Joyce is the mother of one of our Kenya team members, Muneria. During our November expedition we were able to visit her, see how her garden was growing, and build a water containment system. The area had quite a drought in our absence, but she had still made the best of it. Healthy green plants had pushed their way through the soil and were a source of food for her family.

While there, we were able to pull up weeds and replant the parts of the garden boxes that had suffered during the dry spell. While building the water containment system, children from the surrounding area helped us collect rocks for the cement base, their faces shining as they find that they can assist these crazy Americans.

At one point during the building project, we needed water for the cement. The call went out, “Who is willing to walk to the river to collect water?”

Several of us wanted to experience what those we are serving live like on a daily basis. A group of us went. We walked down a hill to a small river of brown, dingy water.

The young boys who showed us the way to the river waded in without their shoes to fill the large water containers we brought with us. Upstream there was a man bathing in the same water. It was humbling to see their only water source. After filling the containers, we carried the sloshing jugs of water up the hill, stopping every once in a while to catch our breath.

The cement was made, the water containment system put into place, and the rains came. The water system is now nearly filled, it is watering the seeds we planted, and they are growing.

This is what we do when we go to Kenya, we plant seeds in the ground, and in the hearts and minds of the people. Then we stand back and we watch both people and plants grow.

This isn’t the end of our time at Joyce’s house. There is more to tell, but on a Friday night shortly before Christmas, I am listening to my child taking a shower and reminded how blessed I am to live here, and how undeniably blessed I am to know the people of Kenya. Travel always opens your eyes, but traveling and spending time with the Maasai people has been one of the greatest blessings of my life. I am so grateful for all they have taught me, and so grateful to everyone who has donated to make these missions possible.