Festivities continue in Kenya

Children at Salvation Army home are surprised by gifts.


The original guardhouse. Guards enjoy the completed renovation. Children gather to thank those that helped provide Christmas gifts.

The last issue of New Frontier (Vol. 25, No. 1) explored “Christmas in Kenya”—the party for Salvation Army employees’ and officers’ kids and the renovation of the compound guardhouse. In this issue, Lt. Colonel Jolene Hodder reports on the after-Christmas party for the residents of the Kabete Children’s Home.

The women’s ministries department in Kenya invited the administrator of the home, whom the kids call “Mama,” to shop for the children. We purchased gifts at a toy store, knowing that many children in Kenya never receive a store-bought toy.

Since they were invited to the Chief’s quarters, the children got dressed up. All 65 kids graciously but nervously greeted us, extending their right hands with their left hands under their elbows—the custom when shaking hands with someone who is to be respected. Their silence didn’t last long as the ladies from the department taught them how to play limbo, to chicken dance and do the Hokey Pokey. It was wonderful to see these children, who are usually quiet and serious, finally dance, laugh, and act like kids without a care in the world.

The guests then enjoyed cupcakes, something they rarely if ever get, and their favorite sodas. Just when the children thought the party was over, we announced that their friends from across the world had sent them Christmas gifts. The children clapped enthusiastically and cheered loudly—every time I said the word “gift,” their excitement level was turned up even higher. How I wish you could have seen the looks of shock and sheer delight on their faces as their names were called and they were presented with gifts of their very own.
Western officers Lt. Colonels Kenneth
and Jolene Hodder serve in Kenya as
Chief Secretary and Secretary for
Women’s Ministries

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