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Emily

Emily

I know this little girl, I thought. We had come to our missionary friends house to borrow some equipment for camp, and I couldnt help but notice the beautiful 8-year-old. Her eyes fascinated me, and then I began to recognize some familiar features in them. Are you Emily? I asked. She nodded in response. At that moment, I remembered 7 years ago, seeing this same little girl, sitting on the ground in nothing but a t-shirt in front of a clay hut with her 4 siblings. All 5 faces displayed the serious expression of an adult, and also hunger.

 

This family was our neighbors. We became acquainted with them through the owners of the house we rented. Our landlords were a husband and wife who owned a private clinic that not only provided medical care to well-off patients, but also to the poorest families from the slum. Through this clinic they learned of the difficult situation of Emilys family. Her father was a drunkard, and her mother, pregnant with the sixth child, lay ill with a serious form of malaria. The children, the oldest of whom was six years old, cared for themselves. Although, there wasnt much caring to do seeing as they had nothing to eat, and no toys to be seen.

 

To get a better understanding of what her home life looked like, the first time we met Emily and her siblings, they were sitting outside playing with their feces. This was a horrible spectacle that prompted us to take care of these five African kids. Every day we visited our new friends, bringing them fresh food and playing with them. Emily quickly became a favorite among our team, being the youngest and only girl in the family.

 

Soon after, her mom had an operation to remove her stillborn child. After this she lived only for two more months, then died from AIDS. The biggest dilemma was, what would happen to the children now since their father continued to drink, and could not care for them. Peter and Henry, the two older boys were taken to our orphanage, and other missionaries took in the younger three children, Martin, John and Emily.

 

7 years later, two of the boys already had a happy family- a mother, a father, and three other brothers. However, Henry, the oldest boy, did not forget his other siblings, and we understood that it was better for the children to be growing up all together. Recently, Vitalik and Julia, the leaders of our team, brought the question up to Juma and Juliet, the boys adoptive parents. After thinking it over, the parents agreed, and said they were ready to add 3 more children to their family. Juliet mentioned that she always dreamed about having a daughter, but had only boys. Emily became an answered prayer. Now the children are all living together in a happy family!

 

Juma and Juliet are active members of our church. They are both leaders in ministry, and play important roles in the life of the local church. In addition, they are an exemplary family for surrounding Kenyans. In this culture, most families dont have a good structure, in which most children grow up without a childhood. From their early years they are responsible for caring for their younger siblings and doing all the work around the house.

 

The family of our friends is nothing like this. Going into their yard, you will always encounter the children playing together and making all kinds of noise. And the most wonderful part is that you would never be able to say which of them are adopted, as all 8 children get the same abundance of love and care.

 

Recalling this story today, I can clearly see how our first meeting back in 2011, was no accident. God had a beautiful future for these children, and we are happy to be part of their journey. We believe that Gods plan for the future of these children is so much higher and better then anything we can even imagine and wish for them. We hope to see it continue to unfold with our own eyes!

 

Emmily 1

Emmily 2

Emmily 3

Emmily 4

Emmily 5

 

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