Kris Allen, host of the 2012 True Spirit of Christmas tour, has been traveling with World Vision across Kenya for over a week now. During this time, he's had the chance to meet amazing people, participate in new experiences, and go places he had never been before.
Today, Kris shares what he has been thinking throughout his experience.
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If we didn’t feel like we were in Africa during the short time we were in Nairobi, then when we got to Turkana, we had definitely arrived in “Africa.”
The view outside of our windshield on our drive to the guesthouse was a vast, hot, dusty, barren land that you would think no one would be able to survive in for even a couple of days.
At least I know I couldn’t.
Yet the people of Turkana live here. This is their home. This is where they raise their families. And they do the best that they can to provide for them -- but it’s not easy out here.
The guesthouse where we stayed was pretty much nothing but a place to sleep and eat. For the most part, we didn’t have running water, which means no shower or flushing toilet.
The only thing that I will try to remember about the house is the Nescafe instant coffee that I had to have every morning. I don’t know whether it was the actual taste of the coffee or just the conditions, but it tasted so good. Probably the conditions.
After saying this, we were living like kings and queens compared to what the people of Turkana experience every day.
One of the ladies whom we met in Turkana was named Mary. Her gift from World Vision was that she had received a number of goats.
As a very privileged American, it was cool to see exactly what something like that can do for a family. The joy and sense of pride that even some goats can give someone like that made me think how much we can impact other people’s lives from so far away.
These people aren’t asking for a lot, you know. They’re asking for a chance. They’re asking for things that we take for granted every day of our lives: Food. Water. Schooling for their children. Things that we don’t have to worry about, but things that they worry about constantly.
And the most humbling thing about it all…is their smiles.
Not everyone gets to meet someone who has received a gift that literally brings their family life. That’s what I got to see. Mary was such a sweet person, even willing to go out of her way to thank us for her gift. She was on her way back from the hospital to her house -- which is not a short trip for her -- because her newborn baby was sick.
And because we wanted to meet up with her, she ended up missing her ride back to her village.
This may not seem like a big deal to us, but for her, it had to be. In these conditions, nothing is easy, but she was willing to go out of her way to talk to us for hours because of what World Vision had done for her.
Most people want to help out others -- but really just don’t know how. Well, let me tell you, this is a way that you can really make a difference.