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.

Don  – (July 24, 2010 at 3:39 AM)  

My Dearest Chloe, I was so excited to see that you had added to your blog but I was brought to tears as I read it. You have grown in ways that we all strive for but only a few achieve. Yes God does have big plans for your life and I believe he has only shared a small portion with you this summer.

As a parent it is difficult to let a child go but sometime ago God gave me and your mother peace about your comittment to him and the kingdom. You are an inspiration to each of us.

I am truly overcome with emotion right now and feel like I am not making sense. I can hardly wait to see you and hear more about your trip. See you on Monday. Give my love to everyone.
Love Daddy

Anonymous –   – (July 24, 2010 at 5:34 AM)  

Much love to a blessed child of God. You are without a doubt one of the most mature christians God has ever loved. Your future is not a dream but a journey without end. God bless you & so enjoyed reading your blogs & following you while in YOUR KENYA! Luv ya beyond measure - Ms Ann

Anonymous –   – (July 24, 2010 at 6:45 AM)  

Chloe, I'm also reading your blog with tears running down my face. You are such an amazing and wonderful young lady and I'm so happy for you and the life-changing impact that you've had on these children and your Kenyan friends. You have indeed found where He wants you to be to further His kingdom. I ditto Ann's comment about your maturity. You are truly one-of-a-kind. Thank you for taking the time to send us your newsy, funny and informative blogs. We've all enjoyed them so much. I look forward to hearing all about your trip when you get home. Travel safe. God bless you. Marilynn

Billy White  – (July 24, 2010 at 7:40 AM)  

My poor vision, coupled with the tears, made for an extra tough read this morning. The Lord has blessed you with a heart for Him that is bigger than all of Africa. You have shared His love from your heart for Him to the people in that community. It is so awesome to see God at work in your life and using you in such a mighty way as He builds His kingdom. Glory be unto His name! We are excited for you and can't wait to hear more when you get back. We love you!!!!

Anonymous –   – (July 24, 2010 at 10:44 AM)  

I join the others as I write with tears, unchecked, streaming down my face . . . I really have no words other than you have shown us what WE ALL need to do to serve our Lord . . . to seek and serve and love Him and ALL His people unconditionally! Thank you for sharing Kenya with us . . . I DO hope and pray that I may be able to go back to Kenya one day, but if not, I look to you for inspiration, to go WHEREVER He leads me, for WHATEVER mission He has for me! I love you, gal! Be safe and we'll see you soon! Ms. Julia

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