Well, what started as a cozy, little afternoon rain storm this weekend very quickly turned into a torrential downpour that all but flooded our house as well as the other ones down the way. But thankfully, as we were frantically working at our neighbors to get giant sand bags in place and channel the “river” down the sidewalk using wash tubs, we popped back over to our house to get supplies and saw how bad it had gotten in just minutes. We then all shifted our efforts “upstream” as it were and again frantically began diverting the water as best we could.
The downpour intensified as we rapidly cleared drains and made make-shift sand bags out of Nakumatt grocery bags, ziplock gallon-size bags and the nearby construction sand. Other neighbors from across the Compound came running out to help and together we began to make progress. The water was up past ankle-level but we had managed to keep it from spilling over the front step into our kitchen. The house at the end of the path, which is notorious for getting flooded, so far, had also successfully kept the “river” at bay by all of our efforts.
As more people came to offer assistance I began to hear stories of their experiences with the rains in Kenya, and the previous floodings of the other houses on the Compound. People reminisced as they filled sand bags and swooped bucketfuls of muddy water and I was reminded yet again of the wealth of international experience we were surrounded with. Not to mention, the wealth of selfless and giving hearts, who had come out in the midst of their own responsibilities that day, some of which included current ministry and important events.
As I noted in the moment and here now reflect on this experience, three truths stand out:
This is Kenya living-being ready at a moment’s notice for the climate to change (and lately more than one climate has been) as things rarely remain as they first begin. KEY: Kenya living has a compounded component to it.
This is Compound living-recognizing that when that climate does change it doesn’t just affect your household but those connected to you as well, which in truth, is everyone. KEY: Compound living has a communal component to it.
This is Community living- owning the fact that firstly, what affects one affect all, and secondly, we all will only make the most of it through the pouring out of ourselves for those around us AND the humble reception of others doing the same for us. KEY: Community living has a circular component to it.
In Kenya, in my most recent experience, the idea of being self sufficient and fully independent of others is an idea that simply doesn’t make sense. The understanding that we were created to be in community together is lived out every single day, come rain or shine and I for one, am so very, very thankful that it is.