Friday, November 5, 2010

It Takes A Village

It takes a whole village to raise a child.   -Nigerian Proverb 

One knee does not bring up a child.   -Tanzanian Proverb 

One hand does not nurse a child.   -East African Proverb

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.  If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.     -Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Last week I was at Naomi's Village surveying the progress, pondering all that has happened over this past year and I asked myself if, given the chance to wipe the slate clean, would I do this all over again. Knowing what I know now, recognizing the heartaches and the celebrations that we have experienced; thinking of the joys and pains yet to this really what I want to be doing. It was good for me to ask this question and search for the honest answer.

As I looked at the beautiful building that has grown out of what was once a dry, dirt field that appeared to have no hope; as I surveyed the colorful mountainside, dotted with yellow acacia trees and purple jacarandas; as I strained to hear what will one day be the laughter and tears of the children who will live at Naomi's Village...the answer to the question "would I do this all over again" was a resounding YES!
It has not been an easy process, and we are not finished yet. But, over these past 12 months God has taught me much about who He is and who I am. He has shown Himself to be faithful and true.  Above all else, God has proven to me that He is the exceedingly great reward - not the beautiful building; not the children who will live there - but God Himself. 

God has also brought amazing people into our lives.  We would not be here following this calling without the love and prayers from so very many of you. The building would not be there without the financial giving, the hands-on help, and the prayers of so many of you.  Our faith that Naomi's Village will begin taking in children soon would not be so strong if we didn't have such a "village" helping us.  

It is our sincere hope that Naomi's Village will be ready to bring children home in January 2011. There is still much to be done and every day it seems we add as much to our to-do list as we cross off.  Surely, you know that feeling!

We have been both humbled and encouraged by the many of you who have rallied around this cause. Thank you for your efforts and we pray you'll know they are not in vain.
I continue to ask for your help. Please prayerfully consider how you can continue to help or how you can become an integral part of Naomi's Village.

You can help by:

1. Prayer!
A specific need we have right now is for the electricity to be connected. We've been working with Kenya Power & Light for a year now. We've paid the standard fee of $500. Now we have been told that it will cost approx. $15,000 for them to connect us. If we have to pay this amount it will delay the opening of NV as we'll be out of money. We have a meeting with KP&L on Monday, Nov. 8. Please pray for God's favor, for honest people at KP&L, and that we'll be connected with no further fees!

2.  Attend Kenya Skate!

Saturday, November 6 · 10:00am - 12:00pm

Interskate Roller Rink in Lewisville
1408 S State Highway 121
Lewisville, TX
Saturday, November 6th
10am - 12pm
Entry fee: $10 adults $5 children (checks and cash only) covers skates

Bring your friends and family and come skate with us to raise money for children in Kenya! The money goes to Naomi's Village and will help provide beds for 110 kids.

3.  Consider hosting a fundraiser yourself. I know this may be uncomfortable but, it is not raising money for us or for yourself. The money is for children in Kenya who have no home.  We are trying to get NV furnished, so you can host a house-warming party of sorts! Fundraisers can vary from an intimate dinner party to a, well, skate party! I'm happy to share ideas with you and help as I can from here.

4.  Donate. Your contribution will help us get this home ready for children. There are 700 children orphaned a day in Kenya. That is 1 new orphan every 2 minutes.

Donations for Naomi’s Village:
Donations are tax-deductible and can be made by check:

Lost Orphans International
P.O. Box 1388
McKinney, TX 75070

*Please write “Naomi’s Village-Kenya” on the memo line!

Please take just a few minutes to watch this video so you'll know why we're builidng Naomi's Village. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Oh, The Places You'll Go

“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”  - Dr. Seuss

Life in Kenya is full of surprises.  While many days unfold as expected, it is the norm to expect the unexpected.  It is the "unexpected" that can make life here a lot of fun or very frustrating!

On Wed., Oct. 13, I expected to make the normal bumpy, yet beautiful drive down the mountain to the valley below for a day with Doreen. After not seeing Doreen for a couple of weeks, I was looking forward to our time together.  I thought we would sit in her tent and discuss life over piping hot chai and her famous beans.  Little did I know this was a day to expect the unexpected...if only  I had remembered that, I would have brought my camera!

