Huruma Means Mercy, Part 1

A few months ago, international news reported the collapse of buildings in an obscure place called Huruma. At least seven people died and 121 people were injured, buried in shoddily constructed dwellings that rose much higher than should ever have been allowed. There was no mercy for these impoverished slum dwellers, victims of corruption. Ironically,…Read more Huruma Means Mercy, Part 1


Fall down the rabbit hole. Slip through the looking glass. Tip toe across the hanging bridge. However it is you arrive, this is most certainly a magical “other” sort of place. With each step, my eyes open wider and my soul expands. Once over the swinging bridge, glass mosaic underfoot, like a hint of what…Read more Kitengela

Dreaming of Gardens

Amani ya Juu (Swahili for "peace from above"):  an enchanted garden engulfing my senses in tangible peace, healing my soul. Birds sing as vibrant green dance with breezes; and hope sprouts as surely as beautiful textiles leap from skillful hands. Amana Ya Juu, neslted in a Nairobi side street, waited for me like the tender presence…Read more Dreaming of Gardens

Pamba Toto – Adorning Orphans

In 2006, our hearts broken for the orphans of Kenya yet rejoicing in the opportunity for some of them to be welcomed home and loved by our dear friends Pastor and Mama Karau, my friend Debbie Lee and I started Pamba Toto. Our goal was to generate funding for Hope's Promise's Sanctuary of Hope orphan…Read more Pamba Toto – Adorning Orphans

Beading for Sammy

My fingers continue stringing beads fast and furious in Colorado, accumulating inventory for the July Texas PTA convention, while my heart wanders far away to the morning bird songs, traffic cacophony, blooming flowers, and singing children of Kenya. Sometimes a young boy steps into my imagination. His smiling face urges me on, keeps my hands…Read more Beading for Sammy

Buried in Beads!

Piles of beads are slowly but surely transforming into mounds of jewelry around here as I prepare inventory for the Texas PTA conference store. You can check out their article, "Pamba Toto spotlight," here. Danny Philhower, the store director, traveled to South Africa a decade ago with my friend and Pamba Toto co-founder, Debbie Lee and her…Read more Buried in Beads!

Canopy of Hope

Day by day Haiti seeps into the sea. Deprived of any other reliable energy source, her citizens harvest what they can find. Food today or soil tomorrow? When a belly roils with hunger pangs, the tree is felled. Peasants charcoal the wood in shallow covered pits, then bag and sell it. Experts say Haiti is…Read more Canopy of Hope

Never the Same – How Pamba Toto Began

We’ve never been the same after just a few short weeks in the summer of 2002. I led a team of six college and two high school students in serving at the Mother Teresa Home for Abandoned Children in Nairobi as part of the InterVarsity Kenya Global Project, directed by my good friends Brian and…Read more Never the Same – How Pamba Toto Began

When Normal is Beautiful

Only those who witness the nightmare these kids survived can begin to grasp the enormity of the word that Steve, our dear friend from Kenya, used to describe the current status of the Sanctuary of Hope (SoH) family:  “normal.” He seemed a bit sheepish to employ this simple descriptor while speaking to a gathering of…Read more When Normal is Beautiful