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The Browns – Tom, Ali, Crescena, Bez, & Ber
October 21, 2012 12:09 am
Published in: Uncategorized

Crescena helping dad load the plane.

Crescena and I (Ali) had the opportunity to join Tom on a safari flight.  As fun as it would be to see animals, a safari flight is one in which Tom stays with his passengers.  Sometimes that means traveling with a doctor or medical team.  In this case, Tom was scheduled to fly two businessmen to visit some AIM missionaries who live amongst the Samburu people in northern Kenya.  I had been gearing up for Tom to be gone 5 days and 4 nights (Thursday-Monday).  About a week before his safari flight, we learned our whole family was invited to come.  This was exciting!  It would be my first flight with Tom in Kenya as an AIM Air pilot, and Crescena’s first flight with Tom.  We would have an opportunity to spend time with and see the world of some of the missionaries we are here to support.

I find myself utterly humbled.  To live amongst a group of people requires immense patience, flexibility, sacrifice, hospitably, and wisdom.  Samburu were constantly knocking on the door with a problem or a greeting.  What an honor to watch the missionary couple truly live a life interrupted.

One of the places we were able to visit over our stay was a home for special needs children.  I have a heart for such children and have worked at special needs camps in the past.  Most of the children at the camps I have worked at, had parents who paid good money to send them to the camp catered to the child’s needs.  Well, the Samburu people are nomadic and move around with their animals.  As a result, handicapped children are often abandoned- some left tied to a tree for hyena’s to eat- as mom’s can’t carry the children around.  The home for special needs children we visited is primarily children who have been abandoned.  I had not expected the turmoil in my heart.  I kept prayerfully telling myself: “these are the untouchables… see them… Christ in you sees them.”  It was harder to touch them than I was expecting, and harder to let Crescena.  Fear, that somehow letting my healthy child touch these children would cause her to become diseased, set in.  I had to fight against my fear and worry in order to touch these children, let them hug us, and to look them in the eye.  Some were blind, and looking in others’ eyes was like looking into a deep pool of sadness.   One of the boys was sitting with his head between his legs, rocking back and forth and moaning.   Crescena was so disturbed by this boy- she knew something was wrong and kept pointing with concern as if to say: “mamma, do you see this?  What is wrong? Fix it, mom!”  My heart ached, for I knew there was nothing I could do.  For a loss of words, I just told her “yes, Crescena, he is sad, very sad.”  But, reality is, his situation was sad… the kind of sadness that travels all the way down to your gut and makes you want to puke!  My heart hurts for handicap children in the states, and to see these children whom I know culture and society here have no place for, my heart ached.  My prayer, is that Christ in me really did touch them.  That at a deep level, the Holy Spirit moved in these children assuring them that they are loved, and that they are SEEN… the hairs on their heads are numbered.

As we drove away, I had both joy and sorrow.  I thanked the Lord for the healthy child I had in my hands… and prayed in desperation that He would place a hedge of protection over her to stay that way.

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