Kenya on My Mind

4 Dec

picstitchTwo days ago I returned from my second trip to Kenya since I’ve been President of Feed The Children. It was another wonderful adventure.

While there were countless business meetings and other official activities to attend, what I enjoyed most was the time spent with the children at the Dagoretti Children’s Center in Nairobi, an orphange we run for about 100 kids.

Different from our other programs around the world, the Kenyan kids are our own! Once these kids enter our care, they are ours for life (unless they are adopted or reunited with family somehow). Many of them were either dropped off at our doorstep or left in hospital rooms by parents who no longer felt they could take care of them as babies. Some lost their parents in terrorist attacks. Some of our toddlers were found in trash heaps. Many of them have special needs. All of them just want to be seen. As I greeted each one, what mattered was not the color of my skin or my country of my origin. Rather, what they wanted from me (and all their caregivers) is to know that they were loved.

As a received big hugs and warm smiles from babies, teens and even from our group home of young adult men, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “I have the best job in the world.” Though the circumstances that brought each of the children to the center were harsh and most of all unjust (every child deserves the right to grow up in a loving family!), to see each of the kids thrive was the spiritual jolt my soul needed.

It’s easy in a line of work like this, especially in an organization where transformation is the name of our game plan, to get bogged down and discouraged. It’s easy to forget why we work so hard. It’s easy to not say prayers of thanksgiving. The challenges can sometimes outweigh the feelings of blessings. However, as much as I went to be with and serve the kids last week in Kenya, I need to declare that they served me!

As I muse about all of this today with Kenya still on my mind, I am grateful for the encouragement I received in Kenya last week.

My wife and I often talked about what our eyes saw and our ears heard last week. We couldn’t help but think about the scripture where Jesus says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

In Kenya last week, we saw so many of the faces of God. And for this, even as I’ve settled back into the harshness of winter in the US, I say thank you, Kenya.

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