Friday, August 9, 2013

Kenya Journal, Day 6 Drought Region

Day 6, Faith in the Midst of Sadness

Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Throughout this week I have seen a lot of the very good things that God has made: the earth, the sky, the varied terrain, the plants and animals and the people. On our 6th day we packed in a lot of activities so here we go: shopped again at Nakamatt for supplies, along the way to Ntumburi we gave out balls & trinkets to children walking along the highway on their way to school (delighted reactions!), slowed to watch baboons eating their breakfast on the roadside, stopped at Mugae to check on the school - conditions there were very bleak, the school had run out of food so many children were not showing up, severe drought conditions, teachers were giving deworming pills to the few kids who were there because most of the water they have to drink is contaminated, the next school was expecting us at a certain time & we needed to move on but we could not leave them hungry so the 2 vans split up with the Salado people going to the nearest store to buy supplies for them & meeting up with the rest of us later. I gave them 3000 shillings to contribute to the food shopping; that ended up paying for a 200# bag of rice. We didn't feel comfortable just giving $ to the principal because the Salado church had sent them money each quarter for food & apparently it went to other things so purchasing & delivering food ourselves seemed the best immediate solution. The principal was asking us to buy them Boy Scout uniforms and I am thinking, "WHATTT?" So one purpose of this trip is to assess progress and correct application of our donations and be sure that funds are funneled through the right people to meet the needs. Kenya has a big problem with stealing, but I guess with so many needy people some get desperate.

Ntumburi school/church compound opened their orange painted metal gates for our expected visit & before we could start our planned Bible school rotations we follow their protocol of greetings & introductions, morning tea with discussions of our plans, campus tour, classroom visits and finally we begin. I taught the Bible lesson on my own for the 7th & 8th grade groups & they were sharp participants! The Salado group rejoined us after lunch so Scarlett was there once again to co teach with me for the 6th graders. After the assembly (with kids singing for us again!) we toured the unfinished dining hall and the now completed church building that was partially funded by First Methodist Grapevine. Many adult members had come to the sanctuary to greet us and that turned into an amazing celebration! These adults did not speak English so we had an interpreter, but you did not need an interpreter to explain joy, gratitude and brotherhood of man (and woman). The words to their native songs translated to mean they were pouring out a blessing on us more, more and more. They kept singing and all came to us and pulled us out to dance. My dance partner was Gladys, the church chairman, and she had enough rhythm to make up for my white woman moves. Someone has a video?

Hospitality for the evening was provided by Jenifer, a lay person in the church who is Bishop Catherine's close friend. A lovely house in a gated compound, her concrete fence had broken glass meshed into the top ( art & security). We were once again served the traditional African meal of rice, stew with meat, beans & carrots, fruit, bread. Entertaining us with many stories from her years of farming and organizing women's coop groups, she also revealed that she is the newly elected county commissioner to begin her official term next Tuesday. That's the day we start the flights for destination, home.

Day is done, long gone the sun! Extreme highs and lows carried us through this day, and God's grace.

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