Sunday, July 22, 2012

Some Things About KENYA...

I want to share a few of the things I noticed/found interesting/loved about KENYA!!

#1 Soccer (aka "futbol")
     It doesn't matter how big or small the field is;
     it doesn't matter how tall or short the grass is cut;
     it doesn't matter if there are 6 people or 60 people playing;
     it doesn't matter if they have shoes or not;
     it doesn't matter how big, small, or flat the ball is....

#2 The little children :) 
     These are the happiest, friendliest kids I have ever met!
     They all just wave and smile.
     The little children often run after our van with big grins.
     It is seriously the most precious thing I've ever seen!


#3 The roads....
     Their roads give a whole new meaning to "backroads"...
     Most roads are straight dirt...the back roads are straight rock..
     Either way, they are bumpy!!

     (I'm not gonna lie, I kinda miss those roads)

#4 School!!!
     In their schools, they do not call them "grades" 
       (like 1st grade or 7th grade), they call them "classes."
     Also, they don't call it elementary, middle, or high school - 
       instead, it's primary=elementary and middle (1-8) and 
       secondary=high school.
     Each class at a normal primary school has about 50-70 kids!
       Now imagine that teachers!!

#5 Talking 
     In Kenya, the average person knows 3 languages:
       English, Swahili, and their tribal language
     Becasue of this, and the language barrier, I had to learn to
     T  A  L  K    V  E  R  Y    S  L  O  W  L  Y!

I love this land!
 #6 This land!
     I have always loved the country more than the city, and that makes this place 10x's more 
     The mountains are inspiring!
     Lake Victoria is breath-taking!
     There are rice paddies and maze (corn) fields..
     There are banana trees and pineapple trees..
     There are avacado and papaya trees..
     and there are sugar cane fields....EVERYWHERE!!
     .....and I LOVE IT!!!

#7 The animals..
     It just wouldn't be right if there weren't animals roaming all   
         around: cows, goats, donkeys, chicken....these are a few of 
         the mischevious creatures
     (it's kinda weird NOT seeing them everywhere...)

#8 The sounds
     I might have worn earplugs, but I would take the sounds of Africa over the sounds of a city in    
     America any day!

#9 The food!
     Ugali, chapattis, and mandazi are just a few of the traditional Kenyan foods I got to try!
     Of course, you can't go wrong with rice and beans or a cup of chai!
     They don't have a lot of flavor or variety, but the food is inexpensive and nutritious.

#10 Their smiles :) :) :) :) :) :)
Cynthia, Jen, and Flora :)
      they have the MOST BEAUTIFUL smiles ever!!!
      they have so much joy and life inside of them!
      it really is crazy - they have so few possessions, yet so much joy,
          while we have so much stuff and no joy at all...
      I love these smiles!! I LOVE THESE KIDS!


Saturday, July 21, 2012



I am ONE.
I am only ONE person. 
but that's all it takes - ONE.

ONE - created the moon and the stars.
ONE - breathed life into man.
ONE - laid down His life for you and me.
ONE - loved me first.
ONE - will come back ONEday.

I have recently been reminded of the starfish story:

  A young girl was walking along the beach when she noticed thousands and thousands of starfish washed up on the sand. She noticed that the sun was coming up and the tide was going out, and she knew that if she didn't do something all the starfish would die.  So she began picking them up and throwing them back in the ocean.
An older man saw the girl and wondered what she was doing, so he asked, "What are you doing?"
and the girl replied, "The sun is coming up and the tide is going out and if I don't do something all of these starfish will die."
"But sweetie," the old man replied, "Can't you see? There are miles and miles of beach and thousands and thousands of starfish. You cannot possibly make a difference!" 
The young girl, crushed and defeated, thought for a moment. Then she bent down, picked up a starfish, and threw it back in the ocean. "I made a difference to that ONE."

The concept of ONE has been on my heart and mind a lot lately.

I heard this story while I was in Kenya and it really impacted the way I thought. At the time, I felt like I hadn't made a very big difference.  But once I heard this, I realized a few things:

  1. NUMBERS don't matter. 
  2. HOW doesn't matter.
  3. WHO doesn't matter.
It didn't matter if I reached ONE person or ONE thousand people.
It didn't matter if I reached them playing soccer, singing a song, or talking for two hours.
And it didn't matter if I reached the kids at the orphanage, the people in the community, or the people on my team.

ONE person can make a difference. 
I can make a difference. 
I must make a difference. 
I must be ONE. 
I am ONE. 
I am ONE to make a difference. 
I am ONE to help.
I am ONE to show and share.
I am ONE to love. 
I AM ONE, so I must go out to the other ONES: I cannot just sit along the shore while some are washing up, drying out, and dying, and others are drifting out to sea, struggling, and sinking. 

What mattered was the fact that I reached. I was helping. I was playing. I was singing. I was sharing. I was loving.
...I was throwing starfish back into the ocean...I was making a difference, even if it was only to ONE.

Live life like you are the only ONE that can make a difference.
Help ONE person like they are the only person out there to help.
Tell others about THE ONLY ONE that can truly save.

Help ONE.
Tell others about THE ONE.