Thoughts on my most recent trip to Kenya
By Naomi Corera, July 19, 2015
I have just returned from Kenya and would like to share some thoughts with you and give you an update on our work there.
Returning back to the US is much more than getting over the jet lag. It is all about leaving my brothers and sisters behind in the real world of struggles and hardships and returning home to my comfortable life, filled with God’s blessings. My long flight home gives me time to reflect while being served the many choices and brands of soda, spirits and yes—many bottles of water!
I wonder why I am so happy even though I have foregone many of the comforts of home like flushing toilets, running water, electricity, and of course the snacks between my meals.
Children begging me to get them a sponsor to pay their school fees. They know that education and knowledge is the only way out of their misery. Mothers struggling to put Ugali (corn meal) and greens on the table to feed the many hungry mouths. Often the mother goes without a meal or two in order to satisfy the little ones. Seeing the children trek a long distance, many times a day just to fetch a bucket of water. I stop and count the many faucets I have in my house. Seeing the students big and little all sitting attentively in neat rows on benches without a tug or push – yes, they know education is the only way out to a better tomorrow. Oh, by the way – where do they sleep and on what? Visiting them in their homes – the children sleeping on torn foam pads on the floor sleeping across to accommodate the whole family, while the mosquitoes provide the annoying buzzing around their ears. Just that sight alone keeps me from dozing off on the plane under my cozy blanket.
On the other hand, what have I learned from them these past 2 weeks?
One thing for sure: their undying trust in the Good Lord. They have planted with hope but the rains have failed to come. The cows have no grass, their supply of water has gone dry, the heat is intense, yet I never heard a word of despair, the traffic jam is impossible as it comes to a complete stop, as each one, pedestrians, motorists and cart handlers all try to weave their way through any opening in sight, cutting in front of one another. I just close my eyes and pray that I will get to my destination alive. Yet I never saw or heard a road rage. Where does all this patience and joy come from? Yes, it is from then Lord. “The Joy of the Lord is my strength.” This was truly apparent among my struggling brothers and sisters in Kenya. The radio blared out the voice of their president Kenyatta over and over again — as Kenya gets ready to welcome our President Obama – “We are a Christian nation. We believe in Christ and the words of the Bible. Marriage is between one man and one woman. Let America practice what they want but keep it there. Please, Mr. Obama, do not bring it here.” Already protests and marches were on the streets holding banners, supporting marriage only between a man and a woman.
So as I further pondered and questioned myself. What have we gained as the powerful nation, so richly Blessed in abundance, so advanced in science and technology – or should I say what have we lost — much, I concluded. So before I nod off to sleep, I conclude that my brothers and sisters in Africa are Richly Blessed too, not with material wealth but with FAITH and much JOY! I bring that back home to share with you. They too have a lot to share with us!
So let’s Live Simply so others may Simply Live! Let’s together share our blessing with others. Won’t you join us?