We are constantly navigating uncertainty, whether we are aware of it or not. Although, this uncertainty felt different being across the world.
After 30 hours of travel, Cassie and I arrive in Kitale. What a relief. We landed on a tiny airstrip in Kitale on a 10 passenger plane, yikes. Let’s just say, the joy we felt when we landed, far exceeded the brutal jet lag we were experiencing. Our first stop was to meet up with the Milele staff. The warmth I feel when they greeted me with a hug and a smile, is unmatched. Our time together was off to a great start. We were excited to begin checking off the to-do list for the next two weeks.
Because of the time change, we would wake up to new updates about COVID-19 each day. Airlines were cutting back on flights, grocery stores were empty, and borders were closing. Each day our families fed us information that would inform us and protect us the best they could from afar. We felt like things were getting more serious back home but we were taking it day by day, and trusting that our time there was still going to be beneficial even if we had to cut the trip short. Nerves and uncertainty hit me as the days began to pass. Despite the uncertainty of what was to happen, we continued to go about our schedule and move forward with plans as best as we could.
After many meetings and school visits to see the boys, one of my favorite days was sitting with the team and discussing details about one of our new programs. It gave everyone excitement to see that the ideas they had dreamt about, were finally coming together. Because the staff has witnessed so many boys transition from the streets firsthand, they believe strongly in the models and curriculum they are creating. Every time I left the staff, I was filled up, encouraged, and excited for what was to come. They are a part of Milele Home because they want to see a change in street youths. All of our staff have a heart to see God transform our kids from the inside out, and they are confident that through showing love and care, the boys will be capable of succeeding and making a life for themselves.
As a team, we decided that it was best to cut our trip short and head home. Cassie and I shared heavy hearts knowing we didn’t accomplish all we wanted. As government buildings and businesses were closing, we knew the right thing to do was to head home. We were torn to leave but filled with love and encouragement.
During the confusion of all that was happening in the world, we were able to pause and reflect on the amazing things happening throughout Milele Home. The team sat and shared beautiful stories of how God has been faithful in their lives. Margaret told us a story about how God protected her son during the 2007 election violence. They prayed bold prayers over us and shared Pslams 91 as encouragement as they sent us on our journey home.
After a long few days of travel, we returned home to the US with no complications. I was so grateful for all of the moments we got to spend with the team during this uncertain time. They reminded me of how much God is moving throughout the world and how faithful He is in bringing us safely to and from Kitale. We continue to pray for the health and safety of our friends in Kenya as we navigate this uncertainty. I am reminded of how special it is to have friends from across the world praying and rooting for each other no matter what the circumstance.