Our first two weeks here at Africa Hope were tough. There was a lot to adjust to and we felt like we were struggling to build relationships with the staff; but something changed during our third week. It is hard for us to put our finger on what exactly shifted, but one day these people were no longer strangers. Before we knew it, Ben was more than the cook. Edith was more than a worship leader. Nathan was more than a security guard, Meshack was more than a financial adviser, Cecelia was more than a housekeeper…They were our family.
A few people have gone above and beyond to love us this summer.
Tom took us to church, taught us about (and chased us with) poisonous caterpillars, translated hours of Swahili and Maasai, and was never without his pink shuka. Tom told us his testimony, patiently answered our 1000s of questions, and was always quick to put a smile on our faces. Whether he was guiding us through the Bush in the dark, keeping the campfire going, or pointing us back to Christ, we couldn’t have done this summer without our Baba Tom.
There are not kind enough words to describe Eunice. On her days off, Eunice came to help us do our laundry. We got to be with her to experience her very first milkshake, which she loved! On our very first Sunday, Eunice not only welcomed us into her Church family, but into her home for a meal. She is always checking on us, hugging us, and telling us how proud she is. I don’t think any of us thought she would become our Mama, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Then there’s Namposo. From driving us all around Kenya, to always providing us with cookies, to hosting us in his home for several meals, we have nothing but love for this guy. Namposo is always laughing, never shies away from a chance to preach the Gospel, and is overflowing with love for everyone around him. This summer would have been so different without our dear Mjomba.
Unity has been a theme for our team since the beginning (no, really, go check out our first blog:). The Body of Christ is not limited by anything. It cannot be bound by time or space. When we believe in and claim the same Savior, people from opposite sides of the planet become brothers and sisters.
Time will pass. Memories will fade. One day, Kenya will not be the most exciting thing in our lives. We will move on; likewise, our team will one day be forgotten. Other interns will come and leave their mark and make their own connections, but…nothing can break these bonds. Nothing will ever change the fact that we are united in Christ. When we say goodbye, it is only for a short time. One day, we will be united again, praising our Heavenly Father—no amount of time or distance can change that.
So, until next time…we love you, Shangazi Cecelia, Shangazi Edith, Mjomba Ben, nudugu Meshack, ndugu Nathan, Mjomba Namposo, Mama Eunice, Baba Tom, and each of the wonderfully beautiful souls we met this summer. Thank you for sharing your home and for loving us so well.
Words to know: shangazi (aunt), mjomba (uncle), ndugu (brother), mama (mom), and baba (dad).