Kenya

COVID-19 Finds Its Way to Kenya

Can you imagine the changes the world has undergone in the last three weeks. How unthinkable this would have been if someone told you even two months ago that so many of us would be locked up in our homes and when we do venture out it would be with masks and gloves. Our health care workers and first responders risk their lives every day to help others through this tragedy.

I hope you’re finding ways to get through this season. I just heard from Michael, our contact in Kenya, and the virus is drawing near to Pokot. It is already in neighboring Uganda and is causing fear to spread in the region. Here is what Michael wrote a couple of days ago:

Greetings in the most powerful name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We are so grateful for the article Why I Don’t Go to Church Anymore. I believe this is the time where this teaching is needed more than any other, and everybody is requesting Swahili and English copies. This evening, we are going to deliver some hard copies to more than 500 leaders who are requesting it. This is amazing.

The North Pokot work is well and they are planting different type of crops and irrigating it all. However, because rumors that the coronavirus is going to sweep all people especially those who are congested like they are, they are afraid. Some have prepared to start fighting it as if it was an animal, armed with traditional spears. Some of the old men who still believe in tradition started preparing rituals. However, our coaches are doing extra work to educate and teach them that sanitizer could help prevent its spread and that they need to put their trust in God.

The coaches especially those who trained in the health department, have told them about the importance of social distance, cleanliness even among the community, and washing hands regularly by using soap. But they don’t have soap. Every household needs two soap dispensers and a container of fresh water to wash hands.  This is the report we have got from our supervisor. These things are highly needed now. Anything God can provide through you in these areas will help greatly. As soon as God provides the item Thomas and I will  go there and help the situation.

This issue have affected countrywide, it has also affected feeding because people has been minimized movement, for working and many families are starving. Our country has tried our level best to use all resources that they may be having but still the need is overwhelmed, but we trust God for everything. We understand what is happening around the globe especially USA and the burden which you have worldwide.

We are already seeing in the U.S. how the toll of this virus is worse for those who are most vulnerable. Those with many resources have options and those with little do not. We sent $20,000 to Kenya to help them in this crisis, but it will take more.  If you have some extra to help them, please send it along.  As always, every dollar you send us gets to Kenya, and all contributions are tax-deductible in the US. We do not take out any administrative or money transfer fees. Please see our Donation Page at Lifestream. You can either donate with a credit card there, mail a check to Lifestream Ministries • 1560 Newbury Rd Ste 1  •  Newbury Park, CA 91320, or phone us at (805) 498-7774. All contributions are tax-deductible for those in the U.S.

If you’re stretched in this season, please pray for them as you do for your own needs. This is a tough time for so many people and yet we can also put our trust in God who is faithful and a certain refuge in uncertain times.

Thank you for your concern and your prayers.

 

 

The Current Crisis in Kenya: Update

I wrote last week about the horrific crisis unfolding in West Pokot where we have been helping tribal groups of people recover from a sustained drought that completely changed their economy. For five years we have been investing over $1.5 million dollars to help them with food, water, medical, and educational needs as well as help jump-start a sustainable economy. Over the past week torrential floods, the first ever in that region, have wiped out their villages and destroyed much of the progress that they made. Over 65 people have died. You can view a BBC report on the crisis here.

In response to my blog last week we received about $5,000 over this past weekend to help with that relief.  Today, I received an update for their immediate needs just to care for the families involved, that our friends have been helping:

Today we have received the report from our coaches regarding the affected villages. They also added another one—Ngetut Village—to the list of casualties.  That’s three villages including Olorwo/Compass and Chemyon/Kasoyan. About 630 households with their families have lost everything. They are so desperate with no blankets, mattresses or food.

The local government, NGOs and other bodies are working tirelessly to see that people are getting food and other necessities in other places, but they have not reached these villages with any help.  We request for emergency to help the situation as soon as God provides.

We do not yet know about the damage to our agricultural projects. Our coaches have not yet gotten to the site to see how it was damaged. As soon as the rain stop, we shall go and find out with our coaches.

Here is our immediate need:

  • Food supplies (maize, beans, salt, sugar) –  $34,390
  • Bedding – $4560
  • Transportation to Pokot – $2300
  • Reconstruction of latrines $3300

Total emergency Request – $44,550. 

Please pray for these people and if you can give anything to help give them this week, please send it as soon as you can.  Keep in mind that the people asking us for this money already live in poverty themselves, but they are asking for money to help fellow Kenyans who are in far worse shape than they are. We want to try to send them $44,550 in the next day or two if you can help. And please keep in mind, this is only for immediate relief. We will also need funds to rebuild the agricultural projects that were destroyed. I’m grateful to so many of you who responded last week. Thank you. We do need some more to meet our $44,550 goal.

If you know of others who might be touched by this need, please pass this information along.

As always, every dollar you send us gets to Kenya, and all contributions are tax-deductible in the US. We do not take out any administrative or money transfer fees. Please see our Donation Page at Lifestream. You can either donate with a credit card there, or you can mail a check to Lifestream Ministries • 1560 Newbury Rd Ste 1  •  Newbury Park, CA 91320. Or if you prefer, we can take your donation over the phone at (805) 498-7774.

Thank you for your concern and your prayers. And, if you are in a place to help, please give generously.

Crisis in Kenya

EMERGENCY! EMERGENCY! EMERGENCY!

You know I don’t hype things here, especially when it has to do with money. But there is a crisis unfolding in Kenya, right where we have been working with several tribal groups. I realize we’re past Giving Tuesday, or whatever crazy ploy was being used this week, but I have an emergency need. I was just informed about a horrific crisis unfolding where we have been investing so much to help abandoned tribal groups in West Pokot.  I’ll spare you the pictures I received of dead people, including children trapped in the mud. They are horrific.

A flooded village in West Pokot.

The devastation in this part of Kenya is tragically ironic. We got involved because of a prolonged drought that destroyed the cattle of these nomadic tribes in the West Pokot region of Kenya.  Now, they are experiencing the first flooding ever in that region, and it has killed 65 people and ruined some of the agricultural enterprises we had started. Their food stores are gone, as are many of the outhouses they constructed for hygiene reasons.

Here is a BBC report on the crisis.  I received the following message from our contact in Kenya:

Overturned food relief truck in West Pokot

Right now we are experiencing a flood in Kenya, almost every part and the most affected place are West Pokot, North Pokot, Baringo, Ukambani , Kitale, and many other places. We thank our coaches for the ongoing latrine construction since it has really helped in preventing diseases like Diarrhea, Typhoid and Cholera.  Although over 30 toilets have been swept out, we are praying for them not to be contracted with diseases.   The local government is taking limited measures in some places to prevent these diseases. Historically, this is the first time this area has ever experienced flooding.

The Kompass/Olorwo, irrigation has been swept, all the pipes and plantation –this is very sad and all the villagers have been advised by the coaches to move the upper side as they see the situation calm down. Also, Chemnyon/Kasoyan irrigation has been affected too. Our coaches are waiting for the flooding to stop so that they can go and see what we can do.

According to the coaches, all the food that it was on the farm and in the storehouse was swept away by the flood, so they are in danger of hunger. Fifty people died in Central Pokot 50 people due to floods and landslides. You can pray for us since the situation worsens day after day.

In the Forkland community, they experience flood but they are not so bad, since they have clean water for drinking, we thank you very much for the support of spring’s water borehole.

