I remember having had zero expectations for this day. Why? Because I thought that meeting our sponsored children was the highlight of the week, and that everything else was going to be relatively unmoving. How wrong I was. In fact, I can't pick out any day that was more important, more moving, or more special than any other day. Yes, meeting the children was amazing and I have been thinking about that more than any other occurrence, but seeing the water projects and seeing the impact to the communities was also very significant. Additionally, I continue to think about all of the people we met during these subsequent days and their wonderful spirits and generosity. To my surprise every day was unbelievably life-changing.
Katito journal - 8 May 2012
We started our day with devotional at the Katito WV office. After some amazing worship, Wycliffe led us in the word. He focused on how in the world we must work for our reward, but in Christ's church, we did not...that we were given grace and salvation without ever earning it. He thanked us for giving to them without them ever earning it, as well. It was a by good message.
We then left for the Kobeto borehole. One of the trucks got stuck in the mud as we approached. The borehole is located on the grounds of a primary school. It is 450 feet deep and serves 2,000 gallons per day. Additionally, it will not dry up in the dry season AND it replaces the next closest water source which is a polluted river 4 KM away!!! I pumped water from the hand pump AND carried a 20 liter jug to the hand washing station. I can't believe that people do that for miles. I interviewed Linda, an 8th grader about the well, and she told me that it is a blessing in so many ways, not least of which is the fact that they have clean, healthy water so close now. The school kids celebrated with us and I was just about mobbed as we handed out lollipops and cookies, but it was great fun.
Our next stop was the Pawtenge primary school (grades 1-8). The kids did memory verses, songs, and introduced themselves and told us what they wanted to be when they grew up. Lawyers, doctors, nurses, judges and pilots were the most common. When one child said he wanted to be a farmer, the other children snickered. When it was time to introduce myself, I told them and Angie and I sponsored 4 children and that when I grew up I wanted to be a professional soccer player. They laughed at the absurdity. I wish I would have thought to tell them I had 8 children, four at home and four in Katito. Before we left, we learned a new song and sang and danced with the kids.
Our next stop was in a three house village where we met with the members of the Hera Jima Self Help Group. The group of about 25 members (mostly women) is a "table top" bank cooperative. We observed their weekly meeting where funds were counted, dues were paid, loans were provided, shares were purchased, and loans were paid for (with interest). Basically, World Vision taught this group how to run their cooperative, thus freeing them from the bondage of usury and equipping them for small business success. We also learned that they helped support OVC's (orphans and vulnerable children). I couldn't believe how generous these people were, having relatively little, but sharing any little excess that they had.
We then left for the Ndori primary school. We sat in on a science class and learned about soil erosion. We then had students do more memory verses, and then a group of girls came in to dance and sing. Imagine my surprise when there drummer walked in and IT WAS OUR SPONSORED CHILD, NIKALAS!!!! He sat in the corner with a drum stick and a 5 gallon pail and started to keep the beat. The girls danced and sang and at one point they started spinning and high-fiving. I had enough and asked Josh if he wanted to join in with me. So Josh and I started spinning and high-fiving, too. As you can imagine, the kids went nuts as the Mzunga danced. We then joined the girls danced with them. The more I shook my booty, the more they howled. It was so much fun. The girls marched off and Dylan and I gave Nikalas a hug. It was so awesome...he remembered us and really welcomed us. Dylan and I had a chance to visit with him for a second before we left...we told him that his drumming was awesome, and that Dylan played, too. We'll need to send him a picture of Dylan with his kit. We then said our goodbyes and left for the IPA office for evening tea.
After changing (we were all completely covered in mud due to all the heavy rains), we met for dinner at the hotel. At dinner Josh led us in a "lecto divinia" and meditated on John 17:13-18. I really felt God telling me to stop being scared of people's responses ("the world hated them") and that He wants me to "GO ALL IN" for the Kingdom ("be a part of the world"). The team all shared what they got out of the exercise. We are really becoming close. I've enjoyed getting to know them all better and sharing this experience with them.
I can't wait to see what tomorrow has in store for us.