A hearty hello and thank you to all who have continued to encourage and support what we are working for in Kenya. I am reading the news of the continued violence in Goma, which is on going since the Rawanda genocide of 20 years ago. It is tragic, truly tragic. Pray for Anastasia and her friends the Lusi’s, the Lusi’s are in the Goma area working in the hospital that is serving those injured in this latest violence.
For us we are two countrys and ten months away from the violence that comes with the poverty, lack of education and hopelessness that surrounds the clashes for power. In just a short time we have seen, hope raise and people begin to work together for a larger outcome than just their personal circumstance. I just finished reading a book called Velvet Elvis, don’t ask, it is very good and speaks to the need for recreating the church throughout history and the necessity for us to rethink the who and what and why of our communal ministry. One thought at the end is that we are to put our selves past the limits of our comfort to reach out and help. In our communities, in our regions in any place the Lord has brought us to be His body.
I think of that as I look at the near future and the opportunities in the area of Kenya we have been called to. We just received the list of funding necessary to begin and for the most part accomplish the priorities of the village leadership for the near future. At the very top of the list are education scholarships. They are expecting that they will receives a large number of applications and that they very well may be accepting as many as 10 additional requests for education assistance. As you remember, these are students who received total scores above the national requirement for continued education into what we would consider High School. This is a very great opportunity for the village poor, even the bright ones would many times miss the opportunity due to their poverty.
GAD Kenya leadership has increased the level of acceptable grades, the students no longer need the minimum points over the national level, but must exceed by 20 points the required level. In addition there are still the requirements that the family sign agreement to support the children and to assist with the help the family is able to provide. Additional school supplies such as books, uniforms and other incidental charges are still needed.
Last year we were delayed with the start of the school year which allowed us to go into January before we needed the funds for the scholarships. If you remember, last year we also began with eight students and added as more families realized this was a for real opportunity and completed their application paperwork and applied later in the year. No such luck this year, the beginning of the school year will be early January the fees are due by end of December. We estimate the total cost of the scholarship program for the term year ahead will be ks 800,000. This will be close to $14,000.00. I can not tell you how much hope there is in the opportunity of education. I think I told you the story of Emma, who used an entire weekend to travel from her school to the village, and back to school, just to take the time to say thank you. Oh, how I wish you might experience that in person. These young men and women and their families, and especially the village leadership understand the future is in the education of the children. Now for our part, we have some who have already made the decision to use Acceptiva to support us each month. We have some who support us through the local church. Believe me when I say, we need the help of everyone of you.
Education, though, is not the only urgent issue before us. We still have a water project before the regional water board which could receive the green light at any time. This project would bring clean water, with a purification module into the village and do away with the need to carry water in old infected cans for long distances. On the horizon is electricity which will open doors to an economy these folks have never been able to participate in. There are a variety of hopes and dreams the leadership has identified, all will require resource and all are firmly situated in either the health, education or the economy of the villagers themselves.
This brings me to the Urgent need of the day; health, specifically Malaria or the eradication of it in the area.
Highland Malaria is a major health concern in the area of Kenya in which we work. It is a leading cause of sickness and death among the children of the area. The local hospital records an average of 9000 cases of Highland Malaria a year and most of those are children. The local government, represented by Hellen Moseti has agreed to supply the training and a supervisor for no cost so the village might do a malaria eradication spraying in the near future. It is the rain that brings life to the mosquito and the heat that makes them active, these both are in place now and a malaria outbreak is only mater of time. The spray program includes hand pump sprayers and the people trained to use them properly and the spray material available through the government which kills the Mosquito and their larva.
To provide this eradication effort, even with the free involvement of the offer from Hellen will cost ks 125,000. The cost is for the sprayers and the materials. The geographic area of the eradication is planned to reach beyond the limits of the village for two reasons, one the gift for those in the surrounding areas and as important is the fact that the mosquito does not know the village boundaries and so to eradicate you must encompass an area larger than the target. So the request is for $2,200.00 which will complete the first step in keeping the babies and young children protected from the malaria which is so deadly.
My request is this. If you are a member of a group, work to see if they might allow me to come and speak to them about this place and people and what our God is doing. If you are a Pastor, please, consider a time for conversation to bring your council into an awareness of the Real and personal mission available through this type of involvement. And for any and all, if you have not yet gone to the website and looked at the ease of using Acceptiva as a means of supporting this purpose in Kenya, please do. Your help is greatly needed and appreciated. OH yes, feel free to forward this email to anyone you may think would be interested in what we are doing.
Finally for those of you who have taken the step to say, “I will help” to whatever amount, thank you so very much. Our numbers are growing and we have great hope for the goal of a self sustaining village by the year 2013.
And so I use two new words in this email, one word is the replacement for ‘orphan’ because the actual status of many of these kids range beyond just children without parents, they are without any network, abused, turned away by their families or just abandoned. These are bright and outgoing children who have no support, the term is ‘abanya‘ . . .Children at risk. So we have learned and will continue, everyday there are abanya who are eating, playing, getting educated and involved in a support network because of the work of the church in Rionchogu, the leadership there and your support. God bless you all.
The other term is baka ekero tora`umerane, until we meet again, we have decided there is no ‘good bye’ between brothers and sisters working in the purpose of the Lord, so there is only, Until we meet again . . .. . . .Baka ekero tora`umerane.
In His love and by His Grace alone