Please pray for these people. They have lost so much, including children they love. We will have to rebuild some of the agricultural projects as well and will need to provide relief food and supplies as soon as our team can get in and assess the damage.  If you have extra giving to do by year’s end, please consider these dear people.

Funeral for the orphanage security guard

Not only will we need emergency relief funds, but we also paid recently to get the body of one of the security guards of the orphanage released from the hospital after a sudden illness and death. Hospitals will not release the body until the bill is paid. Also, the water enterprise needs to increase its warehouse space to be able to distribute as much water as they can produce.  So, the need is tremendous, both short term and long term. If you can help us here, I will be incredibly grateful, as will they.

As always, every dollar you send us gets to Kenya, and all contributions are tax-deductible in the US. We do not take out any administrative or money transfer fees. Please see our Donation Page at Lifestream. You can either donate with a credit card there, or you can mail a check to Lifestream Ministries • 1560 Newbury Rd Ste 1  •  Newbury Park, CA 91320. Or if you prefer, we can take your donation over the phone at (805) 498-7774.

Thank you for your concern and your prayers. And, if you can help in the current crisis, please give generously.

Water, Water, Everywhere

Before I get to some great news from Kenya, I want to catch you up on a few things around here.  Last week I was asked to appear with Vince Coakley on his Charlotte-based radio show and discuss the crisis of confidence people are having with the clergy.  You can listen to that here.

Additionally, Sara and I will be taking some vacation over the next couple of weeks, spending some time at Shaver Lake with my dad and later my daughter’s family. We are looking forward to the break and will return to the office here on August 20. If you can keep the emails to a minimum during this time, that would be great.

And while we’re gone, I’ll continue posting the email exchange I’ve had with Alan that I began in the post, In the Shadow of Death. I’ve done three parts already and probably have ten more to go as we talked about hope for healing, faith, reality, grief, and mortality in the throes of metastasized breast cancer. There’s a lot in this exchange that we rarely talk about. I also pre-recorded some fascinating podcasts for you throughout August at TheGodJourney.com.

Now on to Kenya. Many of you followed our saga in Kenya this winter after floodwaters polluted the water system for a school we have helped support in an impoverished area near Bungoma. Their sewage had comingled with their water supply, and the children were all getting sick, as were other residents in the area who also use that water. If they didn’t drill a new well, the government was going to close the school.

Many of you stepped up and gave over $30,000 to drill a new well. Amazingly, it hit an aquifer deep underground that had hit some of the purest water in Kenya and at such a huge pressure that it would not only serve the school but could be given away to the community around them. When the government tested the water, they said it was some of the purest in all of Kenya and encouraged them to bottle and sell it. The need for bottled water is vast in that region.

So, you stepped up again with another $42,000 to build a water-bottling enterprise, whose profits will help provide for the school and other projects in Kenya that we have been supporting. They just had their inspection for the new water plant, and this is what they sent me yesterday:

On behalf of the Forkland community and also IGEM ministry at large, we would like to send our gratitude for you and the entire team for the great and awesome support towards this project.

In addition to the school, this water is serving more than 16,000 consumers and the number will still increase. This is amazing. Typhoid and Diarrhea have been reduced by a large margin in this region. People are asking, especially mainstream churches who are surrounding this community, whether anything good come from Forkland? But the answer is yes; Jesus is able. We don’t have anything which this community can offer to you but just prayers.

About our bottled mineral water, we now have full confidence towards our target. Our premises have already been approved by Ministry of Health, Water Services Board, National Environmental Department, Ministry of Housing  and Rural Development, and Kenya Bureau of Standards.

We were surprised to hear that our water, Springs Garden Mineral Water, is pure and recommended to the World Health Organization.  We have been receiving congratulations  from the different departments. Everything is working out great and we have many customers—hence more orders. Wow!

Here are some pictures they sent along:

The filling station for the water bottles.

 

Each bottle is hand-filled at the water-station.

 

This new enterprise came as such a surprise and will be a future source of revenue for them in years to come. What an unanticipated blessing in the long saga of our connection to these dear people. Your compassion for them and your godly generosity toward them continues to amaze me, and I suspect delights the Father.

Your help is appreciated more than you know. All contributions are tax-deductible in the US. And, as always, every dollar you send goes to the need in Kenya. We do not (nor do they) take out any administrative or money transfer fees. Please see our Donation Page at Lifestream. You can either donate with a credit card there, or you can mail a check to Lifestream Ministries • 1560 Newbury Rd Ste 1  •  Newbury Park, CA 91320. Or if you prefer, we can take your donation over the phone at (805) 498-7774.

 

Kenya: Springs Garden Mineral Water

If you are following our continuing saga of helping people in a specific region of Kenya, you know that we had to drill a new well a few months ago or see a school closed down that was helping orphans and children living with drug-addicted parents in a place called Forkland. A flood last December polluted their former well with their sewage and was no longer usable. This school has been run by a woman after the tribal violence as the only hope to break the poverty and bondage of children in this area and make a generational shift in a place of great need.

The new well went 340 feet deep and hit an aquifer of pure mineral water that is under intense pressure. Not only is it enough water for the school and the surrounding community who also use that water, but health officials also recommended bottling it for sale since the water is of the highest quality anywhere in Kenya. This is an answer to prayer in so many ways. For every need we’ve sought to help in Kenya, we have also started an enterprise they can utilize, not only to hire people who need jobs but also to fund ongoing needs. The orphanage/school we started is supported by a petrol station we built. Other needs in the Kitale area are being funded by a grain distribution company we launched there. This bottling plant will help provide for Forkland school as well as outreaches into that community. The overflow will also be helpful in future needs in North Pokot.

July 2020 will complete our five-year project to make the tribes of North Pokot that we’ve been serving, sustainable without outside help. We have drilled wells, started irrigation projects, opened schools, helped with health care, and funded microloans to help create new businesses. By all indications, they should be able to use their creativity and industry to care for themselves beyond that.

This bottling plant is the next step in securing an income stream for Forkland School, help with the impoverishment of the surrounding community, and the overflow will be able to help new people groups in Pokot.  But for that, we need an additional $42,000 to start the enterprise. This includes empty bottles to get the enterprise going, as well as training for five months and a conduit for distribution. If you can help us fund this project in whole or in part, I would be incredibly grateful.

Also, this month, we need an additional $18,000 to feed a new tribe that came two months ago to try to find some resource. Their women and children were dying, and no other aid was available to them. They sought help from the tribes we are assisting in North Pokot. We gave them food two months ago, and they need two months more to get them to harvest time. So, in addition to the $10,000 we send every month, we need an additional $60,000 this month.

Your help is appreciated more than you know. All contributions are tax-deductible in the US. And, as always, every dollar you send goes to the need in Kenya. We do not (nor do they) take out any administrative or money transfer fees. Please see our Donation Page at Lifestream. You can either donate with a credit card there, or you can mail a check to Lifestream Ministries • 1560 Newbury Rd Ste 1  •  Newbury Park, CA 91320. Or if you prefer, we can take your donation over the phone at (805) 498-7774.

Streams of Water in the Wilderness

My last blog offered my thanks for the incredible outpouring of support for people in Pokot. After I posted it, I got this new information from them. The map above will help you understand some of the details here. The drought and starvation are going on across the entire top of Kenya from Wajir to West Pokot. Our efforts are in the northern area of West Pokot, and the people we work with from Global Hope are based in Isiolo to the east.

