Back in Kenya!!!! Week 5

Apr 11, 2024

There has been a delay in your virtual mission trip!  Why?  Because we traveled back home.  So we are now in the U.S. catching up on all the work that came in while we were away.  Ken had his first shift back at the hospital.  Our bodies are here but as always a large part of our heart is left in Kenya waiting for us to return....hopefully in late October or November.  But for need to see what happened during Week 5 of your trip.

Sunday, March 17

Today, we had church at Promise Springs Rescue Center.  Things got a little busy for our Pastor. He was delayed and couldn't make church at the center and his own church too so he had to give the center service to Ken.  Why was he delayed?  

Well, it all started with the duck that Abby was given at the church fundraiser.  The duck was taken to the center to live among the chickens there, but she didn't seem happy.  I regret that there are no pictures to show but we noticed that this duck followed the rooster around all the time.  The rooster paid her no attention, but the duck was determined to follow him wherever he went.  We spoke of this to the committee and Pastor Mbaririe (the duck person who actually raises ducks)  told us that we should get a male duck for her.  Thanks, Abby!  Your gift ended up costing us.  He also said that ducks needed water to be happy and we should make her a swimming area.   So Pastor Mbaririe was late because he was trying to catch a male duck to take to the center and the duck was not easy to catch.  The duck went to the center and Pastor Mbaririe went to his church!

Now the duck has someone to chase other than the rooster.  Less confusion on the rooster's part, for sure.

Ken had the service today.  I have no pictures to share and for that I am sad.  Ken did what Ken does best.  He enlisted the help of some of the girls and he told the story of Peter walking on water.  The point of the story was that if you take your eyes of Jesus and let your faith waiver just a little, you begin to sink.  It was very impactful!  One of the girls even wrote Ken a letter thanking him for this message.

Monday, March 18

We made a formal home visit to the home of Veronica.  If you read Week Two, you read about Veronica.  Her mother had left her with her grandmother and the grandmother had no money for school fees or to do the paperwork to transfer her from her previous school to a new school.  She had only missed a few days of school.  The chief helped us and we enrolled Veronica in Bahati Primary school.  She went  to school that very day.  Well, we have to make home visits and put together proper paperwork and today was the day to do that.  

So off we go!  Jackline, our social worker, Chief Patrick, Ken and I visit the home again.  And what do we find...another child.  This girl is younger.  There is not quite the urgency to get her into school but still there is a need.  We once again discussed the DayCare Center that the community wants to build to help out these families.  We are still waiting on information and God's leading as to how to help all these kids out in the bush.  So, sadly we leave this child but with the question to the grandmother, "What do you do for food?"  

And the answer that breaks your heart, "We are just waiting."  We have had many discussions regarding how to best help these people.  Short term food supplies quickly run out leaving them in the same situation they were when we met them.  We have heard ideas regarding water and how that might help.  For right now, we just pray as we wait for God to guide us.  And we are thankful because we know that it is now raining and that will help some.

Tuesday, March 19

Today is a day that we have planned for, prayed over, and awaited with excitement and a bit of dread.  We were blessed beyond measure after we spoke at our church and just off-handedly mentioned that we had no vehicle at the center other than a motorcycle.  God led some people to donate money for the purchase of a vehicle.  We were amazed, thankful and a bit dumbfounded  We didn't even know how to react except to praise and thank God.  We also have heard horror stories about buying vehicles in Kenya.  So the Bible verse, Luke 12:48 "...From everyone who had been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much will be asked."  was going around in our heads and we set off  to the city of Nakuru.  Ken had researched and researched vehicles that would fit our needs.  After much discussion with the Kenyan committee and many days when we couldn't go to the center or easily make home visits with the small car that we rent, it was decided that we would purchase two second-hand vehicles.  One van to transport the girls and allow them to go outside to church and other needed outings and one 4-wheel drive truck for transporting supplies and carrying Ken, me and team members to places that are not easily accessible.  And that is a lot of places.  

