Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Dream Come True

When I first visited Kids Alive Kenya in February 2009, I met a very sharp, intelligent young man at the Boys’ Home who was reading a rather tattered, trashy romance novel. When I asked him why he chose to read that book, he said “because I like reading and I don’t have any other books”. In that moment, God planted in my heart the desire to see a proper library built for the Kids Alive boys. A library that would be full of books that could inspire and shape those young men, and a quiet place where they could retreat from the jubilant chaos that can sometimes overtake a home full of almost 65 boys.  
Upon my arrival back to Kenya this past fall, I still had that strong desire to see a library built, but when I saw all of the other huge and pressing needs within the ministry, I filed that dream away, cross-referencing it under “maybe someday” and “If I had a million dollars”.
God, in his extravagant love and graciousness though, didn’t wait for “someday “. He has made this desire of my heart a reality less than six months since my arrival in Kenya.
Through a trip that was originally intended to be just as a visit from my family and slowly morphed into a 16 person Vision Team led by the President of Kids Alive International, God answered my prayers and has built the most beautiful Library for my boys to enjoy. The team provided the funds, books and man – excuse me – womanpower to transform some old, unused classrooms at the Boys’ Home into an “Oasis in the midst of the desert” as Isaac, the manager at the boys’ home has called it.
When I first heard that the team was interested in helping make the library possible, I though “This is so great! We’ll have the bookshelves built and the team will bring maybe 150 books and really get us started”. But once again, God has proven to me that his plans are not my plans, and that he can do far more than I could ever ask or imagine. The team not only brought almost 800 books, dvds and educational materials, but they also spent two days setting up and teaching to the new librarian a simple system for keeping track of everything  so that the new library can be maintained enjoyed for generations of boys to come.
I am blown away by God’s goodness and blessing to us.  Upon a recent visit to the Boys’ Home, I found the Library to be THE place to hang out. The very young boys look at the picture books and atlases with wide-eyed fascination, the middle school boys get lost in the worlds of the “hardy boys” and “sugar creek gang”, and the older boys and staff finally enjoy access to good literature - no more trashy romance novels!  It truly has become an oasis in the midst of the dry and windy, (but oh so bursting with joy) piece of land that so many wonderful young men call home.
The Kids Alive Kenya staff have seen the great blessing and value that the library is even only a few weeks after its completion, and we’ve begun talking about the possibility of having other teams come to build  libraries in the other four KAK homes, using the same system that the vision team has set up for us in the Boys’ home – so this blessing is already being multiplied to reach not only the 65 boys who live at the Boys’ Home, but all 250 kids within KAK’s care. God is so great!
 I am overwhelmed with gratitude to the people who helped to make this happen, but more than that, I am bursting with Praise for my God who has once again given me the desire of my heart and done it way sooner, bigger and better than I ever dreamed.