The moment I arrived in the beautiful city of Kitale, my life changed forever.
The people of this city are the most welcoming, genuinely loving people I have ever met. I have been to Kenya a few times before, but this trip was filled with different memories that would forever change my heart because of the boys we spent the majority of our time with. “The boys” are an amazing group of boys who have previously lived on the streets.
A moment that stood out to me the most was one morning as when we all sat around a large table for breakfast. A team member on the trip asked the boys a question and it lead to such a powerful time for everyone. The question was, “How is life different now, compared to living on the streets?” Every boy answered one at a time while one boy translated. Knowing where these boys were two years ago and hearing them pour out their hearts on how much their lives have changed since then was an indescribable moment. The response that stood out the most to me was, “Living on the streets, all I could think about was food and sleep, now I can dream again”. These boys have made tremendous growth in school and in becoming young men because of the generous gifts and opportunities they have been given.
The Home parents, Joel and Margaret have played a key role in the growth of these boys. Their hearts to serve and love them is so radiant and real. These boys now have a home they can go to, food they can count on, and a family where they can connect to and feel loved by. I am sure these boys still fear if they will have food or a place to stay but as they gain trust in Joel and Margaret, they continue to grow into amazing young men. The lovely couple sets a perfect example of what God’s love looks like and how to raise a family. They have opened up their home and welcomed every student just as they are. It was incredible to see Joel be the father to these boys, guiding them with wisdom and grace. Margaret has taught the boys how to cook and clean so the work doesn’t fall only on her. As a married couple, the two of them parent with such humble hearts and truly want what is best for these boys. When I first walked into this home, I saw a family unit, I felt peace, and I heard so much joy, knowing they are taken care of.
Every story I heard was impactful and full of hope. They can now tell their stories with confidence that life is no longer as hard as it once was. They inspired me each day I was with them, and they continue to do so while I am back at home. This is just a little piece of why Kitale has my heart.