Mission Outreach Blog

Kenya Day 5 - With the Children

 Diane is trapped! 

Diane is trapped! 

This morning we headed to PCEA (Presbyterian Church of East Africa) Nakuru West. On the central campus resides a beautiful church, an affordable private school for 850 students, and a nursing college. Today was the first day back for the children so they showed overwhelming exuberance in welcoming us to the school grounds. In fact, they tried to block Diane in and prevent her from leaving! We were able to tour the nursing college, meet the students, have the nurses check the author’s weight on a metric scale (confidential), and stop for discussion and tea. The most moving part of our visit was the opportunity to see a dedication plaque for Dr. Lane Alderman in the courtyard. His vision and ministry live on in the nurses who will go on to physically minister to people who are often in desperate need.

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Dr. Lane Alderman’s plaque at the Nursing college. 

 Patty with the Cornerstone kids.  

Patty with the Cornerstone kids.  

From Nakuru West we made an unscheduled detour to Cornerstone Church. The pastor of this church has two children who attended Beulah Heights University in Atlanta who worshipped at the author’s previous church. Through the magic of social networking, Pastor Thou invited the RPC team to come and see his church’s ministry. This included getting a tour of the school. In a serendipitous moment that could only be credited to the work of the Holy Spirit, Ellen brought her materials to work with non-verbal children (which she does professionally). After our introduction to the students, the school manager approached Ellen asking for her to help them work with one of their students. She was able to quickly hand over the therapy materials and communications board and give them a quick training on how to use it. This was the first day that she had brought the materials along with her. As we left, we reflected on how a quick connection over the internet could make such a big difference in a young person’s life!

 Colette listening to one of the Neema elders.  

Colette listening to one of the Neema elders.  

After a very quick lunch, the team took the vans over to PCEA (Presbyterian Church of East Africa) Neema who feeds 150-200 kids every Sunday through their porridge program. RPC sponsors this program through its partnership with R.O.C.K. Bridge ministries. The elders we met from PCEA Neema made a point to emphasize the fact that the congregation is economically diverse and is led by a female pastor. They also have ELEVEN screens in the sanctuary!

 How many screens can you find?

How many screens can you find?

 Diane shows off her selfie skills.  

Diane shows off her selfie skills.  

To close the afternoon, we made a quick stop at an historic partner Arap Moi, which is a state-run foster facility. We dropped off a couple of suitcases full of clothes and a few coloring books and games. One of the social workers talked about their work. Honestly, it was pretty despairing to hear of children left on the side of the road and brought to the facility as a final option. Rarely do families reconnect with their kids (maybe ten reunions a year). After answering a few of our questions the social worker gently ushered us out. Surely, there was much work for him to do.

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At the end of the day, the team reflected on the whiplash of emotions from seeing kids jumping enthusiastically at one school to the grim prospects that face other children just down the street. This reality inspires us to do what we can to move more children from the latter category to the former. We want to do this not just because they are children, but because they are God’s children.