Thursday, November 10, 2016

Day 1 and Day 2- Having a beautiful start to our week!!

Day One | Day 2

Good morning from Huruma!
It is a beautiful morning here, we got a bit of rain and it’s nice and cool. We have been so busy since we arrived, I can’t believe how fast the time is going!

We are so thankful for God’s hand of protection over our travels. We arrived in Nairobi safely, all of our luggage was accounted for, and we had no issues coming through customs. But of course the best part was being greeted with hugs and flowers from our dear Huruma family.

Day One:
We got a few short hours of sleep, and woke up early on Tuesday morning and headed to chapel. It’s so fun to start the morning with the kids, singing to the Lord. After chapel we met with Mama to do our orientation and go over the schedule.  Next we headed to the town of Karen to get some of the items we needed for the housing kits that had to be purchased in Kenya. That afternoon some of the team went to Ngong market to get some more supplies. By the end of the day we were all very tired, but it was so nice to finally be here to see all the people we love!

Day Two:
Wednesday morning we had the privilege of preparing breakfast for twelve of last year’s transition students. It was so fun to catch up with them all and hear about how they have been doing. We are so impressed by how much they have matured and grown over the last year. We did devotions together and spent some time thanking the Lord for His faithfulness. We were also able to check in with them and ask them questions about the supplies from their housing kits last year.

They gave us some great feedback, which has been so helpful! One of the issues they had was with the beans we gave them. Propane for their stoves is expensive, and the beans were taking too long to cook and using all their gas. They told us about a grain they have here called green grams, and for the new students we are going to give them lentils and green grams instead of beans. They also helped us learn how to identify the quality of the items we buy so that the supplies will last longer for them. It was so fun to sit down them and hear about what has worked for them over the last year, and what suggestions they had for change.

Wednesday morning for us was Tuesday night in the U.S., so the election was in full swing at home. We were all keeping an eye on the news, and we were laughing because everyone here at Huruma has really gotten into the election. They had the news playing in the dining room and all the kids were watching and cheering and they were very excited about it. It was so funny! It is definitely one of the main conversation topics here right now!

Wednesday afternoon we did a bunch of arts and crafts with the kids and they loved it.  Some of the younger kids colored and did a craft with perler beads. The older kids made bracelets and wire rings and they turned out so well! They were all very excited because we will be able to sell the rings and bracelets they made and the money will go back into supporting Huruma.

Later in the afternoon we got to learn how to make chipati (it’s a flatbread very common in Kenya), which was so much fun! It was a full day, but it was so good!

God is so good to us. He is clearly working here at Huruma, providing for everyone here and guiding Mama. It is such a privilege to be here and see how tender His heart is for Huruma. We are all so excited to see what else He has for us here!

Bwana Asifwe
(Praise the Lord)


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Traveling to Kenya in one week!!

We are just one week away, I can’t believe it’s so close!!!

God is in the details. Throughout this whole process His hand has been so evident in all the planning and organizing, and we have no doubt He is with us in every step. Our sweet Jesus is just so wonderful! We are so thankful for His guidance and provision, and it’s a beautiful thing to watch how intentional the Lord is in the way He works.
I am so excited about the team God has put together. One thing I realized the other day is that all six of us have been to Kenya before which is super fun because we all know what’s waiting for us at Huruma! It is truly a privilege to be able to share life with them for a few days. 

It is so evident that God loves and treasures Huruma. He has so faithfully continued to bless the work that Mama Zipporah is doing as she seeks to raise these children to glorify the Lord. One of our prayers in working with the graduating high school students is that they would be equipped for an independent life that honors Christ. We are praying that they would take this seriously, and that the Lord would give them the desire and wisdom to steward this opportunity well. We want to encourage these students to become successful and lead lives bless His heart!

I can’t express this enough, our team is so incredibly thankful for all of the prayers and support. We would be so blessed and honored if you would continue to join us in prayer over these requests:

  • For all of the students at Huruma as they are nearing the end of the school term.
  • For the past and current housing transition students and their hearts. We are asking that the Lord would continue to prepare them, bless them, and give them the desire to seek out His purpose for their lives.
  • For our team as we draw closer to leaving and that we would continue to seek the Lord and trust His plans for us. 

If you know someone on the team, I would love to encourage you to let them know that you are thinking about them and praying for them! The last week can always be stressful and overwhelming, and I know it would bless my team and make them smile to know that they are loved!

We cannot wait to share this adventure with you!

We packed our supplies tonight!! Can't wait to meet up with the other half of our team mid-travel!


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Good things happening!!! Including Kenya in 10 days...

A note from Andra...

