The day we went to the Kieni Camp was one of joy and heartache and so much love. Nothing prepared me for the conditions in which these people live in every day. And yet, more importantly than that, nothing prepared me for the deep and relentless hope and joy that they have in Jesus. As I began to walk through rows of houses, I was at a loss for words; there were so many thoughts going through my head. But then I heard the most precious thing—the sound of little bare feet running behind me, slap-slapping on the wet mud—and two little hands slipped into mine. I curled my fingers around their small hand and looked down at these beautiful girls, and then at the other two girls walking with the rest of our little group.
The two that were wearing shoes much too small for them, their clothing was torn in places and covered in dirt, their noses were running, and flies were all around them. But they had the most infectious laughter and smiles. In that moment, I had a realization. I may not ever understand why some people find themselves living like the people in Kieni and why others have four cars and enough to eat every day. But God used those girls in that moment to show me that none of that matters as long as I love people as He loves me. Walking hand in hand with His children, God reminded me what love really is. Later that day God’s Kingdom came to earth as our team joined with the Kieni people in a time of worship. There we were—lame, mute, deaf, blind, white, black, healthy, ill, young, old—dancing and praising our Lord together. God revealed Himself to me in a whole new way through the Kieni people. He reminded me that there is always a reason to hope in Him and praise Him regardless of the circumstances. He reminded me that everything I have comes from Him and only Him. He reminded me that when I don’t understand what His plan is, I just need to keep looking to Him, keep looking for Him, and love His people.
I cannot wait to return to Kenya. The people of that country will forever and always hold a special place deep in my heart.
by Kristine Turner Kenya 2011 Team 2