By Grace Brewer
As I reflect on my time in Kenya, I am reminded of one certain thing, the people. I was able to spend two weeks of my July on a mission trip in Mombasa, Kenya. I was accompanied by a team of thirteen other students and adults from my church, River Point Community Church. We served in all different capacities from ministering to children, to building a mud hut. Since this was my first time outside of the United States, I was struck by the massive amount of poverty that surrounded me every time we rode down the street. I could continue to write about the different ministries that we helped with, but I have decided to highlight the one that impacted me the most. This ministry was Tiwi Baptist School.
The trip to Tiwi took around two hours, but it was worth every minute once we arrived. We were welcomed with singing and laughter from children who just wanted to know more and more about us. For four days, we went back to Tiwi and did crafts, games, and bible studies with the kids. I connected with a group of girls and everyday they would race and hug me. Their names were Habiba, Salama, Zena, Valery, Fatuma, and Irene. I met many other children, but these girls seemed to treat me like an older sister and wholeheartedly spread their love onto me.
One of the crafts that we did with children at Tiwi closely ties to my Capstone project for my senior year at Tallulah Falls School. My capstone deals with how images affect the decision making of people and what images should and should not be published. For part of the craft, I was given the task of taking individual pictures of all 350 plus kids that attended Tiwi. Many of these kids never get to see themselves, so after the pictures were taken, we had them printed and given to all of the kids. The personalities of each of the kids was shown as I snapped each image. They would pose and then run away laughing. I continued to take pictures throughout the entire trip in order to try and show my family and friends at home what it was like to go to Kenya. The truth is, the pictures do not do it justice. I will never be able to let them hear the joy of the children as they met us for the first time or when we handed them balloons. These are memories that I will cherish in my heart forever.
The summer before my senior year has come and gone too fast, but I am thankful for the opportunity to go and share God’s word in a country that is far different from my own. It was not only an experience, but it was also a chance for me to open my eyes to more of the world and see the daily lives of a culture different than my own. I continue to pray for the people that I met in Kenya and hope that I will be able to go back to the beautiful country again one day.