Kiserian is a small village that lies just beyond the shores of Lake Baringo. To get there is no easy task! One way is to take a boat across the lake. The other way is to take a four-wheel drive vehicle over bumpy roads and through rushing streams.
In a small hut, a little girl prepares for something special. No, it isn’t for the arrival of Santa Claus or funny little elves. It’s something much better.
9-year-old Josephine splashes her face with water, then takes a wet rag and carefully washes her arms and dirty feet. Her mother comes and hands her the traditional colorful wrap and beads that she is only allowed to wear on specials occasions. Today is one of those special occasions – she is going to a Christmas party!
Josephine is happy – like she doesn’t have a care in the world. For now, she seems to have forgotten all the trouble and hardship that she had experienced in the past. Only a few years ago, her father was killed by cattle rustlers. Now, when she is asked what it is she fears the most, she responds solemnly, “Cattle rustlers.” And often she explains, “They came one night when I was really little, and since we didn’t have any cows, they stole our goats and then they shot my dad.” Her momentary sadness is brief, but one can see that a fragile place in her heart has been touched. For someone who has experienced such violence firsthand, Josephine seems surprisingly happy and quick to smile.
Finally, her mom calls, “Josephine! It’s time to go to the Christmas party!” The girl squeals and gives her mother a hug. She holds her hand as they walk down the road until she sees her friends and runs to join them. They talk about their excitement and wonder what they will be carrying home in their Love Paks.
After much singing and dancing, Josephine is called to the front with a few other children and they put on their well-rehearsed Christmas skit. Even though she is a bit nervous, she is happy to perform with her friends. After their performance, she grabs her friend’s hand and giggling they return to their seats. Then it is time for cake and soda! Josephine helps the teacher distribute pieces of cake to everyone.
Then the long-awaited time arrives – the Love Pak distribution! Josephine gets in line with her friends and they wait for their names to be called.
At last, it is Josephine’s turn! She takes her package and skips over to a quiet spot under a tree. Opening it carefully, she finds a woolen blanket, a package of cookies, a coloring book, soap, toothpaste and a few other small things. “I love all these wonderful presents!” she exclaims. “I love Christmas! And I love the one who gave it to me!”
After the party, Josephine and her mother return home. Once she is back, she shows everything to her brothers and sisters. She unfolds her blanket and methodically lays out all her gifts. Her treasures, as she calls them. “I want to look at them a bit before I put them away.” At night, she tucks the new, warm blanket around some of her siblings and then scoots under it herself. As she falls asleep, Josephine smiles with thankfulness as she remembers all the events of this wonderful day.
Her smile says it all: “Someone loves me and I am not forgotten!”
Would you consider sending a Love Pak today? So many children are waiting to experience the joy of receiving a gift.