S: Elangata Enterit, Kenya 2007-2010
BC: because not all who wander are lost.
FC: "All I know is that every time I go to Africa, I'm shaken to my core." -Stephen Lewis
1: This is the story of how I fell in love with a people and a place and a culture unlike anything I had ever known. How I felt completely and utterly outside of my comfort zone, and yet, more at home than I had ever felt before. | This is the story of Elangata Enterit. a small primary school in the Kenyan bushlands, a rural settlement not minded much by the nation's corrupt leaders, a meek settlement of the powerful Maasai people, a story of people just like us....
2: May 2007
3: So there I was. Days were spent building desks, painting the new teachers housing, and playing soccer with the boys (turns out if your name is that of a favorite football club, you're in). | And in the evenings we traveled to area bomas, or family settlements, sharing stories of the Lord, singing songs to His glory, and being immersed in Maasai culture.
4: Katie Wertz, the girl whose connection with Kenya inspired a ministry that changed my life | The two weeks flew by, even without any modern conveniences such as plumbing, clean water, or electricity. We were full on camping in the middle of the African bush. And I loved every minute of it.
5: Three traditional Maasai warrior-hunters, who wandered through EE and fruitlessly tried to teach our men to throw spears. | Elangata's community church | The boys' "dorm," or at least the best the school had to offer. In order to succeed in school, boarding is the only real option for a student in Kenya.
6: May 2008 My time at EE could not be satisfied in a single two-week excursion, and a year later I was blessed enough to return. This year we helped teach, paint chalkboards, build desks, and continued to construct genuine relationships.
9: This place, more than ever, felt like home. And I knew any goodbyes would not be permanent. | So another year came and went. We were reunited with many old friends, got to know the teachers on a much more personal level, and even climbed to the top of the "mountain" (in a skirt and sandals, no less).
10: May 2009 Due to several projects falling through, this year we got to spend even more quality time with the students.
13: Our two weeks there were not long enough. We were the guests of honor at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new classroom building and got front row seats at all of the costumed rehearsals for their annual Maasai dance competition. We talked at the clinic and the local market about Jesus. Mama Nasuju told Laura and I that we are like her own daughters now and brought us handmade earrings. But best of all, we became friends with the students. They let us see their silly sides, told us about their dreams, and taught us about their culture and lives.
14: May 2010 Co-leading with Brian Truschinger was such a blessing. We had a huge team of Kenya ministry newcomers who fell in love with Elangata and plan to continue the ministry.
15: The trip seemed like the best of all worlds. Everyone was able to spend time getting to know the students personally. We were able to help in classrooms and get to know our partner teachers a little bit better; they especially appreciated their individual gifts of classroom supplies. We got to travel to bomas occasionally to share about God, less than usual because of wild elephants. And Jackson was with us for another great year.
18: Until next time, Kenya.