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My blog silence is more of a reflection of writer’s block than a sign of inactivity in the BEAM Kenya world.  So much has been going on. . .beautiful things. . .heart-wrenching things. . .hopeful things. . .discouraging things.  I am at a loss these days to articulate my own life and the lives of those around me.

But. . .it would be a disservice for me not to introduce you to the latest member of our crew, Kinya.

He is curious…his eyes always scanning the scene around him.

He is inquisitive…always has a million questions for me the second he meets me.

He is sensitive…can be cracking up one minute and crying the next.

He is a mover and a shaker…literally.

The current focus with BEAM Kenya is to expand our counseling services, not necessarily on scholarships.  When our social worker told me about this curious young boy who had regularly been visiting our counseling center and was not in school, I was cautious but intrigued.  Cautious because I knew if I heard another heart-wrenching story about a child who was not in school, I would be faced with a decision.  Intrigued because this young boy had captured the heart of our social worker and would likely capture mine. . .

After much thought and prayer, we decided to extend a scholarship to our curious Kinya.

(Kinya pictured with his grandmother and cousin)

He stayed at the BEAM Kenya safe house for a week before school started to get adjusted to life in the village.  His curious, inquisitive, sensitive, moving and shaking self was a bit of a shock to the villagers (and BEAM-ers) but in the best way possible.  Kinya’s child like spirit is endearing and entertaining.

He began his first week at boarding school at Brook of Faith Academy last week.  When I met him at school last night, he said “Auntie Colleen, ukiona karatasi yangu, utafurahi!”  (If you see my exam paper, you will be so happy!”).

We had our doubts that Kinya would even be able to sit still for five minutes, never mind complete an exam.  He shocked us again by his stellar performance and indeed, after seeing the results of his first exam, I was overwhelmed with joy!

With love and gratitude,


*Please consider a monthly or one time donation to support the BEAM Kenya mission to advocate for the emotional, spiritual, and education needs of impoverished children in Kenya*

Life in a foreign Land

You’ve put on weight.

That was one of the last sentences I heard before I left Kenya two weeks ago.

“Yes, I know,”  I replied, a lot less defensive than I would have been in my pre-Kenya phase of life.

No but really my friend insisted, “Umeongeza kilo.  Kilo ngapi?”  (No but really, “you have added kilograms, how many kilograms have you added??”)

“I don’t know,”  I said, repeatedly as I tried to change the subject and remember in the deepest parts [Read More…]

Counseling Center Mondays

Babies crying.
Kids playing (I mean screaming), as they run back and forth right in front of the center.
A drunk pregnant lady stumbles in uninvited, demanding counseling services (which we politely decline for those who are not sober).
The loud bass from our neighbor’s music blasts in the background.
The clanking of dishes from our other neighbor makes piercing noises as water makes its way into the room where our counselor is meeting with clients.

[Read More…]