The Final Call!

Habari! Ninaitwa Chloe Mwende. Ninakaa Lucky Summer na familia ya
Wambua. Nimekuwa nchini Kenya kwa miezi mbili iliyopita. Mimi ni
mwalimu wa Highridge Baptist Academy!
Hello! I am called Chloe Mwende. I live in Lucky Summer with the
Wambua family. I have been in Kenya for the last two months. I am
a teacher at Highridge Baptist Academy!

The days I have dreaded to see are finally here. My time is up. Tomorrow
will be my last full day in my Kenyan world. Agh! Why so soon? When I left for
Kenya on the 31st of May I thought that two months would be LONG! I thought
they would go by rather slow and that I would be ready to come home. I was
very wrong indeed. My time here has passed by in a hurry. Two months was
not long enough. My home is here in Kenya, and well I am just not ready to
head back to the states- a place that I feel like a visitor.

I know I haven't written a blog in quite a while, but I was very attimate in not
missing anything in the last few weeks. I wanted to soak up as much of this
place as I possibly could. Because I have missed telling you a lot, I could be
writing this blog for hours sharing with you all my many stories. Let me just
share what has happened in this last week, and I will tell you about the rest
when I see you! ;)
This week has been full of excitement, joy, sadness, and tears. I taught at my
lovely school on Monday and Wednesday. On Tuesday I went to the Massai
Market with my friends Maluki, Walter, and Maureen. It was SO MUCH FUN!
After taking them to a delicious lunch of chicken and chips (french fries), we
headed to do some shopping! The Massai Market is an outdoor market. People
sell all kinds of things, and of course they love selling to muzungus! Walter and
Maureen were concerned with my bargaining skills. They didn't really believe that
I could do it, but boy did I prove them wrong! I would go up to a sales person,
introduce myself in Swahili, ask them how they were, and then go on to buying
things. The people selling things would look at me funny, and begin spatting
off in Swahili, "Darn, this is no muzungu! This girl acts like a Kenyan." That brought
joy to my heart! They realized very quick that they could not sell things at a price
they would normally sell to a muzungu. I talked one man down from selling me things
at a price of 8,500 to a price of 2,500. I talked a lady down from 10,000 to 1,500!
Walter and Maureen were impressed! ha. They told me I was better than they were!
They even told Mama Joe when we got home that I truly had to be a Kenyan.

On Thursday I met with Jack and Bert Yates (the IMB missionaries who helped
me to come here). It was so wonderful to see them, share with them, and listen to
their advice!

After meeting with Jack and Bert, I went to teach at another local school. It's called
Lucky Shamir and they teach around 350-400 students from Baby Class-Class 8.
It was so neat to see another school and how it was run. The kids at this school
arrive around 7 a.m. and don't leave until 6 p.m. Can you imagine if I told an American
student they had to stay at school that long!
So today, Friday, was my last day at school. My last day at Highridge Baptist Academy.
This morning I went around to each class to spend some time with them and tell them
goodbye. It was truly one of the hardest things I have ever done. Looking in the eyes of
the children that only wished I could stay. Telling these kids that I wouldn't see them for
a year or two. Listening to these kids sing all the many songs I taught them. Seeing
these kids begin to cry because their teacher was leaving them. One of my favorite
classes at school is Class 1. As I went to their class, half of the pupils couldn't even
look at me because they were sobbing so much. Oh how I hated leaving them! This
afternoon we had a staff party where we ate lunch and fellowshiped together. After I said
a few words to the staff as a whole, each staff member got up and shared a few words
of encouragement to me and how much I had meant to them. I hadn't realized how
effective my ministry here had been until I heard what they had to say to me. Teacher
Anne (she teaches the nursery class) told me that she had never seen anyone love
kids like I did. She said, "Chloe, you love these kids more than we do. You have shown
us the way we need to interact with these kids. You have given them more hugs than
they have gotten in a lifetime." She just went on and on, and all I could do was cry. Mr.
Mutemi (Principal Moses) said that I had brought unity among the staff because I treat
everyone the same and have shown them how to treat each other. I have become so
close with the teachers and staff at school, and leaving them is heartbreaking.
Some of them said some quite funny things, so I think I will break away from the
sadness and share them with you. :) David (he is the accountant at the school, and
one of my closest mentors) stood up and said, "This girl, Chloe, she is not like other
muzungus who come here. She is different. Her skin is white, but her soul is black!
She isn't Chloe, she is Mwende!" Mr. Mutemi began to tell a story. He said, "A long
time ago, some American farmers wanted some slaves to work their plantations. So
they came to Africa and took many young boys and girls to work for them. After years
of working, they finally became free men and women. Some of the slaves went
back to Africa, but some remained in America. Chloe, you must be one of those African
women who stayed in America, and now you are ready to come back to Africa!" hahaha.
Sophia (teaches in the salon, and walks me to school) began to sing to me, and then she
said, "Mwende, I am certain that you will be back here permanently in just a few years.
You know when you come back you will need a husband, and lucky for you we have many
single male teachers here. Girl, the ball is in your court! Take your pick! Oliver, Brian... and so
on." Then men then began shouting, "Oh YES. Amen sister."

