Back in Kenya!!!! Week 4

Mar 30, 2024

Let's get going into week 4 of your virtual mission!  

 Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.  Psalm 82:3

Sunday, March 10 

Today we worshipped at our manager, Florah's, church, Full Gospel, church.  It is located in the nearby village of Wiyumiririe.  Ken and I spoke on spiritual growth using Peter's life as an example of how we can grow in spite of our personality flaws and through our failures.  We haven't visited her church for a couple of years and we were so happy for them.  Last time we were there, they had no decorations on the walls of the pulpit and only a bare cement floor.  Now it is beautifully decorated and they have tile on the floors.  They have all sacrificed hard to help make this happen.

After church, we changed clothes and headed to the center.  We started a new tradition.

We refer to this as Sunday afternoons at the Gazebo.  It is a time for all the teenage moms and those younger girls who are not in boarding school to just sit and discuss things.  Today, we read an article that came to me in an email about the difference between a fixed mindset and a spiritual growth mindset and then we discussed all that we learned.  The girls were given bible verses to meditate on and talk about during the upcoming week.  What a sweet time.

Monday, March 11

Today, we were to go with the Assistant Chief of our area to a home where there was a problem with some children.  He had visited us earlier, asked for our help and we set up this day and time to make a home visit.  Kenya is a place where you learn to become patient and roll with the tides.  We went to the chief's office and were told that the assistant would meet us at the center in two hours.  Well, two hours never arrived that day.  The Assistant was working a case in a faraway location and he just couldn't make it back.  So we did what we could.

For me, and I will not share a picture of this for two reasons...some of you wouldn't like it and the babies will grow up one day and hate me for it...I put antibiotic cream on 80% of the 17 babies we have.  The weather has turned hot in the last week and there is an outbreak of impetigo.  It is very contagious.  So...if one baby gets it...most all babies get it.  It took probably about an hour and a half.  The babies had gotten their baths and I went from one to another putting antibiotic cream on rashes.  I had to wash my hands between each baby to make sure I wasn't spreading the bacteria even more.  (This gives an entirely new meaning to the term dishpan hands!) They learn quickly.  After that morning, Dominic would come to me and show me his chin to make sure that I knew how he was progressing.  

Next, it was gathering kale and spinach from the farm for the girls supper.

I have to admit that every time I go to the farm to help plant or pick vegetables and I am asked, "Patty, do you pick spinach at home?"  I am embarrassed when I have to reply honestly, "No, I just buy it at the supermarket."  The reaction is always, "Waa" in an unbelieving tone.  But I am learning how to pick vegetables from the garden here.  I did it as a child and some things come back very quickly!

Ken spends his time surveying the many projects going on at the center...the building of our third dorm (that is taking a bit longer than we thought) and preparation for solar showers.  Both of these blessings were funded by people who were led to donate to certain projects.

He climbed the guard tower to take this photo.  If you look carefully you can see the corner of the third dorm behind the water tank.  It has the black roof.  We will share more on that later.

Tuesday, March 12

Tuesday arrives and so did the Assistant Chief for the home visit we were to make yesterday. So we head out as he leads the way on his boda boda.

It looks like something out of a futuristic film, but this is the scene.  As we go further and further into the bush, the chief had to stop a couple of times to talk to residents who needed his attention.  Quickly the frustration of the day before falls away as you see how busy this man is and how caring he is to his people.

Then we arrive at this compound.  It is NOT our usual destination when we go out into the field.  It was a very well kept compound that obviously belonged to people of means.

We meet Eunice, her step-grandmother, her grandfather and her brother.  The story unfolds that Eunice and her brother had been left with her grandfather and step-grandmother a couple of years ago.  Eunice's behavior had become such that they refused to keep her anymore.  The chief and the children's department had summoned Eunice's mother.  The mother was told that she had to take the children and provide for them as they could no longer stay with the grandparents.  Eunice's mother disappeared during the night and left the children.  The mother cannot be found. The grandfather's health is failing.  Eunice would run away and be gone for hours which caused concern as to her physical safely.  The grandparents agreed to keep the boy but said that they would not keep the girl.  Not usually seeing people who have the means of these people, we told the chief that we would take Eunice but we expected the grandfather to pay for her school fees, uniforms, and the things she needed to attend boarding school.  We also asked the chief if he would agree to enforce this understanding.  He agreed and so did the grandfather.  We have had such agreements before but never with the backing of the chief.  Please pray that he supports her in school as we provide food and shelter.  She will return to the center each time the school is on break. It is essentially her home now.  Things are not always as they seem.  Eunice is not a bad girl.  There were underlying circumstances that made it dangerous for her to stay in her current living environment.

