Mission Trip 2022
Louise Mell’s Insights
Mission Trip 2022-
Now that I have had time to reflect the time spent in Kenya in June, it is still hard to decide on my most meaningful or favorite time. There were so many! It was wonderful to see our big, beautiful Kenyan family again—it’s always like we’ve never been apart. Seeing Alex Kamani, who our family has sponsored since 2007, was a huge highlight. He is an intelligent, handsome, kind, confident and self-sufficient young man who is studying to become an electrician. We are so proud!
The time that I spent with Praise is what is on my mind every day, several times a day. For those of you who do not know Praise’s story, he was diagnosed with a non-cancerous tumor a few years ago. The tumor was in his sinus cavities and he has had numerous painful surgeries and is blind as the tumor damaged his optic nerves. The last time I left Kenya, I was not sure that I would see our sweet boy again so it was an extraordinary experience to arrive at the children’s home, seek him out and ask ‘Do you know who I am?’. He grabbed my wrist and felt my arm and said ‘LOUISE!’. I cannot describe what that meant to me and what this beautiful boy means to me and our team. Praise will be 13 this month. He is jovial, intelligent, witty, kind and loving. His 2 best friends are Valentine and Phineas though he is loved by all of his brothers and sisters. Praise has a Braille teacher, Mr. Ezekiel. Their class room is at a picnic table outside Mama Philistia’s house. Mr. Ezekiel says that Praise is brilliant and it is his hope that Praise can return to the blind school once he catches up in school and requires a little less medical care. We were able to Facetime with Praise’s US sponsors, Bob and Emily Gilbert! They were so overjoyed to get to see their sweet boy. Praise asked about their grown sons by name and prayed for the Gilbert family. Praise loved hanging out with everyone from the states. We did crafts, told stories, spent time together. He especially loved Jake Mell’s beard! Praise is a miracle. God sent him to our children’s home in Chuka because He knew the love, care and support that Praise would need. I am so thankful to God for putting Praise into our lives. He has certainly enriched my life!