For many years Kristen and I have said, ‘we must get our kids to Kenya’ and here we are with one more sleep before we depart. But why? In summary, my grandfather says it best. “Travel is the best form of education.” Jesus expressed it even better, “If you do it for the least of these, you do it unto Me.” Kristen and I have greatly enjoyed surrounding ourselves with the ‘very least of these’ only to find they are some of the finest examples of humanity. They contain many character attributes that have long been lost in the developed world. Patience, long suffering, endurance, love, perseverance, family, joy and many more. They are superheroes living in the dirt. Givers with nothing to give. Jubilant with little to celebrate. Simple but deeply grounded. They stand at the doorstep of tomorrow holding a sickle and a cell phone. They know how to abase and yet we hardly know how to abound. We have so much to learn from them and I don’t wish the west on them anytime soon.
In our country we are constantly encouraged to look ahead but I believe we throw away true greatness by seldomly looking back. We often achieve much but then loose our way and experience great loneliness. We run on ahead but then forget why we’re in the race.
By bringing our children to Kenya, we are bringing them to a beginning. A starting point that they can then weigh our progress against and evaluate it’s value. They can see what we’ve gained and what has been lost. I know on my first plane ride back from Kenya, I looked out the window to the clouds and thought, ‘we are the ones in poverty.’ You can’t fully understand these words until you have sat with the broken. The desolate. The hungry. The desperate, and seen their love, their joy and felt their friendship.
The ‘least of these’ are all over the world. Kenya happens to be the avenue God is teaching us through. My motives are mixed when I go with teams to Kenya. I want to bring hope to these precious lives but I equally want to invoke change upon the team members that go with me and all the people in their social orbit.
Kristen and I are not shying away from the opportunities to serve others in Kenya anytime soon so it is natural to bring our children into this privilege.
It has not been easy. We have been saving for a long long time. Recycling bottles, car washes, raking leaves, walking dogs, donations. I think we have about $260 in recycled bottles, $700 in car washes, etc. Just on and on. Our accounts are dry, cars are broke, we’ve all been sick this week, but here we go………. Not sure of what to expect. What is this next step for us? What can we do that will invite more of God into our daily living? We are hoping for a great return on our investment. A return that matters. Matters of the heart.