And for the second time during our trip, we walk to our car with a young girl, who though she struggles with issues that we can hardly imagine, manages to smile a beautiful smile and hold on to the dream of a future that promises hope.  I am always amazed at the change in these children.  (Compare her countenance in the first picture with this one.)  As soon as we left with her, Eunice became a smiling child that talked to Jackline (the social worker at the center) Ken and me all the way home.  She is still excited, smiling and doing very well in school.  

She pointed out the herds of cattle, sheep and goats that belong to her grandfather as we traveled.

As we waited for Eunice to pack her things to leave with us, Ken learned from her brother that sometimes, hyenas and even elephants come to their land and threaten their herds.  The boy told Ken that his grandfather protects the herds with his spear.  So Ken got a special treat today as he asked the grandfather to show him the spear and he got to get the feel fo a real spear in his hand.

Wednesday, March 13

Another day at the center.  We pick up Juliah after she finishes her attachment (internship) at Tafaria Castle.  That is a local resort that is very dignified.  Juliah has finished a vocational training in catering and she now will stay at the center until she takes her final exam in May.  Then it's off to find a job.  We will assist her for two months as she gets herself employed and settled so she can take her baby, Vinnie, to be with her.

I just stood and watched with joy as Lenser, the cook, and Esther, one of the nannies, greeted her with happiness and enthusiasm.  We really are blessed that the staff feels like the girls are their family and they show them love in special ways.

Then home to get ready for a committee meeting.  There is always a lot going on and much to discuss.  As we waited the sun was shining and it was raining.  Knowing there had to be a rainbow nearby, we went out and God gifted us this this picture.

He is a loving and faithful God!

 No committee meeting is complete without our house mom's, Loice's, mendazi (the equivalent of an American donut) and Kenyan tea!  Much was discussed and much work was planned.  We started out as a small group.  The group has remained the same but the work load has increased.  We are trying to accommodate and accomplish.  It requires much planning and changes to keep things running smoothly.

Thursday, March 13

Originally this day was set aside for us to meet with the Chirldren's officer.  But he called the day before and cancelled so we decided to do what we could to help with the onion planting.  One of the reasons we love Kenya is the joy that these people have when they are together, even if they are doing hard work.  They talk and laugh as they go and it brings such gladness to you as you witness it.Everyone does what they can.  This is our famous Florah, breaking up the clots of dirt left because the plowing of the field took place in muddy conditions.

Ken and Francis, the guard/boda driver, also helped to break up the land.  They are usually inseparable when Ken is around.

My job was easy...serving tea to all the workers who were really doing the hard work.  I was also in the office working on bookkeeping chores, but that really doesn't count, does it?

Watering is most important.  This is our new farm foreman, Wilson.  It was a hot day so watering maybe wasn't the worst job?

I got the opportunity to watch over the projects this day.

You can see why finishing the dorm has taken some time.  In the U.S. windows come already with glass and it just has to be placed in the frame.  In Kenya, a metal frame is placed into the wall and someone comes and installs the window panes, one at a time.  These guys worked all day long just to get the windows in! 

I also got to spend some time with Eunice, the new girl we just brought in.  While I was working on the bookkeeping, she was standing right at my shoulder watching so I got her some workbooks left from other girls as they finished classes.  

She worked diligently and did very well.  Then she moved on to problems that I had to research to remember how to do.  I think she has me beat, hands down, in the math department! 

Did I mention earlier that in Kenya you learn to roll with the tides?  Around noon, the children's officer said that his schedule had changed and we needed to be at his office to meet with him at 2 p.m.  We were a motley looking crew, coming from our regular duties and not having time to prepare ourselves for such a meeting.  However, we had been waiting since September for this day, so we went as we were.

 We had a great meeting.  He gave us lots of good advice and encouragement.  Meet Thomas.  He is the children's officer in Laikipia county.  He calls even when we are in the states to make referrals and he keeps us out of trouble.  We are very grateful for his wisdom and support.

Friday, March 15

Friday, it was back to the center to make sure all the projects were progressing as well as could be expected.  Let's see what is going on!The solar showers require the water tanks for the buildings to be raised to a certain height.  For sustainability, we are building a concrete tower.  It of course is stronger than wood and cheaper than heavy metal.  All of this is done by cement truck and no power tools.  

