Nipe Tumaini: Fun With Fingerpaint

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 first 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.

Eleven kids is a lot of kids in one household, and Benson and Eunice Mungai are very intentional in their efforts to make sure that each child knows how unique and special they are. It is obvious that these kids’ personalities, quirks, and needs are seen and valued.

We brought some art supplies so that we could do a project with the kids that reinforced this theme. While they were at school, we set up paper and paints to surprise them when they got home. They walked in the doors very curious about what their visitors were up to, and listened intently as we explained.

Jen Johnson had the kids look really closely at the swirls and lines of their fingerprints, explaining that nobody else in the whole world has the exact same pattern. As soon as she said the verse from Psalm 139 about being “fearfully and wonderfully made” by God, they all started singing! One of the songs they learned at school has that exact verse in it.

One by one, they got a chance to choose a color and have their hand covered in cold squishy finger paint. Some giggled, some were tempted to pull away, some were still and silent as they processed the sensation. All of them had wide-eyed smiles as their hand was lifted from the paper and they saw the print left behind.

Each of them made a handprint gift for their Lahash sponsors for Christmas, and contributed to a more free-form project of decorating two big posters of the Lahash tree logo with handprint “leaves.” They also got to work on letters for their sponsors, which gave a few of the older kids a chance to proudly show off their new handwriting skills.

By the time all was said and done, there was paint in some unintended places, but the intended purposes had been achieved quite well: creative expression, childlike wonder, and a celebration of the unique way each one of them is created in the image of God.

Jen Johnson