A post about the babies I have so fallen in love with the past 7 weeks.
Neema House is a ministry of Project 82 that rescues babies out of really tough situations (parents with mental illness, parents passing away, abandonment) and gives them medical care and works to supply any other need they may have with the hope that after some time, they will rehabilitate them back to their families if possible, or find another family to care for them. Right now there are five precious babies–Caleb, Lily, Alice, Hassan and Isaac.
This is a house full of dedication and love. This staff works tirelessly to make sure these babies are so loved, cared for, nourished and challenged. On top of that, they spend countless hours working with families to prepare them to reunite them with their children if they are willing, or find the best situation these babies can be in so that they grow healthy and happy and loved. They firmly believe that children belong in families, NOT institutions. It’s hard, hard work. But it’s beautiful work.
So now, meet the babies. I have three weeks left here and I am already dreading leaving them–I can’t begin to describe all of the things their tiny little selves have taught me. The resilience of these kids is incredible, but even more incredible is the greatness of our God for rescuing them and working wonders in them and the people around them.
Caleb is the big brother at Neema–he just turned 3 about 2 weeks ago! He loves taking care of the younger ones–sometimes a little too much (bossy-pants). He has a giggle that will melt your soul, and is extremely ticklish. He can watch the movie Cars and listen to the song The Wheels on the Bus about 12 times a day on average (so I’ve calculated). He loves to learn words in English and is extremely observant and smart. I love to watch his big heart care for his family and the people around him!
When Caleb was found, he was living on the streets with his mom, who they found had a mental disability and was not able to care for him in a way that was best, although she loves him dearly. His mom has been receiving health care and has been doing very well (despite a recent setback with TB–something you can be praying for), and we are hoping Caleb will get to go and live with his mom again soon!
Hassan loves to laugh…and get into trouble. He can be such a delight, and loves to be held. He always makes quick friends whenever visitors come! He also loves to dance, swing, and play on the slide in the front yard.
He has also come a really long way, and has improved drastically since he got here. When he was a tiny baby, he was abandoned multiple times until one day his grandfather came in and found him alone on his bed, malnourished and ill. Since being at Neema, he has learned to walk and talk, and his nutrition continues to improve!
There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not having a good laugh about something this precious girl is doing. She is so vibrant, giggly, and mischievous. She’s the one who has to turn everything into a game, or into something funny! Just looking at her silly faces and seeing her curious nature puts a smile on my face every day. Gosh I love her and her goofy self!
Lily came to Neema with her twin sister Alice–their mother loves them, but had not been able to care for them properly due to a mental disability. Lily and Alice both were about 18 months and severely malnourished–they were so skinny, they could support their heads but not sit up, and both had rickets due to lack of Vitamin D. However, they’ve both made incredible transformations–Jesus loves them SO MUCH and has taken care of them in a way that only He can. They have gained lots of weight–Lily is such a chunk! She is wearing 3T clothes now, which is amazing. They are walking and talking and jumping and dancing just like other kids their age. Thank you, Lord!
Alice. Without a doubt the most loving two-year old I have ever met. This is the girl that will hug your neck for seemingly no reason at all. Any bump, scrape, or tear on anyone and she is the first to say “Pole, pole” (sorry, sorry) and will gently pat the injury and stroke the face of the one injured. She is so caring, and loves to laugh. She’s absolutely adorable, has taught me so much and I’m blessed to know her.
Like Lily, Alice came in with a lot of challenges, but God has been so good and has helped her grow in so many ways!
Adorable–the first words that come to mind when I think of Isaac. Those chubby cheeks and four front baby teeth are to die for! He is so sweet and can be so snuggly. Like Lily, he is also a chunk, but it is too precious for words. He just started walking a few months ago and is all over the place! He has learned to jump, and is talking as well. I have so much love for this boy!
When Isaac came, he was very sick. He was extremely skinny due to malnutrition and had scabies, pneumonia, and perforated eardrums. Again, God has worked wonders in this life. Isaac, after many doctor’s visits and intense care, is chubby and happy. He has overcome so many things, and I am so grateful to get to see a walking miracle in front of me.
If you want to know how to pray for Neema House, here is how–endurance and patience. Working to reunite these children with their families or finding places where they will thrive is difficult, tiresome work. But it is worth it, and the staff here knows it. They want, more than anything, for these children to have full lives–and they are willing to do anything to make it happen. Pray that Annie, Elly, and the rest of the P82 team would not grow weary. That God would continually sustain them in fighting for these children and for their families, and that His ministry would grow. I am SO thankful for this team and how the Lord is using them to change these kids’ lives.
This blog was written by P82 intern Katherine in March 2014 while she was serving and living in Kenya. The photos were taken by Katherine too. You can read more about her time in Kenya and see more photos on her blog, http://www.katherine-claire.com/.