Dear Friends and Family,
First, I just want to thank you all for your love and support for this ministry!! I can’t believe we have been running for five years now and our SIXTH team is on its way to Kenya!! WOW!!  I’m thankful to God for His loving hand and guidance through this journey.  I continue to see His immense blessings and draw wisdom from His word. I also continue to draw encouragement from the love and truth Leigh Ann spoke into my life through our many years of friendship.

Thank you SO much for your ongoing financial support!!
Because of your generosity and God’s faithfulness:

  1. We have been able to sustain our sewing program at the Phoenix Dream Center every other week and are seeing women grow confident in the skill of sewing.   As we sew, we continue to show them God’s love and speak of our own personal testimonies of God's faithfulness.

  1. We are praying about starting a sewing program in Mexico with Open Arms Childcare Ministries . Open Arms is a non-profit charity that provides No-cost childcare to needy families. It is located in La Mision, Baja California, Mexico. Open Arms provides assistance to families who are in desperate need of child care service. We will definitely be sending them Leigh's Blankies on a regular basis!
  2. At Cornerstone Christian Fellowship’s last major women’s event "REMIX-ON A MISSION" (1000 ladies were in attendance!) we hosted a break out session to communicate the needs of Leigh’s Blankies and how God is using this ministry to bring comfort and a skill set to others.  We acquired 18 new sewers at this event and we couldn’t be happier

  3. We’ve implemented a check out system for our Take Home Blankie Kits so that we can better manage the distribution of fabric and Blankies.
  4. Lastly, our upcoming project at Huruma Children's Home in Kenya is coming up on November 6th through the 16th!  A few weeks ago, we found out that our sweet transition students will be taking their national exams while we are there which means we will be unable to spend as much time with them as we were originally hoping to. While we are sad that we won't get to do everything exactly the way we planned, we have had the opportunity to watch God work through the changes. He has continued to bless our team with purpose and the privilege to serve and love Huruma in several other ways, and we can't wait to see what else He is going to do!
The Kenya plan:
We will be serving breakfast to last year’s transition students and having devotions with them for a few mornings. It will be wonderful to follow up with them from last year and offer support and encouragement.  We are also doing sewing, arts and crafts with the children at the home.  They can sell these items they create in the Curio Shop at the Orphanage! We will also be doing quite a bit of shopping for the items we will be providing in the Transition Student's Housing Kits and Food Kits. Piecing together household goods and food for a month for 16 students is no minor task!!  We also are planning a Saturday Seminar for the upcoming transition students.  The Seminar will contain a breakfast with devotions and then lessons on relationships, budgeting, nutrition and cooking.

We have a team of 6 going to Kenya. I am SO excited to tell you that our funding for our travel costs, Transition Housing and Food Kits are FULLY FUNDED!!! PRAISE GOD!!! As we prepare to leave we would LOVE your prayers for safety, good health and the following things:

  • For the students at Huruma as they near the end of their school term and study for their exams. 
  • For the transition students as they prepare to leave Huruma to start their lives as independent adults. 
  • For our team as we continue to prepare for our trip, and continue to seek to be flexible and willing to pursue whatever God has for us. 
With much love,
Andra Good
Leigh's Blankies-Director

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Leaving for Kenya One Month from Today!!

In just one month from today we will be at the airport boarding our flight to Kenya. Crazy. It seems like just last week I was checking the count I have on my phone and it said 101 days!
As we prepare for this trip, our team is very aware of God's faithfulness, but as we get closer He continues to prove Himself to be such a good, good Father. If you have ever been on a trip like this, you know that one of the first lessons you learn is to be flexible. Anything can change, and plans are more of a rough and loose outline of how things are probably going to go. It is definitely a challenge to let go of control and trust that the Lord's plan is so much better than ours!
A few weeks ago, we found out that our sweet transition students will be taking their national exams while we are there which means we will be unable to spend as much time with them as we were originally hoping to. While we are sad that we won't get to do everything exactly the way we planned, we have had the opportunity to watch God work through the changes. He has continued to bless our team with purpose and the privilege to serve and love Huruma in several other ways, and we can't wait to see what else He is going to do!
I am so thankful to be traveling with a team focused on God's heart, and willing to be flexible in the pursuit of what He has for us. This is all about His glory, and we are so grateful that He has called us to be apart of the work He is doing in Kenya. 
I'm excited to keep writing as we get closer to heading to Huruma, and then to be able to share updates from Kenya with you all! Our team is so thankful for all of your support and prayers!
For now, we would be so blessed if you would be willing to pray over these requests:
-For the students at Huruma as they near the end of their school term and study for their exams. 
-For the transition students as they prepare to leave Huruma to start their lives as independent adults. 
-For our team as we continue to prepare for our trip, and continue to seek to be flexible and willing to pursue whatever God has for us. 

-Kyla Howey
(2016 Housing Care Project Blogger!)

