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Thursday, December 26, 2013

family gatherings. kenya style.

A short walk from the gate, just past the dukas we frequent, lies the heart of Kijabe.  Almost directly across the street from the local carpenter’s shops are several rows of housing units.  A home on one of these rows belongs to a man named Jesse, our friend and gardener.   We were delighted to visit his family on Saturday afternoon.

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Jesse has become dear to our family over the past year and a half.  He works at our home two days a week, tending to the yard, the flowers and the small vegetable garden.  He’s extremely good natured with our three kids as they follow him around in their puddle boots, and he knows far more about caring for gardens than I ever will. 

You may remember reading about the accident that took three of his fingers last November and left him out of work for a few months.  Dan and I were able to visit his home once during his recovery last year, but this was the first time to meet his family.  His wife is Ann.  She works at AIC Regent Academy, a local Christian school, as a cook.  His children are Stanley, Janet, and Simon. 

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Quite unexpectedly, we were served stew and chapati with juice.  Another marvelous Kenyan meal with friends.  He pulled out photos of his wedding, his big extended family, his children, and some of the missionary families he’s worked for in the past.  We laughed about how young he looks in the photos. 

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Jesse’s youngest, Simon, just turned three.  He and Evelyn were equal in size and cuteness.

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We took a large gift basket for his family, filled with flour, sugar, rice, noodles, beans, jam, and other staples for their kitchen.  Our kids also picked out a few of their toys to give to his children for Christmas. 

We delivered a similar basket of food to Veronica and her family on Monday.  Their home is a little more over the river and through the woods, about a 20 minute drive.   

We are thankful to be able to provide Veronica with steady work as well.  She is a tremendous help to me in our home three days a week.  Veronica is married to Paul and has two sons, Joseph and Edwin.

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The eldest boy in the photo belongs to Paul’s late sister, Beatrice.  She passed away in November 2012 and they have taken Zechaiah into their care. 

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DSC_0035 (3){Driving through Kijabe and NOT nearly hitting a herd of goats would be a more newsworthy event, but we snapped a shot to give you a feel for rural Kenya.}

While we do miss some of the hullabaloo associated with Christmas in the States (you won’t find icicle lights adorning houses and you can’t get your picture taken with Santa), we are immensely thankful for new traditions, for extended visits with our Kenyan neighbors, and giving out of the abundance that God has blessed us with.

 

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