When we drove into the school yard of the primary school named “Kimai,” the kids were on break. They have a very large school yard and playground. There are more than 600 kids in the school. They were not all out on the grounds at that time, but younger kids were, and when Amos drove into the yard and they saw us inside the car, they all became very excited and began rushing up to us.
“Mzungo,” they called out. The word means white person. I have been to this school twice before in the past, but I believe that we are the only white people most of them have ever seen.
“They are so happy to see you,” Amos said.
He slowed to less than a crawl and even called out the window for the children to be careful, but finally he came to a complete stop and told us that he did not dare to continue. All 600 students may not have been on the playground at that time, but when we opened the car doors and stepped out, it seemed as if they were.
I have never received a welcome as exuberant as that one. The door on the side of the van was a sliding one. If it was not, if it was a normal door, I would have had great difficulty in opening it. Kids were cheering and crowding around. They all wanted us to touch them and shake their hands.
“They are so happy to see you,” Amos said again. “They never have white people visit here, and you are the only white people that they have ever seen!”
I tried to touch every child and to hold every little hand, but it is difficult to know if I was successful. They wanted not only to touch us, but they wanted to feel our hair.
This made “Mum Vivian” with her long gray hair very popular. She was so careful to brush it nicely as we drove to the school, but that last minute primping in the car was for nothing. All primping was instantly ruined when she stepped out of the door.
It all may sound a little weird and a little like a rock star walking through a crowd of adoring fans, but that was not at all the atmosphere. These were children who were overflowing not with some sort of “rock star idol worship,” but with a happy welcome.
Slowly we made our way to the head mistress’s office. She is a jolly lady with a motherly or grandmotherly nature. It is her last
year before retirement. I had the opportunity to thank her for educating the children who we send to her school and to pray for her and the children of the school.
We also visited the Ryanakwara Primary School where we also have several children attending. The kids were in class when we arrived, so our welcome was more subdued, but no less warm.As at Kimai, we were welcomed into the headmistress’s office. This lady has also been in her position for many years, and in fact was a teacher when Pastor Joel was in primary school. She showed us Joel Ombati’s name on the list of the “Top Students of the Year” for the year 2007. The last time that I was there three years ago, she told me that even when Joel was in primary school, the others would call him “pastor.”
“It is the call of God,” Joel told me when I mentioned this to him.
In Ryanakwara, we were able to visit some of the classes and meet several teachers. I prayed for the children in each classroom and also for the teacher. In one of the classes a boy was asked to give me a greeting. Very shyly, he stood up and with a very soft voice
said his welcome. I had to bend my ear close to him to be able to hear. The children here are so well-behaved and so humble, but they love our touch and our hugs.
It is truly a blessing for us to be here. We have these people in our hearts—these people whom we before had not known and who we had no idea that we would ever know.Our days here are filled with many wonderful things. This trip to visit the school is only one of the blessings that we received today. Every day is the same and I am only able tell of a few of the many experiences that we are having. Perhaps at some point I will be able to write about some others, but now I simply need to get some sleep.
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