"Dreams come in a size too big so you can grow into them".
I wish I knew the person who I could give credit to this little saying. When I first read it, it sank in me and reassured me that my dreams aren't unreachable.
I was 15 or 16 yrs old. A seed was planted in me when I started seeing commercials of starving children across the world. You know, flies in the eyes, crying and filling their bloated stomachs with porridge while some man begs you to give.
And I did.
I started to want to "have an orphanage in Africa". People thought I was nuts.
While I was home for a summer in college and working in Minneapolis, I worked in a group home with staff members who were from Kenya. I began to taste a piece of African culture. I was invited to one of their homes where I shook hands with everyone in the room (not knowing that it was polite to do so immediately upon greeting a Kenyan), ate some strange food and spoke of a country that I never knew existed.
A year later, I decided to take some money I had received from my grandfather and travel to Africa. So, I googled "African Orphanage Volunteer program" and came upon a program that seemed to fit me well. I communicated with them over the course of several months and made the plunge.
I rode buses that wheels fell off of as I trekked to the border of Tanzania and Kenya-at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro and touched baby elephants at an elephant orphanage. I spent 2 1/2 months of my summer playing with street girls that were ages 5-16 and I met my sweet, Kenyan daughter, Priscillah, that I still sponsor to this day.
I never knew how a sweet, orphaned girl would change my life.
I returned to the States and the relationship I had been in for almost 2 years, the "love of my life" dissolved and I resumed my last year of college.
I knew I wanted to return to Kenya one last time before I settled down on a job. I was not excited to enter the world of "9 to 5". I returned to Kenya once more and spent an additional 6 weeks that summer of 2003 where I loved on the same girls I had spent time with the summer before. My (now) husband was also with me on that trip and we fell in love.
Tucked in our hearts, we knew that Kenya had a place in our life, one day, somehow.
Fast forward 7 years to TODAY!
The Lord has been faithful. Not to sound so "Christianeese" or whatever, but it's true. Our marriage has had many twists and turns, joys and heartache as we've mulled over what the Lord wants us to do with our life.
The corporate America journey did not appeal to us, yet going overseas to work in Kenya seemed so impractical, unsafe, insecure for our family.
If you have been reading my blog for some time now, you are familiar with my heart for orphan care. You have been with me through our journey as we were to be moving to Kenya a couple of years ago.
You cannot force God's timing. God has HIS plan in place...what I've learned is that I need to let go and let GOD. Little did I know that I had a TON of heart work that needed to be done before we were ready to go.
To make a long story short, I am excited to let you know that the time has come. OH YES the time has come. It is God's perfect timing. It's been a long wait, however, I truly believe that GOD allows us to dream BIG dreams and if we surrender to HIS will for our life, we grow into our dream...HIS way.
I never thought I would ever have an orphanage in Kenya.
But we are!
In September 2011, our family is moving to Kitale, Kenya full time to work with Mattaw Children's Village. My husband, TJ will be helping with the self sustainability programs and I will be assisting in the operations of Mattaw's baby rescue home, "Sprouts". Sprouts will be built late this year, Lord willing.
We are more than excited-thrilled. Yes, we have lots of loops to work through and a lot of work to be done in the coming months. We have completely surrendered our lives and feel this is the path we are being led down.
Will you pray for us? We need to be bathed in prayer in this year and beyond.
Here is a song that has really spoke to us this year. If God is for us, than WHO can be against us?