Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Breanna's Other Kids

Kilimanjaro, our seven month old German Shepherd pokes his head out the gate to see who’s here. Philip, the Kenyan second grader I tutor on occasion, stiffens, drops his backpack on the ground, and runs, screaming, down the street.

Truphena, our househelper, his mother, laughs heartily, calling, “Philip, come back!” Joash shrugs at his brother’s overreaction and comes inside, making a beeline for our Playstation. Eventually, after tethering Kili, I coax Philip inside.

Helping Philip with his homework is one way I get to express my gratitude for all his mother does to help us, in keeping the house clean throughout the week. Tutoring is a way for me to minister, through the talents God’s given me, to those he brings into our lives. And he’s brought several Kenyans into our lives that we are able to help by giving them work, and enabling them to better provide for their families. For about $5 a day, each, Truphena cleans our house, and once a week, Wycliffe does yard work, and Frank, one of the neighborhood guards, washes our car.

Brian, the five year old son of our yard worker, comes for tutoring Saturday.
Indeed the one hour I pour into Brian every week requires a lot of prayer to get through patiently and I constantly try to remind myself how God and Brian’s parents see this precious child, so full of potential.
Wycliffe’s son, brian, is a bundle of energy, definitely a hands-on learner, and I’ve found he needs a good fifteen minutes to explore and touch everything in reach before I can hope to hold any of his attention. He’s difficult to reign in without much patience and determination. In a country where teachers are overworked and schools are crowded, it’s easy to imagine him being passed over by teachers and labeled too difficult to manage.

Brian and Philip are both improving in their schoolwork and it warms my heart, not because “I” did that, but because, in spite of who I am, God used me to change these two little guys lives just a wee bit!

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