I woke up one morning at about 5:45. “Way too early,” I thought, but then I remembered this was moving day. It had been eleven months since the rest of my siblings and I had been told we were going to move. Some of us were very excited, but others were upset. However, I was in between. I would miss where I grew up, but I looked forward to what God had planned for us. Because where we were moving was Kenya, Africa!
Since I had so many siblings, seven to be exact, many people thought we were crazy for moving to a third-world country with so many kids. My dad prayed about it for weeks before he told us. He decided it was the right choice to move.
Anyway, back to moving, I quickly awoke and looked at my brothers and only Jonah (the oldest boy in the family) was already up. I put on a T-shirt and went to the living room. Jonah was reading his Bible and none of my sisters were up yet.
I missed our dog, Maggie. My mom took her to our grandparents the day before and I missed her already. I got out my Bible and read in Songs of Solomon. A few hours later, everyone was up. We had friends from our church coming to help us move our stuff. The church had two big vans that we rode to the airport in.
My brother Noah and I sat in the back of the van and played an arcade game that we got from the dollar store the day before. We played for what seemed like 15 minutes and we were in Dallas already.
And next thing I knew, we had made it through customs and were waiting for our flight to be ready. When we were all seated on the plane, it took off and in a few hours we were no longer in North America.
The plane ride was exciting for the first hour. But then it was about ten hours of pretty much nothing. I got really bored.
“Got anything to do?” I asked Noah, who was sitting next to me.
“Not really,” he replied, sounding bored.
So we spent the next hour trying to find a good movie to watch. After coming up with absolutely nothing, I looked over at Hannah, my oldest sibling, she was having a lot of fun. She was talking with a flight attendant who was Scottish and she liked his accent. Since she was from Texas, he liked her accent. They talked just to hear the other speak, so she wasn't bored in the least.
Eventually, we landed in London with a 8 hour layover. We stayed in a hotel for a little while. After three hours of sleep, I was fully rested. I asked my dad if I could watch TV and see what was on. He said while Noah and Jonah were sleeping to leave the TV off. My youngest brother, Caleb, was already up. He only slept for two hours, so my dad took me and Caleb to a McDonald’s next door to the hotel. I didn't complain about the food. I was just happy that we were eating.
After we ate some food, we went back to our room and Dad gave us the room numbers for our sisters, Mary and Hannah’s, room. He also gave me our mom’s room number that she shared with my two youngest sisters. Caleb and I wrote them down and we got lost in the hotel in a matter of minutes. We circled the hotel, and found the two rooms, only to figure out that the rooms were right next to ours. We gave our Mom and our four sisters some food and came back to our room. Our dad laughed after we told him about looking for the rooms. Caleb and I played on his iPad a little while.
Later, we were at the airport and before I knew it, we were boarding again. This flight was a little different than the last one. I was sitting between Hannah and Mary. I slept more on this flight and woke up when two hours were left on the 11 hour flight.
When we arrived in Kenya, we landed in Nairobi and stayed at the Mennonite House. Noah, Jonah, and Hannah stayed in their own room. I shared a room with everyone else. And we slept for about six hours.
James, who was a friend, drove us to a smaller plane that took us to Kitale. And there we met our Dad’s friends, Mama Hellen and Pastor Richard, and a friend from our church, Miss Melody. We drove to our house that we were renting from some other people that lived there. We rested the first two days and then we got to work. Some of us had forgotten that God had us here to minister and house mission teams that came to Kenya.
Within a week, we a had a team coming to stay with us. And we had over 3 teams come in the next two months.
During that time, we got started on school and visited our adopted Kenyan sister, Elizabeth. She was shy but was happy because we came to see her. And I was happy to finally meet her. Our mom and dad had met her before. And Hannah had met her before. They were happy to see her again.
The place she stayed was called Seeds Children’s Home. Mama Hellen and Pastor Richard ran Seeds. We played with all the kids there. It was a lot of fun.
As time went on, we had more and more mission teams stay with us. And we even had Elizabeth stay with us sometimes.
After 6 months, we had to leave. I will not go into a lot of detail as to why, all that I will say is that we were paying someone to work for us and he was not the man we thought he was.
I was 12 when we came back to America and was glad to be back. But I did miss everyone at Seeds and all our friends there. I did go back to visit once, but that is a story for a different time.