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A group from 4 different US cities will gather together at the Project Lucas Center in Ruiru, Kenya on July 12-28, 2019 to love and ministier to the precious chidren and families that are involved in the Project Lucas Sponsorship Program and Project Lucas Academy. As they say on Law and Order "Here are their Story..." (drama music)
Hello, friends! My name is Amy and I’m from Georgetown, IN.
This is my FOURTH trip to Kenya with Project Lucas and, once again, it has already been so amazing. SO MUCH happened today. I really don’t have enough room on this blog to tell of it all, but I will do my best to give you a glimpse of our day. I’ve been given permission to make it long though! ;) Get comfy!
I woke up this morning with a prayer on my lips and in my spirit. “God, speak to me today. Show me something I need to see, to learn. Don’t let me just enjoy this time of serving but stretch me.” Beyond those words, I had no preconceived notion for the lesson God would have for me. I didn’t have to wait very long to hear from him, though!
Our team this year has a couple doctors, who’ve been doing some basic checkups on all the children at Project Lucas Academy. One little boy, this boy…OH MY GOODNESS. He is feisty…but SO full of joy, laughter and playfulness. His smiles are the best and he reminds me so much of my nephew of the same age! I sponsor his older brother, so already I love him dearly! He was examined and found to have an issue with his health, something that was unpleasant and highly contagious, especially through touch. In America, it would be easy to treat and clear up. At this level of poverty, however, not so much. A few of the team who were around looked at each other with that unspoken question of, “How do we handle showing affection and playing?” It was in THAT moment that God began to speak to my heart… ”You handle it like you did before. You hold his hand, hug him, play with him. You dig in deep and love him as I love him. You use the deep capacity of love that I’ve gifted you with to show him he isn’t less than. Then, trust me with the outcome. You trust ME.” Oh. Man... So I did. We played, hugged, held hands. Later in the day, I found myself being reminded of Jesus walking with lepers, unafraid of their disease, showing them affection, healing them. He went beyond our boundaries to meet us in the trenches. He came to us, in our poverty. So, I prayed again that I would be like him, that I would be so bold in showing his love. I WILL go to these kids, in their literal poverty, and love them deeply.
Friends, that is only the beginning of the day! The team’s main focus today was the Backpack Ceremony. SO much preparation went into this day, starting back in the states, with YOU. Everyone who helped send our team here, those who sponsored backpacks, the Project Lucas STAFF…SO MUCH work has gone into this day, before we ever stepped foot on Kenyan soil. Once here, the team worked hard to prepare for SEVEN HUNDRED backpacks to be given away. Yes, 700! We stuffed backpacks with school supplies. Others worked in the kitchen so that we could feed ALL who came to the ceremony. That’s a LOT of food, y’all!!
The ceremony starts with children who are the neediest of the needy, from all over the area, being bussed in. While they wait, there is much dancing and celebration, mingling and fun with the Americans. Then it begins. School officials and teachers rejoice in front of all what God is doing through Project Lucas. Children speak and sing for the crowd and then the Gospel is presented. Oh what joy! Finally comes the passing out of backpacks. We hand backpacks to each child, but they’re not merely backpacks with school supplies. These backpacks are symbols of HOPE. We don’t just show up with the Gospel and leave. We tend to their need for a savior by also meeting their physical need for education. Education allows them to move out of the cycle of poverty.
Tonight, as we reflected on EVERYthing that happened today, one thing that stood out were the older kids. The kids we’ve known since they were tiny, are in high school now. Each trip, we come back to continue to invest in their lives, to encourage them in their decisions, their studies, and their faith. For so long they have been recipients of the investment, but today we saw the transformation. We saw receiving turn to giving. They worked SO HARD to serve their community today, to help others. They know FIRST HAND how these backpacks help, how sponsorship helps, how God continues to use the Project Lucas Foundation to invest in them.
It’s overwhelming at times to think that I get to be part of this, that God has allowed me to know and be loved by these kids. I am humbled by his work and continue to pray as I did at the beginning of the day…”Lord, speak to me, stretch me.”
Published on Friday, July 19, 2019 @ 2:53 PM EDT