Jambo everyone!

Greetings from hot and dusty Kenya!

I can’t believe March is over – this year is flying by! The entire In Step campus has been busy, busy, busy! From the baby house to the big kids’ dorm to the school to Stepping Stones (center for disabled kids) to the farm to the dairy to the clinic building (which we were blessed to house some wonderful short term missionaries) to the water treatment plant to the workshop….you name it, stuff is going on! Good stuff! God stuff!

We have been extremely blessed these past few months to have extra hands and feet on the ground! The Tripps, Mainwarings, Yoders, Grubaughs and Tami Silk have all been here working their tails off! I can’t even begin to tell you how much they have poured themselves into our kids and staff, not to mention all the maintenance, repairs, special projects, teachers’ workshops, cooking with the kids, computer classes, reading in class, movie nights, play dough, building, fixing, installing, painting, sewing, ukulele lessons, etc., etc., these guys have done! It has been absolutely incredible! (I’m really not sure why they want to leave our nice, hot weather! LOL!) Boy is it going to seem quiet around here, with the only missionaries being me, Jeff and Beth Ann!

Missionaries and mission teams make such a huge difference here at the home and school! They bring their talents, ideas, energy, fellowship, encouragement, etc. to bless those of us who are here all the time; missionaries, kids and staff! And, I think they also get a bit blessed too!

We would really like to welcome more teams. In fact, I would love it if the clinic building was full of visitors year round! If you and a group of friends think this would be something you would like to start planning, check out website rehemaforkids.org or get hold of me. I would love to chat with you about it!

A very special thing that this team got to experience was something I have been waiting for a long time now. A revival broke out at In Step Children’s Home! Forty-six kids have received Jesus as their personal Savior over the past few weeks! I have prayed and prayed for this day!

Kids who have been through early childhood trauma (even if they don’t consciously remember it) have a lot of trust and attachment issues. This makes it difficult for them to not only trust people, but it’s especially difficult for them to trust and attach to God.

Here at In Step, both at home and at school, we make spiritual guidance our number one priority. Our kids have more than one hundred Bible verses memorized. Every week, they are taught a Bible story, a truth of the week and a memory verse. They can answer more questions about God than your average Christian adult! Yet, it has taken some time for them to be ready to really trust this God they know so much about. My heart was bursting at the seams when we walked to the river and baptized thirty-one kids! (The others hadn’t yet made their decision, so we’ll be walking back to the river soon!)

One thing that kids who are raised in a children’s home often miss out on is the opportunity to develop their natural gifts and talents. There is a ministry in Kitale that has been striving to fill that gap for the past few years. We are honored and excited to be able to join their program this year! Check out Joshua Blueprint Kitale on Facebook and Youtube.

At the end of February, Sam, Ray and Mercy from Joshua Blueprint came to In Step and put on a super fun Arts Day for our kids who are in fifth grade and up. What a great time everyone had! The kids got to try their hand at art, vocals, drama and dance. My favorite part was watching the kids try some ballet moves! LOL! Of course, they had never even heard of ballet! A few of them were surprisingly graceful, but most of them do much better at their traditional tribal dancing! Haha!

As the thirty-minute classes were going on, the JB guys were watching closely to identify kids who showed potential in each category. In the end, thirteen kids were chosen to join their program! So, starting March 9th, every Saturday, those thirteen kids go into town to participate in formal lessons in whichever category they were selected for! And, as a bonus, they are meeting new friends from other children’s homes, who have their same interests!

I am over the top excited about this opportunity for our kids! I pray that our relationship with JB lasts many years and that dozens of our kids will be able to grow their talents and confidence through this amazing program! 

I want to thank all of you who have been praying for our little Linda. On March 3rd, she and Nurse Abby went head back to El Doret for her third round of chemo. She bounced back from her second round much better than the first, so I’m praying that’s also the case with round three.

One bit of good news concerning Linda is that the National Hospital Insurance Fund of Kenya now covers 100% of cancer treatment! Isn’t that amazing? We were successful in getting Linda enrolled in this program, so all these hospital stays are covered! Thanks to all of you who have asked about this and have offered help if needed!

We recently helped with hospital bills for a little Sudanese refugee baby, Mary, who was struck with cancer. Honestly, I never met this sweet girl. Jeff spent a bit of time with her in the hospital and driving her back and forth when her treatments coincided with Linda’s. Baby Mary didn’t make it. My heart has been so heavy for her family. Her mother couldn’t make the trip from Sudan, as she has a newborn baby. Grandma traveled with Mary and stayed with her in the hospital. A Sudanese friend of ours acted as translator and fundraiser. Everyone gathered around Baby Mary to try to save her, but to no avail.

This gets me worried for Linda. I try not to go there, but sometimes I can’t help it. We, as humans, do what we can. But God has the final say. Thanks for your prayers for our little Linda. Please also pray for Baby Mary’s family… especially her mother who didn’t even have the opportunity to say goodbye.

I appreciate you taking the time to read my ramblings! God is doing great things in the lives of our kids! We appreciate your prayers and other support! We couldn’t be here without you! Please feel free to forward these updates to others who might be interested in our stories!

GIGATT! (God Is Good All The Time!)

Mama Carla

Posted in