I sat down in the grass with Eddah, the house mother at El Shaddai Children’s Center in Kenya, and a full mug of sweet, warm chai, grateful simply to be in her presence.
Eddah is mostly a behind-the-scenes woman, preferring the quiet of a small kitchen and the repetitive ministry of scrubbing stains out of clothing to being in front of a crowd. She is one you have to lean in a little closer and intentionally block out the world around you to hear—and when you do, a true blessing is sure to follow.
Eddah is a woman of prayer, a beacon of faith. To her core, she is a mother. She embodies the strength, wisdom, patience, and grit of the best of them. It is clear to me that God has created her specifically and beautifully to be a mother to children who have lost or never known one.
As we sat in the shade, sipping our chai, I listened to her heart.
She prays fervently for more dedicated mothers for the boys in her care, that they would be humble, compassionate, and steadfast.
She praises God for the transformation she has seen in the boys and the ways He is currently healing them before her eyes.
She thanks God for leading her to this place, where she is able to live out His calling on her life.
We smiled and laughed as we recalled the previous evening, where we held our own “Oscar Awards” to screen some mini movies the boys had made a couple days before. (It was, in a nutshell, insanely precious.) She began to thank me for all that we do to bring joy to the boys, and, while it was a joy and an honor to share in that experience, an overwhelming thought brought tears to my eyes.
“Eddah,” I said, “the reason they were able to have so much joy is because of you.”
Through The Boaz Project, we have the blessed opportunity to visit our partners and get glimpses of the kind of care that is occurring on a daily basis. This enhances our trust in our partners’ ability to provide a safe, loving environment for children who have experienced trauma. I know and believe in our model, and it’s one of the biggest reasons I’m so passionate about what we do. But, in that moment, it all hit me in a very tangible way.
Pictures flooded my mind of Eddah comforting boys when they are sick, serving them hearty helpings at each meal, seeing them off to school in the morning, praying over them, teaching them the Word of God—each tiny action reinforcing their ability simply to be kids. Each day a new opportunity to communicate to a child that he is seen, loved, and can grow, despite what has happened in his past.
“Every day you obey God’s call on your life makes it more possible for your boys to find peace and joy in Him. I am just so grateful that we get to be a tiny part of that,” I expressed.
We hugged and finished our chai, chatting about the weather and how nice it is to feel the sun on our skin. We thanked God together for His goodness.
I’m still doing a lot of processing and reflecting on all that this trip meant for the ministry of The Boaz Project, as well as me, personally. But as I sit here today, there is really only one thing I want you to be sure of.
As part of The Boaz Project family, you are elevating committed caregivers like Eddah to a position where she can fully obey what God has called her to do, and, as a result, children who were once orphans, discarded and bruised, are coming to know a love that will never, ever fade.
Thank you for your continued prayers, generosity, and obedience. I pray that your heart is encouraged even now as you consider the real impact you are making in the lives of real people. As someone who knows and loves caregivers such as Eddah, I am so grateful for each of you.
Please join us in praying today for our caregivers, in the mundane and in the difficulties of day to day life with children from hard places, that they would turn to the God of Peace, who empowers them to show His unchanging love.
It’s so inspiring how these women care for these children as their own.
Thank you for sharing some of your treasured time with Eddah with us. What an inspiring woman as she commits her life to Christ to serve him as a mother to these precious boys. A woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.