Instead of going to her tent, Doreen wanted me to join her at a meeting she was attending. I arrived to find many local villagers, including the lead elder and other officials, who all seemed happier than normal. 

Doreen led me on a tour of the property, describing the various agricultural projects located there.  A community group, formed by the Ministry of Agricultural, was working together to cultivate the land and raise livestock using non-traditional methods.  A large greenhouse housing an abundance of growing cabbages and tomatoes, stood imposingly in the midst of the garden. The shamba (garden) was fully irrigated and included everything from broccoli to sweet potatoes to onions. There were also non-grazing cattle and a rabbit project, of which Doreen is the chairman.

As we toured the grounds Doreen and I caught up on life.  A couple of times Doreen mentioned that people from all over Africa were coming to see these projects. Wow, that's pretty cool, I thought to myself.

Joining a few others seated on a covered porch and listening to excited Kikuyu conversation, I began to wonder what was really going on today.  Doreen finally explained that women from all over Africa were coming to visit today. These women, she said, were first ladies, dignitaries, government officials and represented the countries from the African Union. 
At this, the lady sitting next to me exclaimed, "Oh, you're not one of them? I was sure you were one of the President's wives! I thought you just came early to spend more time with us."

There was no more time for questions. The honored guests would be arriving soon with police escort and Kenyan officials in their full regalia leading the way. Everyone - the white girl and about 50 Kenyans  - headed out to the dirt road where the processional would arrive.

It was time to practice our welcoming songs.  Kenyans can sing and they can certainly dance! Me...not so much. Trying to find shade, I kept inching to the back. My new friends would have none of that, however, as  I was brought to the front over and over.  Giving up on the idea of shade, I joined in the dancing and singing. I thought I was dancing pretty good, but for some reason it elicited a lot of laughter from my new friends. Mouthing "watermelon" was a good trick to make it look like I was singing along!

We were not performance-ready, but the guests were arriving nonetheless.  So, I joined in the welcoming songs and dances as the ladies arrived. There were definitely some confused looks on their faces. Not sure I was the reason for that...but who really knows.

These women - dignitaries, government officials, first ladies - represented numerous African countries. Ghana, Benin, Togo, Nigeria, Gabon, South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, Ethiopia, and Tanzania to name a few!
They were stunning as they walked through the fields in their colorful African clothing, beautiful head wraps, and high heels. 

As the tour began my plan was to stay in the background, watching it all unfold and doing my best detective work to figure out who these ladies were and why were they in rural Kenya.  But, as they were being led to the greenhouse, someone with a camera reached out to me and said, "Well, come on. The tour is starting!"  Wonder who she thought I was...

Off I went, touring these rural agricultural projects with government officials and first ladies from other African countries. I kept thinking, "If only I had my camera; I wish I had dressed nicer; stand up straight - good posture is important!"

These women were in Nairobi for the African Women's Decade Conference. Wednesday was "rural" day where the ladies were introduced to projects in rural Kenya that empower women.  At the end of the tour everyone gathered together to share a few words.  I was so proud of my friend Doreen who spoke for the group to these powerful women. I was so proud to hear the High Commissioner of Zambia encourage my friends to continue in their work.  She told them they are laying the groundwork for their daughters to grow up in a country where they will be considered equal to men in their value.  It was truly beautiful listening to the exchanges between these very learned women who represented so many different countries and the women who have never been out of rural Kenya and likely never graduated from high school.

I was overcome with emotion until I felt that little tickle in my throat that means a coughing fit is about to commence. There under a large acacia tree, in the midst of this dialoguing between these 2 groups of women, surrounded by local Kenyan govt. officials, it happened - a ridiculous, ill timed coughing episode. In all fairness I've been sick for over 2 weeks, but really?  More confused looks (some more irritated than confused) directed at me again.

After much hugging, laughter and smiles we waved good-bye to the honored guests. Ready to just run and hide, I tried to make my get-away. Instead, I found myself back on the covered porch sitting with all Kikuyu men.  Kenya is further along than most African countries in their treatment of women, but it is still a male dominated society. The talk of the day had been centered around empowering women and it was clear these men needed to download.  And, so I sat having a conversation with approx. 10 men about Biblical manhood and womanhood. Summing up the conversation: tense, awkward silence, uneasy laughter, true listening and sharing of thoughts, ending with genuine smiles. Whew...could have really used some back-up during that discussion! Thank you, Holy Spirit, for filling my mouth with the right words. 

