Tuesday, February 23, 2010

In the waiting

Africa presentation is now complete. The things we experienced and held so dear to our hearts have been passed on to family and friends who prayed for us, who gave us money, and who constantly encouraged us before, during and after. A month ago, all we could think about was hopping on a plane with our families and planting ourselves, making comfort sacrifices, and allowing God to use us in any way. Now that we are emotional balanced once again, I find myself with many of the same desires as a month ago, but with a renewed sense of purpose and responsibility!

There is one lesson that is clear to me that I have learned through this experience and it is that I do not have to go somewhere far away, I don't have to do something big, or raised tons of money to minister. You say, well duh! But to me this was huge. The moment I arrived home, I was hit with several ministry opportunities in my own family, and to people who I had only met once or not even at all. I believe with all my heart that GOD leads us to places far away because maybe not everyone is comfortable or able to go half way around the world. There ministry is right beside them. For me, I know God wants me to be in Africa for 2 weeks out of the year, but I also came to realize that I had put the people around me on the back burner. My own family members in need of a Savior.....they have hearts just like the African children and the African Children hearts like my family members. It is amazing to me to see God use me both here and in Africa. It is only because I allowed God to show me where I was wrong that I now can see that. I am so excited for all God has for me in Wichita as well as Africa. Both places are in need of a Savior who can heal, hold, and love. Christ is our driver and we are His passengers. Like we blindly trust the pilot or even our selves to drive a car, Christ desires us to have faith in Him, knowing that He knows the route in our journey.

So with this all being said, my heart is still for the children of Challenge Farm, but I feel as though it just got about 2 sizes bigger.

Please keep the kids at Challenge in your prayers. Many of them have run away recently. The spirit of running still remains with many of them. Pray that they would be given wisdom to see the truth and that they would be willing to open their hearts to something greater and fullfilling.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Today was a day of roller coaster emotions. The day started with a 4 hour church service and celebration of the 7 year Challenge Farm anniversary. During the celebration many of the kids got to preform their own music that they wrote. The highschool boys have learned to play the keyboard, but only know how to play using the black keys. They still sound great though! They made all sorts of beats and sang some great music.

Ashley and I were working with the kids and cooks during lunch. Ashley was serving rice in plastic bags for the street kids and I was serving for the Farm kids.Ashley said many of the kids were fighting over the bags of rice. I had the same experience except the Challenge Farm kids were fighting over who they were going to give their extra food to. It was crazy little kids found their way to the table where we were and the farm kids would hand it to them like it was their own brother or sister. We both held many of the babies. And also played around with the 5,6,7 year olds running around laughing together. Even if that is all we could give a couple laughs and some rice. And most of all that we were there on the Lords behalf. Today has been something I can't fully explain or begin to think of how to apply to my Life......... Brielynn

Like Brie, it is hard to explain all that has happened today. In america we hear about all the terrible things that happen to kids and we are sometimes moved, sometimes not and even when we are moved we do nothing about it. Here, the terrible things are out in the open, such as the tiny baby Tracie who came with her young mother to the celebration with a head so burned it was oozing. The hardest thing I have ever seen in my life. This small child evidently in intense pain with a mother who cared more about paying to have her hair done than to take the child for less than a Dollar to the hospital. Our team decided to collect enough money to cover the rest of her treatment. They took her to the hospital and Tracie went through intense treatment. Her mother said that the injury was caused by an oil lamp falling on her head. Absolutely heart wrenching! This shows you how closely children here are watched. 6 year olds are taking care of 2 year olds. Please pray for a quick recovery for baby tracie!

Tomorrow camp starts. Please pray that we continue to connect as a team to work for the Lord. Please pray for the hearts of the team as a couple of them are not saved. This is concern as we are the ones who are to be ministering to the kids. They bless us in ways we do not expect and I know that God has all the members of the team here for a bigger purpose than I can ever begin to imagine!

Pray for the hearts and minds of the kids. They will hear so much about the hope and truth of God and we want nothing more than to plant a seed and then watch them grow into people who love the lord and wand to take His love into their community to raise up a new generation in Africa.

