Haley’s Story: Reflections

Written by shelly. Posted in Stories

God has been moving in the life of Haley Clasen through work with Village Project Africa. Here are her reflections after her most recent trip to Makutano:

Haley

When I went to Kenya for a second time this year, my experience was so totally different. Without the factor of shock at the lives of these beautiful people, I began to see the way they live and to let it change the way I live. Here are the things I learned:

 

 

  1. Exciting things are going down at Village Project Africa!
  2. They are people, not pictures. I have no right to take their picture without first remembering that there is a person, and we have no right to look at anyone’s pictures without a thought and a prayer for the person and the story behind the picture.
  3. 2 Corinthians 12:9 – “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect
    in weakness.”
  4. ^that does NOT mean that God will call you to the very worst thing you could imagine, the place you are very weakest. However it does mean that God just might turn the very worst thing into the very best thing.
  5. There is so much more to life than being happy, if you can put behind fear and pursue what’s really real.
  6. Long days make short nights, and when I am at the end of my rope, there is my God the whole way.
  7. Haley JumpingMy capacity for love, grace, trust, etc. can only do so much, but these things define my God and He defines them, and He is more than enough.
  8. Life keeps you learning. I choose not to remain static.
  9. I was reading a book about trees to Class 4, and I asked them, “Can one tree change the world?” They all agreed yes. Later, I asked them, “Can one person change the world? Do you believe that you can make a difference?” and they all just looked at each other. Maybe it’s simply that they didn’t understand my English well enough, but I was reminded—one tree, one person cannot change the world. One God can, and He made all the trees and all the people. He chooses to let us love and maybe change the person He has set in front of us.
  10. Every moment I spend serving, every dollar I don’t spend, is a minute someone else can rest or something I can give to them.
  11. Kenyans love the ceremony. It is less about the time, or other demands, and more about the community through ceremony.
  12. If I go here or there, I will see God in a way I never would have had I not moved.
  13. THE LORD WILL ALWAYS TAKE CARE OF HIS CHILDREN!!!!!!
  14. The moment I start to feel good or brag about anything is the moment I will consider my intentions.
  15. I am learning to live changed.

Haley with childrenIt’s hard coming home. It’s hard to be a different person in the same place. It’s hard to be so different inside that the people who once knew you so well don’t understand you anymore. It’s hard when the things that hit you are the ones you don’t expect, when you have an uncontrollable breakdown in the middle of Target. It’s harder coming home than going there—and that is when I am reminded that God, You are who You are, no matter where I am. I want to see Him, know Him, and love Him and His people everywhere I happen to be.

Obviously, in my two week trip, I only experienced a fraction of what others have experienced, but it is still the cry of my heart. I want more of God, wherever He takes me, and in the meantime, I need more of Him here.

I love you all and would love to talk more in person for anyone who really cares. I pray that God is working in your hearts too, that you begin to care in a way you have never experienced before, and that together we can pray, as I learned at International Youth Convention, “more of you at any cost, Lord.” I pray that we conquer fear and take hold of our calling. I pray that we can do nothing by ourselves and don’t ever try, but that God is the root and heart of all.

In Jesus’s name we pray and believe, Amen.

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Although school is out, we are staying busy in the village. We continue to feed local children who are hungry, and many of our projects are still moving forward. Janet's posho mill is now installed and working. Posho mills are important in everyday village life - villagers use these mills to grind corn into the food they eat. We are so thankful to be able to provide the posho mill for Janet, who in turn can serve her neighborhood. Work on the apartment building to house our teachers continues, as does construction of mud homes for widows. Our goal is to get most of the outside construction work completed before the rains come.

In the midst of continued progress on our projects, this is still a very difficult time for our children and families and teachers. Many are feeling discouraged and depressed as the future seems so uncertain right now, yet we know we are in God's loving hands and we will get through. We know, too, that we are not alone in our experiences. It is a difficult time for most everyone everywhere. You are all in our hearts and prayers, and we ask for your continued prayers through this time.
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We hope this message finds you and your families well. The world has certainly changed, and we are feeling it in Kenya too. Many of you have asked what is happening here, and we are so thankful for your care and your prayers.

While Kenya so far has only a small number of coronavirus cases compared to other countries and there are no reported cases in our region, the Kenyan government is being proactive and ordered all schools in the country to close. As you know, many of our children get most or all of their meals at our school - so our biggest concern has been ensuring that they still have food to eat. While we are not holding classes for an indefinite period of time, we are continuing to provide meals to our students. We are so grateful to be able to do this, and the children are grateful too! Thank you!

Please know that our hearts are with you all through this shared experience.
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Wishing a wonderful birthday to our Director - Happy Birthday, Davis Otieno! ... See MoreSee Less

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We are preparing Heritage graduates for successful futures!!

Our recent high school graduates just completed a computer class through the Kenya Institute of Management. When asked what they thought about the class, the students said “WOW!” They loved learning computer skills! Nixon, the KIM teacher, presented certificates to the students and a mug to symbolize Heritage Secondary School’s partnership with KIM. He will return to speak to current students about career opportunities. We are so thankful to a VPA donor for making this program possible!
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Cabbage!! We have cabbage!! Our first harvest from the greenhouse and irrigated land. We have plenty of cabbage to feed our 1,000+ students at the elementary and high schools, and we are thankful! ... See MoreSee Less

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