As I write this, I have this uneasy feeling that you will become somehow used to the descriptions and the accounts of the people in Rionchogu and that somehow you will not sense the urgent and great need for your help.
Let me say without reservation, I can not alone, nor even with the few who have made decision to support this effort, provide the resources which will be required for the future and vision of these people. Rather than tell you of their difficulties, I have done that and shown pictures and shared other distress, this time, with one exception, I want to tell you of their accomplishments already. I had at least three situations which confirmed our paths and the goals.
Three different people whom I have never before met and only one of which I expect will ever meet again. One person I met at the Mennonite Guest House which is a way station in Nairobi for missionaries. While there on the way home I sat next to a woman who has been in church planting work in Kenya for years, she was on a rest at the guest house and during our conversation, she mentioned that what we are doing needs to be done as the days of Church Planting in Kenya are over. She also agreed on the difficulty of churches working together, . . . . such competition over God’s children.
The second, and the one person whom I will meet again was Hellen Moseti, she is an agent of the government of Kenya for the local area in the field of health and nutrition. Hellen is the person whom GAD Kenya arranged to hold the Micro Franchise Seminars I told you of last spring. Hellen came to the village on her day off, remember she is a government employee, to give additional instruction to the women on the care of their most aggressive venture. The venture is an entrepreneurial effort. 27 women saved ks20 a week, about 10 cents, for many weeks they combined their money and rented a plot of land on which they are growing tomatoes. Hellen was there to give them the next step in the best care of their product. Hellen willingly gave us the OK to take her Picture and do an interview which I hope to make available soon. She was very positive regarding the willingness of the government to assist GAD Kenya to provide a better future for the rural villagers. I can only say I felt very positive after my time with Hellen.
The third person was a gentleman I sat next to on the flight from Nairobi back to London, this man was an official of the National Government of Kenya and was on his way to a seminar on Public Sector renewal. His comments were regarding the determination of the new government of Kenya to train their local area officials to better attend to the needs of their constituents, I am not sure it is possible to be more people focused than Hellen, but think there may be many who are not as focused on the local people. I took this to include their attention to reducing corruption, which he said without really saying it. This was a very positive conversation from my own sense of what I have seen and heard.
As for the projects in action, the cows are producing now with one still waiting on the completion of it’s new stall. Until all the requirements are fulfilled there is no placement. Many of the villagers are still learning that they must work by the rules set by GAD Kenya. One of the interesting additions they have made to the Cow Project regulations is that when the cow calves, the person housing the cow must take very good care of the calf until it can be separated from it’s mother, if GAD Kenya thinks this is not done then the cow must be given to the next in line and the first person will keep the calf. Very creative accountability.
So much to say but I can not say everything at once, but I can not forget Emma, a sponsored student who when unable to get a day off from school, spent the entire weekend coming to the village and then returning to school, to spend 1 minute to say thank you. I hope she can somehow know how much her effort means to me and to us. I can only say to you that read this, I was so speechless that I am not sure I even said thank you, can you imagine what it is she did. God forgive us for being so sure we deserve all that we have. Her kind of appreciation can come only from the really pure in heart and one who understands opportunity. Thank you, Emma from the bottom of my heart.
So many stories I get to tell, My great dream is that you too will become a story teller and not just one who hears the stories of others.
I have much to share, maybe some day I will tell you more of young Isabelle, who has an amazing voice, who leads singing in worship time, who is always taking care of smaller children, who has a great smile and beautiful eyes and seems always to be right next to me.
The one distressful issue we discussed has to do with sanitation and health. On one day we toured through the village area and Kiefa pointed out many of the (pit Latrines) which are so very dangerous. The normal construction has been to dig a hole cover it with boards and build a wall around it of corn stalks or other natural materials. This has gone on for generations. A major danger is that the integrity of the wood cover degenerates from weather and the natural rotting you might expect and from time to time, during the night, an elderly person may go the latrine, step on a weakened board and not be able to move quickly enough to keep from falling into the pit. . . . . . .30 to 40 minutes without rescue means death.
There is no easy answer, simple answer is to make available the concrete slabs on foundation for the pit floor and then have the village residents construct the walls as before. The problem with this is there are probably 1000 latrines or more. The cost does not need to be very high to reach a great expense. The leadership will come up with a plan and they will follow their vision. How willing are we to be a part of their answer.
My prayer for Kiefa; may God continue to bless you and your village people, and may we be worthy of our call to encourage, support and empower you for the work and Call upon you.
I am not embarrassed to say to you who receive this and have not yet decided to support this work, for us it is as simple as a burger and a cup of coffee a MONTH. There is not one person, not one, to whom I send these letters for whom this is impossible, for some difficult, but not impossible. To the people of this village it is hope for a different life, how can we not help. Please join me, this is really happening, a culture of poverty is changing, and you can share the blessing of being the one who blesses these people.
By His Grace