I forgot to tell you about the chameleon. John found it down by the river and brought it up for me to see. He was rewarded with a quick tutorial in wide aperture shooting. I carried Grumpy (I got attached that fast) around trying to save him from being loved to death by tiny Kenyans. We set it on different shirts hoping it would give us a nice color-changing show, but it only changed a little.
This is a good place to give Nelson a better introduction. On Sunday we attended church here at IAA. In Africa church begins when it begins and goes until whenever it ends. I took that to mean we were in for a very long service, but it was maybe 90 minutes. Nelson (one of IAA's first children, now a college student) did the teaching. He was quite good at it. Nelson seems to be a natural born leader, but with a quiet and warm style. Jane says they give him as many opportunities as they can and he rises to the occasion.
Nelson arrived at IAA when he was 11. His father was abusive and Nelson witness him beating his mother to death. After his father was taken to jail, Nelson came to live at IAA and while his story is not pretty, he gives credit to God for the redemptive healing he has experienced here. In a testimony we saw on video, Nelson tells of how he trusts God that regardless of what he has suffered he knows God will make good of it, as he has already seen in many ways.
During church I had Jacob in my lap for much of the service (not because kids love me, they are usually wanting to play with the camera). Jacob is another success story. Jane and her right-hand lady, Donna, were at a hospital picking up some children to bring home to IAA. They spotted tiny two day old Jacob lying on a table, covered with a blanket. When they inquired about him, they were told, “Never mind him. He is going to die.” There was no way they were having that and so Jacob came home to IAA as well. He managed to survive even though the hospital staff completely neglected him. Today he is happy and thriving and I enjoyed his company whenever he chose to hang around me.
Like our little chameleon buddy, Nelson and Jacob changed in response to their surroundings, but they're still themselves. Grumpy only changed a little, but Nelson and Jacob are forever changed in remarkable ways by their relationship with their Savior and all those who love them here at Into Abba's Arms.
In the afternoon we presented the final project renderings and details to Jane, Nelson, Auntie Donna, and Din. This is only my second project trip, but I already know I love Presentation Day. The people we are serving get excited, ask great questions, and everyone is looking forward to God's future for the ministry. Jane has hopes and dreams for the children she serves and ideas about how that might be accomplished. But she is also humble enough to admit those are her ideas, to hold them all with open hands, and to entrust it all to God, knowing He will bring it all to pass in the best ways.
Having presented the project on Sunday, we had all of Monday to relax a bit. Well, the electrical engineers and architects were still slaving away over hot computers, but in essence, we were finished. Several people took the opportunity to fall asleep (caught on video). Tuesday morning we will head out to Nakuru for a rest day in at a lodge in the game park before we begin the long trip home.
We are missionaries with Engineering Ministries International, based in Colorado Springs, and traveling around the globe to serve.
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