5 hours after arriving I was sure it would be acceptable for me to leave. Silly me, we had not eaten anything yet. Doreen brought me 2 chapatis, a bowl full of goat meat, and a Coke. How desperately I needed Bob then to help with all that food. Bite by bite I ate and smiled...until I got the bite of pure goat fat! After chewing that piece for at least 10 minutes and devising a plan, I strategically put another bite in my mouth while quickly spitting the other piece of fat out.  Doreen, bless her, saved me by eating the last few bites of meat.

With a more than full stomach and a very full heart, Doreen, myself, and the lady who was sure I was the "first lady of somewhere" said our good-byes, loaded in my car and pulled away from the day's big event. 

To think, I thought it was going to be just another day...if only I had my camera!

Obviously, not my picture since I didn't have my camera and since we were in rural Kenya! But, wanted to give you a glimpse of the beautiful, strong African women I spent the day with.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Meet My Friend, Doreen

Friendship is a sheltering tree.  ~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Hold a true friend with both your hands.  ~Nigerian Proverb

Doreen is my friend. Doreen is unlike any other friend I have. Doreen is unlike almost any other person I know.  It has been my joy to introduce her to many friends who come to visit from the U.S. Today, I want to introduce her to you.

Doreen lives in the IDP Camp that is located about 30 min. from my house in Kijabe. She was forced to flee her home in Western Kenya during the election violence of 2007.  She and her 2 boys ran from their home with only the clothing they were wearing. They ran with fear and terror in their eyes and hearts not knowing the fate that awaited them.  They have never returned to their home.

After the presidential election in Dec. 2007 Kenya erupted into tribal clashes that ended with thousands of Kenyans dead/injured/traumatized at the hands of their own countrymen. Women were raped in daylight, people murdered, property set on fire, and lives changed forever. Doreen's husband, who was diabetic, died during the fall-out of the clashes. The Kikuyu tribe was the target of the violence in Western Kenya. Because her husband was Kikuyu, no one would provide him with the necessary insulin.
Think about that - no pharmacist, no doctor, no hospital would provide insulin to this man because of his tribe and thus, he died.

Before the violence, Doreen was a successful business woman. She was not wealthy according to American standards, but she had a home, a consistent income, and food for her family.  Due to circumstances out of her control, her life was forever changed.  Once an independent woman, Doreen was now dependent upon the corrupt Kenyan government and charitable organizations for her very survival.

I met Doreen a little over 1 year ago. We have shared many conversations over cups of chai sitting together in her home, a tent donated by the UNHCR.  Doreen is a loving mother to her 2 young boys, Daniel and Peter. She is on the leadership council of the IDP Camp and also on the board of the Eldima Poultry Project within the camp.  Doreen is the lead teacher at the preschool that seeks to educate children from at least 3 nearby IDP camps.
She is not a lazy woman; she does not view herself as a victim; Doreen is an extraordinary woman.

One of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon is sitting with Doreen, talking for hours over a bowl of amazing beans and the best chapati. Did I mention that Doreen is also a fabulous cook! She has a charcoal cooker, which is all she needs to prepare a meal for her family or for a group of 25+ people!

Doreen making her delicious chapati on the charcoal cooker.

On most days, Doreen talks freely of the post-election violence and surrounding events. She talks of what it is like to now live in a tent in a dirt field. She talks of her hopes for the future. Doreen always talks of God and His faithfulness to her and her family. She has indeed endured trials of many kinds; she has known suffering at a level that is hard to truly understand. Nevertheless, Doreen's faith and love for Jesus never seem to waver.  She has had so much taken from her, yet she still gives freely. She gives encouragement, laughter, and love. We've had many hilarious conversations as we discuss cultural differences. The funniest was hearing how we were creating scandalous rumors because Bob and our friend Dan would give Doreen big hugs - in public!

Dan and Rachel's son Brayden receiving a tender hug from Doreen. 

Many times I am amazed at the things that come out of Doreen's mouth. "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks."  Her heart overflows with the joy of the Lord.

