The Family Way

So, this happened today –3 hours in standstill traffic:


[Zebra rain boots are what all the girls are wearing these days.]

Mainly because of this:


The deluge of rain has been coming for a month and it’s saturated the earth and is paralyzing the city. I am staying with Maureen in her apartment, so travel is slow everyday. (Keep praying for us!)

When I brought my family back to Kenya in 2011, just months after opening the doors to Mercy House, we came loaded down with 1000 pounds of donations of baby and maternity clothes (from many of you), curriculum, books, skills to teach and so much more.

But the greatest gift we ended up giving them was what I least expected: a glimpse at what a family looks like. I later learned that while they appreciated the gifts and tools, it was seeing a husband tenderly love his wife and father his children. It was watching me correct my kids and reach out and grab my husband’s hand. It was seeing a family unit love and live in real life.

This is my first trip to Mercy House without my family and their absence is tangible. I miss them more than sweet tea and have a physical ache. We are all family. This organization doesn’t feel like an institution, it is a home.

Sisters helping each other learn to read:


Daughters taking turns making dinner:


Sons learning:


And a lot of love:


Our family is expanding. We depend 100% on donations. We have room for you. Would you consider being a part of our family?

Special Announcement:

I’m so pleased and excited to announce that our Executive Director and my beloved Maureen is engaged to a wonderful man. She and Oliver were in Compassion’s Leadership Development Program and have known each other for years. We are proud to add this son to our family! And I love that I got to be here to witness her BIG surprise.


He proposed in front of the Mercy House family and when he was done, I looked at our beautiful girls and challenged them to wait for the special man God is preparing for each of them. He has a good plan and I encouraged them to pray and believe. With eyes shining, it was a moment I’ll never forget.

*photos by my friend, Suzanne Box


  1. 6


    This post fills my heart to overflowing. I am so happy to be a part of this Family!!!

    P.s….I have giraffe rain boots. 😉

    Praying for your and all the girls!


  2. 7

    Amber says

    Yay for Maureen! I got chills when I saw the picture of him down on one knee. I know your heart was about to burst!

  3. 9

    km says

    I LOVE this! Maureen & Oliver…Congratulations from California. I am praying for your marriage and that you might live this example of family to Mercy House girls.

  4. 10

    Heather S. says

    So crazy – I don’t know you, I don’t know Maureen and yet the moment I saw that first photo of her and her young man I immediately burst into tears of joy! What a wonderful blessing to be able to witness! I pray all the best for them!

  5. 13

    Becky says

    Congratulations to Maureen!! How awesome that you got to witness the proposal.
    Blessings on the special couple!

  6. 21

    Trista says

    Giant lump in my throat. What a precious moment. Congratulations to Maureen and Oliver. May God continue to nurture and bless you and hold your hands throughout your marriage.

  7. 22


    Oh, Maureen! Praise God and what a beautiful couple! I am so happy for all of you and I pray that each girl will wait for that special, God-loving man.

  8. 23


    So very happy for you! Praying for Maurine & Oliver. So thankful for you. Thank you for all you do and allowing us to share.

    We love you!


  9. 24


    you know when i saw that first photo, my immediate thought was “this must be nairobi!”. i love that big bowl of “chapatis!” in the making. i miss home :( Beautiful happy for Maureen!

  10. 25


    Maureen!!!!! How exciting – this is the sweetest news! May God bless your marriage abundantly! I know He will!

    I thought you couldn’t top matching baby outfits (because my heart skipped over the sight of healthy babies all matching!)

    Kristen, praying for you sister. Keep eyes fixed on Jesus. You are doing a good work!

  11. 27

    Amanda says

    I am so very happy to have seen this post. I read your blog periodically, but did not know about your work in Kenya. My husband and 11 year old daughter traveled to Kenya over spring break on a mission trip and are also so moved to do more. Your story is inspiring. They so do not want to lose that mountain top feeling, but are not yet sure what their next steps will be. I hope some day to see the Rehema House. Thanks for what you are doing!

  12. 28

    Maureen Owino says

    Overwhelmed by the kind of love that y’all showed us, we both appreciate it and all we pray for is to stay at the feet of Jesus Christ always. Thank u so much momma for this post and ua love for us.

    • 28.1

      AmberK says

      Maureen, YAY!!! All the Mercy Mommies, Yay!!! Kristen, Yay!!! Mercy Babies, YAYYY, cutie pies!!!! Oh gosh, so much love. God is surely in the thick of it all, He orchestrates so well!!!! Much love and Prayers and Big ol’ hugs!!

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