Jaclyn’s Story: For the Love of a Boy

Written by lauren. Posted in Missions, Sponsorship, Stories

Jaclyn Smith came home from her first visit to Makutano with a passion for the village and the people living there. When she returned a year later, the love she felt for one little boy helped her passion grow even more.

My experiences in Makutano are something I could talk about for days if someone was willing to listen. I have been blessed to have the opportunity to go to the village three different times. There is one reason in particular that I keep returning, and that is a little boy named Reagan. I remember him vividly from my second trip, which is when I first met him. We were standing outside of the airport and a small group of children from Heritage Academy were there to greet us. They were all singing songs of welcome, some of which required movement to the beat. I fell in love with Reagan right then and there, watching
everyone stomping their feet to the beat and seeing him, the only one stomping on the off-beat. He sat on my lap on the bus ride back to the village because they were not enough seats for everyone. I loved every minute of it!

Jaclyn and ReaganBefore there was a child sponsorship program, I knew I wanted to help him in whatever way I could. I asked about his situation and learned Reagan’s story. Reagan’s mother came to the village to visit with friends and a family allowed her
to stay with them while she visited. She got pregnant while she was in Makutano and gave birth to sweet little Reagan. She stayed long enough to nurse him, but then left. The family she had been staying with tried to find her, but were unable to do so. Thankfully, they decided that they would care for Reagan as best as they could. I am very thankful that they took him in.

Once the sponsorship program started up, I was finally able to provide for him and pay for his schooling and any medical expenses he had. It was amazing to see how much he had grown on my third trip and I kept him as close to me as much as I could!

Jaclyn says goodbyeOn that trip, I was able to meet the family who had taken him in and the man he called his grandfather. While I was at the home where he was staying, I learned that he had been sleeping on the ground, in a cook room filled with smoke, on dirty rags. My heart broke and I promised myself that I would do anything to get him a real bed. After I left, Margaret and Davis went on a home visit and decided that it would be best for Reagan to stay in the boys’ dorm because he was not given enough food at his house. He now lives in the new boys dorm and I can tell from pictures how happy he is to be there.

God blessed me the moment we met and I will continue to visit him every chance I get. I hope to see him finish school and go on to do great things with his life!

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.

Verse

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?

Calvary Team Update

Written by admin. Posted in Missions

Our group from Calvary Christian Church in Winchester has now been here over a week.  They were able to frame Florence’s house, and the women from the village will start mudding the walls on Tuesday!  They also got a new iron-sheet roof installed for Violet and her family.  The ladies handed out over 200 pillowcase dresses on Thursday, and our girls all wore their new dresses to school on Friday!  Thanks to the GAiN Organization, we had 40 pairs of Crocs we were able to give to children on Thursday as well.  Several buildings on our campus have been painted, plumbing problems have been fixed, and we even arranged a soccer game with a local school so we could show off the new uniforms they brought us!  They have been able to visit quite a few of our widows and their families in their homes and have been touched by so many of the stories these women have to share. Today they have ventured into Eldoret to buy some tools for some of our workers and to visit the AMPATH headquarters.  They will have 3 more days to help out in the village before they head back to Nairobi on Friday!  So far everyone is healthy, so please keep them in your prayers over the next few days as they finish up their work here! 

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