Daily Archives: September 15, 2014

I Can’t Get To My Room Because Of The Elephants

I was going to write about the time we had meeting our sponsor child, but I still need time to reflect on this. So I’m going to move on for a bit and talk about some of our experiences afterward. After visiting faith, we traveled up to Mount Kenya to a place called the Castle Forest Lodge. This was our time to stay in a place that looks like the kind of Africa people see on TV. It had lots of natural beauty, if not much African culture. I was told that occasionally the forest elephants would come into the clearing and could be seen from the hotel, but that it was very rare. Well, we must have been very lucky, because on the second evening of our stay they appeared in the clearing and came quite close.
Then on the third evening around dark they came back again. This time they stayed around, though we didn’t realIze it until after dinner. When we finished dinner and went to walk back to our cabin, we saw a few of the staff on the porch. They told us the elephants were in the way, and we couldn’t go back yet. You have to understand just how dark it is at Mount Kenya, so I questioned them about it. One of the staff shined a flashlight, which lit up the side of an elephant not forty yards away, right in the path to my room!
The elephants finally moved, but we heard them grunting and crashing through the underbrush for the next few hours, scaring the cattle and horses in the field next to the hotel. It was truly an amazing experience. Here are a few pictured from the second night. They are uncropped and unedited.

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Passion Over Money

On the same day we went into Kibera, we also traveled outside Nairobi to a rehabilitation school for girls. Here we met a young man named James, who did not let his lack of experience or credentials get in the way. He did not have a university degree or the kind of experience you could put on a resume, but because his God-given passion for teenagers was so evident, he managed to convince a television station to give him his own show geared toward looking to the future instead of letting your past define you.
Even though the television show was his dream, his real passion was kids. He eventually had to choose whether to continue the television show and keep his income, or teach children at risk on a volunteer basis. He chose the latter. I watched James as he taught a class full of girls ages twelve to fourteen. All had some kind of event happen in their lived that had changed them for the worse. Some had been in prison, some had been in prostitution. Many of them were estranged from their families. I watched and listened as James taught them that they had worth, and taught them about legacy, and what kind of difference they will make In their own lives and the world around them based on the choices they make.
James gave up his income to do this, and now walks ten miles each way once a week to teach these girls.
As we prayed for them at the end of class, I saw the longing in their eyes as we prayed that they would be reconciled with their families. With people with a passion like James’s, someday they will be.

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