By Fred Hegele, Board of Directors
This is the day the Lord has made. Let us be glad and rejoice in it. –Psalm 118:24
Today, 92 people gathered at our “Promised Land” to break ground for our first building, the Main Building, in Imara Village. God was present in many moments today as our Kenya Board Chair, Brian Haworth, welcomed the gathered guests from the adjacent neighborhood, Nanyuki, Nairobi, the United States, and many parts in between.
Carol told the Imara story as only Carol can, centering everyone’s attention upon the four cornerstones of Imara: Faith, Family, Skills and Education. She took a few minutes to carefully share with our guests the importance of each one in the lives of our moms and their children. It is such a meaningful story as the visitors could witness the Imara family in their very presence, some children playing, some crying, some sleeping and all together as a family should be.
- We, the U.S. mission team, pondered about the thoughts, dreams and fears of these moms as they anticipate a building, a move, a great transition in their life.
- We talked with the nearby neighbors, thinking about their anticipation of improvements in infrastructure that will impact their personal lives, such as the new road that the nearby British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK) will start building on February 6 to enable construction vehicles and deliveries to reach the Imara Village.
- We sense from many of the friends and supporters from Nanyuki and surrounding area awe in witnessing what Carol and Sandy are accomplishing and thinking about their support in the coming phases.
- We feel the humility of our Kenyan Board members, Brian, Sophy, Pastor Robinson, Beatrice, and Jacinta, who want the real credit to rest with Carol and Sandy.
- We heard several times about the work of the Lord in all of this, one supporter observing that this “Imara Village miracle” today ranks with the miracles in the time of Jesus. (This supporter is the woman who introduced Carol and Brian some four years ago.)
The local chief spoke about his personal pride that we are in his area. He brought greetings from his superiors who were unable to join us, again offering their support. Beth, the local Member of County Assembly (MCA) for this area was more than welcoming. She pledged her support if we ask for her help.
The laying of the cornerstones was a real highlight. Beth, The Chief, One Neighbor and the U.S. mission team each took turns digging a hole and placing one cornerstone—Faith, Family, Skills and Education—a very meaningful ceremony. Each of these stones will ultimately be placed in the corners of the new Main Building.
Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.” –Luke 5:26
This passage from Luke truly describes our day today! In our team devotion, Peggy led us through discussion about how we might share our mission trip experience with our family, friends and neighbors when we return to the U.S. in a few days. In effect, Peggy was helping us to start thinking about what God has provided to us in these amazing two weeks. Ideas like: humbling, service, empowerment, cultural difference, challenging, fulfilling-beyond imagination, perseverance, God’s timing, grace—and there were more.
No one mentioned our missed flight in Amsterdam or our 15 missing bags, or the stressful moments. We will think and pray more about how God wants us to carry His messages back to others, but rest assured that our minds and hearts will return home filled with praise for the Lord and what He is doing here.
Part of our story will always include the manner in which this community is surrounding young women and their children. We saw it today in many and diverse ways. Today we experienced “God is love” before our very eyes: friends, neighbors, BATUK, bankers, our attorney, architects, contractors, Nairobi partners, clergy, and a few random Americans who just keep coming to see, learn, grow and love.