02 Aug Kenya believe it?
So, I went to Africa. and holy COW, it was incredible. I made incredible friendships, met amazing people, and devoured delicious food (did someone say samosa? chapati? hot chai?). I look forward to the day that I get to see my new friends again.
I just wanted to talk a little bit about some of the things I learned while I was there:
1) Kenyan people are JOYFUL!
Kenya is riddled with poverty and, to be honest, it’s difficult to process. Some of the people there literally have nothing. Well, the American version of nothing. They have nothing concrete. But they do have each other. and God. and love. and joy. and faith. They have the kind of love that is pure and they have the kind of faith that moves mountains. Just look at those faces!
For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you. ~Philemon 1:7
2) Kenyan people don’t blame God for their circumstances
One of the biggest lessons I learned from Kenyan people was their ability to distinguish between what God brought into their lives and what people brought into their lives. The truth is, God gave people free will and that is where the majority of awful circumstances stem from. Most of the negative things that have happened in my life have been a direct consequence of either my actions or that of someone else’s. Free will is what leads to decisions that lead to negative ramifications. While I was there, I did not see a single person turn angry eyes to God because of their circumstances. Instead, they praised Him for the little they had and for allowing them to survive. They were able to realize that God is what allows us to overcome difficult times, not the one who puts us through them.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. ~Romans 8:28
3) A little bit of love goes a long way
The main thing I did in Kenya was love. I loved on people, I talked to people, and I listened to people. Cuddling babies was one of my favorite things to do. One of the moments that broke my heart was when I was hugging this little girl named Beyonce (I kid you not, that’s her name). She stuck her head in my hand and nuzzled it and I gently brushed her face with my hand and she just melted. She longed for that love and that affection and I was more than happy to give it to her. She didn’t want me to play with her, she just wanted to be near me and have me hold her. Other children just wanted to sit with me. Some braided my hair. Many asked if I could take their pictures (Mzungu, pitcha!).
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. ~1 John 4:7-8