How in a country with so much need, so much poverty, so much corruption can there be joy?
How in a line of work with so many motherless children and hungry mouths to feed can there be joy?
How in place where getting even the simplest of tasks accomplished takes SO long can there be joy?
But, JOY abounds here.
There has been joy in hearing the children at the orphanage learn more bits and pieces of English and shouting my name as I play with them on the playground “Elizabet, Elizabet!”
There has been joy in remembering that life is indeed about simple pleasures like a cup of tea, the ability to walk the stairs (even to the 8th floor), laugher when bumpy roads make the journey all the more interesting.
There has been joy in the deep waters of relationship– feeling included, accepted and challenged along the way.
In this joy, I have felt a part of such a larger family– a African family, a Kenyan family, even though my skin is white.
I have tasted the delight that is dessert at the end of the day– eating it because it’s too sweet of a moment not to indulge.
I have seen with my own eyes the beauty that is children feeling noticed by just one person– human heart to human heart.
There’s something about Africa that always stirs my soul and for this reason I haven’t been able to do anything less than wake up here with a huge smile and a prayer, saying to God (in the spirit of the writer Anne Lamott): “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
Joy has come to me this week in cupfuls, bowlfuls and more than I can even take in. My spiritual bags are quite overflowing as I start to pack. And so I testify- taste and see that the Lord is good!