Dealing with pain of loved ones

* Running a mini series, feel free to send a piece*

On Wednesday 28th November I got a video from my friend Gloria on whatsapp.

I had had a particularly long day and I figured it was one of those viral comic videos.I got ready to laugh hysterically. Instead I could only cry.

It was a video of her mum saying “hello, how are you…? I am fine” and then mentioning about 3 names. I was one of them.

See several months ago I began praying for her. Why, you may ask? Read the story below written by her daughter and you shall find out.

I got the call on Feb 22. I had just graduated on Feb 4 and was still in a stupor over the celebrations. I remember my mom had danced non-stop doing paka-chini and not giving a hoot who saw! She was happy for her baby as she fondly calls me.
It was at 6:30am. It was my mom’s number. I knew she had a little malaria and I had talked to her the previous night so when I picked up I was like, “Hi mommy, what’s up?” My aunt’s voice just replied in the most unemotionless voice, “Your mother had a stroke. Come now!”
I don’t remember much of the journey except that I could not afford to panic. Every time I tried to call my aunty on my way there, her number wouldn’t go through and I could only hope for the best. I finally reached Ishaka Hospital in a daze. I remember I arrived at the gate and met one of my mom’s relatives and she had that pitying look in her eyes that I would soon get accustomed to. She took me straight to my mom’s ward.
There were some women whispering in the hospital corridor and no one said a thing to me.
I approached my mom’s bed and I could not believe what I was seeing. That wasn’t my mom lying helpless there with here beautiful brown face turned black and twisted.
It took all of my strength not to collapse. I had to be strong. Then she opened her eyes and tried to say my name. I wanted to cry!
My mom, my hero, my superstar mommy was lying there paralyzed from head to toe on her left side. But in those first 48 hours she couldn’t move at all.

Gloria with her 'gangster' mommy

Gloria with her ‘gangster’ mommy

>>>>Fast forward,20 months later, she has made a steady progressing recovery. The person who was once bedridden can dress herself, feed herself and walk without help (albeit really slowly but its better than nothing). And yesterday, she danced (ok, wiggled a little) for me.
For a woman who was in her prime (she had just turned 50), it was hard for her to come to terms with having to rely on others for basics like showering. It’s been a tough learning experience but with each day am thankful that I still have her in my life.
And I’m glad that on Feb 4th 2011, I let her have the party she wanted. I am glad she screamed loudest when the chancellor read my name; and am glad she danced so hard. And most of all, am glad that she still gives me those warm hugs. I love u mom! GOD WORKS IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS!


Several down, lots more to go

I own several notebooks and in my old phone I had over 50 drafts of random writing. From to do lists to quotes and Bible verses, it is all no particular order. That’s what I do..I make lists, write notes..any time..all the time.

Last year I got this leather bound notebook from a client, I was unsure what to do with it simply because I wanted it to be ‘of importance’ so it doesn’t  fall in a pile with all the other books( please note that most of them have categories but some are more equal than others)

I kept this little black book for a while until around April this year. The campaign for “40 days over 40 smiles began on February 27th but we had our first party with the kids the following month.When we began to ‘be the change we wanted to see in the world,’ I knew that the book had found a purpose..*Yayy, light bulb moment*

After sharing and getting to know these children, we realised that they had great needs and it was pretty overwhelming. We had so many challenges and often felt like the shoes were too big to fill.My team had the opportunity to back down before getting in too deep but they did not. I am so glad that they stayed around because while it has become ten times more difficult, the fulfillment is immense.

I was looking through the little(not so little really) black book a few minutes ago and this is was what I found on the first page.

Please note two stars(**) mean it has been achieved and one (x) suggests it isn’t done yet

Plans for God’s Grace Orphanage


  • Put up temporary structure/tent for classes (**)
  • Find land to construct permanent home with classrooms and dormitories(x)

  • Construct bathroom and toilet(*) bathroom complete, toilet pit dug)
  • Have a massive breakfast once a month(**)
  • Mentoring,advice and spiritual enrichment for the kids(**)
  • Sustainable businesses for them to earn some income(**)
  • Buy towels and provide sanitary facilities regularly(**)
  • Stationery for children and teacher’s pay(**)
  • Write proposal to seek sponsorship from potential donors(**)
  • Get mobile money account to make donations easier(**)
  • Feed the children regularly i.e meals everyday(**)
  • Provide health care to the children(**)

On this list only one goal hasn’t been accomplished and one has only been partly done.

We dug a pit but run short of funds and thus weren’t able  to complete the latrines. We haven’t got the amount of funding it takes to buy land to set up all the facilities we dream of…but it will happen..sooner than we think..and we have evidence to prove it..wink*

Along the way we have achieved a couple of milestones and also found other needs that were not on this original list.



However, my emphasis is on this list in particular.I find myself grinning to myself at how far we have come. I am in shock that I can put ticks on all these. At the time I wrote it, it was a goal, a destination, futuristic, I could go on…I honestly couldn’t see it but well, I guess that’s what faith is about..believing in what we do not see.

See, it isn’t that I doubted the potential of all the people I work with,they are an amazing group. It is more to do with the fact that we are young and earning just the bare minimum or slightly above with other responsibilities besides this project. To top it all off, this is not a company or organisation. We had no accountant to deal with taxes or messenger to run our errands.We only had ourselves but more importantly we had heart..still have it:)

The entire dream was fueled by passion and love..

Here I am partly wishing the year could hold on..stay a little longer so we can make it even better before it ends..

But why hold on when this can only mean the best is still ahead?2013,boy do we have plans for you!

The Lord started this work in us and without a doubt, he will see us through to the end.

To the entire 40 days over 40 smiles family and everyone who has been contributing in one way or another,I would just like to say thank you. I have you have no way of giving back. I shall only pray that God will bless you all as you have blessed this cause.

Nobody said it was easy…and it hasn’t been..but whoever says it is impossible hasn’t met us yet..and if they have..they certainly do not know what you are all capable of.

“Carpe diem”  That we have certainly  done!