This is from Michael Wafula, who is the President of IGEM (International Gospel Equipping Ministry), and the overseer of our efforts in Kenya. This is his report.

We were the only pioneers in this place when we started going to Pokot twenty-five years ago. Then, the people were nomadic as they had been for thousands of years, moving one place to another searching for food and green pasture with a lot of suffering due to disease and starvation.

Historically there is little water in this region, many using urine from cows, milk, and blood from animals for drinking. They depended on the River Suam, which is almost 5 days walk. People came with their cattle from different parts all over the region. On the way, some of the animals would die, and even when they reached the river, it often took three days to get their animals a drink due to congestion. Because of this hardship, the Moran (youths) would raid their neighbors in the Turkana, Karamojong, and Bariongo regions to steal their cattle. Security was nonexistent, and it was considered a danger zone. There was no communication, no roads or anything else so the government could not be involved. These people lived on their own life, believing in their god of the mountain.

We want to give God all Glory, Honor, and praise. He is a loving Father who covers the multitudes of our sin. When I compare the provision which God has provided for more than seven years of touching the lives of this people and transforming the villages and the community, I know this is the fulfillment of Isaiah 43:18-21 for them:

Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
The wild animals honor me,
the jackals and the owls,
because I provide water in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,
the people I formed for myself
that they may proclaim my praise.

Now, we are seeing the tremendous wonders of God in this place. Roads are being constructed, and pathways in the bush created. We are now able to interact with people who were not able to communicate with this. This is the mighty work of the Lord.

Due to the wells you helped us drill, water is available and the mastered seeds you helped us give out, are growing new crops. For the first time in their history, they are learning to do agriculture, to produce their own food. Though there might not be enough to feed everybody yet, no one is dying in those villages where we are currently working. No cattle will die for lack of water. The people no longer need to migrate.

I saw these people are reaching their Canaan, and the days are coming where food and water will not be the problem. This is a rescue, and it is but for a short moment. This is a horrible year all over the area. Millions of people are starving countrywide, even in Kitale where we live. It is planting season now, but nobody has planted because there is no rain. Those who planted last month have watched their crops wither. This lack of rain extends all over East and Central Africa to lack rain. It has never happened before, so pray with us. We don’t know what is taking place and what could happen tomorrow.

We thank God for our president and the government of Kenya who have tried their level best to donate relief and water to the affected people but remember the need here is overwhelming. More than were counties were affected. UN, Red Cross, churches, and individuals have been forced to be involved in helping the situation where they can. We have tried to ask those organizations for help, but their answer is for us to do what you can to help since they have nothing to spare.

Our work here is just a compassionate heart to the community. We didn’t know that other tribe would hear and come to interrupt what we have already planned. The reason I have stayed in the area is because of the pain we were feeling, and we just wanted to cook for them and share the gospel of Christ, helping them feel happy even if they are hungry.

Your help along with the team has saved the lives of many people.

This is what the money you’ve sent us has done for a forgotten people. I hope you sense God’s joy at your being part of this work of grace and salvation that he is doing. Over two million dollars to date have been spent on behalf of these people in Pokot, and other needs further south in the Kitale region to help with widows and orphans.

Obviously, we have not heard the last of this need, and the food we provided will only last for two months. We continue to send more every month than we receive in contributions. Your help is appreciated more than you know. All contributions are tax-deductible in the US. And, as always, every dollar you send goes to the need in Kenya. We do not (nor do they) take out any administrative or money transfer fees. Please see our Donation Page at Lifestream. You can either donate with a credit card there, or you can mail a check to Lifestream Ministries • 1560 Newbury Rd Ste 1  •  Newbury Park, CA 91320. Or if you prefer, we can take your donation over the phone at (805) 498-7774.

Thank You for Your Help

Last week I asked you to help my friends in Kenya. You responded. So many of you, in so many ways. Gifts large and small have all but covered their need. I am so grateful for your generosity that has overflowed in thanksgiving to God. The food has been purchased and distributed, and the people have returned to their homeland. While they were giving out the food, however, another tribe came in. They, too, had traveled far hoping to find some subsistence for their people. We were able to provide enough for them as well.

Unfortunately, that only covers the next couple of months. After that, we’ll have to see what else God does.  Please pray with us for this need and for God to show himself strong on their behalf. We are constantly encouraging them to put their hope in him, not us. For the next fifteen months, we will continue to send $10,000 per month to help the five original tribes reach sustainability with water, food, education, hygiene, and micro-finance small business start-ups. We seem to be on a good pace for that to happen.

Some ask if we get that much in donations every month.  We do not. God has asked us to do this so we trust God beyond the Kenyan donation through book sales, or extra from my travel. He has always proved sufficient.  Since January 2008, we have sent $2.023 million to the people of Kenya. Isn’t that crazy? About a third of that has come through one family from Texas, the rest from Lifestream and your generosity. That has rescued over 100,000 people from starvation, helped them shape a new economy, and opened their lives to the Gospel. It is an amazing story of need and generosity, what James called the essence of true faith.

If there ever was a time you wanted to genuinely help poor people, without anyone else siphoning off money for administrative fees or other costs, this is it. All contributions are tax-deductible in the US.  And as always, every dollar you send goes to the need in Kenya.  We do not (nor do they) take out any administrative or money transfer fees. Please see our Donation Page at Lifestream. You can either donate with a credit card there, or you can mail a check to Lifestream Ministries • 1560 Newbury Rd Ste 1  •  Newbury Park, CA 91320. Or if you prefer, we can take your donation over the phone at (805) 498-7774.

 

Kenya:  Amazing News and Tragic Need

I’m in SF at the moment, on my way home from a beautiful weekend in Morgantown, West Virginia, and Pittsburgh, PA, but I couldn’t wait to share with you an amazing joy among our friends in Kenya, and some new people in Pokot, hungry for food and for God. This is an emergency need, and if you could help us, we would be most grateful.

A few weeks ago, I wrote here about Forkland School, in a poor section of Bungoma, Kenya. It not only educates children who would have no other opportunity, but it also helps care for the impoverished community around it. We support that school at $1000 per month.

I asked you for help because their water system had been contaminated in a recent flood with their sewage system. The children were getting sick, and the health department closed the school. It also affected the nearby community who also use that well.  Because of your generosity, we were able to send them $30,000 to drill a new well. They just completed it and here’s what they wrote:

On behalf of Forkland community and school, God has brought a great transformation. People are now getting clean water, and this water has become a very big blessings to the entire region. People can walk in from a far distance and draw water. The Kenya Bureau of Standard has recommended that this water in future be used to produce mineral water, because the company drilled deep and found pure water at 340 feet deep.   The flow is very high and can produce 10,000 liters per hour. This is the great blessing. May our Father in heaven be glorified for this. We send our gratitude to those who stood with us in giving their resources to help this community and the school. Since the community started drinking clean water there is no more complaints of typhoid and other diseases. Our children are safe.

We rejoice, too. Everything we do in Kenya, we look to make self-sustaining instead of breeding further dependency. The people there are creative and energetic, wanting to be part of the solution to their own needs; they just lack the resources to do so. We haven’t known how the school could become self-sustaining since it is an outreach to that community. Now they are going to be able to bottle this water and sell it as some of the purest water in Kenya, sanctioned by the government and it will provide resources not only for Forkland School but also for other needs in the area.

