Hello From Kenya! {update 2}

Okay WOW!! It’s been a whirlwind in Kenya since I last posted. Time goes so much faster here. We have just loved having our sweet team of friends & family here and we are sad to be sending them back to America today. 🙁 It has been so precious to me to have loads of people come ALL the way over here to love on my kids.

Since I posted last we have spent a lot of time at the Kakamega School for the Deaf, a few days in the villages passing out food and bibles, an afternoon at the Kenyan rainforest, and of course loads of time at the orphanage with our sweet babies. We also just had a super fun 2 day safari to Masai Mara to finish our time with the team!! {more on that to come in my next post}

For the bulk of this blog I’m going to be sharing about the Deaf School. We’ve spent several days there this past week and I feel it important to tell the story of these kids wherever and whenever possible. Some of you may have already heard me talk about the school as we started our partnership with them last year. But for those who have not, let me explain. This place is refuge for 100 special needs children — most of whom are deaf. They live and learn at the school. In Kenya, deaf children are viewed as the lowest of the low, far beneath orphans and street children. Because no one values them here, not even their families, they are abused severely and taken advantage of often. Most of the girls at the deaf school have been raped or sexually abused because men know the girls won’t be able to tell anyone about it. None of their parents know sign language and thus they cannot communicate with anyone. What a dark world they are faced with here.

When we went to the school last year, the kids were in a safer and better place than wherever they came from, but they were still suffering greatly. Over the last year, we’ve been sending money for food and basic needs, however, this week we found ourselves once again standing face to face with the realization that these kids have basic needs that are not being met. Since we’ve been here we have been able to bring the children mattresses (SOME WERE SLEEPING DIRECTLY ON METAL WIRED BUNK BEDS!!!!), mosquito nets, underwear, pads for the girls, new school uniforms, and, of course, lots of sweeties, balls, balloons, etc. What we have been able to do this week is simply a band-aid on the greater wound of need these children face…but for now it is helping.

Aside from meeting a few menial physical needs, we have spent a lot of time just loving on the kids. I have watched the power of physical love completely transform some of these kids — for real. These kids would barely look us in the eyes when we first arrived, and by the time we were leaving they were signing all kinds of sweet things to us, climbing in our laps, and basking in our love. Most of these children have been touched and abused in ways I can never fully grasp and yet they willingly receive our feeble love. They drink it up and soak it in.

For me, living out the tangible love of Jesus has always been simple here — if you see a need that moves compassion into the deepest corners of your heart, you do something about it. For Joseph and I, these kids flood every area of our heart and we cannot close our eyes to what we have seen. One thing I am very, very excited about is that our 40 kids are going to start taking signing lessons and heading down to the deaf school several times a month to eat with them, play with them, and interact with kids that are in desperate need of people who will just see them as people.

We plan to come home and brainstorm more ways to support these sweet kids and deepen Waweza Movement’s relationship and involvement with the school. And I know — I talked a lot about the deaf school — but the place in my heart for those children is rising up quickly and I felt it important to share.

As for the rest of the week…this past Saturday we had a birthday party for our kids at the orphanage. What joy it is to celebrate my littles. We had ice cream cones (with sprinkles!), tons of games and songs, presents galore, and finished the day off with a bonfire and s’mores! Joy was palpable and tangible the whole day. I had a dear friend message me this week and tell me, “Your smile is different when you’re in Kenya.” This was such a precious and high compliment to me. Joe and I, we feel different here — in the most beautiful and challenging and joy filled way — we feel different.

As usual our internet remains pretty spotty, but I’ve managed to post a few pictures most days on instagram at @meganeolewin, and our team has been using the hashtag #KenYEAH15 if you are interested in following our trip more closely. Coming up next week I’m going to recap our safari we just arrived back from and I’ll continue sharing about what we are doing while we are here!

Sending my love from afar,

Megan Signature