This week I prayed for opportunities to have intentional conversations.
And boy did God deliver!
My sweet friend Ruby (above right) and I had lots of great conversations this week. Ruby is a graduate of Made in the Streets (MITS) and has a five-year-old son named Dennis. The last time I was at MITS, Ruby was the cook for our group, and I was able to get to know her well. Ruby is now the cook for the Learning Centre. We have struck up a quick friendship and have been spending a lot of time together. Almost every afternoon we take an “exercise walk” around the village, either to the grocery store or the salon (that was quite an experience!) or to her house to check on her son. These walks have been such a gift to me. It is a great time to get out of the MITS campus and get a break, but also a great time to talk with Ruby about her life and her faith. On Sunday after church, Ruby invited me to her house for lunch Sunday after church. I know it was a sacrifice to cook for me. We sat and ate and sat and ate some more for over three hours on Sunday. I am truly so thankful for her and our friendship.
Jeremiah & Amos
On Monday, I arrived at chapel at 9:40 after being told chapel started at 9:45. Turns out it didn’t start until 10 however, two of the older boys were there early as well. The three of us were able to talk for twenty minutes about everything from running for exercise (converting miles to kilometers using a phone!) to the sermon from Sunday. It was a great way to connect with those two boys and one I would have missed if I had been told the correct time! After my session, these boys again asked me questions about scenarios when they graduate. We discussed the fears and worries. As we continued talking, they both opened up about their past. I continue to tell the students how proud I am of them to choose a different life than the streets and to choose to survive. They students have had such difficult pasts but have completely changed their lifestyle. God is good!
Paul is another intern at MITS. He is Kenyan and working with the IT team members. Paul and I spent a couple hours together one afternoon and discussed Kenyan culture vs. American culture. It was a very eye-opening conversation. At one point in the conversation, Paul asked if it was true that in America there are drink machines where you just pay for the cup and can fill it up with as much drink as you want. I told him that was true and laughed thinking that was the one thing that stood out to him of things he had heard about America.
Women’s bible study
On Thursday, I was sitting at the learning center trying to use the wifi when some of the female staff members came and asked if I wanted to join their bible study. They were studying James 1. They blew me away with how deep they study and apply the word to their lives. I cannot wait to continue studying with them.
Quinter & Lucy
Quinter and Lucy are two students in the skills program. They are both studying catering and love to practice their skills. I have provided the ingredients and they have cooked two meals for me (beef samosas and stew). Both have been beyond delicious and filling! At the last meal they cooked for me, I provided an appetizer of mac and cheese. They had never had it before and absolutely loved it, especially Shania, Quinter’s daughter. It has been so great to share a great meal with these two and get to know them and their stories on a deeper level.
I feel as though I am finally in a routine. Walking through the village during the day with Ruby is always hilarious. Adults and children run out of their houses and businesses to say “How are you” to me (usually the only English the kids know). They yell “mzungu” meaning “white person” and love to shake my hand. Ruby says we must walk through the village every day for exercise and to bring joy to the people. I tell her that in the States no one runs out to shake my hand! Among other sweet things that have happened while I have been here, Caroline, one of the students, gave me a bracelet that says “mum” because she said I am like all the the girl’s moms. So sweet and something I truly treasure.
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