As soon as that need was met, however, another need has emerged in North Pokot.  I’ll let them tell you about it.

Right now in Kenya, some of the region like Turkana, extreme North Pokot, and other area are suffering from drought and hunger, pray for us since many of the families are starving. Thank you for what you have send each month, but the problem we are seeing here has gotten worse. While we were there distributing food, a lot of people came from a far village. Every place, people were waiting for the food in bad condition.

We decided to serve those who are totally affected especially the old aged, but people came in multitude where we could not able to control and we had to leave brother Michael and the team there to calm the remaining people who did not get the food. The committee as requested if it is possible to get 350 bags of maize and 100 bags of beans to serve them for a while since they have to walk a long distance, and they speak in their language ” that God is full of mercy and compassion” to them. Some they have taken about three days and even a week just drinking water and boiling the roots to have something in their stomachs.

In this area, the World Food Programme and some NGOs have not yet reached them. They are just now heading to Baringo and Turkana. If possible, they can get food and return to their home to feed their children who are starving. The cost of food is ksh 1,812,500 Kenya shillings (about $18,000 U.S.) We are praying for God’s provision. The need here is too much and you have done a lot till we feel sorry to inform you.

Brother Michael is still in North Pokot and it seems the need there is overwhelming since yesterday he talked in the night that the villagers are in dilemma of what to do.  According to him and the committee, the situation is growing worse since the villagers told them that they can’t go without anything to feed their children.

It is maddening to me that the rest of the world, including the Kenyan government, are ignoring the needs of these people. But people are dying today because they do not have any food. This is a different group of people from those we’ve already been helping in North Pokot. For whatever reason, God has allowed this need to fall on us, and we cannot turn away.

The only place for these people to find food right now is from the generosity of people who listen to The God Journey and read these pages at Lifestream. Generosity is sometimes the only possibility to make up for inequity in a broken and self-centered world. I am asking those of you with any extra resource to help us, please. If you can and this need tugs at your heart, please help them. I have no idea yet if we’re going to initiate a new project here and support these villages further. I am hoping the UN or some other NGO will come along at some point. But as long as we have resources here, we are not going to let children or their parents die of hunger on the other side of the world.

If there ever was a time you wanted to genuinely help poor people, without anyone else siphoning off money for administrative fees or other costs, this is it. All contributions are tax-deductible in the US.  And as always, every dollar you send goes to the need in Kenya.  We do not (nor do they) take out any administrative or money transfer fees. Please see our Donation Page at Lifestream. You can either donate with a credit card there, or you can mail a check to Lifestream Ministries • 1560 Newbury Rd Ste 1  •  Newbury Park, CA 91320. Or if you prefer, we can take your donation over the phone at (805) 498-7774.

Thank you on behalf of the people of Pokot for your gifts and prayers on their behalf.

The Craziest Thing I’ve Been Asked to Do

And it may be the most significant thing I do in my lifetime. Our outreach to brothers and sisters in Kenya and through them to the tribal people of Pokot, is the strangest connection God has invited me into. This is nothing I sought out or tried to accomplish. God brought it into my life gently, but persistently, over time. He knew that somehow I could help him connect people with the great need on the other side of the world to people here with the resources to help out.

Over a hundred thousand tribal people there were dying of malnutrition and disease, without any aid from the United Nations, their own government, or nonprofit organizations. This is a remote region with no one to help. Their nomadic life had been destroyed by a prolonged drought that killed their cattle-driven economy. The Kenyans we already knew in Kitale were heartbroken when they discovered them and asked if we could share some resources through them. Let that sink in. A group of people we were already helping because of their poverty were wanting to reach out to others they who were even in more need. It’s just nuts. We are not a missionary organization, yet in recent years more than 80% of our budget has gone to help these dear people in Kitale and Pokot.

To my utter amazement and delight, people from my podcast at The God Journey and my blog here, responded with generosity and continue to do so over such a prolonged period of time. We’ve been helping in the Kitale area now for over ten years with an orphanage, primary school fees, college tuition, and medical needs. In addition, we started two enterprises—a petrol station and a grain distribution business—to help them employ people and use the profits so they wouldn’t grow dependent on us. That has worked out incredibly well.

Three years ago they discovered the people in Pokot, and over that time we’ve been able to help relieve their sufferings through food, water, medical assistance and education. Two and a half years ago we began a development plan to help them develop their own resources. We have coaches in the area teaching them how to provide for their own needs of food and water, and about hygiene, which has put an end to 90% of their medical needs. We’ve also helped them start their own businesses to generate income. We drilled six wells and over the past year built five agricultural projects around those wells so that in addition to having clean water for themselves, they can also use it to water their animals and to grow their own crops.

It wasn’t just money that helped us here; God also arranged for me to meet people at just the right time—two people who had doctorates in East African development three months after we found out about the people in Pokot, a man working in Thailand who introduced me to the people at Global Hope who were in a neighboring county already doing the work we needed to start doing, a family whom God led to put aside some money for a “great need” coming their way who has given nearly half of the money we have used, an education official from Uganda who could confirm the need in Pokot with government officials in Nairobi when he was skeptical of what we were being told, a lady from Australia to confirm the hearts of those who had contacted us from Kenya, and so many smaller connections that came just as they were needed.

Yes, I’ve had to make a lot of decisions in concert with others and at times this has taken far more energy and time than I felt I had to give, but mostly it seemed I’ve just watched God knit something together so much bigger than any of us could have accomplished. The way he arranged for people and support at just the right time has his fingerprints all over this. We have helped feed the hungry, including widows and orphans, rescued the sick and dying, and provided an opportunity for the Gospel to spread among a forgotten group of people.

Our plan is for the people of Pokot to be self-sustainable after five years and it looks like we’re on that track. Can you imagine? This happened because of people like you who heard about this need and responded with open hearts and have continued to do so over multiple years. I sit here amazed at what Father is doing to let love be practical in reaching out to a people who were dying of malnutrition and disease. All told, we have given over 1.5 million dollars to assist in all these efforts, and the people there have spent it shrewdly and accountably to maximize its reach to as many people as possible.

The pictures above show the tremendous success they’ve had in their first year of harvest. They work hard to grow the food and then share it among the others, especially the most needy. They are also now expanding the acreage of each of the agricultural projects to grow even more food. In addition, the generosity from so many of you has opened up a wide door for the Gospel as they have responded to the message of a Father’s love and learning to follow him.  Here’s a recent email I got thanking us for our efforts there:

The work in North Pokot has given us hope and this is what we are praying for. The people in these regions are seeing live miracle, this is so amazing. God has granted them what they prayed for some years back.

In this portions of land under irrigation it has been divided into different crops and some crops they use small water and it is drought resistance like cassava, sweet potatoes, millet and sorghum, and some maize, this will help exchange of crops time to time as the community will not depend for one crop, this is why as we continue expanding the land for more production, food donation would be reducing hence allow for development.

In every week the committee gives the food from the farm produce to the families according to the numbers. This has helped some of the families to something to eat at least every day.

Here is a picture of the people in Pokot giving thanks.  Your love has flowed over in Thanksgiving to God, not just from them, but from me as well. I am completely amazed at what God has accomplished to rescue these people and give them life.

The people of Pokot bowing down giving thanks for the crops they have harvested.

