We kicked off our beautiful Friday morning with a two-hour bus ride to Kajado. Our first stop took us to Priscilla’s school. This school was founded specifically for girls seeking to escape female genital mutilation (FGM) and arranged child marriages. As we arrived, the students were singing “Injili,” one of the songs our team has sung throughout Kenya during our trip, to welcome us. It was beautiful. We performed a concert for them and handed out school supplies to each student, each one smiling as they walked away with their hands and hearts full. The team had tea and mndazi (a Kenyan pastry) with the teachers, and we loaded up the busses once again.
A short drive later, we arrived at the AIC (African Inland Church) Disabled school. We took a tour of the facilities with a man named Moses; he took us through the rooms where they put together wheel chairs and prosthetics for students who need them. He also explained how they help educate and rehabilitate each child that comes into their care. He obvious passion and concern for them was truly inspiring. As we finished the tour, the kids gathered outside with their teachers and a few of the parents for our concert. While singing, I was overcome by the immense joy that flowed from each of their faces; it reminded me that music has so much more power than we tend to give it credit for. Their unbridled joy encourages me to keep going, to keep chasing after God, to keep making music, if only to make a single person feel the way each of those little kids did today. After the music finished, we blew bubbles and played with them for a short while. It was honestly the most fun I’ve had all trip. So much joy, y’all!
Time catching up on us, we walked down the street to the final stop of the day, the AIC Girls School. The matrons prepared an amazing lunch for the team before we met up with the students outside for out third performance of the day. We sang songs for them both in English and Swahili before presenting the school with a plaque from the Center for Christian Music Studies at Baylor. A group of AIC students then came up and performed music for us, to share the gift of music back with us. They were a super talented group of young women. The group of performers is actually the official AIC girls music group that competes on a national level; we wish them the best luck as they compete at national contest this upcoming Tuesday! After they performed, we handed out school supplies to all 720 girls. Shout-out to the amazing student leaders on our team that kept that process super organized!
We loaded the busses once again to drive back to Karen once we said our goodbyes. I wish I could give you a story or funny anecdote from the drive, but I slept the entire time and have zero regrets. I ended up thanking Tori-in-the-past for sleeping on the way home, because we immediately joined a drum circle led by Mike Wachira upon returning to our accommodations. The drum circle wasn’t us sitting around watching them perform or simply doing some interactive rhythmic exercises. Nope, it was more like “Jazzercise: Kenya Edition.” We were jumping and singing and dancing and trying not to have an asthma attack in the corner as these beautiful people led us in song and dance centered around the djembe. I’m pretty sure most of us did more cardio in the few hours we spent with them than most of us do in an entire year. It was ridiculously fun! 10/10, would dance again, even though it was way out of my comfort zone.
That seems to be a theme on this trip though. Many of the things we’ve done while in Kenya, whether waking up at an ungodly hour, eating food that we can’t pronounce, singing in a choir when we’re in school to play in an orchestra, building a relationship with a stranger in a village when you’re the mascot for team introvert, or dancing like a fool in front of a group when the good Lord blessed you with two left feet and no rhythm… all of these things are so far from comfort in so many different ways. Yet I have seen God display His glory through every single one of them. Twelve days ago, I couldn’t tell you why I was boarding a plane to go to Africa. All I knew was God said go, so I went. But now as we edge closer to the end of this journey, I see Jesus in my discomfort. God meets me in my places of greatest vulnerability, and frankly, greatest weakness, and shows up in a mighty way. Yep, I looked like a complete idiot dancing tonight, but I can’t remember the last time I laughed like that. I am far from a morning person, but the sunrises I’ve seen in this breathtaking country have left me in awe once again of my amazing creator. I cherish every second we’ve spent here in Kenya, and I’m grateful to God for the uncomfortable.