Before And Africa

... and so we end this reverie with a blessed and Happy 30th birthday to Jennifer Grace!

Thanks for following along, you can read about Season 2 and following at Jennifer's blog Before And Africa. 

Dear Friends and Family,
                       Where to even begin this letter, I don't know.  What we have experienced in a month, is so much more than we will ever be able to express in a letter, but we will try.  Our time was blessed with the prayers that all of you sent our way.  The money given was used in the lives of the people who need it most.  Let me tell you a little bit about what your donations have done.  We were able to bring suitcases full of baby clothes and supplies for the orphanage.  When we arrived, we realized how far these things would go.  Hope House Babies Home, is home to approximately 20 babies, depending on adoptions and new arrivals at any given time.  Imagine how much laundry one baby goes through in a day, now imagine 19 more.  The clothes are constantly getting washed and worn, so it's hard to keep things nice for very long.  Just the bibs alone, that these babies go through in an hour, is incredible.  We were also able to bring a huge suitcase full of stuffed toys, which gave them something new and clean to play with.  Many of the babies have coughs constantly because they are all sharing old, germ ridden toys.  The looks on their little faces when we dumped a suitcase full of new toys on the floor, I will never forget.  One little man named Moses, decided he needed to make a pile in a corner just for him so he went around and collected all the new toys and just stared at them. 
            At the end of our stay, on Easter Sunday, we were able to bring some of the old clothes from the orphanage to the slum to the families of a church there.  Because of your donations, not only were we able to give to the orphanage but we were able to give again to this church family.  The Pastor, Amos Okolo, told us to send greetings to our families, friends and churches at home, and let all of you know that something good can come out of the slums.  He has dedicated his life to serving an area where people are starving and sick, but he wants everyone to know, there is hope in desperation, because they have the hope of Jesus.  It was a powerful thing to see people who, in all respects, should have no hope, possessing more hope than I will ever have. 
            We fell in love with the Kenyans, and we fell in love with the twenty little babies that we fed, changed, held, and played with for four weeks.  At Hope House, the babies are usually adopted before the age of 3, so this is a place that is doing their part to help these innocent victims of disease.  They don't often have regular volunteers, and they struggle to pay their staff most months.  The staff is so busy with laundry, cleaning, cooking, changing, and feeding, that the babies don't often get the one on one time they desperately need for their mental and physical development.  For four weeks, we were able to give them a little bit of the love that they need. Some of them even called us "Mom".  They wanted to be in our arms at all times, and when it was time for us to leave in the evenings, watching them hold out their arms and cry for us, was a pain I won't soon get over.  So we want to say a huge THANK YOU, for what you have done in the lives of these babies!!!  You will be blessed for not turning a blind eye to the hurt in our world, and doing something to help stop it. We were blessed by your generous hearts and prayerful minds. We will never forget the generosity of the ones we love and we pray we can give to you what you have given to us.
 With all that said, there is so much more we can do!!!    God bless you all for your hearts and your beautiful example of what it means to be human.

Thank YOU, Jen and God bless you as you continue on the journey.

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