On Thursday of last week while doing our main weekly shopping trip we ended up bringing one of the street boys home to live with us. Of course this wasn't planned, but this is Kenya and little that we plan actually happens, so no better time then right then 🙂. After doing some shopping for food items and walking out of one of our frequented supermarkets we heard "Jeff! Jeff! Jeff!", we suddenly found ourselves surrounded by 4 or 5 street boys. These boys are the same ones who manage to find us almost every time we are in Bungoma, but I will admit that we aren't hard to find because of our light skin color. They all started telling us they wanted to go to "shule", which is school in swahili, and they were hungry. Wayne, the one we ended up bringing home, was among the boys that was begging us for help. I was excited to see him because I hadn't seen him in a couple of weeks and the first time I met him, I just knew he was supposed to be here at Mercy Children's Home.
While standing outside the supermarket Jeff, Ray and myself are all looking at eachother and trying to quickly and quietly discuss bringing Wayne home. We are all in agreement so we get Nickson (mine and Jeff's driver and friend) to translate that he can come home with us, BUT no glue, he has to follow the rules, he has to go to school and if he leaves MCH he won't be allowed back. Wayne agreed and just like that he was ready to go.
So happy Thursday for us right? We were able (thanks to all those who support us) to pull another "parentless" child off the streets of Bungoma, bring him home, get him cleaned up, fed and registered for school. While this was a happy moment for us it also included a heartbreaking one.
While Wayne and his giant smile is trying to get on the motorbike and Ray is trying to get the bike out of the spot it is parked in, Eugene starts to get on as well. Nickson steps in and tries to explain to Eugene that he can't go today. Eugene just couldn't accept that and continued to try and get on over and over again. Jeff ended up having to hold a tearful little boy back so Ray could leave with Wayne.
Eugene, Eugene, we have spent a lot of time with him. He and Dan were close and he always finds us. I will be honest and say until last month I've said "nope not that one" about Eugene many, many times. Eugene's English is minimal, his behavior can be less than desirable, his glue habit seems to be severe and his situation is complicated. We have been told by Dan that Eugene has a home that he goes to every night, just no family that really cares, so he returns to the streets to beg every day. I just couldn't see Eugene working out here, but since we brought Dan home, I've really been able to see Eugene's heart. He always asks about Dan, asked me to make a video for Dan to see and even sent a green balloon home to him. It was then I was able to see past the glue and the annoying behaviors and just see a boy who needs someone on his side.
When will we go back for Eugene? Well Dan and Wayne are stable enough for us to bring home another street boy, but we are out of beds for boys. The boys dorm isn't finished yet, but Ray has graciously opened up his room to be the temporary boys dorm. Right now we have 5 boys sleeping in 4 beds in Ray's room and they are making it work. The temporary boys dorm could hold 2 more Mercy Beds, but we have an immediate need for 1 more before we can take in any more boys. The Mercy Bed (triple bunk bed) itself is costing us about $200 for materials and labor plus another $150 for the 3 mattresses. Once we have the funds to build another bed we will have the carpenter come back and get started on a bed for Eugene.
What a blessing it is to know that the stories of Dan, Wayne, Abigeal, Robai, Diana, Elica, Charity and Vivian are being changed. But at the same time it is heartbreaking to personally know many whose stories are not being changed but desperately need to be. We continue to pray and trust that God will complete the good work He has started here. Thank you to all of you who are a part of changing their story, I doubt you will ever fully know the incredible impact that you are having here. Your prayers are greatly appreciated and felt.