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« East or West – what comes next? | Main | “Uncle Mehmet isn’t here…” »

Red Rhino Orphanage, Kenya.

This is a contemporaneous blog. That is, right now, we’re right where we say we are: in Kenya.

Specifically, we are in Lukenya, Kenya – about 45 minutes outside of Nairobi -- with our dear friend Dave Saunders.

Dave is the on-the-ground lead person for creating Red Rhino Orphanage here.

The mission of Red Rhino Orphanage is to create a sanctuary for orphans that provides children with the safety, housing, medical care, and education that they need “in a loving, structured environment on a long term, permanent basis.”

The west often presents itself with a face of Africa that is the face of a suffering child.

There is truth in this image

...but no more truth than the face of beauty and promise and strength.

Dave has been a close friend for 25+ years. Chris and Dave taught together at Bellarmine in San José. Our sons Matt and Nate virtually grew up with Amy and Allison, Dave (and Pearl’s) daughters.

And there are layers and layers to our friendship.

And yet as well as we know Dave, we are amazed to see in person the dimensions of the work he is directing here…through all the bureaucracy and corruption and colonialist history – and through the sheer weight of the need.

Dave has been here working on this project for 3+ years now.

There has been an amazingly intelligent and industrious base of leadership and support back home – specifically in the community of Stockton. We can’t adequately describe that whole matrix here.

But we heartily recommend to you Red Rhino’s own website and Dave’s blog. It is perceptive, sharp, witty, literary, hip.

Brit Stockert is also here, volunteering for four months. Brit was formerly in the Air Force, but has been moving from that experience towards pacifism. Here in Kenya she is working towards achieving NGO status for Red Rhino, and she has also been volunteering in an existing children's home.

Today on Good Friday we prayed the Stations of the Cross through the streets of Nairobi

...and spilled into the basilica until it was filled with several thousand people.

We remembered and venerated Christ's passion and death

...and prayed that by accepting suffering ourselves

...we might grow into a community

...who would serve one another more lovingly.

We are connected with the Red Rhino orphanage project not just because of our friendship with Dave and other friends at Red Rhino, but because of this shared belief that we need to build communities in which we each support one another more lovingly.

We have been traveling for 6 months now. From the very conception of this trip, no single place on our map has been as earmarked and dog-eared as being here with Dave and the Red Rhino Orphanage has been.

God willing, nothing else was going to stop us from getting at least this far.

Reader Comments (4)

Say hello to Dave for me -- I remember him well from AOW! And I love love love your blog and the marvelous tale of your travels. Much love .... Charlotte

April 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte

Dave sends greetings right back to you, Charlotte. It's amazing how often I think of AOW -- and even more of our own conversations, Charlotte, as Debi and I are traveling. How's Livingston? How's the writing life?


Chris and Debi

April 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChris and Debi Lorenc

Hi Chris and Debi,

You have a really nice blog. I hope you have a good continuation of your trip.

Take care,

(your temporary flat mate)

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

I chanced upon to view your blog and found it very interesting. Great ... Keep it up!

June 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDonald

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