have been painting the room all day
today and it looks great. By tomorrow we'll be finished and hopefully
we can put the room back together! Maybe monday will be a "normal"

I don't know why I don't get used to the reality that every time we
return, we have an immediate problem of some kind to deal with.
(Anyone remember the rats??).  It's never so simple as to just shake
off the jet lag and get to business.

There is a serious water shortage also and we need lots of rain to
solve it. We are using buckets for everything...and it gets old quick!

The kids here have all grown so much and there is much catching up to
do with all of them. Nancy and Sarah are enjoying spending time with
the City of Hope Kids-and they have also been helping out a lot in the
mission house with cooking and cleaning, for which we are grateful!

One really neat thing is that we got to celebrate the one year
birthday of baby Amy Joi yesterday. I was blessed to attend his birth
one year ago exactly!

Hopefully a more interesting update will come your way soon, at least
some pictures. Pray that the internet improves. It's kind of critical
to my sanity!!

love, joi

Monday, February 2, 2015

A new adventure begins

And we're off! We departed Dulles Sunday evening with no problems (only a minor glitch when Ty realized he left his wallet at jj's house-but she zipped back and got it in no time!)
This time we are excited to have grandma and granddaddy join us for the first three weeks. So far it's been easy traveling with a ratio of adults to children 5:3. This is a very good thing!!
For now we sit in Amsterdam watching the planes on the runway drinking overpriced coffee while we wait for our departing flight to Nairobi. Thank you for your prayers for our trip!