We set out with an entourage of everyone we thought we might need to make a good decision.  We had Mbau (our driver to and from the airport and the person who rents us his car), Pastor Gikonyo (who once lived in Nakuru and knew his way around), Florah (our manager...never go anywhere to do business without Florah.  She knows how to find answers and has a huge network.), Joe (a mechanic who Mbau knew and trusted), Ken, (who knows about buying cars in America), and me (who can get money sent when necessary).  That was just in Kenya.  At home, we had one of our board members ready to send money when called.  One of the places Ken found on-line...was not an actual place.  You called a number and talked with a person.  We found out that in Kenya, you don't actually go to a car lot and look at a parked tell someone what you want and a working vehicle is brought to you.  We found such a place with a few cars on the lot and the manager of a public transport company as its manager.  Vans were brought, looked at by the mechanic and rejected because "It has a lot of leakages."  Leakages were NOT what we wanted.  We went to matatu (public transport vehicles) parking areas and looked at vans.  We looked and looked.  Finally one stood out.  It had very few body issues and a relatively new motor.  So we started "bargaining" as they call it in Kenya.  We went back and forth.  Then there is the issue of getting all the proper paperwork.  You don't just have to have paperwork for the car but also for the new case someone accuses you of stealing it from another vehicle.  Florah had a traffic policeman friend who received dozens of calls that day and he was nice enough to say, "Don't do that." or "This is what you need to do,"  He looked at paperwork to make sure it was legitimate.  At the end of the day, we had signed an agreement to buy the van and were leaving to come back once we had original paperwork from the owner.  As we were leaving, we said, "So you will lock the van up here and keep it safe overnight?"
To which we got the reply, "No, it will make its regular Nairobi run overnight."  Then we said a resounding, "No!  What if it's in an accident?  What if something happens? Our written purchase agreement says, as is, and if you take it and a load of passengers to Nairobi, it will no longer be as is!" So we left our new van sitting in the parking lot of the car lot waiting for us to come back, examine the paperwork again, and pay for it.

Wednesday, March 20

Wednesday finds us, once again, driving to Nakuru to complete the purchase of the van.  We still have with us, Florah, Mbau, and Joe.  Mbau to drive since Nakuru is one of the largest cities in Kenya and Mbau knows about purchasing a car in Kenya and Joe to make sure that nothing has been tampered with overnight.  When we arrive, the time in Kenya is about 10:30 a.m. which is 3:30 a.m. in the U.S.  We spend time examining all the documents and talking to the traffic police friend to make sure we don't miss something.  Then we call Susan, our board member in the U.S. to wire the money.  One problem, the banks in the U.S. aren't open yet.  I am connected to the car lot's wi-fi waiting for an email that says the wire has been sent.  Then, the thing happens that you never want to happen when you send a large amount of money to some company in a foreign country.  A car pulls up to the gate of the car lot.  A man in a suit and a policeman go into the car lot.  A Kenya Power employee climbs the light pole and disconnects the electricity from the building.  A few minutes later one of the salesmen is in handcuffs.  I have no wi-fi anymore.  I look at Florah, as we sit in a hot car waiting for money.  I ask her, "Florah, does this bother you in the least that we have just wired a LOT of money and one of the people we have been working with is standing there in handcuffs?"  Inside I was praying and I know the Holy Spirit had to be groaning to help.  She said to me, "No, it's Kenya Power.  They just want a little something.  (Meaning there is corruption in Kenya and no need to worry."  I figured out how to use my Kenyan phone as a hot spot and we continue to wait.  Finally, I get an email saying the wire had been scheduled and I thought, "OK!  We are going to finish this and get home before dark!"  Not so fast.  The manager wouldn't accept the wire transfer scheduled email.  I get it.  He doesn't want us to ride off in a van and the wire never arrive at his bank.  So we wait again...until I get the email that says wire transfer completed.  And then we wait again...until the money is in the bank.  Finally we are set...but not yet.  We now have to go on-line to the National Traffic Safety Authority and make transfers of all sorts of documents through their website.  Thankfully, just as we start this process the power is connected so we have internet service.  At long last and after a quick rush to the actual National Traffic Safety Authority by us and one employee to find out that they had system issues and the transfer wouldn't go through until tomorrow, we get to leave with the van that now belongs to Vessels of Promise, our Kenyan not for profit company.

And the sun sets over the Rift Valley as we follow our new van home.  It has to be painted to be legal and have some minor repairs, but we are thankful, joyful, and TIRED!!!  To those of you who donated this gift, we cannot express our gratitude.  

Thursday, March 21

Today, was a very important day.  We went and visited Lydia.  If you don't remember, Lydia accepted Christ as her savior on the last Sunday that Rob was in Kenya.  It is very important to us to follow-up on new believers.  We like to know how they are doing.  Mostly, we want them to know that we truly care and show them the love of Christ.  The timing was perfect for a visit as we were heading into the Easter season and that gave great opportunities to make sure that Lydia had a good understanding of the gospel.  We talked about many of the stories of the Bible and what we, as Christians, can learn from them.  It was a wonderful visit.  At the end. we asked how we could pray for her.  She stated what she really needed was a job.  She also needed a Swahili bible.  We had already tried to purchase a bible and there were none in the town where we shop.  We ordered one for her, but didn't tell her lest it not arrive.  We prayed together and continue praying for these issues. 

