There is something that happens here all to often that leaves me feeling wishing I could do more and questioning whether I can do more.
Just a few minutes ago two small girls showed up at my gate asking for plastic bottles. They were covered in dirt, wearing ripped clothing, and shoes with holes in them. The site of children in their condition is not an unusual site here, but it never stops taking my breath away. At first I just told them to wait and I would look for some plastic. It turns out we had a ton of plastic water bottles, and big ones at that. Catherine and Evelyn were so excited when they saw them. I was pleased to be able to make them smile with what I considered useless plastic bottles.
After that they asked for chakula (food) saying "hatukuwa kula jana usiku" or we did not eat last night. I am thankful for the broken swahili I have been able to pick up on and that I could understand that and communicate with these two precious little girls. When they told me that I went inside and found a loaf of bread and brought it out to them with some butter. Then they wanted tea with their bread so I made them some tea even though we did not have milk they were thankful just to have tea with water and sugar. Boy did those girls love sugar! I brought them some water and we just sat outside and talked a little about where they live and where they go to school. Catherine, the older one, is in class 5 at Arap Moi, the government primary school in Nkoroi and Evelyn, the younger one, goes to a school in Acacia. They live up the road, probably about 2Km away.
After they finished eating they asked to use the choo (toilet) so I led them inside. They looked around skeptically then the older one asked me if I could help her with some clothes. I told them I did not have any at the moment, but maybe when they come back I could find some. In my head I was thinking, "I do not have any clothes small enough for these little girls." Then they asked for shoes and once again my thought process was, "no I have no shoes small enough and I do not even have any extra shoes here." Finally as they were leaving the older one asked for the shirt I was wearing. Now, I wish I could say that I just went inside and put a different shirt on and handed her this one, but I did not. It is such a hard balance to find where the line should be drawn in increasing dependency.
These two young girls did not choose to be born into the circumstances they live in and neither did I, but I wonder everyday if I am living in the love of God with what I have. Next time Catherine and Evelyn show up at my gate, which I hope they do, I will give them this shirt and any others I have because, even if they are big or if they sell them, I believe Catherine and Evelyn need them more than I do.
We can always do more and I am the first to admit that I fear doing more most of the time. To be honest, I like this shirt, and because of that I was afraid to give it away. I am pretty sure Jesus would not have used that as an excuse and from now on I am going to do my best not to either. God gives us opportunities everyday to love and be loved. That is true world-wide, but I think I can see it more clearly here in Kenya and for that I am grateful! It reminds me of the book by Bob Goff called "Love Does." And I think it is what Mr. Goff meant when he said, "That's because love in never stationary. In the end, love doesn't just keep thinking about it or keep planning for it. Simply put: love does."
I hope everyone has a great weekend and gets a new opportunity to love and be loved!