After the teachers said a few words we began a time of singing, dancing, crying,
and praying. At the end of the day, it comes back to praising our Savior. When the
party was over, we circled up as a staff, held hands, and prayed together. Emotions
were high, but the comfort of God was near!
I didn't end up leaving school until 5:45! I could not exit the gate to walk home because
so many kids wanted to give me more and more hugs. The teachers finally had to run
the kids out of the gate to go home. As one of my Class 7 girls, Samiya, was giving me a
hug, she said, "Chloe, thank you for showing us the love of God." I began to cry because
that was an answer to prayers. My prayer for this trip was that I would share the love of
God with these students, teachers, and the people of Kenya as a whole. To hear one
of my students tell me the exact thing I had been praying for was too much. Wow.
Glory to God that my ministry was a success! Glory to God that I have been able to be a
part of His Great Redemptive Story!
I will miss my kids, my teachers, my family, and my Kenya. I will miss the sound of
kids snapping their fingers and yelling, "teacher," which sounds like, "cha." I will miss
my kids of Korogocho yelling, "Muzungu, how are you," as I walk from school. My kids' hugs.
The sound of my children laughing. Drinking tea with Maureen, and laughing at David's jokes.
I will miss walking into the staff room seeing my fellow teachers. I will miss jumping up
and down playing until I am covered head to toe in dust. My home. Cooking with Mama Joe.
Reading to Melissa. Long conversations with my Pastor. Going without water for sometimes
4-5 days. Not knowing when the electricity might go off. Hearing the rooster outside my
window every morning at 6:47 a.m. I will miss the dust, dirt, and mud.
I could go on and on, but well you may get tired of reading. All in all, I will miss my Kenya.
I have been blessed to be here, and I could never say thank you enough to my God
who has sent me here for a purpose. A purpose of making His name known. You know,
my mom called a few weeks ago and told me that if I thought God wanted me to stay
here in Kenya right now, then I could stay. She said that I needed to be where God
wanted me. You have no idea how happy that made me. I was jumping for joy at the
fact that I have parents who support me, my dreams, and the plans God has for me. As
much as I wanted to say YES to staying, I know that is not the path God is leading me
down right now. The day before I left for Kenya I got a scholarship for school that
equalled the exact amount I needed to pay for this next year. I am pretty sure that was
God saying come back home! At least for two years to finish school.
God has huge plans for my life. The journey has started, but the path is long. Being on
this journey to Kenya has taught me more than I could have imagined. I am not the same
person I was, and I hope you will be able to see that when I return. You know I hear many
people say, "I left my heart in Africa," but for me my entire self has been left here in Africa.
Going home will be tough, and when you see my crying hopefully you can understand why.
Rhianna wrote me an e-mail that said, "Chloe, I know you love us here and
you love being with us, but when you hang out with us, you seem to not be totally there. Your
are physically here, but emotionally and mentally you are in Africa. When you get to speak
about Africa, your joy begins to shine. When you are in Africa, I know your heart has been
reunited with its love." Ree is right when saying this. I love you all, but I believe God has
greater purposes for me. Greater than being in the U.S. Greater than living an American
life. My desire is to live a Kenyan life sharing the love of God all around me.
"Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4

Well, my blog has come to an end. I can't thank you enough for all the many e-mails,
messages, and written cards you have sent this way. Thank you for walking this journey
with me and for praying with me each step of the way. I love you so much, and I will see
you in just a few short days.


Mimi si Muzungu! Mimi ni Mkenya!!!

If you stay in Kenya for too long.... they may try and make you Kenyan!
It's a good thing I am perfectly okay with that! :)

The last week has been full of busyness and excitement! In one of Miss
Kim's notes she left me she gave me some words of wisdom. "Don't deny
your quiet times and don't deny your rest. You will be of no help if you
aren't spiritually on top and plenty rested." Well in order for to obey
that advice, I had to give up something. I decided to give up the blog!
Blogging takes awhile, and well it was causing a lot of tiredness!!