Our 2016 Transition Students!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Day 5: Sewing, running errands in town and Bedtime Giggles

Today myself and Linah (the sewing teacher) began the large project of sewing 12 pairs of curtains for the Huruma Guest House and the aunties' rooms. I'm anxious to share pictures of the finished product as they're made from beautiful Kenyan fabrics! They'll bring a lot of color to the rooms.
I took a quick trip into town with Huruma's Pastor James and Susie (she's been here making a huge impact for a year!). We made a gazillion stops along the way picking up hardware, furniture (table & rocking chair), souvenirs, produce and lunch! We treated Pastor to pizza and dessert. He had apple pie a la mode for the first time and loved it!! 😉 He decided he'd be our driver any day. 😉
Once we returned home it was time for me to teach my class. Today we finished up the burp cloth and started on the bib. Both of these projects are helping them to refine their sewing skills--they're doing a fantastic job!
Tonight we finished the evening with prayers and then I got to tuck 4 sweet things into their bed with a story. Can you get over their cuteness?!?! Precious, Selma, Hope and Jane share this bed and they could not be happier 💗 It was a good day to say the least!!!

Day 4 -School days & Sewing Class!

Day 4:
It's Monday morning in Kenya and the kids are getting ready for a new week of school!! I can't get over the respect they have gained for their teachers and staff. The staff is busy preparing food and laundering the clothes. Also, The older students pictured here are the transition students we worked with this last November. I am so excited to see them working and teaching at Huruma!

We began our sewing classes today!! I am reviewing the basic skills of sewing and began teaching them a burp cloth, bib and Blankie set to be sold in the curio shop.
I'm teaching seven students, including a young boy named Nicholas who is deaf. This has been such a joy as he is brilliant and extremely talented with arts and crafts!!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Day 3-Sunday service and a walk around "the block"!

Beautiful Huruma Family--love doin church at Huruma!!
This morning Susan and I woke up and had a wonderful breakfast together and then attended church. If you haven't had the privilege of attending church at Huruma, I am sorry I cannot do it justice and words or pictures!! The service is a little over three hours- lots of singing, dancing and hearing God's word. It is amazing to me how much talent is at Huruma. They are amazing dancers as well as singers! I'm amazed at the young men and women that lead us in worship, many of them were in our transition groups the last two years. I am so proud of the choices they are making and how they serve this large family.
After lunch we took a large group for a long walk and treated 50 kids to Mandazis (they're similar to a cake donut). It's so nice to hold their hands walking and talk about life. They have just as many questions for me as I have for them. The scenery was absolutely beautiful! I cannot get over how clear this guys of been since I've arrived, as they have had many rains prior to my trip!

Day 2-Demo Day!!

Having a beautiful time here at Huruma!!

Yesterday we worked on cleaning out the Curio shop, it had been closed for year and then destroyed by the rains. The shop was previously run by Mama's best friend, Monica, who passed away to an illness a year ago. We all miss Monica greatly and I always think of her fondly when we see the shop. Mama is anxious to get the curio shop up and running again and decided to highlight and sell the children's handiwork here! We worked so hard at getting the water, rotten wood work and Materials out of the shop. We are even painting the outside so that it looks fresh and new!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Day 1-Huruma Children's Home!

Day 1!!!
Wow waking up Huruma it's just one of the best things ever!! 💗 I received lots of love this morning from these precious kiddos and gave out a lot as well 😉. It's always a privilege to get to worship with them in the morning!

After prayers, myself, Mama Zipporah and my dear friend Susan (who has been living here and doing incredible work for the last year!) took tea and breakfast. We talked about all the wonderful things going on here at the orphanage and school. Then we planned out our week and that always gives me a ton of excitement! Huruma has a small curio shop where they have sold Kenyan jewelry and purses to visitors. It has been closed for sometime, so while I am here we will be cleaning and renovating it for the students to put their very own projects for sale in the shop!! This will include the sewing projects I will be teaching them next week. The projects include an apron, purse and baby sets (bib, burp cloth and Blankie). They hope to keep this shop full of handmade items to raise money for their home. I'm excited to soon see some of their work on display!!
It was also exciting to see some of our Transition Students from last November on campus. Many of them are working at Huruma and living life well on their own!! Pictured is Evans, who is now running a snack shop on campus. This opportunity is incredible for him to learn business skills and also benefit the children at the home.

I left mid morning to head out to Nairobi with Mama and Susan. We purchased all of the materials that will be needed for sewing. I have now learned to buy our supplies solely in Kenya. It stimulates their economy and they have beautiful Kenyan fabrics. We have even designed a new Kenyan Leigh's Blankie!! It's beautiful and I can't wait to share pictures of it with you!
We all had a wonderful late lunch and topped off the day with a dance party--It was definitely a GREAT day!!! Keep the prayers coming!
 Much love, Andra