Every day at Maisha is special and God’s grace abounds. But today was one of those rare days where God’s glory shined so brightly, it soaked us all until we overflowed and danced in a river of delight. Even the 3 and 4 year olds from the Academy picked up on the atmosphere – one of them grabbed a drum and the rest of them formed a straight line behind, singing and dancing in unity!
Team Maisha discusses “highs and lows” (thanks Kally Huffty) at dinner each night, and we were all hard pressed to find a low tonight…but the highs were never ending. All 85 Maisha Academy students (ages 3-9) got new shoes, toothbrushes and toothpaste. What an absolute joy to put on their new socks and shoes and spend a few moments wiggling their toes and loving on each of them! Their smiles of pure delight were so sweet.
Class time in the Academy was extra special as Kristen modeled teaching techniques and our teachers eagerly grabbed hold of the new ideas and made them their own. I heard Kristen comment how it was one of the best moments she’s ever experienced.
Our cooks, the hardest working ladies I know, have been relieved of dish duty this week as our team takes on the challenge. If you ever wonder if we really feed 450 every day, just come join us in doing dishes. Thanks to Kristen, they have new tubs and real dish soap. Anastasia was happily crying and just kept saying she had no idea how to express how happy she was.
The Maisha building contractor and site planner met with Beatrice and I today to unveil the long awaited plans, giving us a view of the future completed Maisha property. It was a realization of years of dreaming God’s dreams and finally getting an ordered layout as well as seeing how far He’s already brought us. We will post the final plans on the website soon which include a primary school, chapel, flush toilets, sports grounds, expanded farming area plus more!
In over a month, we’ve yet to see one of the famous Kenyan sunsets as clouds blanket the skies in the late afternoon. But today’s Glory was crowned with a stunning sunset as we cruised Lake Victoria in an old dhow fishing boat, gliding among the hippos. Thank you Jesus for such a peaceful, awesome display of your majesty!
I’ve saved the best for last. We’ve all been inspired by Bea’s story and moved to action by the hope and future each of us can give one child at a time. Most of you know when Beatrice was a child, she picked up and returned a visiting missionaries wallet; through which God opened a door of opportunity and blessing to her future. Her heart’s desire is to give that same opportunity to other children. Well today Bea’s story came full circle. Two young boys that have been coming to the Maisha Feeding Program for the last several months were faced with a momentous decision. A considerable sum of Kenyan Shillings fell unbeknownst from Joy’s pocket – funding for a basketball goal. Wycliff and Stephen found it on the ground and came to Ian, one of our local leaders. They told him they’d found something special and called him outside to show him in private. He was stunned by the size of money Steven pulled from his pocket and even more so that they were returning it. Their clothes were tattered, they had on no shoes and had just taken a small portion for lunch that would be their last meal most likely until Monday; yet they still chose to return what would easily be the equivalent to support them for a couple of years.
Ian marched the boys over to where Beatrice, Joy and I were standing and told us the story. We listened and looked at each other in amazement. I finally shouted in excitement “Bea, it’s your story! They’ve just done the exact same thing that started this all!” Afterwards, we agreed it was like God was shining an extra bright spotlight to point these boys out to us today and ensure we partner with Him to get them on the right path. Bea was ecstatic as her childhood flashed before her eyes. God blessed her today by giving her an instant replay now that she has the wisdom to understand the significance of what happened when she was a child.
Talking with the boys, we learned they were total orphans which makes this tale even more extraordinary. The integrity and character they showed today is tremendous. Beatrice promised Wycliff and Stephen they would be given the best education and opportunity to attend high school in the U.S. through our new exchange program Maisha Scholars.
I don’t know how a day could get better than this. We have truly tasted and seen the goodness of the Lord!