Day 2: Maji Mazuri and Children’s Garden

It brought so much joy to my heart to photograph these beautiful students. Their bright eyes, their beautiful smiles, their sweet poses they made for the camera – I loved every second of it.

Jun 11, 2019

Day 2: Maji Mazuri and Children’s Garden

When I was spending time with these incredible children this devotional came to mind. I began to pray that they would look at these pictures of themselves in their classrooms and be reminded that they were fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of Christ.

By Jaley Montgomery

Day 2 - NAIROBI

Today we started out at Maji Mazuri. This school is becoming so dear to my heart. The teachers are so focused on their students, and you can tell they have a true desire for their students to accomplish their full potential and independence. They are passionate about teaching, and passionate about their students. One teacher said, “Without the love of the children, education will not succeed.” We made music, worked with the physiotherapist, and spent time developing rapport with the students.

After Maji Mazuri we visited the Children’s Garden. My job today was to take a Polaroid of the preschool students for a project we are making for the teachers to hang on the wall. One by one, 50 preschool students came out of their class for a photograph. It brought so much joy to my heart to photograph these beautiful students. Their bright eyes, their beautiful smiles, their sweet poses they made for the camera – I loved every second of it. I wish I could have spent at least an hour individually with each one of them. They are so precious.

In a world of entire books of selfies and front-facing cameras, it’s difficult to comprehend that these beautiful children may not have had many opportunities to see pictures of themselves. I also did not see any mirrors. How many times have they really seen themselves? And then God started speaking to me.

How often do we all really see ourselves? How often do we look at ourselves and think ,“I'm too tall/short/underweight /overweight/not smart enough/not attractive enough ...” and the list goes on. A short time ago in a devotional I read, “Oh dear Child of God, how can you look in the mirror and be disappointed when you know that the One who created the stars in the sky also created you?” My prayer has become that I will catch a glimpse of what our infallible Creator, who designed every part of me intentionally, sees in me when I glance in the mirror.

When I was spending time with these incredible children this devotional came to mind. I began to pray that they would look at these pictures of themselves in their classrooms and be reminded that they were fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of Christ. That they would know that they are fiercely loved by a Savior whose mercy and love knows no bounds. That they would know that they are Children of God and that even when the reach of human arms fall short that they feel the arms of our Heavenly Father wrapped around them. My prayer is that when they look at those pictures they see the tiny masterpieces that God made them to be.

Jaley leads a song at Children's Garden

Jaley Montgomery is on her second mission trip with h.o.w? Ministry. The first one was in 2014, when she helped Josephine get a new cow and water tank. She shares a heartfelt account here: Josephine's Story.

Jaley is a visiting assistant professor of music therapy at the University of Evansville in southern Indiana. From Mt. Vernon, Indiana, she holds a bachelor of music in music therapy from the University of Evansville and a master of music with an emphasis in music therapy from Colorado State University.

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