Welcome to Kenya! Or as the Kenyan's say - Karibu! Today will cover our first day in Kenya. We arrived about 6am in Nairobi. Thankfully, most of us were able to get some good rest on the flight from London. Adrenaline kicked in as we arrived in customs, finished our forms, waited in the long line, and finally retrieved our luggage. Several members of our Kenya church campus were waiting for us when we arrived at our bus...it was so nice to connect with people we normally only "see" on facebook!
Our first stop was the hotel, so a quick breakfast and time to freshen up...then it was off to the Ark Orphanage.
The children of the Ark sang a welcoming song for us and introduced themselves. Many of the children were abandoned in the slums...they may have family, but their family was unable to care for them. As you can imagine, they have various psychological and emotional scars they need to overcome.
Judy is one of the girls I met last time, so I was happy to see her again. Here she is in a bedroom for the girls. She sleeps in the middle bunk.
The Ark also has a school where they can work with the children on education but also with their other challenges. The classes are kept small so each child can get the support they need. As the children age, new classes are added...this will be a Class 8 when it finishes.
Auntie with a group of older girls. These girls have been accepted into high school, and the orphanage is trying to raise the money for them to be able to attend. It is a study in faith as they pray and expect God to move on their behalf.
After this, we had lunch and then went back to the church campus to help with preparations for the Sunday service, and to walk around the community and invite people to the service.
We carried supplies from the office building to the worship center. The church is at the YMCA in Thika, so the building is used for other purposes during the week. It is a very peaceful location.
Shaun working on sweeping the floor...it would later be mopped with rags. It is amazing how dusty everything gets.
Next we did some outreach around Thika and invited people to church. The sights and smells can be unfamiliar when you are in a third world country.
People are very resourceful and use what they have to survive...
Everyone is friendly and a camera brings out the smiles.
Somethings are different, but people are the same everywhere...they just want a friendly smile and to know someone cares for them. We felt very welcomed by the people of Thika.