Emma’s Trip Reflections “There was connection and it counted for something”

by | Jun 3, 2022

I held my hands in fists out in front of me. In one, I held a hidden dirty bottle cap that came from who-knows-where. Their bright young eyes looked at me curiously as I turned my empty hand over and open. I flipped the other hand and revealed the bottle cap with a big smile. I closed my hands to fists again, put them behind my back and exchanged the bottle cap to my other hand and then revealed my two closed fists in front of me again. They looked at me a little more engaged this time as I tapped and opened the hand that held the hidden bottle cap and again expressed a big smile. They started to catch on. On the next round, kids were tapping my hands to guess where the hidden cap might be held, and the game became a crowd favorite. We didn’t speak the same language. We weren’t the same age. Our skin colors couldn’t have been more different. Our upbringings were incomparable. In the back of a church in rural Oyuma Village, Kenya, with what felt like nothing but barriers between us, and one dirty bottle cap, we found connection.

This was just one of countless accounts of connection that counted for something I don’t think we fully know the scale of yet. 

Steve and I walked the village and visited his family’s place. He showed me where he was raised, introduced me to who he loved and who loved him, shared with me mistakes that he had made and how he had grown from them.

There was connection, and it counted for something.

We sang and danced in the kitchen with university students as we prepared dinners together. We sat around the table to share those meals, and meals with the Take Heart Family are seldom quiet. We shared fish and ugali as much as we shared stories and laughter.

There was connection, and it counted for something.



Flavia and I sat poolside because she wasn’t feeling up for swimming when the rest of the girls were. We laughed watching the girls learn to swim for the first time, and we held space for grief as she shared stories of trauma with me. There was connection, and it counted for something. 

I stood in a circle of women in Rosemary’s living room feeling separated from them in so many ways. Despite the languages, cultures, ethnicities, and ages that stood between us, we sang praise to the God who made us both.

There was connection, and it counted for something.




These accounts of connection are countless. They will take a lifetime to share with the world. Their impact may be felt far beyond our lifetimes. They are small, but they are foundational. As I walked in that church again the next day, I found those same kids, bottle caps in hand, teaching others how to play that silly little game. Connection is impact, and it counts for something. Your dollars don’t go to purposeless programs. They go to people. Your generosity curates and cultivates connection, and that connection is creating generational shifts from darkness to light. From the young children in the back of the church to the older women in Rosemary’s living room, connection is impact, and that impact is made possible by you.

Until next time,




Recent Posts