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Church Office

Hours:
8:30 to 4:30 Monday - Friday

323 South Fairfax Street
Alexandria, Virginia  22314-3716
Phone: 703-549-6670
Email: opmh@opmh.org

Kenyan Reflections - Rhonda O’Bannon, 2009

 

This past June, I travelled to visit the orphanage and academy in Moi’s Bridge. My focus was on collecting data to help us with plans and budgets for the coming year. Because it was only a 3 day stay, I was not able to spend much time with the children - only at night - after they had come home from school, finished chores, played, ate dinner and finished homework. Still, I managed to sneak in a few games and book readings.

On my last night, when they realized I would be leaving the next day, they must have been thinking of all the messages they wanted to say to their friends in America. I headed to where I slept and left my door open so I could continue to talk with them while they shined their shoes for the next day. They must have agreed among themselves that one of the girls, Sara Mweka, would pass along to me a greeting to the US from all of them. She approached me shyly, but very bravely told me, "tell everyone that we are getting along well both mentally and physically and say hello and thank you to everyone". I felt frozen as she spoke - I was realizing exactly what she was thanking us for: a place to live, a place to be safe, a place to find food, a place to go to school, a place to read a book, a place to find clothes. She was so graciously passing along her thanks in a building with concrete walls and floors, with 6 foot x 8 foot dorm rooms holding 4 bunk beds, with no closets or shelves to hold clothes and shoes and books and toys. In this moment, I was realizing the gratefulness of this child, while we often find ourselves wanting yet another pair of shoes, or a bigger house. There are millions of children in the world in the most vulnerable of living conditions. How can we support them all?

The point of this moment was that I found myself there, present, in front of Sara and all the other children, hearing words of greeting and gratefulness to people they have never met. She said "tell everyone". I was incredibly humbled by those words. It was an affirmation that what has been accomplished by our church communities to support these children must continue. But I also realized that none of us deserved the thanks, because anything that we can do is never going to be enough or be soon enough. “Tell everyone,” she said, and I knew I was in the presence of the Holy Spirit; I knew that all we have been able to do we have done through our Father, and for God’s glory. Amen.
 

Last Published: December 9, 2009 12:21 PM
Old Presbyterian Meeting House 323 South Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 703-549-6670