Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Newlyweds in Nakuru

Newlyweds, originally uploaded by momentswithmichelle.

During our honeymoon we were on the move! We spent the first night at the Kerio View where we had our second reception. From there we headed to the Kakamega rainforest to stay at the Rondo Retreat Center for a few days. WOW!!! It was gorgeous, peaceful and an all around amazing place. We could have easily stayed a month. But alas we needed to head back to Kipkaren to meet up with my family.

I had insisted that I wanted a few days with my parents before they headed back to the States. So we all made the drive to Nakuru together. We were able to do an animal safari there. I saw my first leopard in Africa!! Unfortunately he was hiding in a tree and almost impossible to photograph. We then continued the drive to Nairobi where we all stayed one last night together before my family and other guests flew out.

Maybe we Should Have Read the Sign!

Kakamega Rainforest, originally uploaded by momentswithmichelle.

Perhaps William and I should have given closer attention to this sign before we headed off into the forest. We took a trail into the forest and were enjoying the beautiful butterflies. As we made our way along the path we noticed a seven foot snake crossing the path in front of us. It was black with bright green/yellow spots on the center of it's back. When we took a step closer to try and get a photo it whipped around towards us. We opted to not wait to see if he was friendly but instead hit the path running!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Wedding Sunset

Land Rover at Sunset, originally uploaded by momentswithmichelle.

A truly African experience at the end of a perfect day!!!

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Kiprop

William and Michelle, originally uploaded by momentswithmichelle.

Finally!!! After a year and a half of waiting we were married on December 14th. And what an event it was. We had 1,200 guests at the wedding and reception. The wedding was held outside of the home of David Tarus. It was magnificent. As you can see we were blessed with an incredible photographer. Adele Booysen is a colleague and a friend.

What a Gift

What a Gift, originally uploaded by momentswithmichelle.

Yes, we really did receive a calf during the wedding reception! Her name is Lelmet which means she has a white head.

Monday, December 03, 2007

House Warming

I attended a housewarming on Saturday, not for me, but for some special friends. Four years ago a widow in our community died. She left behind three children who lived with her, Jane, Shadrack and Chepchirchir. The children had several older married siblings. At the funeral everyone packed up and went home leaving the three youngest standing at the graveside. David Tarus (the director of ELI Kenya) saw them standing there with no one to care for them. He announced "get in the car, let's go home!". The children have moved around a bit since that time but always being under the supervision of David. At times they have been able to live under the same roof, but for the last year and a half they were split up. Jane is now 22 and Shadrack is about to enter his final year of high school. I think Chepchirchir is 12 or 13. I first met them in 2004 and have watched them grow in confidence over the last three years during my visits to Kenya.

Here is where the exciting part of the story comes in. Before she died, the children's mother had been involved in the Paper Making Project through ELI. She assisted in making paper for stationary to be sold in the United States. See for more info on how to support this project. She did not collect her earnings before passing away. Now that the children are old enough to be on their own they were granted the money their mother earned. With the money they built a small house on a tenth of an acre of property.

As a community we joined together for a house warming. Many speeches were made, the tears of joy flowed that day. As I watched my friends Juli and Allison share about how they had watched these three children grow and hold on to their hope in Christ my heart was deeply moved. I looked to the side and noticed that my parents were crying as well. I was reminded that the Bible says that this is true religion, to care for orphans and widows. And boy do we have a lot of orphans and widows in this community. But what a story of hope! To watch these three spread their wings and not only survive, but thrive in their environment is a true blessing!