New Year’s Eve was a great time of Celebration at Agape. Boys started returning from the Christmas break and we lit Fireworks, sang songs of thankfulness, danced around the bon fire, enjoyed ice cream and received an inspired Biblical message from House Parent Vincent. All of the KJ’s were on hand to enjoy the celebratory end to the vacation time for the boys and many staff.
Next week everything changes for us! The Agape Campus school will begin on Wednesday, January 4th; the nearly 94 boys living on Campus and the nearly 100 day students will begin the 2012 academic year in Kenya. Included in the student list will be Matt, Christopher, Jack and Charlie who will sit in on some of the Agape School classes with the rest of the Kenyan students. Lisa and I have been blessed with a “homeschool” room in the new dining hall and part of our daily routine will be overseeing the schooling for the rest of the children while monitoring the progress of these four during the day.
This will be a change for all of us as for the past two plus weeks we’ve been blessed with the ability to come and go as we wish while participating in a lot of Agape Craft afternoons, time at the Remand Center and just fun, interactive time with the boys that remained on Campus during the break.
Lisa and Eric have also started working on a few of the projects that they’ll be attacking this year. Lisa’s been busy writing up Kitanda Project descriptions, asking a lot of questions, planning for school, learning about life in Kenya and working with Eric to help the Agape Campus Director, Chris Page with a few of the projects he’d like to see accomplished. Eric just finished working on a surprise Campus project with many of the KJ kids and a few local helpers, he began organizing thoughts and resources for the creation of a formal church/work group program that will help bring numerous groups from the United States to Kenya.
He’s also making local connections and doing research to help the Reintegration Staff reach out to more Agape families that would benefit from micro-enterprise opportunities and he’s spent quite a bit of time letting lots of young boys hang on him while trying to learn as many Kiswahili words as possible.
Our family has been blessed with time to be together for most meals and also during many mornings and evenings to discuss our experiences at Campus, with the boys, with staff and how God is using what we’re experiencing to teach and stretch us all. Eric keeps saying that he thinks one of the things God wants us to learn while in Kenya is patience, since there are no fast food restaurants and nothing moves very quickly here.
We’re so thankful for those of you who have financially supported our work with Agape in Kenya and all of you who have been praying so diligently for us. We’ve already survived lost luggage, three illnesses, a couple daring car rides (with Eric behind the wheel – on the right side of the car that is) a few lost Tuk-Tuk driver outings, many bicycle rides around the neighborhood by Chris & Matt, the slow healing of Lisa’s broken foot and the blessing by most of the guards, staff and boys who speak far more English than we do Kiswahili. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS! We’ve got a great team of fellow American missionaries here that we’re so thankful for and we’ve met some very nice and kind other missionaries working with organizations we had never heard of before arriving in Kenya, some doing very different work than we do at Agape and some doing similar work.
God is really broadening our minds, eyes and hearts to the people of Kenya and what He has for us to do to benefit the youth and those hurting and in need here.
Lisa (with tears in her eyes) shared earlier today with one of the Agape Social Workers that since we can’t speak Kiswahili, our job is to love the boys and do everything we can to assist, equip and empower the Kenyan staff who can more easily share the Gospel and God’s love in words with the boys thereby leaving us to share His love in Action. Though many of the boys speak English in bits and pieces along with some more commonly used phrases, they are more comfortable speaking Kiswahili or their tribal language until they are much older. Your prayers and financial support allow us to do this important work and allow us to be a connection between you and the children at Agape.
Blessings to you and your family in 2012 from the Kjeldgaards!