Monday, July 19, 2010

Saying Goodbye to St. Edwin's Orphanage

The purpose of Saturday's visit
to St. Edwin's orphanage was
two-fold. Of course I needed
to tell them good-bye but I
also wanted to play some
games with the children.

The first part of the visit
was spent with Edwin and
Ruth eating and drinking
Chai. This kind of
hospitality is normal in
African homes.

Then I was able to introduce Match Game and Uno to the children.
What fun! Vivian, a beautiful sixth grader whom you see below
was our interpreter. Her English is amazing and she did a great job
explaining the rules of the games.

You can tell by the look
on her face that she took
her responsibility very

I like to think that
the sad expressions
on these faces were
because I was leaving.
Little do they know
how much of my
heart I left there with

No departure is
complete without
a song from the

After that I asked
them to sit on the
grass with me for
a picture. I'm in
the middle back
and Edwin is
behind me.

You will remember the post about the tank that my son's church was able to buy for the orphanage. Unfortunately, when the landlord saw the tank, he increased the rent. Thus, there is a need to purchase land and get away from the monthly rent. Hopefully that will become a reality in the future. You may also remember that several friends in the states gave money for them to buy a cow. Hopefully, that will be possible in the next few weeks. Edwin has to talk with the landlord and they may have to "house" the cow some place else.

There are many many orphanages in Kenya. St. Edwin's and the 28 children there have captured my heart and attention. Saying good-bye was not nearly as easy or as much fun as playing the games. I know that others here at RVA will continue the frequent visits to this warm loving orphanage.

Monday, July 12, 2010

End Well

Our days in Kenya are quickly coming to a close. We are in a whirlwind of activities helping everyone here to "end well." People use that expression in their prayers and we've even had a seminar to help us do just that.

Our good-byes started with a touching afternoon chai break during which the one hundred African nationals who work here at RVA were honored. Those having reached milestones of twenty-five or thirty years were given a sofa and chair, a new stove, and a tank (large storage tank for water). These were the gifts that they had chosen. Unfortunately, this was sprung upon us so I didn't have my camera.

On the Fourth of July the morning service was a baptismal service held outdoors in the amphitheater setting behind the gym. Our neighbor, Jim Holt, did two of the baptisms and here you see him baptizing one of his students. Each student could chose whom he or she wanted to do it. Some of our younger students played Zacchaeus and spent the two hours in a near-by tree. The student's testimonies of their faith in Christ were very touching and encouraging.

That afternoon all Americans were invited to a Fourth of July picnic at the basketball court right behind our house. You can tell by the clothing that the weather was not what we are used to on the Fourth of July.
Yes, those are gloves that one lady is wearing!

On Monday after school, a reception was held in honor of those leaving. The superintendent said nice things about everyone (some are leaving for good and some will be returning after a year furlough). We, along with others leaving, received a card that people had written paragraphs in and signed. Thirty people wrote in our card - a precious keepsake.

Yesterday we attended our first African wedding. The bride was the daughter of the man we have hired to drive us away from campus all year. This is Elisha, our driver, and his wife, Esther, coming into the church together. We were at the church for three hours! We did not have time to stay for the reception but it was a wonderful African culture experience.

Our grades our in, we have two and a half more days of classes. Packing, returning items we've rented or borrowed for the year, and saying good-bye will be our main activities until we get on the plane July 20.
We trust we will end well but a section of our hearts will remain in Kenya. We thank God for a life-changing year.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Nukuru Revisited

Mid-term weekend, June 3 – 5, we returned to Nukuru to visit our friends, Isaac and Margaret Mwangi. Isaac drove us to his church yard to visit the feeding program again. Fifty poor children are fed there each Saturday and they get beans and maize flour on Tuesdays.

The children left their activity of playing in piles of freshly cut grass to try and get into the picture. They seemed to recognize us from our previous visit.

Soon they were served what we thought was hot chocolate. Turns out it was porridge made from millet, thus the color. This is nourishing and filling.

The children enjoyed lounging in the grass with friends to consume their warm treat. The boy on the right with the hat on was new today. Yes, he was there without shoes. Isaac found out that he is so poor that he is not attending school. (The fees are minimal but still more than some can pay.) Isaac is going to look into providing funds for his schooling.

Lunch was already being cooked – yummy looking veggies and rice to which chicken would soon be added (probably the only meat these fifty children get all week). The exciting thing is that in August a missions group from the Savannah area, under Mission on the Move, is coming to Nukuru. They will build a kitchen on the spot where you saw the first children posing for the picture. They will have a propane gas stove and these wonderful ladies won’t have to cook in this back-breaking manner any more!!