At the start of the week, Sunday, I did wear my
new Kenyan dress! :) Everyone told me I looked so
"smart," which is their way of saying pretty. They also
assured me that I am becoming more Kenyan each
day! Pastor even gave me a new name. Because
his family is from the Camba tribe, he game the
Camba name, Chloe Mwende. Mwende means
someone who is loved! :) :) I now introduce
myself as Chloe Mwende. :)

On Monday, the kids at
the centre had a holiday which
meant that I also got a holiday!
My job for that day was to take
Melissa's cousin, Stacy, to the
barber shop to get all her hair
shaved off! I did not want her to
shave her head, but Pastor insisted!
He said that he doesn't like seeing
her cry when she has to get her hair
braided, so he said shave it off!
When we got to the barber shop,
Stacy started to get a little scared.
She said, "Chloe, can we just go
home and wait until my daddy can go
with me?" I felt bad but I made her get
it shaved right then. I knew that if we
went home and Pastor saw that her
head wasn't shaved, then it would be
me that got in trouble! ;) After she got it
done, she ended up liking it!

Tuesday and Wednesday I taught at the centre all day!
I taught Math, English, Science, and CRE to 6 classes!
Tiring.....yet so rewarding! Many Muslim students attend
the centre. It's been so neat ministering to them, and
seeing God change their hearts.One of the girls told me that
God was going to punish me because I have put too many
holes in my ears. As much as I wanted to laugh, I was able to
refrain myself. Instead, I just love on each child and try to show
God's love. Many of the older girls have come to me and have
really opened up in sharing their lives. We have shared many
laughs and even more tears. God, may you continue to show
yourself to these girls. Please pray that God would continure to
use me to share His grace with these girls!

On Thursday, Pastor, Mama Joe, Mama Grace, and me headed to their rural home in
Mwingi. It is SOOOO NICE! It's crazy to me that Pastor Wambua came from absolutely
nothing but because of his faithfulness to God, God has chosen to richly bless him! I
told him and his brothers to write a book! I enjoy hearing all of their stories! I admire
Pastor more each day. His entire life is a ministry, which is what I desire for my own
life. This first picture was his house when he was youger. The second picture is his
new house!

Pastor and I went for a walk around his land. He had the best view!! On his land he has a small
shamba where he grows beans and maize. We piced some maize, roasted it, and then ate it!
It was SOO YUMMMYYY! Mom, lets roast corn when I get home. K?
Funny story from Thursday:
So I wne to use the squatty potty. Oh squatty potty's....... Anyways, I was a little nervous
going out there because Pastor's house is in the bush and it was night time, but I grabbed my
flashlight and headed to the potty. I made it out there, closed the door, and used the potty.
Well, when I got finished I turned around to open the door, but the door would not open!
It was completely stuck!! I pushed on it, kicked it, and even tried to run into it. Nothing
would open that door. I began to cry because I was starting to get scared. All I could think
about was me being stuck in a squatty potty in the middle of the African bush at night time
and no one being able to hear me. Finally about ten minutes passed and Mama Grace found me.
She started laughing. I did not find it funny at first, but now that I think about it, I guess
it is pretty funny. How often do you get stuck in a squatty potty in the middle of nowhere?
hahahaha. :)

Friday after breakfast Mama Joe and Mama Grace headed outside to put somechemical
on the beans and maize from last year's crop. Before they could put the
chemical on the beans, they had to throw the beans in the air and let the wind carry
away the chaff! They even let me help! It was soooo neat. I couldn't believe the way
they use the simple things like the wind to do the job. After finishing putting the
chemical on the maize we had to carry it back into the house. At first, Mama Joe
wouldn't let me help because they bags were so heavy, but I finally talked her into
letting me help. :) By the way, the food that Pastor and his brother's grow is not
sold for money. They have chosen to give it away to people who need it instead!
Like I said, his whole life is a ministry.......

Who new that donkeys could be used for something?!?!?! haha. In Mwingi, everywhere
you turn you will see many donkeys with water
jugs on their backs. It is so dry there; therefore, there is no water. People have to travel
for miles and miles to find water. Some people even dig
15 feet or more in the dry
river beds to find water! We definitely take it for granted the fact that we can just turn our faucets on and have plenty
of clean water.

We came home from Mwingi today around 4! I was able to get a long massage from the
drive. It was so BUMPY!
So, that is about all that has been going on over here! I can't believe a month has
already passed. :( It feels like I just got here. :( :( :( :( If one more kid asks me to
stay, then well, I may just have to stay. Mama Joe told me today that I was not
leaving! Mom, looks like you have some competition! haha. I love you all! I
hope you have had a great week!
Happy Birthday to Mama and Bubba!!! :) :) :) Eat plenty of birthday cake for me!


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