At the same time, a finish is being put on the handmade bricks so that all of the buildings will look uniform, as best as we can.

After that we went home to cook supper.  Our cooking gas ran out and I (expert that I am...NOT) tried to change the regulator.  When I turned the regulator on, gas just came rushing out but NOT through the tubing.  So we had to go into the town center to get help.  (Just a note...this was a problem with the seal on the tank and not my lack of knowledge!  I was very thankful for that.)  However, while in town we were told the chief was looking for us.  He had an emergency.  We had found Florah so we met with the chief in our mobile office, the rented car we use.  He explained that a mother had been jailed leaving 3 children at home.  There were 2 boys and 1 girl.  We explained, sorrowfully, that we can't accommodate boys at this time.  We are not set up for boys and we still haven't found placement for the two we rescued in September.  He said the girl was the problem because of her safety.  They just couldn't leave her with anyone.  

So off we go, down rutted roads into a back area where there are rooms that are rented out.  

This is the house we walked into.  As you can see, it is getting dark and we couldn't get good photos.  We were backed up against a single bed that was on the far wall.  This is the rest of the "home".

These are the two boys.  The girl, Melissa, was beside me and we couldn't get her in the shot.  If you can see the latch on the wall above the yellow jericans, it is a window. The older boy around age 11, would go out the window to go to school.  He had no particular school, he would just go to the one that didn't know he hadn't paid school fees.  The children were locked into this room from the outside and it was the only way out.  The younger boy is about 1 1/2 years old.  It is heart-breaking to not just scoop them all up.  We are seeing challenges with bringing boys in and we need more prayer and planning before we take more.  God mercifully provided for the boys.  The assistant chief took the older boy and a wonderful neighbor took the younger.  We took Melissa with us and for the third time we walked to our car with a girl who had had nothing to eat but some white bread the whole of the day, to offer her shelter, a bath, food, and love.  What a joy to be able to help in such a desperate time of need.  To get ahead of the story...this one has a bright side.  A pastor in the area has vouched for the mother and taken her in to mentor her.  She is being watched and has accepted Christ.  We have been asked to keep Melissa for a while longer, but she will, Lord willing, be returning to her mother and a better home.

The resiliency of these children is amazing.  This is Melissa.  Our Florah is an angel of mercy.  She brings these children into her home when it's too late to take them straight to the center.  She helps them wash.  Gives them what clothes she has on hand, maybe they are a little small or big...but Melissa didn't mind and neither did anyone else..and feeds them.  She lets them be a part of her family.  She is a gift from God and a Christ-like servant for sure.

Saturday, March 16

What greeted us first thing this morning...

A smiling and happy Melissa with her new friend Moffat, Florah's son.  It's an amazing these children adapt.

Our day was to be a happy one.  We visited the newlyweds,Francis and Purity, as their best couple to encourage them and just be their friends.  Purity has two daughters who are now part of their family.

And what a beautiful family it is.  Aiden is their son who got his first taste of french fried,(chips) today.  He loved them!

Francis and Aiden.  Aiden is still not sure of what he thinks of white people.

A beautiful family wishing us goodbye until they come to the center to celebrate Easter with the Promise Springs Rescue Center family.

This brings us to the end of our very full Week 4.  We hope you have enjoyed your trip and stay on board for Week 5's journey.

Prayer Points:

Pray for Eunice and her healing from emotional wounds.  Pray that she will find joy and peace at Promise Springs Rescue Center.

Pray for Melissa and her brothers.  Pray that, when Melissa returns home, it is to home totally different from the one she left and she gets opportunities to grow and get her education.

Pray for all the decisions that have been made and need to be made.  That they are God-centered and God-glorifying.

Pray for the onion crop to get just the right amount of water and to bring a good harvest.  Also, pray that the price of onions stays high as we wait for harvest.

Most Importantly this week, Pray for our first leaver of the center, Lucie.  She has a job interview with a government organization on Monday as a big machine operator.  That is her passion.  As she waited for a position in her field she has been painting the interior of buildings.  Pray that she gets this job and it is just what she has been waiting for.

Thank you all for your prayers and support.








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  • Give teenage mothers the opportunity to finish their education while learning the Word of God and how to be mothers
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  • Remove vulnerable girls from dangerous conditions 
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  • Share the gospel in the local community

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Back in Kenya!!!! Week 5

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