Update from Kenya

Yesterday the construction people were here again and Willis met with them about the plans. Our small one room house is getting almost finished up! Maybe we’ll move in next week! The outside tin sheet structure is finished with a door and one window. And then we’ve got a breezeway and on the other side is the two classrooms, one we just built, and the other was already there. Then on the other side of the class rooms is the dormitory. Anyways they are working on pouring concrete floors in the house and in the breezeway now. Both of the classrooms have dirt floors so hopefully we’ll still have enough money for concrete floors in there too. When we leave Kenya in November, our house will turn into the older girls dorm. As of now there are 26 girls in a single room and then 14 boys in a single room. (And even more kids under home based care). Each room is maybe 14×22 feet, not so big, so the 8 oldest girls will be able to have our house when we go, and free up a little space and give them a little more privacy from the little ones.

Yesterday we went to town and picked up a package of more stuff for the kids. I tell you what, the post office here is quite different. Seems quite unorganized and most of the workers seemed a little lost. The package wouldn’t fit in the P.O box so they were supposed to put a slip in the box saying the package was there and then we would take the slip to the counter and they’d bring out our box. Sounds simple, eh? Well there was no slip and the package was sent two weeks ago, it was only supposed to take 7-10 days to arrive. So we ask the lady at the desk what to do, she sends us to the main office. We go there and they send us down the hall, and then they tell us they are on lunch to come back at 2. So we come back later and got to the parcel room to find the lady that sorts the parcels. Again, haha, the room was so organized. We asked her about our package, and she said if we didn’t get the slip then its not there. Check another day. But I see my package. So we ask her to check and see if its ours. Yep it is! YAY!!! She said that she put the slip in the box her self. But there never was a slip. She said that if we hadn’t came to check for ourselves, we would have been charged a few dollars a day for a storage fee (even though it was the post office’s mistake that the box was misplaced and the slip was never put in the box). But we still had to pay 20$ duty/tax on the stuff. But at least its here! And we have fun things for the kids! But Ohhhh Man….Kenya. 🙂

While in town, we went to the supermarket for some few items, checked on prices for propane tanks and a small burner to cook on, got lunch, checked a hotel for cost to use pool (hoping to take the kids one day, they’ve never been to a pool!), got a book to have training with the pastors copied and binded, got some ice cream (Such a sweet treat!!! Oh I already miss American food!), and then took Bonface to the Hospital.

Bonface has been sick for over a week now. His first complaints were of stomach pain and diarrhea, progressively he developed a fever, bloating and distended abdomen, and it never got better. So we took him to the hospital for the 2nd time, and they refused to admit him. The first time the lab was closed and they thought it unnecessary to stay overnight. The 2nd time we took him they thought he needed a blood transfusion which they didn’t have the means to do so they sent us away. So we took him to another hospital late last night and waited, and waited. He tested positive for malaria, and they confirmed that he had low blood volume, but they didn’t initiate any fluid or blood. Maleria typically causes just headache, fatigue, body ache, high fever, and sometimes anemia, but I don’t know what is causeing the stomach problems and bloating he’s been having. I just hope everything clears up and that there is not another underlying problem. He came home from the hospital today with malaria meds, rehydration solution to mix with water, and hopefully when Tim and Willis get back, they will have came with his other medicine to help him produce more blood.

We now have three more kids with fevers that I sent with Tim and Willis as they left to go to town today so that they could get tested for malaria. I stayed behind to give the baby a rest from the long bumpy rocky roads.  And after they left, even another child  came to me with a fever. 3 with headaches and fever, and one with more stomach problems and diarrhea.  Please keep them in your prayers.

We finally got home last night about 10 or so and had a PPJ sandwich! I gotta say that it was sooooo delicious!!!! We bought peanut butter, jelly, and bread in town yesterday so we could have a taste of home. That was one amazing dinner. No lie. I like Kenyan food, but sometimes just a taste of something familiar is sweet! J

We slept in a bit this morning after a long day yesterday running all around town hopping from one motorcycle, to a bus, to a tuk tuk (3 wheeled golf cart looking thing) to get from place to place. The kids usually get up about 6:30 and when we hear them we’ll usually roll outta bed about 7 or 7:30. But this morning we slept in till about 8. It felt pretty good!!

We had our 2nd language session this morning. Willis’s mom used to be a teacher, she quit for full time ministry, and now we have hired her for tutoring on Tuesday and Thursdays from 10-1:30. I never knew how hard learning a new language would be. Tim is doing so so good, but me on the other hand, I think my brain is on over load and I couldn’t focus and retain anything! I’ll have to study my notes before Tuesday, she is a good teacher and gave us homework to know what we were taught, and she’ll quiz us down on Tuesday and expects us to know our stuff. So I better study up!

Tomorrow I think we are going to walk around to the local villages and visit widows again and also meet and invite pastors to come to a weekly  or twice a week training. Tim got some materials from some local missionaries about an hour or two from where we are and he’s excited to get started discipling the pastors. Most of the pastors here do not have a very large Biblical foundation, and only about a third of the pastors even own a Bible. So we are hoping to provide them Bibles at some point. Willis informed us that in Kisumu, preachers are expected to preach about hope and in Nairobi, the preachers are expected to preach about wealth and prosperity. So hopefully they’ll dig deep into the word and see the Biblical truths. At church this past Sunday, I noticed that they talked quite a bit about giving money and they had two offerings because it appeared that the first one wasn’t enough. Willis mentioned also that many pastors pocket the money and there are only few that actually use the money for God’s purposes like providing Bibles, or church maintenance, or caring for the orphans and widows, ministry, etc. So pray for God to speak through Tim during this time of training and that the pastors but receptive to the truths of the Bible.

School is out right now, and the kids have break until September 5th. So as I sit here typing, kids come in and out for their medicine, and the doors always open so I can look outside and see them playing. I love the playing voices pretending to be Matatu (bus) drivers with their homemade toy cars made from aluminum scraps and plastic. And the voices of the girls pretending to be teachers,  and watching some girls as they prepare pretend food for their pretend families with dirt and leaves, and the screaming laughter playing soccer.

Its getting close to dinner time here, its 6:40 pm right now. Tim and Willis are still in town running errands, so I guess I’ll finish up here and study the lesson for the devotional tonight with the kids.

I love every minute of it. Even though it can be stressful and burdensome trying to care for the sick kids, and trying to figure out what’s wrong, and how to help the widow, and trying new things, and learning the culture, it’s challenging. But I still wouldn’t trade it. This is it. God’s love and presence is always comforting, He’s got it under control, and in my deficit and my weakness, He will always show His strength. And I’ve got the best teammate and husband by my side, so of course that makes it all the sweeter. 🙂

4 thoughts on “Update from Kenya

  1. Loura Thompson (mommy)

    I love your update. It feels like I can see it all!! I miss you all and I miss Kenya too!! Please take good care of yourselves as you care for the others. They need you!!

  2. Brittney Lord

    You have such a beautiful soul Jenny 🙂 you & your husband are so sweet for doing all you do. Prayers sent to you all !! Keep care of your self 🙂

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