What an exciting first day at Upper Bondeni school. We drove up and the first thing we saw was their huge water tank purchased by Snyder and the 2010 mission team!! As we drove up Alice, the principal, greeted us with her huge smile and pointed at the tank immediately. We settled into the new 3-story school for our customary Chai before VBS. We enjoyed talking with the teachers and social workers. We then began our VBS day. Much to our surprise, we learned that 3 of our 4 teaching teams had to split up because of the small rooms and 400 kids, leaving many of us with a 5-minute planning period.
Things ran smoothly until the end of the first period. Laurel came to me exclaiming that we were short half of our journals for crafts, and someone would have to go back to our hotel to retrieve them. I dumped my music class on Jessica, grabbed Peter (our driver), and dashed back to the hotel to retrieve the container we had left. To say the least, that was the longest round-trip of my life. Peter thought I was crazy as I encouraged him to hurry and not worry about the speed limit (like he could really speed in bumper to bumper traffic).
We arrived back safely only to find we were just in time to give the journals to the 4th class. Laurel recounted what she had been going through at the school while I was gone. She and the students were killing time, but finally decided to pray that the journals would arrive soon. She also said that she needed 1 more journal in the 3rd class and unexplainably found 1, giving her just enough for that class (talk about loaves and fishes)!!
God is good all the time! All the time God is good!
After our eventful first morning at the Upper Bondeni School (can I just say, I’m grateful of my training as a facilitator, otherwise I never could’ve taught the story of Daniel with 5 minutes of prep) we went out into the community again. I was teamed up with Sarah and Susan. Lillian and Dan (social workers) took us back to the same alleyway we had gone to the day before. Our first home belonged to Faith and oddly enough seemed spacious compared to other homes. This was the first home where I saw the difference an 8″ square hole covered in fiberglass makes. When we went into her house, we could barely see her face, and after, we could see how tidy her house was!
Our next home belonged to Joseph. He seemed to be a cobbler or tailor based on the equipment in his home. From the moment we walked in, he was talkative and seemed like a kindred spirit I had the privilege of sharing the Evangecube with him, and he made a decision to accept Christ. Of course, most of the conversation was in Swahili, but he seemed genuine.
Our next home belonged to Rosemary. She had an amazing story about the love a church had shown her and her husband when they lost a young baby and paid for all the funeral expenses. It was because of that love and care that she eventually came to know and love Christ. She was such an encouragement to me, and I was glad to be able to be the same in return.
As we’ve gone into these homes, I’m saddened by how all of these beautiful people are packed into such a small space. Yet at the same time, I am amazed at their resourcefulness and the ability to have their life in such a small space. I am also amazed by the faith that I see, and the bright and excited eyes when people like Rosemary share their stories.