16 Oct Nipe Tumaini: First Sponsor Visit
The Media Team got to spend four days with the Nipe Tumaini family, and we’re excited to share about it with all of you! This is the second in a short series of four blog posts we created so you can experience a bit of the contagious joy we found deep in the rural Rift Valley.
Nathan Gillespie is a first-time traveler with Lahash. While his photography skills are a welcome addition to the Media Team, a bigger highlight for him was getting to spend time with the two children he and his wife Amy sponsor at Nipe Tumaini. The beginning of their sponsorship story was featured in the article “Nothing Less Than Home” from the most recent issue of Hope Is Alive magazine. This trip was a chance to start a new chapter in that story.
At not-quite-two, Faith is the youngest child at Nipe Tumaini, so Nathan knew that any connection to her would be based mostly on playful interaction. He loved seeing the connection she has to her parents, Benson and Eunice, and to the other kids as big brothers and sisters. After a few days there, a few things were very clear about Faith: she loves to eat, she talks amazingly well for her age, she has a fiery little personality, and she is thriving.
Joseph is about seven, so the significance of getting to meet his sponsor in person was not lost on him. While he was working on his “sponsor letter” along with the other kids, he would write something down, then look up at Nathan with a shy giggle as if to say, “I’m writing this letter to YOU, and you’re right here!” Nathan got to go through a small photo album with him so he could “meet” Amy and see their life in Oregon. Nathan said, “It was great to actually bond a little bit and solidify that relationship, and just hang out together.”
Although the Gillespies didn’t know quite what they were getting into when they first started sponsoring through Lahash, Nathan came away from his time at Nipe Tumaini with a sense of anticipation for what the future holds. “I look forward to sponsoring them for as long as I can,” he said, “seeing who they become and watching them find themselves.”
After seeing Joseph and Faith at home, at school, and outside on the farm for a few days, the only thing Nathan was left wondering was, “How could you not do well in an environment like that?” He wasn’t quite ready to leave when the time came, but the departure was made a bit easier knowing firsthand how happy and secure they are at home.