Visitor’s Blog

“Meeting the Boys of Nyumba Ya Tumaini”
By Chris Donelan

August 5, 2013

The emotions and connections I experienced today can only be described in one word: Unforgettable. It was one hell of a day. We began with a delicious breakfast consisting of potatoes, sausage, toast with jam, and juicy mango. Shortly after, we were on our way to Nyumba Ya Tumaini. Our incredible day started with a tour of the facility followed by an introduction from some of the boys and the director of the home. Their stories made any story I could ever tell seem very unreal and lame. One of the boys named Gibson openly talked about his struggle on the streets of Nairobi and how he eventually ended up as a member of the home. It made me realize that in the United States, no one would ever talk so openly about something so personal. Gibson’s story touched me and made me realize how fortunate I am to have grown up with a roof over my head and three meals provided for me a day.

After the stories, we began to play name games of all sorts. These games began connections that I knew none of us would forget for the rest of our lives. Needless to say, the games we played were the result of much laughter, and the laughter I experienced gave me more joy than I had experienced in a very long time.

Next, the cleaning commenced. Unfortunately, we were short on brooms, so I joined Gibson on a walk to the hardware store. Immediately we struck up a rich conversation that covered everything from sports to a comparison of taxes in the United States vs. Kenya. When we arrived, I watched a man construct five sweeping brooms right in front of eyes. First he whittled one end of a long wooden pole. He then attached the pole to the sweeping end of the broom and nailed the two pieces together. The walk to the hardware store made me feel alive and happy and was definitely one of the high points of my day.

To conclude our amazing day, I taught a lesson on the not-so-fine points of Ultimate Frisbee. We played an intense game, even if it was somewhat of a joke. At this time I felt that we had built a stronger bond in one day than any bond I had built with people on any past mission trips. At reflection that night, it was the most incredible feeling to hear some people say that their highpoint of the day was playing Ultimate Frisbee with us.

You can read more or see pictures by clicking here!

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Visitors!

Everyone here is getting really excited because this month we have so many visitors coming to see our work!

Sunday a youth group from an Episcopal Church in Boston, Massachusetts is arriving to spend a week working with their Pamoja partner, Nyumba Ya Tumaini Children’s Home, and with our organizers to see some of their work. Over the past year the youth at Trinity Church Copley Square and the boys at Tumaini have been exchanging pictures, videos, and letters getting to know each other in preparation to work together to change their communities. We are thrilled to have our first Pamoja visit!

Later this month we have 2 more individuals coming to see how the Tatua model is different from traditional aid. They will attend trainings and work with our organizers to see how they can adapt the model to fit their work as well.

Check back over the month for pictures and stories from these visits.

Reflection

I spent my morning at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Chatham, MA. It’s my third visit with this church and I have to say, they’re wonderful. Each time I go I stay with two members, Jean and Paul, and I’m beginning to feel like their daughter. I’m comfortable enough to open their fridge and dig for food late at night and to share about the ups and downs of my personal life. These sweet relationships, in which people support Tatua by opening up their hearts and homes are one of the most precious parts of being a missionary. I am able to see people love so fully and I am cared for in ways that remind me how much good is in this world.

This same love radiated through the church this morning as I shared about the work of Tatua. The sermon texts were focused on grace and the power it has in our lives. I took the opportunity to share about how when we face uncertainty we have an option to either try and take control or to rest in grace, the truth that we are held by something greater than us. I went on to describe how choosing the latter has transformed me and built Tatua up in ways I could never have imagined. I am blown away by what is happening in Kenya and I am so thankful to be apart of Tatua.

– Natalie Finstad, Co-Founder of Tatua