Yesterday, we attended a board meeting with the representative of Buckner Africa, Mr. Randy Daniels and Buckner Kenya, Mr. Dixon Masindano to merge our goals for the future of St. Kizito’s. We discussed the potential land that the learning center would be built on, logistical problems that were happening at this point, and solutions. We also all went out to look at the land. The meeting was an incredible opportunity to see the vision of Buckner and St. Kizito’s merge into a future for the learning center. Afterwards, we visited St. Kizito’s ourselves and reunited with the children who stole the hearts of the team last year. We were greeted with songs, dances, tea, and food. We spent time playing with the kids until we returned home exhausted. Here is today’s story from Meagan Volquardsen’s point of view.
“Started off waking up an hour too early, darn this jet lag and time change. Our original itinerary for the day had to be switched up a little, but we were perfectly prepared to be flexible. I was actually more impressed with the way it turned out after the switch than I think we would have experienced had the events stayed in their original order.
First, we had a meeting with Buckner International (Kenya and State-side) to discuss philosophy and goal/step planning for St. Kizitos. This meeting was absolutely phenomenal. I am so proud and amazed to be part of this project. I am honored. When this journey is finished, this school is built and these children are saved, it’ll be one of those accomplishments that will just speak for itself. Everyone at the meeting was just so full of passion and so willing and ready. I actually walked away from the meeting with a quote; “Fill in the gap” said by Dr. Randy Daniel, our state-side Buckner representative. To me, meaning fill in the empty spaces of their lives with love and care, be their sand to fill in the bits that are missing. Make them full. Our culture, our “American West” way of life is so…fortunate and (well this is a stereotypical argument) sometimes we forget. We are here to remember, to provide, to strengthen and fill in that gap between two cultures and instead, be humans together, people, spirits, hearts.
Then, after having a meeting about goals and steps, we actually went straight into the first step and visited a prospective piece of land up for purchasing. I mean, WOW. Talk about getting things rolling. Unlike most other “professional” meetings I’ve experienced, I noticed this one was fueled by passion, excitement and expertise. A truly productive and progressive meeting because of the giant hearts of all the board members.
THEN, we went to the famous St. Kizito’s to meet the kids. That experience, in and of itself, paralyzed me. I honestly didn’t know how to respond, literally just stood there while they pulled on my arms, wrapped around my waist and welcomed me with those smiles and darling eyes. They put on little skits for us, each “class” singing and dancing, demonstrating to us what they had been learning. The way they danced, these kids just looked…so happy. I learned later that several had ringworm and others possibly AIDS. These kids are sick…and all they want to be proud of is the education and love they are receiving. From then on out, my mind has been whirring with thoughts of what do they need and how? This is the exact mentality needed to fuel this project just right.
I am gonna be honest, it was very powerful and overwhelming. I just didn’t know how to act. What do I say? What do I do? What should I be paying attention to? The very moment we rounded the corner to all 120+ children standing, shoving their smiling faces to the mesh metal fence, I lost it. I hadn’t even gotten out of the van.”