Dean Lipinski

The Mary Okeyo Scholarship fund Travelers returned last week.  This week the LWML of Minnesota North and North Dakota meet in convention.  I hope they support this program.

Dean writes –

Kenya is a beautiful country.  There are no other words to describe it.  Whether you are talking about the mountainous, hilly, green highlands, or the majestic beauty of the terrain and animals in the Maasai Mara, there is a sort of unmistakable feeling that takes your breath away.

But the beauty of Kenya wasn’t just skin-deep.  I was taken to a Kenyan Catholic hospital with diarrhea and vomiting, and even though the hospital wasn’t modern and maybe not the as clean as an American hospital, it had a sort of tone to it that shone past the thin layer of grime.  We visited a couple of newly opened rescue centers, and while the bunks and bedrooms that would fit four orphans were smaller than a normal college dorm that would fit two, there was a certain presence that was felt while walking the halls of the dormitories.  We also visited homes with deaconesses and even though I was too sick to attend, I was told that those mud huts had a special feeling to them that distinguished them from a home in America.

That special feeling is God.  No matter where I went in Kenya, I always felt like God was with me.  I know He was there in my hospital room.   He was there with the kids at the rescue center as we presented them with soccer balls and volleyballs (Roger, they absolutely loved the balls!). He definitely was there with the sick and elderly while my friends visited and gave first aid and food, and prayed with them.

You don’t always feel the same way in America.  Why is this?  What is different in our culture? I have been to a hospital or clinic multiple times in America and not felt the same, or visited elderly in a nursing home and not felt the same, and visited many homes and not felt the same.  Now I’m not trying to say that I never see this, because sometimes I do, but the Kenyans put so much faith into their God and we need to learn from them in those ways.  If there is anything that I will learn from this trip, I will always remember these people and their devout, unending faith to our God.   No matter if they were on their deathbed, or they were playing soccer at a Rescue Center, all thanks and praise went to God and Jesus Christ in Heaven.

As I come back from this journey, I know my country and family are blessed with so many gifts, but I now realize how much we take for granted.  The Kenyans place so much importance on faith and family.  They truly care about each other.  They may not have lots of material things, but in matters of the heart, they are truly blessed.  I went on the mission trip hoping to give of myself, but I now see that it is the lessons that I have taken away that will live with me and make me a better person.  I hope that the partnership that we have can continue, so both countries can continue to learn and benefit from each other.

Soccer Ball at Othoro