I first visited Kenya and the Elma Barnett Children’s Centre (EBCCK) because my wife was working with the Walindwa organization in San Diego and had a deep desire to visit EBCCK. She was on the board of directors and had helped establish Walindwa as a 501c(3) charitable organization. I’ll admit I was interested, as I had never been to Africa, but I had my charitable work in San Diego (prison ministry) and it seemed like something “fun” to do when I retired. Well in 2012 she planned to travel there, so I tagged along after I finished a conference in Europe since I was halfway there anyway.
What I experienced was such a joy that we’ve returned several times since. These children come from difficult circumstances and many are orphans, yet they were genuinely excited to see us and be with us. They have so little, yet are so happy with what they do have. I remember that first trip playing soccer (or football as it’s called in Kenya), Frisbee, and helping small children with their homemade toys such as a large bottle cap attached to a coat hanger that they pushed around. I’ve helped out wherever needed including pushing a tractor through their corn field with other men to jump start it (the battery had long since died). There is always something to do: hikes, helping in worship, tutoring, sharing simple meals, and just talking to the kids individually. I even taught physics lessons in the high school and did some demonstrations with magnets to the elementary school children that they still mention when they write to us.
To anyone interested in geography, EBBCK is on the equator. In fact, we crossed the equator every day on our way to and from the children’s centre to our accommodations in the nearest small town, Eldama Ravine.
I originally went to the children’s centre because my wife wanted to go, but we both have encountered a very rich experience. We went to be a blessing but discovered that we were also abundantly blessed.