The team of volunteers arrived in Kenya this past Thursday night. I’ve spent the last two weeks preparing for their arrival so I am thrilled to have them here, and so are the children! They love to have visitors at their home, and you can definitely see that in their smiles.
We arrived at the center early Saturday morning. Most of the children were in school so we had time to tour the center. Three of our volunteers have been to Rapha before, so it was great to see their reactions to all the changes and improvements.
Around lunchtime we walked to the local primary school. Our children requested that the volunteers meet them after school so they could walk home with us. This was an experience. Not only did we walk home with our children, but we walked home with children from the community too!
We’ve spent the rest of the weekend playing with the children. There is a lot of joy at the center, and I’m excited to see how this experience will transform our volunteers and our children. Tomorrow we will begin our work projects. The team is already excited to help raise funds for the center, which is very exciting for me. We have a lot of projects that we would like to complete including:
—The construction of an office for the Rapha Secondary School
—Installation of a biogas system that will produce clean fuel in our kitchen
—Painting and finishing our dormitory and classrooms.
—Cleaning and planting in our greenhouse.
If you’d like to contribute to any of these projects, we would appreciate any donation that you are able to make. You can donate online at our PayPal site or send checks made payable to HEAL to 8 Court St. Rutland, VT 05701. THANK YOU!
Raising money is definitely the most difficult part of my job. During breakfast on Saturday I expressed some of the challenges we have at the center. We are in a very good place, but the needs are still huge, and we have so much to accomplish before the center is fully developed. It’s overwhelming, but at the end of the day, I know that God is in control. I’ve been through enough challenges to understand that there is always light after a storm. Sami, one of the volunteers, happened to have a shirt on under her sweater that said “God is in Control”. It was a great reminder for the whole team, as we prepared to visit the center for the first time.
We went back to our rooms to gather our things, and Sami knocked on my door with a gift. It was sent with her by a dear friend and supporter in California. It was a beautiful journal with the words, “Everything is going to be okay” on the cover. Wow. Definite God moment. A clear message from God that everything is going to be okay! Thank you Toni 🙂
Until next time,
P.S. Two of the volunteers are writing blogs while they’re here! You can follow along at:
Lauren Reardon: www.laurenereardon.wordpress.com
Lauren Grant: laurenngrant.blogspot.com
And you can always find more photos and information on the HEAL Facebook page!