Category Archives: Africa

In Her Chair

One very special community trip I made with Solomon (director of the special needs clinic) and a few others happened back in August before I got sick. I don’t want to miss sharing these photos with you and holding the memories for our family here on the blog. These visits are one of my absolute favorite things I get to do here. Spending time with families, and especially praying with and supporting the mamas, is what God has prepared my heart for. On this particular visit, we traveled to the home of little U to deliver her new wheelchair. Just look at this beautiful girl, finally sitting in her long-awaited chair!

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Experiencing Her First Steps

Faith beamed as she received her walker, balancing on her bare feet in the grass while holding onto her new treasure. Her smile was infectious, and the excitement of the students gathered around her could not be missed. Solomon, head of the special needs clinic at Tenwek, knelt proudly next to her, ready to show her how the new walking frame worked. Just moments later, we would witness Faith take her very first steps.

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Amani Means Peace

Amani means peace in Swahili. Five years ago, while driving to the hospital when I was in labor with Sam, we chose to give our baby boy the middle name Amani. We hadn’t yet met him, but in the past five years, we have seen this name have true meaning in his life and character. Samuel Thomas Amani Olsen. Our little Amani.

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Miss Ella Turns Eight

Just ten days after arriving in Kenya, our Ella celebrated her eighth birthday. She had been talking for the entire year before about having her birthday here, so we were incredibly happy that it happened! We marked the occasion with a little party on our porch. She invited three other girls whose parents also work at the hospital. They began by indulging in the first batch of cupcakes I’ve made since arriving in country. Just after that, I handed my phone over to the birthday girl who chose a mix of Taylor Swift and the Trolls soundtrack for a very exuberant dance party. I stood in the kitchen doorway, playing the part of a fly on the wall, and laughed over their shrieks and girly outbursts. My Ella really is her own spunky, energetic, witty, super theatrical girl! Once the girls slowed down a bit after their first round of dancing, they sat on the floor and let me paint their nails. Then I was back on the sidelines. It amazes me that we’ve reached this point. Ella wants to do everything on her own, with her friends, often without me. Eight years old. What a year this is going to be!

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