Brie and I miss our husbands and babies and ask for prayer to stay busy and that our boys and girl will stay safe and busy as well. We love you and thank you again for your prayers!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Arrived in Kitale!

Hello from Kitale! WE are here safe and sound. Waiting for the rest of our team to arrive tomorrow morning! Today was spent at the farm with the kids. Some of us worked on preparing things for camp, while others took pictures, and hung out with the kids. We got to dance and sing with the kids which they absolutely love! We are all continually amazed by the blessings we have as "americans". They were very excited to see pictures from home and seem so interested in our lives.

There is so much to say about the happenings of today and yet words do not seem to do justice. Baby Ricky, who is three is the youngest one at the Farm. His mom lived there, ran away and got pregnant with him and then came back and gave birth to him. She stayed around a little while and then ran away to the slum again. Ricky was left behind and is now cared for by all the children. They love him so much and I have to admit that I think the world of him as well. He is so tiny and came into the chapel and started dancing! It was the sweetest thing to watch him interact with all the older children. It is neat to see how they take care of him and love him even though he is not their own child. He sleeps with Freida, one of the older girls. Today she was going to give him and bath and I offered to do it so she could go and eat lunch. I loved it! He stood in a bright yellow bucket and we washed and scrubbed. The water was Freezing cold to say the least. Needless to say I intend to bath the cutie pie daily. He is named after Cheri's husband who helped to start the Challenge Farm.

The kids are excited to have camp and have been asking about the things they will get to do during the week of camp. We ordered fire wood for a bon fire, and prepared the schedule of events which is subject to change! TIA, which stands for This is Africa, has been said quite a bit the last two days.

Today on the way back from the farm we came across a head on collision involving two matatus! I have never seen a wreck in the times that I have been here in Africa! It was sad as someone was trapped in the front seat. There were many men trying to get the man out but when you are dealing with twisted metal, hands do not seem to be sufficient. School children were also involved and were standing along to road in tears of fear and pain. It broke my heart as there is not the fast ambulance service here that we have in the US. In fact, if someone gets hit along the road, you are not to stop and help that person, but rather go straight to the police. If they were to stop to help the person, they would be stoned by the people around the accident. It is a crazy way of thinking that I do not understand. I pray that the man was rescued and that he is going to be ok as well as the other people who were hurt in the accident.

Please continue to pray for the kids and for the team arriving in the morning. Please pray for safety while traveling back and forth from the farm to our lodge. We have been blessed by all yours prayers and again continue to be excited for all that we will learn and all that God is going to do through us.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Brie: I will start with last night cause I think It is real typical for something like this to happen . Ryan and I went to pick up a couple last minute things when we went to the ATM to get a little cash. When the machine ate my debit card half way. We decided to run into target to get something to pull it out. To no avail the card had to be picked up this morning before heading to the airport. What a TRIP!!!!!  All to say never PLAN ON ANYTHING. Just take it as it comes to ya. Cause if I would have planned on something, I would not be planning on that lololol

Ashley: Well I don't have an exciting story like BrieLynn Wallace, but I can give God praise for no craziness prior to our first departure! All of our bags were perfect weight and nothing was taken from our carry ons and discarded. So far so good! The sun is shining perfectly in Houston and Brie and I are taking in our Vitamin D for the day! We are anxious to get to London as we are going to try and venture out and see a few sites since we have a 10 hours layover! God has a plan I am sure! 

I have to say that again my eyes are opened to other cultures as the woman sitting next to us had her breastical hanging our for all the world and all the men to see! I understand that little sweetie needs to eat.......

God has some amazing things in store for the children at the Challenge Farm and for that I am so excited to be used by God to ensure that those things are completed. Brie and I have worked several months for these next two weeks and we truly feel blessed to be "vessels".  Again, I have said it many times, but we would not be able to do this without all the financial support and encouragement from our families. Thank you and know that we TRULY appreciate it! Please continue to pray for our husbands as they love on our children and pray for an easy transition for our babies. There are kids and babies everywhere we look making it a little hard to let them go and allow them to be in the hands of God. Pray that we remember that they are not ours but Gods and that he will guide and protect them.

How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation.....Isaiah 52:7

This is our desire...to be rid of all our selfishness and show the love of God.