So… raising teenagers huh? I now have a new respect and appreciation for all you parents out there as another one of our girls seems to have reached adolescence overnight!
There are so many sides to every story. One side of this story sounds romantic. Heroic almost. Rescuing young girls from prostitution or boys out of the army. I had dreamt of it for years. Busting down doors, sneaking down back alley’s and while I never imagined Kumbaya by the fire, I did probably have a few more rainbows and quiet nights in there.
And though at times, that may be a part of the story, I’m learning that a large part is quite different. A 5:15am alarm clock wakes me from my short night’s sleep and calls me to make breakfast for our sweet daughters. Suddenly my life, is no longer my own.
Time is rushed doing homework checks and though I’m absolutely obsessed with loving our girls, I breathe a happy sigh when we finally get them all out the door with school bags and uniforms together. Any other mother’s relate?
(Photos with our youngest babe on what we affectionately call “Afro Sunday”)
I know my life is different and I have the privilege of seeing them raised alongside a few other ‘house parents’ who carry it year round. They are amazing and I am SO grateful for them! I love the adventure and am very aware that I am learning A LOT. Wow. A lot about love and truly laying your life down for someone else. A lot about patience! And understanding adolescent girls, especially those with harder backgrounds like our own babes.
It’s been a beautiful time and I’m so thankful for every moment I have with them.
Along with everyday life in Bella House, things are also growing and developing here with new opportunities, not only in Kenya but also…the Middle East.
A large part of my passion is war zones. It’s bizarre sometimes, as I can spend hours dreaming of the transformation to be had in lands of war lords and grenade explosions. To places where my purity, not to mention my very breath can be on the line, yet somehow something draws me. Like a renewed version of Sirens calling; “There is hope. There is transformation available. Who will go for me to bring home the desolate and the dying?”
It was in November that my heart got really wrecked for what was happening in Syria and area. I started praying “God, let’s do this thing, let’s shift atmospheres. I’m not sure how but if I can be apart the answer to my own prayer, please send me!” In December he finally answered with: “For your 26th birthday, I’m sending you to the Middle East.”
I was in Nashville during a worship set and I couldn’t even respond, I could only laugh. See, Jesus and I LOVE exchanging gifts, always trying to “out give” the other. (I’ve learned the best way to love Him are two things - Quality time, and sitting with the poor aka: Matt 25) So this felt absolutely about right. Trumped again! ;)
The funny thing is I had utterly no clue how I’d get there. Just thrown into one of those “trusting gigs”. Days passed and eventually turned into weeks and soon two months had gone by, but then at the end of January the beautiful Skype call came. I connected with others from Iris Global and a relief team was forming with an extra extended portion into the most needy places we could find. I now leave Mtwapa, Kenya for Amman, Jordan April 13th and return to Kenya May 4th (My 26th birthday being May 5th. Sweet right?!)
Here are some articles on Syria. There are currently over 4 million internally displaced people in Syria. FOUR MILLION. And over 1 million displaced internationally. Currently they’re predicting over 3 million refugees by the end of the year!! I can’t even imagine that.
Immediately my pioneer heart hears this and switches to: “Ok, after years working throughout African war zones I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t, so let’s go in and develop education programs! They can be partnered with counseling, art therapy and sponsorship. We can scout now, implement by the summer and have something launched by fall!!”
And then he spoke again. “Just listen. Love. And let’s get a little dirty. For now.” I watched a TED talk (God LOVES to speak through TED) about dead aid and the power of actually listening first. (By Ernesto Sirolli) Ok God. Agenda’s aside, let’s go in, hearts on the table and without reservations, love the Syrian people in Jordan!
The team plans on bringing in relief supplies and therapy programs, I’m excited.
I hope to tweet as often as I have internet. Hashtag #hopetosyrianrefugees Follow
If you’re interested in donating to the costs of this trip, to supplies or to my ground fees, you can donate HERE and sow into the refugees.
If you’re interested in helping Justice Rising Projects in the Kenyan brothels, we have a new venture!! “Pads with a Purpose”. Start collecting new Always Pads and we give them to young girls in the brothels who are normally kept out of school when they have their period. (Making them vulnerable to sexual abuse) Brilliant right!? We then take them back to Africa with us and give them to a sweet young girl that we work with here. :)