Kenya Day 7

My rear end is sore, my back is sore, my hips are bruised, my knees are locked up and I’m exhausted.

Today we took motorcycle taxies again to visit some homes and schools. But the area we visited was up on Mt Mengo and it was a really long distance on the motorbikes over horrible rocky roads. The first time on the bikes last Friday was really fun but today was just awful…even for me and I love to ride. So it was extra difficult for the rest of the team. And then to add insult to injury, on the way back down it started to pour down rain and our taxies started to double time it down the mountain to a school where we could get in and find shelter. That was a little extra added excitement.

With the difficulty of the ride, we have such a new appreciation for how difficult the job is for our social worker. She visits the kids three times per month. The journey that we are so glad is over, she will do again every week.

It is rather eye opening as to how much harder everything is over here. You see people walking everywhere and they are walking for miles, often carrying children on their back or something on their head. The roads are terrible because the rains washes away the mud to expose the rocks underneath so the road is bumpy and there are puddles, ruts and many washed out areas. This red mud is everywhere so everything is dirty and gritty. And there are so many people out walking around, shopping, working, doing whatever that is really hard to get anywhere. You are always dodging motorbike and pedestrians, slowing down for potholes and speed bumps, weaving in and out…and it seems like we always have to go a long way. How do they get anything done?

There is a main highway that runs between Nairobi and Uganda. It is a fairly good highway with a maximum speed limit of 110KPH; not that we ever get going that fast will all the chaos. But once you leave the highway, all the other roads are dirt. These roads go way back into the bush where there is an amazing network of homes, farms and little towns. The roads are so bad that everyone takes the motorbike taxies to get around or deliver supplies. It’s not uncommon at all to see one with 20 stacked up plastic chairs, or 3 people, or large bundles of firewood or anything else that they need to strap on the little back seat.

That is all just to say that we are so thankful for the hard work of Edina. She is amazing. She is intelligent and hardworking, incredibly organized and on top of everything going on.

She is hired by our organization, Heart For the Land, and not by the government like we might think of a social worker. They do regulate her work and she is accountable to them but she is employed through the support that we raise. We pay her practically nothing, resource her with little, ask her to do an impossible job and her make travel alone over hundreds of kilometers per month. I told her that she can never leave us.

She took us around to a visit a couple homes where sponsored children live as well as a couple more schools. I will say that I think I’m tired of crying because we saw more devastation and extreme poverty in the visits we made but I wasn’t as overcome with the tears. I am also challenged by the confidence and strength displayed by Edina. I know my heart is highly invested in the people I care about but I am inspired by her confidence and ability to deal with these difficult situations with a godly authority.

She not only checks on the kids and helps with the resources, she finds that she needs to counsel the house parents and even school officials. As a developing country they are struggling with good organization and structure. They are trying and improvements are coming but she still runs into a lot of corruption, deception and disorganization. So she is often telling people what they have to do. There is also a poverty spirit here where people believe that their only hope of a better life is if someone will come along and help them. So even though there is all this chaos going on, there are many children and adult just sitting around with an aimless life and blank stares in their eyes. Life is hard and they have come to believe that there is nothing they can do to change it. So Edina is always telling them things like “You have to work hard.” “You are responsible for yourself.” “Have a dream.” And so on.

Good lessons for us all. We shared with her that we have similar challenges in America. There are many people who settle for the status quo and their hope is in the government taking care of them, or their luck will change or someone else will take care of the problems around them. What a shame if God has given us such blessings and opportunities as we have the U.S. and we squander them away with an aimless life. What a shame if don’t use our opportunities to serve our God.

Posted by Cary Peden

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