Since arriving in Kenya, I (Ree’L) have had a few opportunities to say yes to using my God-given skills and experiences to support those around me – some of those have involved working with the hospital in Chogoria, a couple with local NGOs and even a few short-term teaching opportunities inside East Africa and beyond. However, homeschooling Sylis has clearly been the priority and has required the biggest investment of my time.
With our recent move, Sy starting school (pictured above playing Professor Backbone with his class) and the level of passion and excitement in our new home, Kijabe, (see our previous newsletter for more on this), I was hopeful to have more opportunities to say yes - yes to supporting hospital initiatives, yes to local programs and yes to other activities that support our team and community.
Over the past couple of months, opportunities have come a-knocking…literally…on the door of our house. Within a few days of arriving in Kijabe, a woman I met in passing a year ago came to our home. She’s a high-energy physician, visionary, researcher, director of a community program, and the list goes on. She said to me, “I will win the battle for your time – we will figure out a way to work together.” I chuckled at the intensity of her comment, but was beyond excited and humbled that someone (and especially this amazing lady) would seek me out.
Somehow, this conversation, opened the metaphorical floodgates. Thus far, I’ve been so excited to say yes to supporting, in varying ways, Kijabe Hospital; a fundraising non-profit for Kijabe Hospital; another community-based NGO; an electronic medical records software organization; as well as continue to manage a pilot cohort for our mission agency’s leadership development program.
And, I’ve also just said yes to partnering with another missionary here, to open a local, not-for-profit coffee shop. We are currently in the process of establishing Kijabe Kahawa (i.e., Kijabe Coffee) with the sole purpose of supporting the community and a local sewing workshop that trains, equips and empowers vulnerable women in the area. Prayers are very welcomed for the coffee shop and the other initiatives; more to come on these soon.
All of this is a little mind blowing – a few months ago I woke up to homeschooling 2nd grade and fitting small projects in between teaching; now I wake up excited and, yes, a little overwhelmed, at all these opportunities to say yes. Now, it seems it’s just a matter of sleep that will begin to limit my yes’s.
Much, much thanks to all of you who have and continue to support us in the work we are honored to participate in daily.