“Ni tatu” - they are three.
Today my toddler told me that she wants the story of the Zebra in the bible. I quickly scanned my brain to think what would she be meaning. I thought it was the story of Jesus being carried by a donkey. So I confidently open the children’s bible where Jesus rode a donkey to Jerusalem and the jews were waving branches. She told me as a matter of fact, that’s not a zebra it a donkey in Kiswahili. So where are Zebras in the bible. I’m quickly making a prayer that I find that story or I’m calling Levis- who has gone for ward rounds if he remembers where the Zebras are. Mercifully then I recall the story of Noah and the boat… according to her but it’s the ark. Thus we find the zebra in the bible.
We finish the story and she continues to flip pages of her bible and she lands on the story of Abraham and the stars. She asks me what the dots are, I say they are stars and she ask who the stars belong to. I tell her they belong to Jesus. I ask her how many they are, she says “ ni Tatu” ( they are three in Kiswahili). To her three is a very big number; she can count up to 10. She is only 2 years and almost 4 months.
Three is a big number. It is said that a very small percentage of businesses survive past the three years. I could hazard a guess that it is possibly 25 % but I could be wrong. It is indeed God’s faithfulness that has brought us this far. We had been in Machakos for now for sometime. We first came in April 2014 to set up the clinic space and start a clinic though it was part-time. It took long to get to where we are. Slowly we realized that God was leading us here. We had been confortable working in a specialized Orthopaedic mission hospital in Central Kenya in an area called Kijabe. The operating rooms were very nice and there were working systems that gave us lots of learning of how to setup and do the right things.
It was the story of a young boy, 12 years - who had complications that were avoidable- from elsewhere in Ukambani that made us resign from our jobs and come to Machakos. His story that we shall later narrate, tested our beliefs, purpose and God used his life to lead us to Machakos. We didn’t know if the clinic would grow and where it would lead us. We trusted God to provide for us. God miraculously did it for us. There are countless ways he has been our ever-present help in our time of need. We have lacked nothing in the clinic and in our lives.
I realized that I couldn’t tell my daughter that the stars are not only three. I know she would want to know how many, a figure. Saying that they are many will not suffice because she would want to count the stars. Like Abraham I can’t count how many they are. The same way I can’t count the number of times God has been there for us. All I can say is that it has been 3 years. This is because three is a very big number to Levis and I.
Ref: Blood Moon photo by Newton Nguku