We are getting ready to leave Nairobi, flying home in a few hours. It has been a good trip this year.
I am happy that a lot was accomplished. I arrived the first week of June with Albert and Yvonne Contreras. We started with visiting the widow’s groups and managed to visit the first two groups until the government shut down churches and social gatherings for 30 days. After two weeks of not being able to visit, we talked to the village Chief and received permission to meet. We now go every other week, visiting two separate groups and handing out 2 lbs of beans and 2 kilos of maize flour. There are others that are also feeding widows at this time, so they are really being blessed.
Then we began helping our older boys, or young men now, with opportunities for business and training.
Joseph is in his last year of certification for being an electrician. He has been a blessing at the boy’s home, putting in solar security lights, power to the church, repairing lights, switches and outlets in the dorm and main house. He is now giving lessons to some other boys in how to do basic electrical work.
Peter opened a posho mill where people take their maize for grinding into flour. He also sells beans, fresh maize, charcoal, chips (French fries made from a really cool machine) and other sell-able foods he has found. He recently married and now has a beautiful wife to help in the business.
Phylip is interning at the local mechanic’s shop in Kitale. He received a motorbike to make the trip each day and will eventually be able to start his own business.
Morgan will start school in computer and the IT field.
Mejja is going to trade school in Makatano to be certified in music publishing and recording.
Edwin is also at Makatano for plumbing. He has two more terms to finish.
Then, a month after I arrived, my nephew from Peoria, Az came for a visit.
While he was here, I had an opportunity to speak at the Kitale Men’s prison, the Kitale Women’s prison and to a meeting of the street boys.
August came and I spent the month by myself, with Edward, our administrator picking me up several times a week and driving me to the boy’s home.
Finally, it was time for the team to arrive. Tisa, Ryan, Jeni and eventually Margaret. We picked them up in Eldoret and headed out to the boy’s home immediately. All of them had been here many times before, and it was a nice reunion. We had a welcoming church service that Sunday, with a pot luck dinner afterwards. The team was greeted with colorful leis and dancing.
After that, every visit to Kipsaina included clothes, shoes, and toys for the young boys, along with more clothes for the village kids. We had a great party with all the toys provided, especially the sack race.
We continued with more widow’s meetings, handing out the maize flour and beans again. They are happier than ever before.
Ryan was able to also go to the men’s prison and hand out soap and bread to the inmates. The men said they had never been given bread by anyone before and were not given it in the prison cafeteria. The following opportunity, Tisa, Jeni and Margaret were also able to minister at both the men’s and women’s prisons. The women are given nothing as far as sanitary items. The pink packages in the photos are for them.
After Coney’s passing, we decided to keep half of his ashes at his favorite hunting spot in Wickenburg, and the other half in Kipsaina. He often counseled under an avocado tree named “The Hague”. And he was referred to as “Ocampo” the special prosecutor there. He was
After Peter’s wedding, with everyone dressed up, we had another church celebration dinner. Being all together for the ceremony and dinner afterwards, we took advantage of it and had our annual photo taken.
This year was the first year that all the village children in the area were all in school. Usually, as we drive through, we would see several kids minding the family animals or doing chores, out of school for lack of fees or uniforms. This year, I decided to make sure all of them were in class.
At the end of each year’s trip, we have a tailoring school graduation. It marks the end of the old class and the start of a new one. This years class had four students who started around a year ago. They each received a sewing machine, the materials needed, the instruction and then upon graduating, more supplies to help them start a business.
For our last Saturday there, the boys requested a smokie party. But before we eat, we have cake.
Then comes dinner.
One of the boys asked for bread and cheese. When I mentioned that I didn’t think he had ever had cheese, he responded it was the jam and crushed peanuts. Or peanut butter and jelly on bread. So we bought it.
As you can see, it was a productive trip this year. Upon arrival, there was a sad and different feeling. There had been many rumors in the village that MFO was never coming back. Propagated by former employees and friends, no less. Everyone was afraid and worried about their jobs, their livelihood and the existence of the orphanage and farm. But by the end of the trip, I think everyone knew MFO was here for good, no matter what. Please continue to pray for us. We have many, new things ahead of us, and appreciate all that pray and support us.
And on a lighter note, a few photos of Princess Lani.
Kwaheri from Nairobi, Mama Lani