Shine On

Sep 17, 2013 Portrait, Humanitarian, News
when i returned from Kenya in early April,
i was asked to write an article for the next issue of Harvesters International Ministries magazine.

i was excited & nervous at the same time. how do i possibly begin?

where do i begin?

i sat down, said a little prayer, perused through my journal and wrote.

& i am so happy i did.

it's funny how timing works & how we all too often set our expectations on certain timings or deadlines, most that we have created in our own head.... just to realize that all happens in 'perfect timing', for whatever reason, regardless. another reminder to TRUST indeed.

needless to say, this article came out at the 'perfect timing'.
i needed to hear these words today - to be reminded of what i saw, what i felt, what i heard & what i learned...

something we can all in fact learn, share & grow from.

so of course, i wanted to share with you.
hope you enjoy.
“I saw what I saw and I can't forget it
I heard what I heard and I can't go back
I know what I know and I can't deny it

something on the road, cut me to the soul

your pain has changed me
your dream inspires
your face a memory
your hope a fire
your courage asks me what I'm afraid of
and what I know of love”

The lyrics from Sara Groves are like a constant whisper in the back of my mind ever since I returned
from documenting & visiting the Pokot in 3 remote regions of Kenya; Chemolingot, Kauriong & Kodich.

As I continue to process my time in Kenya, there are three things that are certain & clear :

1) When it comes to love & giving of yourself to others,
there is no such thing as ‘not enough’ or ‘too little’.

2) I saw what I saw, and I can’t forget it.

3) The Pokot are people who shine like no other.

I have experienced overwhelming warmth & joy in the Pokot, of all ages.
I have felt it in their handshakes & hugs.
I have seen joy in their smiles & a sense of community in their lives that we do not have at home.
I have watched countless children walk around holding hands, or arm in arm.
I have heard them call each other brother & sister.
I have seen 3 year olds pick up a crying one year old and carry them on their back.
I have seen immense joy in both the girls & boys as they get their nails painted pink by one of our team members.
I have communicated with the elders despite our great language barrier.
I have watched their watermelon-sized smiles as they grab my hand & place it to their heart.

I have heard the children sing & it was as if I felt a sweet piece of Heaven wrap me up.
I have watched the children play for hours on end in the same area, with the same friends,
with the same dirt & rocks to run on… yet all with endless smiles & screeches of laughter.
I have walked by the children & felt their arms reach out to gently touch my skin.
I have been asked ‘what my name is’ by what must be hundreds of beautiful faces.

I have had the ability to make others smile just by taking their picture & saying “roriya!” (smile!) in my broken Pokot.
Their roaring giggles as I showed them their photograph on the back of my camera will be forever stamped into my heart.
I have seen beauty like I have never seen before –
there is no make-up, or hair accessories, or fashionable pick of clothing…

yet the Pokot truly shine.

Above all this,
I have seen God’s undying love, grace & perseverance -- just by looking into their eyes.

The Pokot have redefined my definition of poverty.
Their love & willingness to learn is like something I have never seen before.
They have a richness that cannot be bought nor given.

It is in their soul.
It is in their spirit.
It is what makes them shine on.

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