From there we went to Lake Nukuru National Park. The pink line that you see in the distance is thousands of flamingos. They are joined at the water’s edge by water buffalo. Issac, Timothy, and Edwin showed us a wonderful time in the park driving all the way around the lake.

Other animals encountered were zebras, Thomson’s gazelles, rhinoceros, and giraffes.

Sunday found us back at their church. It was a service of great music – adult choir, youth choir, and children’s choir! Two hours later, we went near by to lunch at the home of Jonathan and Lilly, Margaret’s cousin.
He is a professor at a local college. They have a wonderful home and farm where they raise chickens and grow all kinds of vegetables. They sell the eggs and produce to the local shops. We thoroughly enjoyed the kind warm African hospitality!

Monday morning after the boys were off to school, Isaac and Margaret wanted to show us some of the Great Rift Valley that we hadn’t seen.

Here they are in front of Thomson’s Falls.

Vic and I had to pose with two of the local attractions – the Maasi Africans and the African chameleons. The Africans could not believe that we would let these things crawl on our arms. It was fun watching their reactions.

One of the things that has amused me here is the donkeys (guess it’s my farm upbringing). Whether they are grazing along the edge of a major highway or pulling a cart loaded five feet high with most anything, I just get a kick out of them. Here’s a picture I caught from the church yard.

Another wonderful weekend provided by the Mwangi’s. We are so blessed to have gotten to know this family so well and look forward to continued friendship via email and Mission on the Move.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hell's Gate National Park

Last Saturday
the Holts
and we visited
Hell's Gate
National Park.
It was a gloomy
day but we were
soon enjoying
looming stone

Our first stop was at Fischer's Tower, a volcanic plug.

At the second stop, Jim left us and climbed to the top
of the hill below.

I climbed a little way up and found amazing
formations like this:

As we drove through
the park zebras,
hartebeests, and
wart-hogs showed
us what a fantastic
they have to live.

"Why is such a beautiful place called 'Hell's Gate'?" you
ask. It is because of the
natural geysers which are
throughout the park. Kenya gets 1/3 of its electricity
from them.

We asked our driver to take us to a nice place for lunch.
He stopped at Elsamere, the former home of Joy Adamson, author of
Born Free. We dined on delicious food and sat in the front yard
looking out over Lake Naivasha.

We concluded that the day was more like a part of heaven than a part of hell!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Outreach at St. Edwin's Orphanage

Two weeks ago
it was Outreach
Saturday at RVA.
Students loaded
into vans, trucks,
cars, and buses
and went all over
the area to
minister. Some
of the jobs were
planting trees,
picking up trash,
helping widows in
their homes, and
visiting orphanages.

We went with the group that visited St.
Edwin's Orphanage. Here you see one of
our students, Meekly, with some of the
children at the home.

Our students were soon playing with the children.
They had fun using a huge parachute and hula
hoops that we took with us.

While they played some of us spent time plastic
wrapping new mattresses that had been paid for
by a church in America. Everyone was happy to
pose in front of the mattresses leaning against the fence.

It didn't take long for the mattresses to get delivered to
where they belonged - in the children's bedrooms!

They gathered around their beds and really were much happier than this picture shows.

Meet Evelyna, the gal in yellow. She
is the top student in her class of 80.
Below Nancy is encouraging her to
continue doing well in her studies.

You no doubt recall from earlier posts that the orphanage was praying for a water tank, a cow,
a plot of land, and a vehicle. Thanks to some of you who gave generously while I was home,
we were able to give Edwin enough shillings that day to buy a cow. He was so grateful but he
decided he should tell the children at a later time. One gift a day was enough! Hopefully we'll
be able to get pictures of the cow before we leave.

Jesus' words: "In as much as ye have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto me."

Sunday, May 2, 2010

St. Edwin's Orphanage Has a Water Tank!

Post before last
you heard about
the money being
given for the
water tank at
St. Edwin's
orphanage. Here
it is! (The kids
got dressed up in
their new sweatshirts
for our visit. They
were a gift from a
teacher here who is
from Texas; it's no accident that they are Aggie colors!)

Thanks to abundant
rain of late and the
tank, they no longer
have to buy water!
What a blessing and
thanks to the
church that sent
money for this

A chance this time to see their kitchen shows
the "stove" and "counters where" they prepare
the meals for these precious 24 children!