Lydia and I enjoyed the day together on yesterday’s flight to Kakuma in Northern Kenya. Kakuma contains a Refugee Camp of 179,000 people whose inhabits primarily hail from South Sudan. However, people from Ethiopia, D.R. Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Eritrea and Uganda also live in the camp. We flew a small team up from Nairobi that was surveying the camp for future ministry work. With extra space on the flight, Lydia jumped at the opportunity to learn more about life in a refugee camp. Once inside the camp, our first stop was actually lunch, devouring a wonderful Ethiopian meal at a hole in the wall restaurant. After lunch, we enjoyed walking through a small part of the camp, visiting with people as we went. Many people wanted to know where we were from as they graciously greeted us. We shook hands with curious children over and over again saying hello to them, unable to speak Arabic, but always able to communicate with a smile in the language of love.
On our way back from the camp, we met a Turkana man named John who walked with us for about an hour, explaining life in the camp. He became our tour guide, for which we became especially grateful.
Life in the camp is difficult as freedom is naturally restricted. Visitors can come to the camp until 6:00pm. Residents can leave to enter the adjoining town, but travel beyond that requires special approval with signed papers. The camp was established in 1991, with many of the residents now born into refugee camp life. Those born in the camp are stuck in between two worlds, with an unknown past and an uncertain future.
Flying back home, I was overwhelmed with gratitude to our Father. He blessed us with an incredible day. Lydia and I enjoyed a wonderful day together, learning about the refugees while spending precious time just having fun. What a blessing to share my ministry work with her on an adventure to Kakuma and back.