2008 – MONDAY, MAY 19

It seems more than just a month since we left for Rionchogu amongst the still uncertainty of what we would find. Even being there we had such a short time that we came back with as many or more questions than we left with. However the questions were of a different nature. They ran along the lines of where do you start, what do we do first, what are the priorities and what is the financial resource that we have available, and, what will be needed to accomplish this purpose set before us.

We did agree to provide certain specific support and encouragement in three areas. One was to increase the number of scholarship students. Early in the year the GAD Kenya Board had rejected some requests for aid due to the fact that the families did not complete the process as it was set up. So an early lesson for the village and surrounding area was; this is new opportunity and you must follow the processes as presented. When it was clear that this was not a joke or a gift, that there was responsibility involved, the proper documents were completed and the appropriate preliminary steps were taken, although after the original time frame. The families completed their work and submitted the preparations.

I, we, felt the circumstances afforded us an opportunity to give immediate positive feedback to the Gad Kenya efforts for education, so we accepted ten additional students. These have already begun their secondary education at this time.

The what next window remains open. A seminar has been arranged for the women to attend training for Micro Franchise opportunities. The local Social Service network of the Government will hold the seminar tomorrow and Wed in the village. Following that training a report will be filed with us as to the reception and initial feedback of the seminar. With a positive first response, the GAD Kenya Board will accept business plans from the women for entrance loans into the local economy. This is a major step on more than one level. Certainly the economic status of the family will be impacted as the families will have that opportunity.

Socially the elevation of the awareness of the expanding role women might play is cutting across traditional practices that humbles me. I think; how hard would it be for us to change long held beliefs and practices to change the future. Actually I am in some ways saying just that to us.

I spoke with Kiefa on Saturday. He had just returned from Nairobi where he had taken a young girl to get shoes for orthopedic support. He told me the traditions have been that a physical handicap at birth was seen as a sign of a curse. This episode with Grace’s daughter. ( she has a long name, I will pass it on when I receive it through email) has been an opportunity for Pastor Kiefa and us to make a statement concerning the Christian world view of the Fall and our responsibility to help those in need. He preached and practiced. I continue to view all this with a little, well a lot of, humility, asking for God’s wisdom and Grace for all of us as we determine just what it is we will do about this ‘village despised’, Rionchogu.

I continue to pray for completion of our Acceptiva application. I will give you all the good detail as it becomes available.

Bud Potter