I Feel Like My Heart Might Burst

Maureen is in my home.

SHE’S HERE, eating her first bowl of Texas chili at my chalkboard table!

When we drove up to our house from the airport and I opened the garage, she saw our family bikes hanging from the ceiling and asked if we also sold bicycles for a living (since we have five).


I’m seeing my home and things and excess thru her eyes. I think everyone should have a visitor with this kind of perspective. It’s a hard kind of good.

She ran away (in terror) from our 10 lb dog and we are taking baby steps. Pets are rare in a country oppressed with poverty. When she saw our black cat, she screamed and said only witches own cats like that in Kenya. Hey, I’ve been called worse.

And then we visited two of my favorite places and had us some Christian chicken:

Next, a visit to Target’s Dollar Spot:

She’s obviously my daughter.

We returned home and finished some last minute work on a Mercy House event at our local church.

And then she handed me this letter from our precious girls at the maternity home:

Here’s a portion of it:

Dear Welch family, 

Happy New Year! We want you to know that we’ve been praying for you everyday. It’s a privilege for us. You have really played a very big role in our lives….

Thank you very much for the things that you have done for us. You are the ones who made us to be the people we are today with our babies. Thank you for saving our lives and our babies lives too. God bless you very much and we are praying for you that God will keep you strong and you’ll have faith in Him….

We want you to know that Mercy House is a very good place with everything we need in it. We really enjoy living here with our babies. We thank God for giving us the best Director, too. She has walked with us until we have reached the place we are today.”

And if I ever wondered if all the work and tears and challenges were worth it… here is my answer.


  1. 2


    You and Maureen are blessed to have each other!

    Also, my best friend (born in Kenya) reacts the exact same way to dogs and cats. My dogs is 6 and she still gives her the side eye when she’s around.

  2. 3


    oh my goodness. you have to share more of maureen’s visit, so fun! and you’re right, it is so interesting to see a familiar place through new eyes….that is why you need to share more of the visit!

    so funny about the cat.

  3. 4

    Beth says

    I am so excited that Maureen is in the states! And to personally carry news from our friends in Africa!
    Blessings during your sweet visit!

  4. 5

    Wendi says

    Kristen I am so glad that Maureen is here and your family is enjoying her here in the US. Your comment about seeing your home from her eyes so hit me a couple years ago. Our church helps sponsor an orphanage in Kenya, where Mama has 150 children living in her home. 150 children then living in a home the size of our 2100 sq. foot home. (They now have a dormitory built and building another.) Wow! Was that ever sobering to have Mama and her biological daughter, who was going to school here, over for dinner and an evening. Mama was so gracious, sweet and kind; but it mad me look at all that we have so differently. My family of 4 is comfortable in our home, but to have 151 people living in our home would make things so much different. You are right, we all need guests like this in our homes to make us have perspective. A good kind of hard. Enjoy your time while Maureen is here, and may it be a true blessing to so many.

  5. 6


    i grinned when i saw the title and laughed a delighted laugh through the post. hope the rest of the visit is awesome. thanks for sharing it with us.

  6. 9

    Michelle S says

    My heart is smiling over this post! I hope Maureen’s visit goes well and please update us with more. I always enjoy reading about how God is working through you and your family.

  7. 14


    We have 5 bikes at our house too. and then razors. and skateboards. It might look like we are a small wheels shop. One letter and it’s all worth it! I can imagine that there will be so many more of these moments in the future. Blessings.

  8. 15

    Tara says

    Beautiful! I’m so glad you are able to have your daughter in your home – with your other children. I wish I were a little bit closer (am in TX too), so I could come here her speak! Amazing story God is writing, lovely to watch it unfold over the years on your blog!!

  9. 17

    Lesley Wotton says

    It truly blesses my heart to read updates like this. :o) I have followed your work with the Mercy House since its inception. I purchase items through the store, pray daily for you and the ministry, and tell others about it. As a Director of a Pregnancy Resource Center, I share the same heart as yours. It is wonderful to see these mamas and their precious babies together, thriving, as they grow in their relationship with God and others. Thank you! :o)

  10. 18


    I’ll have to go back and read the letter again because I can’t read it all for my TEARS!!!! LOVE this so much. Love your obedience. Love God’s timing, provision, bringing you together with Maureen. LOVE Maureen and he heart. LOVE that you are together. LOVE these babies… LOVE LOVE LOVE.


  11. 19

    Cheryl says

    how precious!!! I am so excited to see her there. I kind of wish I could be there too and hang out!! Post as much as you can so we can experience it all with you guys!!!

  12. 27


    I am so excited for all of you! Love the pics … loved you sharing. Praying for all of you… that God will work mighty in the hearts of people as Maureen speaks. So very happy ….. Thank you, Kristen for all you do… it has been truly amazing to watch this for the past 2+ yrs. Thank you for allowing us to share in it.

    much love~

  13. 28


    The Christian Chicken photo is priceless! Thanks for sharing this. Praying your time will be filled with the Holy Spirit and both of you will walk away encouraged.

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