Haley Clasen: 99 Things I Learned in Kenya

Written by shelly. Posted in Missions, Stories

When Haley returned from her recent trip, she made a list of 99 things she learned. Here is a selection from those 99.

1. Saying goodbye is hard. Not saying goodbye is worse.

3. Kenyans are easy to fall in love with.

Haley with kids

6. Kenyans roll their r’s, and it makes English words sound a lot cooler.

12. Quiet moments are just as important, if not more important, than exciting ones.

19. Even if you’re on the other side of the world, it still feel a lot the same because you are still you, and God is still God.

22. It only takes one skeptical comment to plant an untruth.

23. Mosquito nets are annoying to sleep under. But malaria is even more annoying.

27. Two weeks can go faster, and yet slower, than you would imagine.

30. It’s a great feeling to sit on the grass in the sun with a Kenyan girl whom you truly love playing with your hair.

31. Swahili words are spelled just like they sound.

34. Fanta in a glass bottle is unbeatable.

37. Your heart is only touched if you let it be.

Sisters38. Little sisters somehow manage to be the most annoying thing on the planet and your best friend at the same time.

39. A picture drawn by a kid you may never see again holds so many more memories than meets the eye.

42. Pain can be like a scab on your heart. It heals, then falls off and starts bleeding before it heals again.

47. Kids steal your heart like nothing else.

50. Long hours staring at beautiful grassland on safari is a really good time to think
through everything.

51. Sometimes, the tears must stay in.

53. So much can change so fast.

54. God is Hope, whether we accept it or not.

55. When kids are given the opportunity, they are extremely creative.

59. The less “stuff” you have, the more giving you can be with it.

Haley with Barasa twin

60. We’re all humans. We have the same faults— jealousy, fear, selfishness. Just in different ways. No one’s perfect.

61. But, we all worship the same LORD. We all receive the same grace, the same love, the same redemption. Just in different ways. We are all made beautiful. We are one CHURCH of GOD.

62. When a service is in another language, all you have to do is reach deep down inside yourself, to worship God with the part of you that needs no words.

69. God is a great, powerful, and imaginative Creator. Just look at His creation—both nature
                                                                      and His people.

73. It’s a great feeling to hold a 3-year-old African boy in your arms that you know you will be sponsoring.

78. American roads and Kenyan roads are very different.

79. American drivers and Kenyan drivers are very different.

80. I already want to go back.

81. God calls each of us to something different. When we do what He asks, miracles take place through Him, and lives are changed.

87. We are blessed. Let’s bless others.

97. Everyone should go to Africa. There’s some new piece of wisdom for everyone there. And everyone could use a little broadening of their horizons.


99. We are blessed with more things than we realize. However, it’s really easy for us to lack the qualities of the village Africans and the missionaries— the joy, the hope that never dies in the midst of terrible  circumstances, forgiveness, selflessness, giving hearts, genuineness, openness with their lives, freedom, communities of support, true love for their neighbors, trust in the Lord and in others…. The list goes on and on.  It’s powerful to hear their stories, see their joy, and know how deep these qualities run. I wonder, what could happen if everyone in the world took after their example?

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