Leaving Beat the Drum Children’s Home this evening was difficult to do, but we have many other projects to attend to in the limited time we have. Today, we were blessed to attend the GOA Church in Maai Mahiu, shepherded strongly by Pastor John. As expected, the Kenyan praise and worship time was rich and spirit filled, and was followed by a message brought by our dear friend Laban Gatau of GOA, Before entering the church, Connie was greeted enthusiastically by a beautiful young girl (maybe 3), who recognized her from a previous visit. She wanted Connie to hold her, and so she did until part way through the service, when the little girl walked over and had Courtney hold her, and she napped in Courtney’s arms. For those reading these updates in email, there is a picture of Courtney with her on the reliefforkenya.blogspot.com site. After worship, while walking back to the van, sweet Eunice asked if I wanted to see the school that she attends. How could I resist this invitation? We walked to the private school that is attended by all of the children at Beat the Drum, passing by some very poor sections of Maai Mahiu to see the school which was like a ray of sunshine in the dark, backing up to a beautiful wooded hill that rises above the Rift Valley. This brief walk was a great time for me to connect with Eunice, who was clearly proud of her school and thankful for the support being provided through Partners for Care which allows her to attend with her brothers and sisters from Beat the Drum. Once returning to Beat the Drum, we enjoyed another great meal with Pastor John, Mary, and the children, following which Courtney and Connie’s son David enjoyed some time playing with the children, while Connie and I shared time discussing hopes and plans John has for Beat the Drum, and thanking him for the great time we had and for the amazing job he is doing with the children – all of which are treated as his own. Connie commented on how there is no way to know which are his natural versus adopted children, and John mentioned that their teacher at school knows all of them as his and Mary’s children. Before leaving, Connie and John orchestrated another dedication ceremony for Kathi’s House, gathering all in the original home – having John remove the framed picture of Kathi which has been hanging in their home, handing it to Courtney, and allowing Courtney to lead the procession to Kathi’s House, where this picture will now hang. This was a special moment, followed by the children honoring us by leading several praise songs – which included some versus altered to include phrases such as “There is clapping today in Kathi’s House (in the House of the Lord)”. Then they performed a few things they had prepared for our visit. We have these on video, and will be sharing to the web once we are able. What a rewarding and joy filled time this was! Shortly after this we had to leave – after many long hugs and sad good-byes. Looking forward to the next visit. If Connie cannot find me one day this week, it will be because I have jumped on a mutatu back to Beat the Drum….
Blessed to be in Kenya. David
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