Just wanted to give a quick little update.
We are thankful for our home church for donating money to help the victims of the flood. Willis was able to take the money and provide food to many in need, provide money for medical supplies, and to take those sick to the hospital. Now that the flood waters have resided, it is time to begin rebuilding and repairing many homes.
Momma Sharon (one of the widows that helps care for all the children at the orphanage) had a stroke a week or so ago and has been in the hospital. She was severely impaired for some time, but thanks be to our sweet Father in heaven, and thank you for your prayers, she was discharged from the hospital today and has made so much improvement. Please continue to be in prayers for her.
Also, while in Kenya, we had some blue prints drawn up and had a new estimate done for a building project. We are hoping to eventually build permanent structures for the orphanage. currently the children are still living in the tin sheet structure which floods every time it rains and they are not protected from the mosquitoes or the heat/cold. Additionally, over 40 children are living with in 3 small rooms. The building project included 8 connecting dorms. And each dorm will have 2 bedrooms and a living room. There would be 5-6 children and a house mom in each dorm. Our proposal was brought before the World Indigenous Missions board and was approved last week. We can now official begin raising the funds. It is estimated to cost between $50,000 and $70,000.
Here is the proposal we sent to WIM. Feel free to read it.
Building Proposal 2013 Jarvis Family Kenya
Where: One hour east of Kisumu, Kenya on Ahero-Miwani Road in Ombeyi Village. We are working alongside a fairly new NGO in Kenya called United Hope International (UHI). We will be building on Willis Antieno Auko’s land. He is the founder of UHI. The land was donated to him by his father. He has papers proving that it is indeed his land. This is currently where the children are staying in metal sheet houses.
What: We have a vision of building a children’s village for the orphans and struggling widows in the surrounding area. Currently the children are staying in a metal sheet building. The boys and girls were living in the same building divided by a wall. After Jenni and I returned to the US, the boys moved into our one room house that we built for ourselves. We plan to build eight brick/block houses for phase one of our vision. The houses will be in the shape of a L. They will have two bedrooms and a living area. There will be four houses connected together. So, there will be two strips of houses.
Also, we want to build a mission house for teams that come and visit. The safest/closest hotel is an hour away in Kisumu. Inside the house would be four bedrooms, a small clinic that Jenni will work out of, a living area, a men’s and women’s bathroom, and a kitchen for guest.
Why: There are many reasons for this to be done. For one, every time that it rains the children’s dorms get flooded. Also, the buildings they are living in are only temporary structures made out of untreated wood and sheet metal. To rebuild it would cost around $4,000 for materials, delivery and labor. So why spend that much on buildings you will have to replace a few years down the road? Another reason for building permanent houses for the children is to help prevent malaria. At night is when the children are bitten the most by mosquitos. Their current dorms allow easy access to the mosquitos to fly in. If the children have brick houses where the walls go to the roof, it prevents the mosquitos from coming. It’s not going to totally prevent the malaria, but it will help a lot. The biggest reason for building is to give the children a sense of family. Some of the children still have a living mother or grandmother that was unable to care for them, so we would have them come back to the orphanage, or find widows who are struggling and that are Godly women, to “adopt” 5-6 of the children as her own. She would be the house mother to the 5 or 6. Her role would be to take care of the kids in her house. This would give the children a parent figure of their own. At the same time, it helps the widow who is struggling on her own. We would support each widow with food and better living conditions. The main requirement for the widow would to be loving and be a follower of Christ. She has to have a desire to love and disciple the children. We just want the children to see the love of Christ from followers of their own nation. Willis and his wife and son also would like to move into one of the houses, as they currently live in a mud house that would have to be repaired frequently and rebuilt in a couple years.
The mission house would have multiple purposes. It would be used to house mission teams that come to work alongside of us. Also, there will be a small clinic for Jenni to work out of. She does a lot of medical work with the children. When there are no mission teams visiting, the rooms can also be used as treatment and recovery rooms for people that are sick and need help recovering from illnesses or injuries before transitioning back home. The living/dining room would also be used for pastor training. We currently meet in one of the classrooms that is also made out of sheet metal. It is not a very ideal place to meet. It does not have full height walls, and when the children are around it can be very distracting when they are playing outside. The brick house would help in this case. It would block sound, and give an area where the pastors could focus. Jenni also meets with widows once a week for Bible study. This would be where they could meet also. Jenni, Keelyn, and I would also have a room that we could stay in within the house. We wouldn’t need to waste money on another temporary metal sheet house. While it is being built we would stay in one of the classrooms, or a small mud house that is currently being used for a classroom.
Cost: When we were in Kenya, we went to Kisumu to have blue prints drawn. We met with a contractor and was given an estimate for building the eight houses and the mission house. It came out to be around $50,000. So, that is our goal. We want to raise $50,000. That should cover materials and labor.
Timeframe: We would like to start as soon as we return to Kenya in late August. If approved and we have all our funds, we would start in September and hopefully have it completed by January Lord willing and weather permitting.