On more than one occasion when talking about the violence, I have expressed my sorrow at the suffering she and her boys endured. Doreen usually responds with this:
"Julie, if the violence had never occurred, I would still be living in my house in Eldoret. I would never have come here and we would never have met. You see, God had this planned all along."
When I told her we could have just met in heaven and still had eternity together she shook her head exclaiming, "But, this way we will know each other already and know each other's stories. Because of that, the celebration in heaven will be even greater!"

Just over one week ago tragedy struck again. The son of a dear friend of ours in the IDP camp was murdered. Heartbroken,  it was clear Doreen struggled throughout the week leading up to the burial.  Her heart was heavy for our friend Joseph, whose son was now gone due to more violence.  The night before the burial Doreen hosted our family and the entire team from The Village Church for dinner. She insisted we all spend the evening together to encourage and bless one another. (Romans 12:15) She made her famous beans, rice, chapati, and chai. I could tell her heart hurt for Joseph, but her faith remained resolute. "God knows these things", she would tell me and "God will lead us on."

Bob and I had planned to attend the burial. However, as often happens in Kenya, plans changed. Bob had to be in the hospital to perform a minor surgery on a patient. When I called Doreen to express our regrets at not being able to attend, she once again assured me in the way that only Doreen can. Her words,  "We are going to take care of the dead; Bob is going to take care of the living. God will use him today and we will be blessed knowing he is caring for the living."

Upon their return from the burial, Doreen and Joseph came to Naomi's Village to join us for the Kenyan BBQ celebrating the completion of the main events room.  When it came time for them to leave, powerful words were again spoken. This time by Joseph, but with Doreen smiling in complete agreement. Joseph said, "The day began with mourning but ended with celebration. God has ordained these events, so tonight when we lay our heads down, we'll remember the celebration and have peace in our hearts."

I am currently studying Habakkuk.  Doreen is a living example of Habbakuk's confident worship of the Lord given at the conclusion of the book. Doreen has learned through her life experiences that circumstances do not dictate the worthiness of God. He alone is worthy and He is always worthy of our praise!

Habakkuk 3:17-18
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior. 

Pray for Doreen and her children, Daniel and Peter. Pray for Joseph. And, if God ever brings you to Kenya, you will be immensely blessed to share a cup of chai with Doreen and listen to her testify of the faithfulness of our great God and King.

Monday, September 13, 2010

This God - His Way is Perfect

I awoke the morning of Thursday, August 26, 2010, with this scripture in my heart:

"This God—his way is perfect;
   the word of the LORD proves true;
   he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him."  
 -Psalm 18:30 (also found in 2 Samuel 22:31) 

This particular Thursday was a big day for the Mendonsa family. It was moving day! Because we resigned from CURE, we had to move out of the house we called home for our first 2 years in Kenya. (I'll write soon about our transition in more detail).  When I awoke with this verse on my heart I believed God was reminding me that the change in houses was not something that should cause me worry or stress.

What a kind and compassionate God to speak to me on moving day!

The day proceeded as all "moving-days" do. There were friends to help, vehicles loaded full, laughter, stress, tears (only me), and then hunger.  Most moving days would conclude with pizza delivered to your door as you sit amidst boxes and bags. Since Kijabe has no pizza delivery service, we did the next best thing and went to dinner at our friend's house.  Afterwards, we returned to our new home with new vigor to begin the unpacking.  Until about 10:00pm when exhaustion took over!

And, still the Lord whispered to my heart..."His way is perfect." Yes, Lord, Your ways are perfect.

My heart full and at peace in our new home, we began the search for contact cases, saline, and toothbrushes to get ready for a night's sleep.

And, then...Bob's phone rang.  There was much confusion for the first several minutes of his conversation with a young man named Peter who works at Naomi's Village. Peter stays the night at Naomi's Village to serve as a watchman over the supplies.  I could only discern that Peter was telling Bob there had been thieves at Naomi's Village. The conversation was obviously full of adrenaline and miscommunications due to our different accents.

By the time Bob and Peter finished talking we knew there had been a robbery at Naomi's Village; Peter had been beaten; the thieves came with a big truck and plans to empty the container of all our tools and supplies; the local villagers had been alerted of a potential robbery and came to the rescue, running the thieves off.  It also appeared it had been an inside job.