The needs here are ongoing as is our support for them. If you’d like to join us, you can direct it through Lifestream as contributions are tax-deductible in the U.S. As always, every dollar you send goes to the need in Kenya. We do not (nor do they) take out any administrative or money transfer fees. If you would like to be part of this to support these brothers and sisters and see the gospel grow in this part of Africa, please see our Sharing With the World page at Lifestream. You can either donate with a credit card there, or you can mail a check to Lifestream Ministries • 1560 Newbury Rd Ste 1 • Newbury Park, CA 91320. Or if you prefer, we can take your donation over the phone at (805) 498-7774.

A New Farm in North Pokot

The last few weeks have been crazy and I’ve not had much time to update this page. And it looks like that might continue for awhile. I’m just back from nearly two weeks in New York, and after a day at home, a quick trip to Orange County, CA to share about He Loves Me with high school students who study the book throughout their junior year. What a great, and I’ll admit, challenging time!  This week I’ve been asked back to tape my third episode of A Christian and a Muslim Walk Into a Studio with my friends Bob and Emad in Bakersfield.

Then, next week an old and dear friend comes to town to get my help on his Civil War era novel about two kids coming of age, that has fascinated me for the past three years.  (I can’t wait until you can read it!)  And if you would like to meet Bob and Ellen Stamps, we’re having an open get-together at our home in Thousand Oaks, CA on Saturday May 26.  Write me for details if you have an interest in joining us. Then, I’m off to Virginia and Raleigh, NC in early June. After that I’m looking at trips to Maine, and perhaps western Canada.

Yes, I know it all looks out of control, but this seems to be where grace has led me. Unfortunately it doesn’t leave a lot of time for writing. But that’s OK. I’m enjoying the conversations I’m in every day and the life I see growing in others. When I see God write his unfolding story in a life, that is far more fun than doing my own. I love writing, but I love how he writes most of all.

The purpose of this blog, however, is to update you on our work in North Pokot. It still amazes me every time I tell the tale, and people seem to ask me about it almost everywhere I go. Who would have thought that God would ask us to help 120,000 tribal people in North Pokot build a sustainable economy when their nomadic way of life was destroyed by a five-year drought when no one else would?  Who knew that we had so many people so willing to give freely to help them discover a new way of living? There are no other NGOs (non-government charities) in the area and very little government help, though that is growing. Who would have thought that my audience from my writing and podcasting could have such a profound impact on a small corner of the world. I am overwhelmingly grateful for all those who have helped.

We are now in the beginning of our third year of a five-year (Lord willing) process to help these tribes deal with their most basic needs:  water, food, education, wellness, and micro-finance. Our coaches have helped the people of Pokot to seek alternatives for their own needs and then combine 50% of their sweat equity with resource from us.  The hope is that at the end of this process they will have enough sustainable resource to take care of their own needs. We are making tremendous progress and have just now committed to our fourth and final agricultural project. Now each of the four tribes will be able to use water from the wells we drilled not only for themselves and their livestock, but also to grow their own vegetables.  The other three projects are producing amazing crops to feed the people. (See picture above.)

The fourth is in Kalmeri village. When they heard the others were growing their own food, they wanted to as well. A rumor had come to them that if they acquired solar panels from the county government, Lifestream would build a farm for them, too. That’s not really how it works, but they went en masse to the county government to request solar panels for their village.  After some deliberations the county gave them the solar array they needed. We had hoped to space these projects out over the course of a year, but we have almost been doing one per month at a cost of $34,000 each in addition to the regular money we send each month to help these tribes make their transition.

This is even more amazing when you realize that not too many years ago these tribes were at war with each other over land and cattle, each trying to scratch out their own existence. They often fought and stole each other’s cattle.  The reports we get back now are just amazing, of building a new life, cooperating with each other, and finding the light of the Gospel to guide them.  How awesome is that?

And to watch these children in the farm makes it all worthwhile.

If there ever was a time you wanted to genuinely help poor people, without anyone else siphoning off money for administrative fees or other benefits, this is it. All contributions are tax-deductible in the US.  And as always, every dollar you send goes to the need in Kenya.  We do not (nor do they) take out any administrative or money transfer fees. Please see our Sharing With the World page at Lifestream. You can either donate with a credit card there, or you can mail a check to Lifestream Ministries • 1560 Newbury Rd Ste 1  •  Newbury Park, CA 91320. Or if you prefer, we can take your donation over the phone at (805) 498-7774.

Thank you again on behalf of the people of Pokot for your gifts and prayers on their behalf.

The Mission Continues in Pokot

Most of us don’t even think about where our next meal will come from. We could probably live for a week or more just by the things we have stored in our homes. It’s hard for us to even imagine the trauma of scarcity, of watching those we love suffer from lack of food and malnutrition. Thus, it is hard for us to appreciate the joy that comes in learning how to raise your own food and having the resources to do it.

The above picture is the first fruits of the harvest in Ngetut village—sweet potatoes they grew themselves. Below you’ll see pictures of the joy of the villagers as they are installing the newest agricultural project in our third village. We helped drill these wells three years ago and with solar panels, a tank and some plumbing, they are able to expand the use of those wells so that in addition to having water for drinking and cooking, they are now able to water their livestock, and to irrigate vegetables.  This is the first time they are able to grow their own food and it has even caught the attention of the government.

Due to the generosity of people who listen to The God Journey and those who read these pages, we are seeing that joy spread across Pokot.  They are giving glory to the God they are just getting to know and to trust for their provision. The work in Pocket is nothing short of a miracle. God connected a forgotten people who were starving to death with many of you who have been touched by their plight and have helped us send the money there to help them build a sustainable life with a combination of resources from us and sweat equity from them.

I’m so grateful for what God is doing there, but it hasn’t been without challenges. The government was supposed to take over the costs of the clinic there last summer, but due to the instability of the government and contested elections that was pushed out. The staff did not arrive until February and we’ve had to supply an additional year of medicine. They are hopefully going to take it over by the end of June. Fortunately God continues to provide enough for us to take part in these special projects as well as continue to contribute $10,000 per month there to jump start their economy. We are two years into a five-year commitment here and are grateful for the results we are seeing.  .

Our coaches in Pokot have told us that these farming operations are essential to these tribes becoming self-sustaining and not reliant on outside resource. So as we commit another $33,000 to build a third irrigation project, your gifts and prayers will be welcomed again. In each of these projects the people do the work while we provide the resource. There is still much to be done.  If there ever was a time you wanted to genuinely help poor people, without anyone else siphoning off money for administrative fees or other benefit, this is it. All contributions are tax-deductible in the US.  And as always, every dollar you send goes to the need in Kenya.  We do not (nor do they) take out any administrative or money transfer fees. Please see our Sharing With the World page at Lifestream. You can either donate with a credit card there, or you can mail a check to Lifestream Ministries • 1560 Newbury Rd Ste 1  •  Newbury Park, CA 91320. Or if you prefer, we can take your donation over the phone at (805) 498-7774.

Thank you on behalf of the people of Pokot for your gifts and prayers on their behalf. Here are some additional pictures:

Additional pictures:

The third farming operation

 

Water for the people

 

The water tank and newly completed trough for their cattle

Thanksgiving from the Other Side of the World

I’m going to let my friend, Michael Wafula from Kenya share his Thanksgiving message with you. This is our man coordinating the distribution of our gifts on behalf of the people of Kenya and North Pokot. Above is a picture of our first agricultural project there as the sweet potatoes get close to harvest. You can read more about its success and recognition below:

Dear brother Wayne receives wonderful greetings in the most powerful name of our lord and savior Jesus Christ. On behalf of our coaching team,  the North Pokot mission project, the Living Loved Care Centre, Forkland School, and all investment we have done here by the grace of God through you , we thank God for its accomplishment.

