by Anne Blodgett
This morning we all pilled into the van to head to the Anajali School for the work of the day. It was so encouraging to see the posts for the walls all in place where the rubble had been. The African men hired to oversee the construction and tell us what to do, had worked incredibly hard. Wayne, Len, Steven and Andy worked on pounding two-by-fours every so many feet up the sides of the poles so that the corrugated iron sheets can be nailed on. Later in the day, it was exciting to see the trusses for the roof constructed on the ground, raised up and hanging upside down from the frame of the building and then one by one raised into place by one of the men pushing them up with a another two-by-four.
The wind being very strong blew dust into our mouths, noses and eyes. By 10:30 am we were ready to go visiting in the homes of some of the Anajali school children. We were divided into four groups. Each group was led by one of the teachers and at least one child from each home walked with us to show us the way to the home. Some homes were fairly easy to get to. For other homes, we had to walk down very steep slopes and then across the bridge and up extremely rocky, narrow, and often slippery paths. We jumped from rock to rock, across sewer ditches, and down narrow passageways until at last the home was reached. How grateful the people were for us to visit, read scripture to them and then pray with them. The narrow five by ten living room with another section the same size for sleeping and curtained off from the main room made up the structure of the home. Some families had five or more children living in this small space. When the Citizen TV people came yesterday to Anajali to do a video for the local TV, they said that Anajali was like heaven to these children. After walking and visiting in the slum and returning to Anajali, it was so clear that Anajali is like heaven to these children. It is clean and safe. Children are learning as well as having a meal to eat.
In the afternoon, Lauren and Steven Siler, Alyssa Amsden, and Len Cooper went with Wellington to see an orphanage outside Nairobi. This orphanage is home to over 100 children. It was a moving experience for them to see these children. Within minutes the little ones had made friends with Alyssa, holding her hands and tugging on her skirt calling her Auntie Alyssa.
Those of us left at the school found things to do. Wayne continued to help with construction. Linda and Debbie finished the de-worming clinic. Bradford did a wonderful presentation on conservation of natural resources to Class 6, 7 and 8. Then Linda, Debbie, Bradford and I worked in classrooms having the children write thank you letters for the gifts that had been given them. Lori continued her knitting class. All the ladies who signed up for the classes have attended each day and are learning very quickly how to knit and purl and do designs. They are enjoying the classes so much.
By five o'clock, we were back at the house and showers began again. Bradford is having his toe dressed. Yesterday after carrying more bags of dirt he discovered that the back side of his toe had exploded due to the pressure on the foot. It was bandaged up well by our two nurses. However, he was not able to go into the slum with us.
It is impossible to be here without these people and children finding their way deep into our hearts. We all discovered in each area where we went in the slum, how many children were not in school. How blessed the Anajali children are to be in school and in Anajali in particular.
I thought, as I picked up a crying child who had fallen into the sewer ditch and could not get up and then tried to comfort him, that when we reach out and help one of these little ones, we are doing it unto Jesus. Taking time to help one of these little ones reminds me of Jesus taking the children on his knee and blessing them. How these children need the hope of Jesus Christ.
It is time for our evening meal and then the group devotions. This team is working together so well and we praise God for all that He is doing in and through each one of us. Thank you for your prayers.