We left Lydia's home with warm hearts.  It was such a wonderful visit.  And we set off with excitement to see what had been happening at the center while we were buying the van for two whole days.  This is what we found:

Dorm C has been painted!  We changed colors from the green of the other two dorms.  Blue is my favorite color and Florah encouraged us to make the change.  There are some who say that this color isn't bright enough!  It is a Kenyan preference thing!

Much work is being done on the water tank tower that will allow the hot water showers to work at their best.  Duncan, the man in green is standing inside on of the holes for the legs of the tower.  They will put cement in to make sure the tower is stable.  All of this is done by hand, so you can see what a huge job it is.  There will be more on the tower later.

Here is the famous duck pond.  After we discussed it, Florah sent me pictures from Pinterest of how we could make a duck pond.  It required an old tractor tire.  How many Kenyan men plus one American bystander does it take to cut the opening of a radial tire to make a duck pond?  Well, I think it was three Kenyan men one with a lot of strength and Ken advising.  But the outcome was great!  There is one problem... the ducks still like swimming in mud puddles better. That's how it is.  One man's swimming pool isn't as good as one duck's mud puddle!   Oh, well!  It is there if there are no mud puddles.

Also, this is our newest addition.  It is actually our guard, Francis', newest addition but it serves a dual purpose.  Francis just got married and has a family of 3 children to send to school and support.  He needed a way of investing in a business to supplement his income.  One of our former team members gifted Francis with $50 U.S. dollars as a wedding gift.  Francis asked for permission bo buy a goat and put it on the center property as it grows and becomes able to have babies.  We need our grass to be cut often and the goat does that without hiring labor.  Hence a win-win situation.  We will worry about too many babies when that time comes.  

So after a full day, it was off to home before dark for once.  As we were sitting in our house working, we heard the sound of something being hit.  We looked out to find Moffat, Florah's youngest son hitting a a small Coke bottle with a 2 liter Coke bottle.  We decided, because we needed a break and we were all waiting for Florah to return home from errands, to teach him a little about American baseball.

We had a tennis ball in the house and we kept Moffat's idea of the big Coke bottle as a bat.  Bases made from rocks and we had a ballgame.  Ok...maybe the oversize pink flip flops were not the best baseball attire.  Moffat kept running out of them. But we had so much fun and he went off to school the next day with his tennis ball to teach the new game to his friends.  That is true joy.  Just simple fun!

Friday, March 22

Friday found us traveling in a different direction to Nyeri.  This is where our van has been in the capable hands of Mbau as he looked for someone to paint it.  So today, we go "bargain" with the painter and decide on the details of what is to be done.  We also look at several Toyota Hilux pick-up trucks.  These trucks had been used a LOT and had a LARGE price tag to go with them.  It seemed that as these individual owners saw the faces of mazungus, white people, "bargaining" didn't go well.  We also had to go to the National Traffic Safety Authority to do some work because the seller had transferred his ownership to us, but legally we had to accept it through the on-line process in order to finish the buying of the van.

So we leave our van at a body shop.  You will have to read the next week's story to see the great unveiling.  

Saturday, March 23

Today, is the day before Palm Sunday.  For Ken and me, it is a day of preparation. We have been invited to speak at Destiny Life Church in Wiyumiririe in celebration of Palm Sunday.  So we have some work to .  We make a quick trip to the center to check on all the projects and then home to books, computers (if there is electricity), study and prayer.

The workers are making metal reinforcements to make the cement of the water tank tower stronger.  This looks like it will take some time.  The girls are in school on Saturday mornings so it was indeed a quick trip.  

We have 1 1/2 weeks to go before our departure.  Wait for week six and see what happens!

Prayers Requests:

Pray for one of our babies who is not doing so well.  She has had pneumonia and stomach issues.  Pray for healing and strength for her little body.  Her name is Salome.

Pray for wisdom and guidance for Ken, me and the staff and advisors at Promise Springs Rescue Center.  We pray that God will lead us in His will and His ways.

Blessings to you all and many thanks! 


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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 
  • Sustain a farm which provides jobs and  feeds the girls and babies 
  • Share the gospel in the local community

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Back in Kenya!!!! Week 5

Back in Kenya!!!! Week 4

Mar 30, 2024

Back In Kenya!!! Week 3

Mar 21, 2024

Back in Kenya!!! Week Two

Mar 15, 2024