First and foremost, we would like to appreciate our Almighty God our caring and loving Father, for empowering our beloved Kenyan families and Africa as well as the Bible says that this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all nations and to all tribes before the kingdom will come. The gospel of Christ be accompanied by the action as the book of James stated. If your brother or sister is in need you cannot just tell him/her to be warm and be fed. Without meeting his/her need the gospel is dead.  When Jesus was on the planet, he preached the gospel, feed the hungry and clothed the naked.  This is holistic ministry.

In North Pokot they have never experienced that kind of love for many years, even from their ancestors whom they were worshipped before in mountains and rivers.  Even the government did not address the needs and challenges where they lived. But God in his faithfulness used us as the vessels to reach this unreached area some years back. Our aim for going there it was just to spread the gospel to the nomadic people who lived in the bush, migrating from place to place looking for water, food and green pastures for their cattle.  We didn’t know that God he had a great plan to impact their lives. Now the salvation has entered and transformation has taken place.

This is the great ministry to see this impact and wonder how this could happen.  This is a life-changing miracle. As the book of Isaiah says that the past things are passed away and the Lord is saying, “Behold I will do a new thing—a stream of water jetting out in the wilderness and the animals, the the hare will enjoy and the ostrich will drink the water. This scripture has been fulfilled in this place because we spoke this verse for our first mission trip, that no matter how length of time will take, God will fulfill it.  We did not know how this would happen, but we believed God.

Wherever we go in the village and in the community, there is a song of joy and happiness and wherever we visit their nomadic life has changed and now they have settled and enjoy blessings of eternal father who has allowed this miracle to happen. Now you can hear the old men and women speaking in their mother language while stretching hands and pointing up the heaven and the old women kneeling down and thanking God for what has been done for them. And the ladies from the community singing praise songs to the lord.

The pastors are reporting that no building can be constructed large enough to contain the people and they have learned that the church is not the building but it is a people. They learn from your book So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore, which was translated in Pokot language and it has greatly helped them spiritually, so they can be gathered in fellowships and groups to worship God.  They have been taught that the church is not the building, but that they are the living church. This is amazing to see the entire community worshipping God. This is the great evangelism, which nobody before, but God himself.

Thank you for having a trust in us to release such a great resource to pass through our hands, this we count as a great favor before the Almighty God. We do it in the fear of God as just stewards of God’s resources. We channel it to the right project and specific need as we requested. When you come you will see the same as the pictures you received from us. You have a lot of investment here—the wells, the schools both in Kitale and North Pokot, medical supplies, emergency needs, latrines, micro-finance loans, gas station, grain enterprise and now irrigation.

The first irrigation is done and within a short time the second will as well. Even the Department of Environment has approved and licensed it. The Ministry of Health department has given us a recommendation certificate. The Ministry of Agriculture and Water Services has also applauded the move for farming and said this irrigation the only successful one in North Pokot and the best in Pokot county as a whole compared with other irrigation in the Eastern Pokot where some NGOs have pumped millions of shillings. We thank God for this great achievement. The county government has promised us that in case of any help comes, we shall be given the first priority.

So, brother Wayne we are surprised at what God is doing in this region. This is not the idea of men or the plan of mankind; this is amazing life miracle which is taking place in this region. Thousands of souls have come to the Lord Jesus. Many people has been healed, a hundred of families has been transformed and also many children has been restored to life again. Let the world know of the miracle has happened in Kenya—North Pokot region. The people who were not known to the planet are the people who have now experienced a double portion of love. To you and together with all those who have stretched their hands towards our brothers and sisters here, we ask the grace of God to cover their families and their resources that they gave from. May God may triple it that they may not lack anything that they desire.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Is this part of what Jesus meant, when he said, “Greater works than these shall you do?” I think so. This is an amazing testimony of the Spirit stitching three things together—a desperate need in Africa, Kenyans who were willing to go and help them, and generous hearts around the world who would combine together to help them. It is full of miracles, sacrificial giving for people we don’t even know, and a first-century explosion of the Gospel in a forsaken land at the ends of the earth. I am grateful!

There’s still more to be done, however.  If there ever was an opportunity to genuinely help people, without anyone else siphoning off money for administrative fees or other benefit, this is it. All contributions are tax-deductible in the US.  And as always, every dollar you send goes to the need in Kenya.  We do not (nor do they) take out any administrative or money transfer fees. Please see our Sharing With the World page at Lifestream. You can either donate with a credit card there, or you can mail a check to Lifestream Ministries • 1560 Newbury Rd Ste 1  •  Newbury Park, CA 91320. Or if you prefer, we can take your donation over the phone at (805) 498-7774.

Thank you on behalf of the people in Kenya for your generosity and prayers on their behalf.

Kenya: Expanding Irrigation to a New Village

As I get ready to leave for Europe today, I want to catch you up to speed on our activities in Kenya. The firstfruits of harvest at Ngetut Farm can be seen above. This is the fruit of a lot of work and generous donations from many of you. They are so happy now to have a way to grow their own food in a parched land using the well we drilled three years ago and the new irrigation system we helped them install three months ago. blessed at their joy.

These people have been staving for years with incredibly limited resource. Can you imagine what it must mean to look at the growing plants and know this is from God’s generosity as well as their hard work. They prepped the land, planted the seeds, and are now enjoying their first harvest.

This is their report:

Irrigation in North Pokot {Ngetu Farm} is going on well, the crops are also growing very well, brother Joram the farm worker is teaching the community and involving the committee for coaching in agriculture.

As I was there, the elders from the village where we built the school, sent the delegation of elders just walking, guided by the committee, they came in Ngetut irrigation project purposely of requesting us if we can help them to do the same. (See picture t right) I listened to everybody share about the Almighty God. It is a great evangelism to this work. I interacted with them and I was so happy after hearing that many of them were involved to help the Ngetut people for digging and clearing the bush.

As you know brother Wayne, these people understanding is very low , they were thinking that after clearing there bush we would come immediately and fix the irrigation.  They cleared the bush last month but we talk with them that irrigation project needs a process of communication and planning as well as getting the feedback from you. It is not a matter where we start in our own idea. What touched me so much is about the matters of the school nutritional value but I told them to pray and believe almighty God to provide.

This is the first achievement we have seen in the side of vegetables, but for the sweet potatoes and other crops we will updates you when time come. What was your suggestion concerning this? We believe strongly that irrigation progress it only the way which will give out long-term solution to this people.

About Forkland school, renovation and repair is going on I will update you soon, thank you very much for the great help. You can go through the below picture

Vegetables from this plot of land are not only going too feed their community, but the surplus is being sold to a school to help generate further income. We feel like we have enough track record here now to be able to move ahead on the second irrigation project for the people of Chemnyon Village, who helped so much in the preparing of the land with the Ngetut people.  We are sending money this week. We also support the Forkland School near Bungoma, a place where orphan children are being educated. They had a major flood that wiped out housing for some of the kids who live there and it had to be rebuilt. That’s what Thomas is referring to above.

