I want to first apologize. I know it has been 2 weeks since my return from Kenya and I have not yet posted. Well, here are my 2 excuses. 1.) I am pretty sure I have malaria because I was really sick and every day that I miss my malaria pill I get a fever of 102. excuse 2.) The internet has been down at our house.
Ok now that’s through. Here is the long awaited blog.
I arrived at the Rapha House on the morning of December 20th. I was weary after 33 hours of traveling, but I was elated to finally be there, and to be with Brandon of course. Here is a little history of the Rapha house before I proceed.
The Rapha House was started by a friend of mine (Carly) from Taylor, another girl (Valerie) Whom I knew at Taylor but didn’t grow close with until this trip, and a Pastor and his wife (Sandra.) There is a place in Mombasa called Momboxini. It’s a place where street people live. All of them without proper homes or schools, and most all of them addicted to glue, and to the street life. The Rapha House was started so that some of these boys would have a place to live, food to eat, a chance to go to school, and the opportunity to become part of a family who grows, prays, studies, and loves together. So a little over a year ago, the Rapha House was started for these boys, 18-22 years old, whom God dearly loves. When I got to the house on December 20th, these were the people currently “working” at the house.
Brandon, Carly, Valerie, Pastor, Sandra (along with their kids Juma, Tede, Emanuel, and Salito), and Whitney (Carly’s sister, fellow Taylor Grad, she was living in the house for 5 months, and left when I left.)
The boys were out of school in December so they were at the house every day. There names are Enock, Mario, Samuel, John and Allan. There are 2 other boys, Issa and Derek, who are living in the house right now as well. Issa is recently released miraculously from jail and is so excited to be at the house learning to Love Jesus, and Derek is one of the wisest former street boys you could ever meet. Another really sweet and wise young man named Stanley spent most days at the house as well. There were also tons of kids belong to Mama Zaura and Mama Moosa (the ladies who worked at the Rapha House) whom ran around all day as well. So now that you know some names, here are some faces.
I was blessed enough to spend 14 days with the ladies and gents of the Rapha house. A normal day consisted of waking up sweating :), heading over to the Rapha house from Carly and Val’s nearby apartment, having morning tea with the boys, and then starting the day. Since the boys were out of school and it was holiday time, most days were relaxed. A lot of just getting to know them, going to get water, dancing around the prayer room, preparing lunches and dinners, and running the many errands that Brandon needed to run and was gracious enough to take me around with him. While I was there the Rapha House hosted 2 outreaches. Carly speaks of them best in the Rapha House blog. For the first outreach, the boys worked so hard building a stage, getting worship music and performances ready, and creating games. They invited the people in the nearby village and we served dinner and projected “The Passion of the Christ” onto the side of the house for people to watch, while Enock translated. Here are some pics from the first outreach. It was truly powerful for me to watch boys who not long ago lived on the street, do such a great job serving others.
This outreach was wonderful but it was small-scale compared to the second outreach. It was held on Christmas Eve ( one of the biggest party nights in Mombasa) and Whitney filled matatus with boys from Momboxini to bring them to the house. Bringing that many street boys to the house is risky business but we had prayed a lot about this night. There were around 200 people there, and even with some scuffles from the street boys and sore fingers from serving an insane amount of food it was fantastic. Please read Carly’s most recent blog (link above) to hear more about it. Here are some pictures from the second outreach.
It was dark, so I don’t have a lot of photos from the movie or anything but you get how much fun it was…
Ok, so other than outreach, like I mentioned before, most days were spent living daily life with Brandon and getting to know what his life is like in Mombasa. I also got to spend Christmas there. Family Christmas at the Rapha house consisted of tons of food (chicken, salad, cookies, etc..) Christmas movies, and house silverware and cups as presents. New Years Eve was spent on the roof of the Rapha House watching local fireworks and drinking cokes. We also had a couple of family beach days, including a bonfire. Brandon even took me to a park with super sweet animals.
There is so much more to say. Let’s have coffee or a phone date if you are far away, and I will tell you all about it.
In short, here are some things I learned in Mombasa.
1. Prayer changes everything.
2. Nothing in life is worth whining about.
3. Nothing that costs money is important.
4. You should never serve the poor because they deserve a better life, but because God deserves for them to love him, and it’s your job to bring them to him.
Ok so I just realized that this list could last until 2011, so I will end there.