Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Children of Kenya

On Christmas Day at 10pm I will be sitting aboard an Emirates flight on my way to Kenya. Africa has long been on my bucket list but never did I think it would be an adventure like this that would take me there.

I met Carole and Leon Platt years ago – at two different Adventist Camps. Carol and I had a chat in Queensland at the SQLD camp when I was up there telling stories to the Junior kids. Leon and I met briefly in South Australia when I was there telling stories to the Primary kids. Little did I know that years later our paths would cross again when our shared interest in God’s children collided. This time in Africa.

That is, the children are in Africa. Leon and Carole have fallen deeply in love with the children of Kenya. They have been back and forth many times and made dear friends with two Kenyan couples who look after children, many of whom are orphans.

In January 2016, due to the global village of FaceBook, Carole and I began chatting. First she wanted to know contact details for my Dad as he has long volunteered with International Children’s Care and she wanted to pick his brain. Then she told me about her interest in Kenya and her passion for the children there.

She began pouring stories into my heart through her keyboard. Story after story of children being looked after by Joseph and Nestor – two men looking after children – in different areas of Kenya. Joseph, a country man, lives in a Masai village. Nestor, a city man, lives in the centre of Eldoret. Both men have been called by God to rescue and care for children. It sounds like the beginning of a great story, doesn’t it?

“Once there were two men – a city man and a country man – who both loved God’s children very much…”

Carole told me stories of children rescued by Joseph and Nestor. Some from homelessness and drug-addiction on the garbage dump. Some from sex slavery. Some orphans and some with parents who were unable or unwilling to care for them. All in need of a safe place, education and love.

The number of children helped grows each year as these two deeply Christ-centred Adventist men search, rescue, feed, educate and love God’s Children in Kenya. All made possible by the belief and  support of Carole, Leon and their fundraising expertise.

After telling me she organises trips for volunteers to Kenya to see and help the children, Carole said, “You’d be great, David!”

“What would I do?” I asked. I’m not much good with my hands – except on a qwerty keyboard.

“Tell stories!” Carole said. “Most of these children have not heard about Jesus or the Bible. You could tell them stories. Do what you do so well!”

“But, English? I don’t speak their language.”

“Some speak english,” Carole said. “The rest are very comfortable listening to a  translator. We use them all the time.”

And that is where my upcoming adventure began – nearly 12 months ago. Just an idea and an invitation.

Now, we have a solid plan. I will tell Bible stories to the children in both places. And I will listen to their stories. I will learn the stories of Joseph and Nestor – the country man and the city man – and I will take copious notes.

While there, I will blog about it, pictures included! Then when I come home, I will write a book. A travel journal of sorts. A compendium of stories. A testimonial treasure trove. And, hopefully, people will hear the desperate cries of the children of Kenya.

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