Our coaches in Pokot have told us that these farming operations are essential to these tribes becoming self-sustaining and not reliant on outside resource. So as we commit another $33,000 to help build a second irrigation project, your gifts and prayers will be welcomed again.  If there ever was a time you wanted to genuinely help poor people, without anyone else siphoning off money for administrative fees or other benefit, this is it. All contributions are tax-deductible in the US.  And as always, every dollar you send goes to the need in Kenya.  We do not (nor do they) take out any administrative or money transfer fees. Please see our Sharing With the World page at Lifestream. You can either donate with a credit card there, or you can mail a check to Lifestream Ministries • 1560 Newbury Rd Ste 1  •  Newbury Park, CA 91320. Or if you prefer, we can take your donation over the phone at (805) 498-7774.

Thank you on behalf of the people of Pokot for your gifts and prayers on their behalf.

Kenya: Water Flowing in the Desert…

Can you imagine what it’s like for that man above to stand there with a hose, spraying water on the parched land to begin the first farming operation in this part of Kenya?  These are nomadic people whose life was destroyed by a drought, and now they have the tools and resources to grow their own crops and feed themselves.  This is a dream-come-true for them and its thanks to the generous support of many of you they are able to put two acres of land under cultivation near one of the wells we helped drill for them a couple of years ago. The people of Ngetut Village did all the hard work to prepare the land and help to build the irrigation system that will provide for those two acres. The project is big enough to expand to seven acres in time. If this prototype project goes well, six other villages are hopeful that we will help them too, though the costs are huge. These projects are in addition to the $10,000 we send monthly just to help them with water, food, education, hygiene, and building a new economy.

The cost for tanks, irrigation, land, and fencing to keep out the goats and cattle runs almost $35,000 per tribe. If you’d like to help us expand this project to other villages we would appreciate your help.  Here’s the current report from our first project by Michael and Thomas:

Greetings in Jesus’ name. Thank you very much for standing with us in prayers during our election process, God has done marvelous here in Kenya. The nation is calm and the businesses are return to normal, despite some little misunderstanding, but the people are continue with their lives without problem. The whole world was looking this election and God is faithful for protecting the life and properties.

I can’t hold the joy of tears after hearing the ladies sharing with us how the well has helped this communities Some of them were walking between four to five hours and now they can see the flowing water within some few meters. One woman said, “I have a dream to see the land full of flowing water and others sprinkled. This is really God’s miracle. Many years we were believing the god of mount Muteo and Kadam. Every year we would slaughter a hundreds of goats and some cows crying that they may have mercy with rain and water. But today the whole community believes the living God has answered us with what we are seeing today.” May the lord bless you along with your team. I know this investment it has cost a lot. May the lord reward all of you for this great task. 

Thank you also for the additional money for the fence, we had to change from wooden posts to metal rods because of termites. I have arrived this evening from the site, everything is excellent. The plumbing expert has worked exactly as the first sketch. The water has started flowing to the irrigation tank as the water flows to the farm, this amazing grace. The all land has been covered more two acres, and the water will be enough, even to flow more as you may see in attached pictures. The plumber and his team will be completing the whole work, the end of the week. We have planted the first plantation and we are expecting the community to plant the rest.

The community were so happy, and they see it as a miracle for the first irrigation to be founded in this region.  Surprisingly some people from Chemyon Village  spent the whole day helping the Ngetut village for ploughing and digging the land together. This is so amazing and irrigation might be the last solution of this communities. Thank you also for supporting them with fencing, otherwise the goats and cows might have destroyed the pipes and crops.  Everything is protected and the expert team will complete the work at the end of this week. We will continue updating you the ongoing irrigation project. We have the confidence this first irrigation project will succeed to feed this community. It is our prayer that, God will provide again for the next irrigation in Chemyon Village. Our joy is to see the live of this people has been transformed, thank you for your great concern and the all people who has stood with us to see that irrigation is done.

May the lord bless you for the great help; we thank our almighty God who touched the heart of people so that they were able to respond quickly for this pressing need.

We have had some added expenses to the first plot in helping the people to learn about irrigation and farming, and to have a place to store and distribute the harvest.  We are moving slowly here to make sure this project is successful before branching out to help other villages.

If there ever was a time you wanted to genuinely help poor people, without anyone else siphoning off money for administrative fees or other benefit, this is it. All contributions are tax-deductible in the US.  And as always, every dollar you send goes to the need in Kenya.  We do not (nor do they) take out any administrative or money transfer fees. Please see our Sharing With the World page at Lifestream. You can either donate with a credit card there, or you can mail a check to Lifestream Ministries • 1560 Newbury Rd Ste 1  •  Newbury Park, CA 91320. Or if you prefer, we can take your donation over the phone at (805) 498-7774.

Thank you on behalf of the people of Pokot for your gifts and prayers on their behalf.

If There Ever Was a Time…

If you’ve ever wanted to help with people so poor and so excluded from resources they cannot help themselves, this is it. Bad charity gives us a lot of reasons NOT to give, but this project in Pokot ticks all the right boxes for me.

  • The need is genuine. This is one of the truly tragic places left in the earth with great need and little aid from government or nonprofits from anywhere in the world. It is remote and the need is so great many turn away overwhelmed. It is truly one of the uttermost parts of the earth where drought, malnutrition, and lack of hygiene are killing off thousands of people.
  • Every dime you send goes to the need in Pokot. We do not take out any administrative or transactional fees. All that is paid for by Lifestream.
  • It is furthering the Gospel in a non-coersive way. The help is being given freely, but with it the opportunity to come to know the Living Jesus for those who are interested. And there are so many interested, because they used to pray to their ancestors, but their ancestors did not come to help them. You and our friends in Kitale helped them.
  • We are not creating an ongoing dependency on western aid, but intentionally helping them no longer need it. This is not giving someone a fish, but teaching them how to fish and supplying them with the nets and boat so they can actually do it.
  • The Pokot people are deeply involved and vested in each phase of this project. Resources from us are matched 50/50 with sweat equity from the people there so that they come to “own” it. These people already began to clear land in advance of our saying we’d help provide irrigation in hopes that God would provide some way.

Please don’t let any of that put you under a load of guilt. I say this so people who are normally cynical about these kinds of needs would look a bit deeper. We do not need and do not want any guilt-driven dollars to help here. We are looking for generous hearts who have some extra resource and upon hearing of the need, a growing desire to help the people of Pokot.

This week ChristianityToday.com ran an article about World Vision having a difficult time raising money to help with the desperate need in Turkana.  It was called, Why Christians Should Stop Caring About So Many Causes. Turkana is the county right next to Pokot, with the same challenges we have faced there. Here’s a brief excerpt from that article:

Many people come here and take pictures,” the elder told me as he leaned on his walking stick, his slender frame swathed in heavy cloth despite the heat. “Then they go away and never help.”  This is the moment that haunts me from my recent visit to Turkana, a region in northwestern Kenya crippled by drought and sliding inexorably into widespread hunger.

This article made me all the more grateful for the generosity of this audience and those at The God Journey for helping us send over $1.3 million to that region in the last nine years.We began after the disputed election brought tribal violence to that region leaving hundreds of children homeless and in need of care.  It has continued in recent years as people we know there discovered the great need in Pokot and have been helping them with water, food, education, medical needs, and income generation. We are helping on a five-year plan to create sustainable economies in this very desperate regions of the world.  Our hope is to continue to send them $10,000 per month for another 42 months, but there is still more that’s needed to give them the tools to determine their own future.

