Monday, May 25, 2015

Kenya captured my {heart} Part 8

This place holds a little piece of my heart. A little beautiful girl captured it here. God used her in an amazing way to speak to my heart and show me how loved we both are from Him. We are so valuable in His eyes. He loves us for who we are. He loves us no matter what our story is. He loves us through our joys and through our tears. He loves us when we surrender all of our heart to Him, but He also loves us the same when we have a hard time surrendering. He is so patient. He is so gracious. He fills us with JOY. He fills us with HOPE. He fills us with GRACE. He fills us with LOVE. We are complete in Him alone.

Heshima Children's Center
This place is called Heshima Children’s Center.  Heshima means “dignity” in Swahili. It is a children’s center where children with special needs are welcome to come to for physical, occupational and speech therapy. Most children with special needs in Kenya live a life that is undignified and full of broken dreams, but at Heshima they believe that Jesus Christ has a special purpose filled with dignity for each child with special needs. All human beings are made in the image of God, regardless of their outward appearance. Genesis 1:27 says “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God HE created him, male and female, He created them.” Heshima was started with the vision to meet the needs of these hidden children in Kenya. They provide breakfast and lunch, basic educational instruction depending on the need of the child, as well as occupational, physical, and speech therapy. One thing I loved about Heshima is their community development thinking. They offer all of these programs to the families for basically free, but they do have the families paid a small amount each month. This way the families are choosing and investing into making a difference in their child’s life and not taking advantage of something free. When things are given out free people start to depend on it and not change things for themselves. * This community children’s center is filled with so much JOY and HOPE. It is such a peaceful pace to be.

We had the amazing privilege of volunteering here two mornings at the end of our trip. I could have stayed forever. The children and the caring, sweet workers were so encouraging to my soul. Our mornings were filled with playing games, brush therapy, snack time of porridge, singing and play outside. There were many giggles, singing, cheers to be heard. There were many smiles, dancing, running and swinging to be seen. There were many cuddles, hugs and holding hands to be felt. These beautiful children wiggled their way into each team member heart. We were all so captured by them. These beautiful children who are pushed away by their society most possibly made the biggest impact on our team. We saw God’s heart in such a real way- how He loves and uses each person no matter how big or small. We are created in Him and for Him. He values us so deeply. Wow! What amazing take-away, but more than that we want to live out what was reviled to us!

Snack Time!
One little girl will never been forgotten in my heart. And I am not just saying that. This little girl stole a piece of my heart- it will always be with her. She loved me, hugged me, laughed with me and smiled with me in one of the hardest times in my life where I felt defeated, not valued, not loved or not supported. This little girl has hypotonic cerebral palsy causing her to not be able to talk or walk on her own, but it does not stop her from loving music and filling others with JOY. One of the directors told me that she hardly smiles and it has been a long time since she has smiled, but all she did with me was smile and laugh. Oh, my heart is overwhelmed as I type this. Somehow and for a reason God allowed us to bond and share two mornings of precious time together laughing and smiling. One of my favorite memories was when we were swinging on a swing and I started singing worship songs quietly and she just started smiling and “singing” along. We worship our amazing God together both in our brokenness. I pray that this little girl knows how valuable she is in the eyes of God. She is so loved. She is so important. She is so worthy to be dignified.  This little girl’s name is Princess. Princess fits her well- she is the bride of Christ.

She captured my heart with her beautiful smile!

Her beautiful mama also works at the center as a teacher’s assistant. She is a sweet and caring lady with a huge heart for loving on each child. She is so patient and compassionate. {Thank you for allowing me to love on your daughter and allowing me to hold her. You have both touched my heart incredible way! }

Giggling with goofiness
Princess and her mama are often on my heart and mind throughout my week. I pray that they have patience and feel God’s love always. I hope to someday see them again and if it is not on Earth I pray that we will have a celebration in heaven. Thank you, Princess for allowing Jesus to work through you to speak to my heart. I am truly still overwhelmed by it!

Joy from the Lord
These children are so worth it! They are so valuable. They are so beautiful and created perfect in God’s image! You can check out the website for more information on this awesome place and how you can purchase jewelry to help the mothers of these children!