"He is a shield for those who take refuge in Him..."

"This God - His way is perfect..."

"The Word of the Lord proves true..."

These phrases, in no particular order anymore, kept pounding through my heart.  God had put these words in my heart for my good at the beginning of this momentous day. God knew and God was preparing me.

What a kind and compassionate God to speak to me the promises I would need to cling to in the upcoming days. His Word in my heart, a light unto my path.

Peter was not badly wounded; the thieves made off with a few items, but nothing like they had intended; it was evident to the villagers as well as our friends in the IDP camp that Naomi's Village belongs to God and He protected His own.  Many of them have since said this very thing to us.

A week later, with the investigation still on-going, Bob, our friend Jillian and I had lunch with Doreen, a dear friend who lives in the IDP camp.  She and Bob began discussing Isaiah 55:9.

"For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
   so are my ways higher than your ways
   and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Isaiah 55:9

I sat there in Doreen's tent listening to the two discuss the magnitude of this verse. God pierced my heart again with His sovereignty in all He does. In all He does, He is perfect; in all His ways, He is perfect; in all His thoughts, He is perfect; and His ways are higher - extending beyond the normal; extending beyond me.

The real beauty came when I understood God had put His thoughts on my heart the very morning of the Naomi's Village robbery. His thoughts - His higher thoughts. "My way is perfect, Julie.  Take refuge in me, I will be your shield."  And, then another verse flooded my heart,

"Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him." 
Matthew 6:8

I realized that the words God spoke to me the morning of Aug. 26 were so powerful because I knew them to be true. The words came from Him through the Scripture He left for us. There are songs, poems, and literature that have deep meaning, bring comfort, or a heart of worship. But, they don't carry the same power as the Word of God. Because He spoke His very Word to my heart, there has been no doubt in my mind or heart about that night; about what could have happened; about the days yet to come. God was and is the shield. His way is perfect.

It would be amazing if I awoke every morning with a promise from the Lord on my heart. A promise put there by Him for my good.  What I do know is for God to speak His Word to my heart, I must know His Word. I must meditate on it; dwell upon it; savor it; treasure it.  I must allow time in my day to hear Him speak. And, when He whispers His Word on my heart...I'll know His Word proves true.

This God—his way is perfect;
   the word of the LORD proves true;
   he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Mzungu Cry

In my heart I know that a day well spent is a day spent with the people you love.  Many days I get to spend time at the IDP camp just down the hill from where we live in Kijabe. An experience in itself, the 30-45 minute drive is full of bumps, and then bigger bumps, rocks, pikis (motorcylces), people, and the occasional donkey. After several hours spent at the IDP camp, I usually return home very dirty and very tired, both emotionally and physically.  But, I always return home with a grateful heart that God has given me another day with sweet friends.

Spending much time at the camp has allowed me and several of my friends to develop a bond with many of the children.  What a delight to see their personalities come out in full as they get used to the mzungu who is around so much.  There were several who, when seeing me and friends coming their way, would immediately break into what we call "the mzungu cry!"  I never knew I could be so scary!  Over the course of time, however, the children have learned to trust us and share a little piece of their hearts with us.  There are others who would never smile or giggle. Some of those very children now run and squeal with delight when they see the car pulling into the camp. It is not that I or any of my friends have done anything amazing. Really, there are times I think we are a little boring.  But, God has placed this love in our hearts for these children and it is our joy to spend our time in their presence.

My friend Jillian, who happens to be an excellent photographer with a tender heart for African children, is visiting us for the next few weeks. She has already captured beautiful images of some of these little ones.

Meet some of the people I love:

Joy.  Every time we came walking towards her, Joy would bury her head and let out a loud "mzungu cry!" That was, until about 2 weeks ago.  Slowly warming up to us, Joy now lets us hold her hand and smiles and giggles when she sees us coming. What a cute smile she has!

Peter. Formerly known as "Peter the Pincher."  He earned his nickname by pinching the other children and us. Many of our early visits ended with him crying and fighting with the others. Peter has learned to relax a little and is now all fun and games.  