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve been asked by the villagers in Pokot if we can help them begin agricultural projects near the wells we drilled for them a couple of hears ago. There is simply no food to go around and they want to put in the irrigation infrastructure to help raise their first crops. Just since putting the need out last week, we have already received enough to do the first well as a prototype to do five others.  I am amazed and blessed and want to see if we can find enough ($150,000) to do all six over the next year or two. That will provide them with a steady source of food and they will look to expand it in years to come.

If you have it on your heart to help these Kenyan people suffering under such a huge strain, you can direct it through Lifestream as contributions are tax-deductible in the US.  As always, every dollar you send goes to the need in Kenya.  We do not (nor do they) take out any administrative or money transfer fees. Please see our Sharing With the World page at Lifestream. You can either donate with a credit card there, or you can mail a check to Lifestream Ministries • 1560 Newbury Rd Ste 1  •  Newbury Park, CA 91320. Or if you prefer, we can take your donation over the phone at (805) 498-7774.

Thank you in advance on behalf of the people of Pokot for your gifts and prayers for them.

 

 

 

Helping People Feed Themselves

I still get a bit freaked when I see that 50% of our expenses last year went to help people in Kenya and South Africa. That’s not how we designed Lifestream to function, but God had plans that went way beyond our own.

If you haven’t followed this saga over the past decade or so, it began with a set of relationships both those I had at home who could afford to help, and with Kenyans abroad who needed help. Over the last 8 years we have channeled over 1.3 million dollars to help our friends in Kitale with orphanage, school, medical expenses, and micro-finance loans and their friends in Pokot with a medical clinic, food, water (drilling six wells), schools, coaching, and business loans. Our goal has been to help tribespeople whose cattle-drive and nomadic economy was wiped out by a prolonged drought. We continue to send $10,000 per month over five years to help when no one else would. I am overwhelmed and grateful that this much generosity would flow through our little corner of the web.  Who would have thought?

We now have an opportunity to help them add some agriculture to their community by helping them plant crops near the wells we drilled for them. We’re going to start with one, of the six they’d like to have over the next few years.  They will serve 2-7 acres with irrigation and allow them to begin to grow their own crops. In hope and faith they’ve already begun to clear the land. Each agricultural enterprise will cost about $25,000 US and I’m curious if there is anyone out there who would like to help us do that?

Here’s what they wrote me:

We have been praying so much concerning our brothers in North Pokot on how we can get simple irrigation system to cover two acres of land. The starvation over there is high,and they have been affected with outbreaks of diseases due to lack nutritional value in their food. Some already tried farming especially those who stay around the wells to plant little plantation but because of drought the cops dried up. Sometime when we go there we cannot hold the tears to see the starvation but the monthly support of food donation it has really saved their life, especially old aged and breastfeeding moms but the rest are in great distress. The coaches and the committees of Ngetut village where we proposed to have first irrigation. Surprisingly they have started clearing some parts of the bush, preparing for irrigation. Thomas tried to stop till we get a cheaper plan, but they told they are doing it in faith, that one time God will provide. This people are really having great faith.

God is good. He recently  connected us with one good man who is an expert in fixing simple irrigation system and he has been installing this irrigation system to the farmers in dry areas like Maasai land and some parts of Busi, so we got his contact and visited him. He was installing to one group of women in Succo, as you may see in some pictures (see above). We invited him in our office and we shared with him at large concerning North Pokot and simple irrigation. He gave us the quotation and sketch for two acres.

The man who will be supervising the work recently found them a solar panel from one of the NGOs that work closely with Red Cross.  It has the capacity of generating enough water to cover 7 acres. So in the future they will be extending to the capacity of seven acres as God provides. You can see from the picture above that they plan a very rudimentary water tower with pipes and valves to help irrigate the land when the rains don’t come. They will be doing the work as our friends from Kitale will be coaching them.

What amazes me about this project is that none of these funds benefit those in Kitale who are doing so much work on behalf of those in Pokot. Who does that? Who lets so much money flow through their hands when their needs are great as well, but they have compassion for the people in Pokot whose needs are even greater.

So I am coming to the readers of this site once again. Any amount you can send will be helpful. I am always amazed at the response that we get from those of you who have partnered with us in this corner of the world. If you don’t know our ongoing story here, you can check out this blog from last year.  If you have it on your heart to help these Kenyan people suffering under such a huge strain, you can direct it through Lifestream as contributions are tax-deductible in the US.  As always, every dollar you send goes to the need in Kenya.  We do not (nor do they) take out any administrative or money transfer fees.

If you would like to be part of this to support these brothers and sisters and see the gospel grow in this part of Africa, please see our Sharing With the World page at Lifestream. You can either donate with a credit card there, or you can mail a check to Lifestream Ministries • 1560 Newbury Rd Ste 1  •  Newbury Park, CA 91320. Or if you prefer, we can take your donation over the phone at (805) 498-7774.

Thank you in advance for your gifts and prayers.

 

 

The Food Has Arrived

A couple of weeks ago I told you that the drought in Kenya had returned this year and they were in need of an additional $8,000 to purchase food or people would starve to death. Thanks to your generosity we were able to share that food with them.

We already send $10,000 per month over a five year period to help them build a sustainable economy and develop health strategies to save these tribal people from the mass starvation and disease that was killing so many of them. We are always grateful for the generosity that comes from people like to help us do that in this corner of the world. It’s great to get some pictures like the one above and these two below that celebrate their joy and receiving sustenance for their very lives.

Here’s is their latest report from last week:

We purchased maize and beans 150 bags and 50 bags respectively and we distribute equally to the remaining families. God bless you abundantly. The villages were very happy praising God for the provision of food.

Also the villagers, they are happy for our coaches who are tirelessly doing coaching and training the community on doing business, digging toilets and keeping their utensil clean. This has curb down the rate diseases caused by micro-organism bacterial. Through that training the 25 women has prepare a closed box with a small hole and every time they meet they deposit Ksh.60 and they said , they are doing that for a period of time , then they will call our coaches , committee and us to open it and see what the lord is doing through this training. Really this training has transformed many and we are continuing doing coaching.

On side of toilets and hygiene they have done excellent work, since there is no more cases of outbreak of diseases caused by human waste/ Our committees together with our community health workers are doing a great job and may God bless them abundantly.

In the picture above the people are divided into families as the food is distributed to all who have need.  Here are a couple more below.

Unloading the trucks with food for the people of Pokot

Families open their gifts

Thanks to all those who gave to help.  The needs here are ongoing as is our giving to them. If you don’t know our story here, you can check out this summary from last year. If you have it on your heart to help these Kenyan people suffering under such a huge strain, you can direct it through Lifestream as contributions are tax-deductible in the US. As always, every dollar you send goes to the need in Kenya. We do not (nor do they) take out any administrative or money transfer fees. If you would like to be part of this to support these brothers and sisters and see the gospel grow in this part of Africa, please see our Sharing With the World page at Lifestream. You can either donate with a credit card there, or you can mail a check to Lifestream Ministries • 1560 Newbury Rd Ste 1 • Newbury Park, CA 91320. Or if you prefer, we can take your donation over the phone at (805) 498-7774.

Thank you in advance for your gifts and prayers.