Love all of her!
I would love for you to at least take away one thing from my experience and that is that you are valuable!  The word of God points it out so clearly so many times- read Romans 5, Ephesians 2 and Psalm 139 and more. God sent His only son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for YOU! So that YOU would be saved and washed clean of your sins so that YOU can one day go and be with Him for eternity! You are SO valuable!

With an overflowing heart, Daniella

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Kenya captured my {heart} Part 7

It seems just like yesterday that I was in Kenya. The weather here in Korea has been so warm and sunny- just the way I like it reminding me of the sweet moments of Kenya among the hard. There are still two places that I would love to share about from my trip to finish off my Kenya captured my {heart} series.

Kipe’peo is a women’s ministry in Kibera (slums) that seeks to enable impoverished women to know Christ and have a sustainable income through making and selling jewelery and cards. We had the awesome privilege of watching them make homemade paper for cards out of recycle paper they collect from different offices around Nairobi.  A few of us got to help in the process while the rest of us went upstairs to a tiny room where other ladies were designing the cards. They had lots of things to cut out and we joined a long.
One of the steps to making card paper
One of the hardest things about this ministry for our group was that not each of us were physically doing something the whole time and we felt a little bit guilty and useless, but God showed (reminded) us that ministry is not always about doing or helping, but it’s about engaging in conversation and making relationships. We had a lovely time chatting with these ladies hearing their stories as work was being done. These ladies have beautiful hearts to serve Christ and their families the best that they can. They don’t have the attitude of poor me, but instead do the best that they can do with what they have. These ladies were definitely a blessing to us that was disguise to us at first, but God unveiled it. I just loved seeing the beauty of God through the creativeness and creation of the cards the ladies were making. What a honour to be a part of these ladies lives for a few hours.

Helping with the designing step of the cards
Lesson learned: Even we don’t feel useful God uses the situation to bring glory to His name!

Hope you are enjoying a beautiful weekend!

Love, Daniella  

Sunday, May 10, 2015

To Mama

She just gets me and listens to my heart so attentively. She doesn’t judge me for what I say. She gives me time to respond. She gives me space to cry. She embraces me tightly. She points me to Christ. She encourages me. She supports me. She challenges me. She is always there. She is my beautiful mama and best friend.

What a sweet blessing it is to have my mama be one of my best friends. I know that it is a special gift and I wish that everyone could have such a sweet relationship with their mama’s.  There is just something so unique about it.

I love that we share our heart for the world and loving on others. I love that we get the giggles so often over the silliest things (and have had many close calls of wetting our pants or this may have happen a few times already J) I love that we have desire to continue to grow in who God is calling us to be. I love that no matter where we are in the world- we can always text or call or write a letter.

I am so thankful for the many lessons that my mama has taught me over the years and I anxiously wait for the ones that she will still teach me. She has taught me the heart of hospitality. She has given me the example of what it means to be a loving wife and mother through all seasons of life. She has shown me what it means to fight for your dreams. She has shown me what it looks to face your challenges and enemies with prayer. These are just a few of the many.

We have so many great memoires together, but most recently we made memoires in South Korea. What a huge blessing it was to have my mama here in my home for now- experiencing my everyday life. Loving on my community and students. Exploring Korea with me. Encouraging me and loving me when I needed it most in this season of life.  Thank you mama for taking time to visit me in Korea. You don’t even know how special it was for me or how much it meant to me! It really do mean the world to me and helped me to refocus on finishing this school year strong.

So here’s a few pictures of our time together! The rest will be on facebook:

My mama sharing her heart on hospitality to the ladies of my church. Love hearing her speak from her heart!  

My #1 supporter, my mom, got to see my soccer team win tournament! :)

She has always been so adventurous. We found a hole in the wall dumplings restaurant! We love it! Probably one of our favorites!

Having breakfast coffee with my mama is one of my favorite things. We always have heart to heart conversations over slipping coffee and tea!

Seeing beauty with my mama brought us both so much JOY!

Our dream finally came true!!! My mama got to see my classroom and students for real life. We have both been dreaming of this day for years! What a blessing it was to have her in my classroom. My heart exploded hearing and watching her read to my students! They were captured by her reading!


Happy Mother’s Day, Mama! I love you SO much! 
Love, Daniella
P.S I can’t wait to be a mama someday and hopefully passed all the lessons that you have taught me to my children! J