Vanessa and sister Trisha.  Many of you already know of Vanessa and Trisha. We met them only about 6 weeks ago.  Fleeing from the IDP camp to Mombasa, their mother left them to the care of an elderly grandmother who has a full time job.  Vanessa, 6 yrs. old, has become the primary caregiver for her younger sister Trisha. Our first meeting of Trisha found her covered in mud and feces, a rash from her neck to her feet, and sad tears.  Vanessa, very stoic, kept her distance as she watched us day after day.  On my last visit to the IDP camp, Vanessa ran to greet me with a skip in her step and held my hand tightly as we walked to one of the tents. Trisha is all about Emily! Emily and her have a special relationship as Trisha has felt Emily's love for her. How precious to see these genuine smiles! 

Martin. I don't know a lot about Martin, except that he loves to wear Superman pjs and loves to mimic whatever we say.  Martin stayed in the background for a long time.  Only recently has he emerged to play with us during our visits.  He loves to repeat whatever we say in his sweet sing-song voice.  My favorite is to hear him repeating "The Barney Song"...I love you, you love me...

Kamau. Cynthia.  These 2 are not related, but they are 2 of the most lovable children in the whole camp. Kamau, 4  yrs. old, is 1 of 10 siblings.  Drawn to Kamau on our very first visit to the IDP camp, we spent almost the entire time trying to make him smile, to no avail. He is not smiling in this picture, but he is normally all smiles now! Bob is Kamau's favorite. It is a sight to see Kamau skipping and jumping all the way from his tent right up into Bob's arms.  Cynthia, whose mother is dying of AIDS, is 11 yrs. old. A beautiful young lady, she is smart and full of hugs.  Cynthia loves to take Emily to her tent and prepare chai for the 2 of them.  

I share these faces and brief stories with you as a reminder that the heart of a child, though it may be covered with layers of hurt and fear, is still soft ground.  Scripture tells us to "guard our hearts above all else because it is the wellspring of life."  Many of these children have learned to guard their hearts. They've been wounded by the evil acts of others; they've gone hungry at night as they try to sleep in cold tents; they've seen their parents weep as they have adjusted to a life that was forced upon them.  But, we have seen that in these guarded hearts, there is the heart of a child that still wants to laugh and play and love.

Naomi's Village.  Not all of the children above need Naomi's Village, but some of them do.  These children are why we press on to complete Naomi's Village. We long for the day they'll not have to live with such guarded hearts.  

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Me and Meryl Streep

When I was in college my favorite movie was Out of Africa, starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford.  The beauty of the country of Kenya, the romance of it all, and Meryl Streep's clothing captivated me.  Not once during the numerous times I watched the movie did it ever occur to me to actually go to Kenya.  I was quite content viewing it from the other side of the screen - the other side of the world. 

25 years after Out of Africa hit the theaters, I find myself living in Kenya.  My family's Kenya experience began in July 2003 when God very clearly led us to Kijabe, Kenya for a one month stay. Emily was 5 years old and Will only 4 years old.  Looking at pictures of our first trip to Kenya, I have since exclaimed to my husband, Bob, "I would have never taken them to Kenya back then if I had known how little they were!"  During that month we experienced beauty that left us speechless, suffering that left us heartbroken, and ridiculousness that provided much laughter. We left Kenya in 2003 not knowing if we would ever return.  

Those of you who have had the opportunity to visit Kenya know there is something about this country and her people that find a permanent place in your heart.  It was no different for us.  

After 3 subsequent trips to Kenya, our family moved to Kijabe, Kenya in August 2008.  My husband is an orthopedic surgeon and is working part-time at the 2 local hospitals in Kijabe. I taught high school math at Rift Valley Academy for the past 2 years, but have resigned from that to focus entirely on the children's home we are building.  Emily and Will attend Rift Valley Academy and love living in Africa. Together with Lost Orphans International we are building a children's home called Naomi's Village.  There is more information about what our family is doing on our website (the link is listed above).  It has been an interesting, exciting, frustrating, hilarious, heart-breaking ride in Kenya.  Most days I am touched anew by the beauty, the suffering, or the ridiculousness of Kenya. We do have a website and I also have a facebook.  Recently, however, I felt the need for a personal space to write to help me process this life in Kenya.  I chose a public forum because some of the experiences God allows me to be a part of just need to be shared.  I look forward to sharing life in Kenya, seen through the eyes of this suburban mom, with you - wherever you may be!