This morning I pulled out my journals from last year's Journey Internship and I found some incredible entries from the time that we were able to spend in Ngaamba. It's a pretty incredible thing to read through my thoughts from times in Kenya, and specifically with our Journey Internship students. I read prayers of hope, intimacy, joy, glee, intervention, and entries with names of people I met. A few highlights from my journal and journey last summer in Ngaamba::
1) There is a sweet picture drawn during Sunday church in my journal. I was sitting next to a little boy who would not tell me his name, but he sat willingly next to me and we drew pictures during the sermon. He was fascinated by the pen I had. He drew an image of a bus (perhaps it was our 410 Bridge Bus), and a picture of his country. I drew a picture next to his of a cross and a heart. This little boy and I exchanged love and friendship through drawing our relationship. I think of him today.
2) At one of the school's we taught at, I was given the nickname Mwende, which means 'Beloved' in Kikamba, a tribal language in Ngaamba. I am not sure how I got this nickname, but it does remind me of the incredible love from the Father, and it is such a message of what God was teaching me in Ngaamba, last year. Thinking of it now, I am filled with peace for this community and I find myself blissfully missing them, and yet so aware that they are in the Hands of God.
3) Probably the most meaningful moment for me was meeting a little girl named Mercy. I sat next to Mercy and her grandmother at church, and felt drawn to Mercy. For the longest time, I didn't know her name, but simply wanted to hug her. I think I was being obvious, because grandmother handed her to me. Mercy sat in my arms, soaking up the affection. We played patty-cake for a short while, and then Mercy fell asleep. After the service someone walked past me and said: "That is Mercy and she is an orphan" and then she kept on walking. My heart broke and my eyes started to leak gentle tears. In many areas, being an orphan meant that she had no mom or dad, but perhaps other family took her in. That is why she was with her grandmother. I remember saying Goodbye to Mercy and just pleading that I would know another like her again. Today, I miss Mercy and think of her often - I have a picture that reminds me of my dear, Mercy.
Perhaps our Journey 2011 team is playing with Mercy or sharing stories with her.
I have word from Nathanael that everyone is doing really well! They are having an incredible time with the 252 team and within the community! Everyone is healthy!
Deuteronomy 7:9 (NASB) :: "Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments"
Psalm 103:17 (NKJV) :: "But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children..."
Praying with you --