Since I have been in Kenya (which is just over a month now!) I have tried to write 4 or 5 blogs…all of them quickly get deleted because my brain is full of too many awesome things. So I have decided to focus on one of my favorite stories from the trip so far. The one about my Martin.
So around this time last year I wrote a blog about a little boy named Martin who I met at the IDP camps the day I got to visit last summer. It was a brief visit (around 45 minutes) but it was probably the most influential day of my life up to that point. My world view was drastically altered and I felt such intense love for this little boy who I had just met, who’s life looked so incredibly different from mine. After meeting Martin, I literally thought about him every. single. day. I didn’t have my camera with me the day I met him and so I always thought about how much I would LOVE to find a picture of him and asked God a few times if He would please, please, pleeeeease let me stumble upon one of someone’s Facebook. And wouldn’t you know, He did. I was so excited & printed it out in black and white on my printer at work & carried it with me all the time in my purse. The caption of the picture mentioned something about Martin’s health being poor and he had been to the hospital so he was on my mind even more and I was just praying that he would be okay. As the days and months went by I found out that I was coming back to Kenya for the whole summer (yeeeeee! I still cannot believe that I get to be here) and so I just kept hoping that I would get to see him when I went back to the IDP camps. Fast-forward to when we all arrived here and went to the IDP camps for the first time: As we walked through the camps to the school, my eyes were peeled, I was searching every little black face to see if I recognized Martin. I glanced through all 250+ children’s faces at the IDP school & didn’t see my little buddy. Where is he, Lord? Is he okay? Maybe he is just playing hooky today…
A couple weeks later, Sierra and I were walking to meet the rest of the team at Joseph’s (one of the IDP residents & one of the most amazing men I’ve ever met) house & as we turned a corner, there he was!!!!!! Standing in the grass with his goofy little grin. I was in semi-shock and just reached my hand out and said “Martin, kuja hapa!” (come here!) and he ran right over and grabbed my hand. I really don’t think he remembered me but he is just very friendly and I’m a mzungu, & the kids love holding the white people’s hands 😛 As Si & I went into Joseph’s house with the rest of the group, Martin ran off with some other kids & I just stood there thinking, “THANK YOU JESUSSSS!!!” even three minutes of Martin time was great, just seeing that he was there & looking healthier than the last time I saw him was enough. And THEN about an hour later when we were leaving, there he was again, waiting for all of us. As we toured the IDP camps with Joseph we had a parade of about 40 children with us. I felt like we were wandering through Neverland with all of the Lost Boys. And guess who held hands with me the whole way? Martin. I think he has claimed me as “his mzungu” because he always pushes the other kids away when they come over to hold my hand or whatever & he is always glued right to my hip. I got home to Naomi’s that day and just cried out of happiness & just the overwhelming feeling that my Father totally loves the MESS out of me. The next day we went back and I saw my little buddy again and was able to hang out with him & serve him porridge. Serving him what is probably one of the only things he has to eat or drink during the day was SO humbling and amazing and has become one of my most cherished memories of my entire existence. God totally gives us the desires of our hearts and this is just one example of that in my life.
I am so thankful for everyone who is reading this and for everyone who isn’t but has prayed for me or encouraged me in some way. I hope this heart change makes it back to America and looks just as beautiful, maybe just a little different. I have had time over the last month to more fully realize all of my blessings- the ones here and the ones back home in the US. Most of them are people. I am so grateful for the people in my life. You are all wayyyyy more important than any clothes I could buy, car I could drive, place I could go, title I could inherit or goal I could achieve. I love you all so much & I hope to show you that more & more every day. Nakupenda! (i love you!)
be full of love,