Dreams Do Come True!!
All praise be to God, our pseudo-son from Peru, Isaac Dario, has been accepted to Catholic University of Eastern Africa and will begin his pursuit of a degree in psychology / family counseling in September when the classes here in Kenya resume.
Following are some photos of Isaac and our family at CUEA (Catholic University of Eastern Africa - pronounced "kway-ahh") the day that we picked up his letter of acceptance. I've also included a short explanation of how this all came to be.
|This is Isaac officially receiving his letter of acceptance from Mary,|
the amazing women who works in the Student Enrichment office.
|Isaac is so excited to be a part of the CUEA family!|
The campus is small and quaint.
The library, computer lab, cafeteria, student activity center, classrooms and administration buildings are are tucked in around the tall trees and beautiful African landscaping.
The chapel is my favorite. The campus chaplain told us that there are always activities going on at the chapel: praise and worship, adoration, bible studies, Holy Mass, confession and more. Isaac has never lived in a place where there was a thriving Catholic community so he's extremely excited.
As we were leaving it occured to all of us that an amazing transformation had taken place right before our very eyes. Upon arriving at the campus Isaac was just another visitor. However, as we were leaving he was officially a student and member of the CUEA community.
|This is the front entrance of CUEA. Isaac is SOOOO proud!!|
To celebrate, Isaac, Mary and my family headed to the only restaurant around that is allowing patrons to sit down and eat. Because of the coronavirus regulations, every other restaurant is only serving food for take-away. Some of us ordered goat burgers and beet juice, while others prefered goat ribs and french fries (which they call "chips").
When our festivities at Mbuzi Munch (which is Swahili for "Munch the Goat") came to a close we thanked Mary once again for all of her help and bid her farewell. The rest of us returned to our house to continue our celebration with a really yummy dessert.
Right after we finished our cake and ice cream Anna and Isaac felt compelled to dance....so they did...for over an hour.
You can click on the following link to see a YouTube video clip of their impromptu dance party:
Our festivities continued throughout the day. Jack, who loves music, assumed the role of DJ and made sure we had fun party music. We prepared a super special quesadillas dinner and did all we could to make sure Isaac felt loved!
Last year we encountered an angel here in Kenya.... well, actually he's only a man with an incredibly huge heart, but we joke that he must be an angel because we believe that he was sent to us directly from God! As we were talking casually with our angel one day the topic of Isaac's misfortune came up. We attempted to summarize the horror that has characterized Isaac's life and shared our disappointment that, despite his exemplary performance in secondary school, he would never be able to attend college because of his unfortunate life circumstances and the institutionalized corruption in Peru. Our angel friend's heart was moved with compassion and he immediately felt the desire to help Isaac in whatever way he could. Some phone calls were made, emails were composed, and quite unexpectedly the ball had started rolling....
|When we led praise and worship Isaac would get up front|
with our girls to sing and encourage the folks to join in.
All praise be to God, he encountered Jesus in a powerful way and had a life-changing conversion.
In addition to the many, many things he did with our family, Isaac also had the opportunity to serve alongside various groups of medical missionaries who spent time in his village helping those in need.
These experiences guided Isaac's heart toward the idea of being a medical missionary. He began to dream, for the first time in his life, of a future spent serving the Lord by helping the poor.
As we shared Isaac's story with our angel friend, who had recently retired from 35+ years of service as a medical doctor, the idea was born that maybe Isaac could attend nursing school at the medical training college here in Kenya that the angel had been affiliated with for over 20 years. More emails were shared and a plan began to take shape.
Confident that Isaac would be able to pursue nursing, our angel bought Isaac a plane ticket which landed him here in Kenya in January 2020. The task of figuring out the Kenyan educational system and getting Isaac into college had officially begun.
|"So where exactly is the KNQA office?"|
For the next six months we expended an immeasurable amount of energy navigating the streets of downtown Nairobi searching for offices, counsels, and authorized agencies.
|This is the KNQA office,|
which we became all too
|The KNQA is very prestigious group of|
people who act as the gatekeepers for the
Kenyan education system.
No matter what we did; no matter what we said; no matter whose office we visited; and no matter how many buckets of tears I cried, our efforts were all in vain. One day, when we received a legal notification from the KNQA CEO informing us that our only remaining course of action was to make a legal appeal through the Kenyan judicial system, we felt as though we had come to the end of the road. Isaac would not be able to studying nursing here in Kenya. I was devastated, to say the very least! I tried to remain positive and said things like, "Maybe it wasn't God's desire for Isaac to study here in Kenya. Maybe He just wanted Isaac to be here with us for six months...." but my words weren't very convincing. Just as I was ready to give up and tell Isaac that he'd have to return to Peru, Katelyn and Anna got the idea that maybe Isaac could study something other than nursing. After all, the report we received from the KNQA office shows that his secondary school grades were exemplary.
When Isaac and Katelyn began talking about the category of counseling Isaac's ears perked up immediately. "You mean there are people who just help other people with their problems?" he asked. As they continued to research Isaac quickly realized that is what he wanted to do all along. In his village the resident doctor and nurses at the small clinic serve as family counselors. For example, when someone suffers under the heavy hand of a drunk family member, she goes to the "Centro de Salud" (which translates to "Health Center"). As the doctor or one of the nurses attend to her wounds they talk about what's going on at home. The Centro de Salud staff members know everything about everyone and hold that information close to their hearts. When people from the village go to the clinic they hope to receive medical help, but are more often looking for emotional support and even spiritual guidance. When Isaac worked alongside the medical missionaries he saw them praying with each of the patients and talking with them about their personal issues; so, he assumed that his future as a medical missionary would be the same.
As you know from reading the beginning of this blog, Isaac was accepted to CUEA and will begin classes as soon as the coronavirus restrictions are lifted. We praise and thank God for all He's done is our hearts during this last year as we've learned to trust Him even more. We humbly beg for your prayers, that Isaac is successful in his studies and remains close to the Lord.
Thank you for your willingness to journey with us in this crazy life of missions. Thank you for your prayers and loving support. We couldn't do this without you!!!
Lots of love,