Good morning. I have a few minutes before we head out for our weekend safari to Maasai- Mara and wanted to send a quick update on our trip yesterday to the Baruku IDP Camp.
Absolutely the most heart-wrenching thing I’ve ever seen. In my most horrifying nightmare, I’ve never imagined anything like this!
The people at the Baruku IDP Camp wer booted from their homes in 2007 and the government gave each family 10,000 shillings (approx $130) to start their lives over. Several families pooled their money and bought land together and now are just a series of little white tents in the Kenyan hills. Honestly, I don’t know how they’re surviving. Perhaps by the occasional food-drops…. but I’ve never been anywhere so hopeless and void of energy!
I started crying immediately as we stepped out of the van, but I had to pull it together. The kids all ran up to us “mizungus” (aka: white people) and knew that we were coming to help. Words can’t begin to describe these kids: they were covered in DUST, clothing was rags, and their little faces had snot dried on them, since most of them were sick.
We brought kids books, bubbles, stickers, and games to play with them and had a fun afternoon attempting to distract them from their sad situation. At one point, we turned our van into a “new clothes assembly line” and Jenn, Nikki, and I brought each kid in one-by-one to dress them in a new outfit. Thanks to everyone who donated infant/baby clothes…. I got to see firsthand how they blessed the people there! It was a humbling experience pulling these kids’ old, stained rags off and dressing them in soft new things.
Before leaving Baruku, we met with their community leaders to discuss helping them start a little business. We want to help them in a way that is sustaining…. they can’t survive on the occasional and unpredictable food drops. Our idea was to help them build and buy a chicken coup so they can sell the eggs in local markets and hopefully stimulate some sort of income for them to start building their lives with. More on this later as we get going on the project, but we’re really excited!
Later that afternoon, we stopped by a different IDP camp, Pipeline, and the situation there was very different. Energy and progress lived there and you can tell that these were a determined group of people with the will to live and succeed! I left encouraged.
I was reminded of the verse in Matthew 25:40 throughout the day that says, “Whatever you do for the least of these, you do for me.” There’s no better way to describe these people other than the “least of these”…. I didnt know that this level of poverty existed. As a man in the Baruku camp told us, “Service to man is service to God.” He couldn’t have said it better, and that’s exactly why we’re here!
Off to Maasai-Mara for a weekend safari! Stay tuned….
PS: The computers over here are ridiculously old school so my apologies for the odd formatting!